Sunday, 31 May 2009

Peepee Pilavi

Tall tales : "During and after the circumcision.. the adult folks like to say they will make peepee pilavi from "it". Hehehee pilav, you know. It's the rice and we will be scared. Eh, you Chinese eat everything. Don't laugh. Ours is only a joke" - Tolga.

For some reason, this weekend was spent attending once-in-a-life events. Yesterday we attended a wedding and God bless that the union will last a lifetime, and this evening, we attended a post-circumcision party. Hehehee don't start giggling just yet. It's a huge celebration and even larger scale in comparison to other occasions. Everyone who knows the members of the family, relatives or not, will always come to cheer.

Tolga says that nowadays, this sünnet practice is partly religious and partly for hygiene purposes. Some kids are circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or at puberty. Hehehee there are professionals dick cutters circumcisers who are popular to call upon. One of the most well-known around here is Kemal Özkan. See he's even got a website so you can more or less guess how famous he is. Hahahaahaa a pro to the max, he has a list of 15,709 names which he recorded through the decades.

That's a load of foreskin LOL.

The star tonight is actually the grandson of Hatice (who comes fortnightly to clean the house). Hatice is a very nice lady, and like I said, everyone will come from far and wide to celebrate this rite of passage for the child. I'm neutral with this custom really. I read about ethical, psychological and legal considerations plus protests on infant circumcisions etc.. I don't see it's much of a debate to do it or not. Jesus' dick was cut. Jesus was circumcised too. Why make so much noise.

It's the family's glory to have a son to don the costume and hold the sceptre on the stage

Batuhan seated upright like a king :)
People who come will greet him, kiss him and pin money/gold on his coat

Check this out, a towering 7-layer cake!!
Want to get your dick cut now? It's nice! *rofl*

Batuhan's parents having a slow dance together..

This picture was taken off the photo which was printed for us already

What an eye-opener. No matter which religion, what race or mentality in today's society.. I agree that there are some perks to having a son. I'm not saying that we should choose one sex over another but it's somewhat the truth. But then again, when the time comes and you'll have a daughter only.. I don't think you'd think much about missing the circumcision. There'll always be invitations by other families ;)

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Wedding Witnesses

Hehehee not ourslahhhhh.

This evening, I got the opportunity to attend a Turkish marriage ceremony with Tolga and his family. Tolga's second cousin sister got married to a comedian. Seriously. Her husband-to-be is a known theatre artist and the guests from his side who showed up were quite a show, if you catch my drift LOL

Turkey is a Muslim country but they run on secular regime (unlike Malaysia). Weddings are carried out at the registry followed by a dinner after. We only went to the registry at
Kadiköy, not the reception. Oooohhhh, almost everyone I've met so far are lovely people. Funny folks. And I still blush whenever Tolga's mum introduces me as Tolga's fiance! You know, religious or customary practices are illegal here but in rural areas/villages, they do take place. Not in the city though. Here's the first 1/2 of what happens usually :)

At Kadiköy District Marriage Registry- the biggest joint in Istanbul

The hall is like an amphitheatre big enough to sit hundreds of audiences.. shocking isn't it?

The lady in the red robe is the marriage registrar,
Elif (the bride) and Naşit (the bridegroom)
with 2 witnesses on their left :)

"You may now kiss the bride"

When it's all over inside the auditorium,
everyone goes up and in queue to congratulate the newlyweds *sniffles*

And collect wedding sweets!! :)

Handmade by Elif's mum (some people make by themselves, some buy from shops)
The wedding sweets are really chocolate balls laced with silver and gold colours.. yums!

Hehehehee I got a handful ;)

This is the funniest wedding photo I've ever taken
If you notice.. no one is looking at the camera! My eyes are even closed! LOL

These are the photographers who make money out of other people's celebrations :P

We say "Mutluluklar dilerim!" in Turkish.
Sooooo.. this is a sneak preview to how ours will be. Stay tuned! ;)

Friday, 29 May 2009

Dusty Bulbs

We got a pair of mini chandeliers installed in our living room! They are super pretty!

Heheheee don't imagine the giganto ones in the palaces, please. It's a modest antique piece, with four arms bearing lights upwards. I'm not sure if they are made of brass or wrought iron. It is very old, therefore the colours are rugged and aged. Tolga and I can't take our eyes off the ceiling ever since LOL

Some pictures taken during the installation. Cheap thrills.

Taaaa-da!! :) :) :)

Okay.. I didn't put them up but it's no harm posing for a pic or two

This is the family's electrician (he's been of service for decades) handling our lights like a pro

Can't say the same about Tolga though! *rofl*

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The Yabanci

I like my new nickname. Call me yabanci (pronounced as yaban-ji) meaning foreigner in Turkish.

Hahahahahaa yabanci, yabanci, yabanci. I like the sound of it.

Through much pain and sweat, running around from one department to another.. no thanks to redtapes and bureaucracy. Standardized procedures, strict protocols and whatnots.. let me say a big fuck you thank you and *middle finger* *thumbs up*. I hate paperworks. I hate queueing and I definitely hate the fear of authorities in these kind of places. You might even want to think twice before letting out a rip.

Here it is. My PR is granted :)

Don't underestimate this little booklet
Every yabanci (for all purpose) who makes long stay here should have one

I can't imagine if I'll have half the patience to make one for Tolga if we decide to move to Malaysia

Yours truly! ;)

Sorry.. better not post the numbers in public LOL

You know.. looking at the pictures here, I remember the time when I got my Ordinatura ID. The good ol' days in Moscow. And time passes by too quickly, huh. Exactly a year ago about this time.. we were preparing for our final exams and graduated the next month. The current 6th Year students are doing their time now.

Those days were good. Real good :)

Monday, 25 May 2009

Turkish Style

My colleague, Hakan made me a cuppa Turkish coffee after lunch. I've tried it once somewhere, sometime ago but I don't remember liking it. I only remember it was too strong and bitter. Maybe it was some other coffee.. but I definitely enjoyed it this time ;)

This brew is indeed a signature drink of Turkey. The portion is tiny, meant for small sips over a period of time. The history traces back to 15th and 16th century, chroniclers wrote that coffee beans originated from Yemen but the technique to making this drink was invented by the Turks.

And yes, the technique is rather interesting indeed. Hakan can't carry it out so well but I appreciate that he did LOL

Scooping coffee powder from the most famous brand - Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi

Hahahahaha it really looks like Hakan boiled me some shit to drink :P

This is crucial.. the uppermost layer when the coffee boils has to be laid into the cup

And the rest is filled after more boiling..
The link above explains more (I'm still trying to like this drink LOL)

It is a yummy cuppa Turkish Coffee! ;)

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Soapbox Sadness

We were looking forward to the 1st Red Bull Soapbox Race held in Istanbul for weeks but today was such a disappointment. I don't want to bitch much about the poor management for spectatorship and organisation of the whole venue. The event location was at Maçka adjacent to the public park. There were just too many people, we couldn't enjoy the show properly :(

I was trying to squeeze my way through the front to catch a better glimpse while Tolga was busy sneezing from pollen-allergy. Disastrous. The weather became hotter, then in addiction to the pushing crowd and on top of that imagine we were stuck in the narrow, almost non-existent walkway for anyone to go down further the slope. The viewers are so damn stupid not to budge.

Here are some pictures I managed to take. I certainly hope they would do better next year (if it's gonna be an annual thing).

Hahahahaa see the sign? No engine!

The route - Buradasiniz is the starting point

People like us who came for this race plus the people in the park

I got a free flag!! ;)

The opening ceremony with what else but an original Red Bull Soapbox

I couldn't snap any pictures of the passing car..

Total failure, lost my mojo LOL

Hahahahahaaa it wasn't all that bad like it sounds. We were pretty contented to witness what a soapbox race is about. I imagined that street kids make carts out of unused boxes, then race amongst each other. I think it could be true, how else would this game come about? In this Red Bull-sponsored challenged, the rules (like most races) are as follows:

- The car must have no motor
- The car must have at least 4 wheels
- The car may have to have some type of brakes
- The driver must wear a helmet
- A push at the top is allowed for extra speed

I couldn't take pictures of each individual cars because of the limited space. I didn't want to plaster myself to the fences looking desperate like a jailbird. Most of the contestants were creative, came up with quirky and some hilarious themes. Before they plunge themselves down the slope, they have to make a short performance. Hehehee Turkish folks can be quite funny. Other carts were just too big to be manuveured, they went crashing into the haystack.

Best view No.1

Best view No.2

Even better view on the big screen :P

Then we found a nice spot near the starting point

At least we could see something happening.. soooo pathetic LOL

OooOoOooof.. either get to the venue early or never again!

Here's the link to a Turkish site if any of you are interested to see the race. Tolga and I are both quite traumatised by this event LOL

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Another Aydın

We visited Tolga's father's youngest brother and family in Büyükçekmece, a district in the suburbs of European side of Istanbul on the Sea of Marmara coast. It's quite a nice place but more importantly, they (Tolga's uncle and family) are darlings. They are such warm people and his wife is a superb cook! Though we all agreed that the highlight of our visit was shone more at their new puppy, it was supposed to be at me LOL

Meltem (Tolga's 19-year-old first cousin) and her Golden Retriever

Meet Pati!!
Hahahahahaha Pati, yes you heard me ;)

She's got all the vaccination she needs!

See how my picture only comes after Pati LOL

Sea view from the balcony.. heavenly home, eh?

Leo, you are right that I'm not updating my blog as often as I did before.

I'm really not sure why but lately I've been really occupied apart from the fact that weekdays are no longer happening. I come back from the hospital, have a cuppa tea, read medical books, brush up on Turkish, dinner, spend time with Tolga, do my yoga, in the evening TV/movies and such.. I seriously need to find free time to slot in for Internet! Thank for the reminder, my friend :)

Soooooo.. Büyükçekmece is still Istanbul but it's rather far away from city proper. It's a boring town, really because it's built solely for settlement sake even during the Ottoman period and migrants come to make a life here. Life is very mellow and slow in places like this because there isn't much to do apart from talking a way by the seaside or having a picnic and the likes. We took Pati for a walk and she's a real superstar! ;)

By the seaside (sorry, the picture's a bit blurry)

We were surprised to see that Büyükçekmece is the Sister City of Gelsenkirchen of Germany

Hamsap fella touching, touching Pati >(

L-R: Tolga's Mum, Tolga's soon-to-be-fiance, Tolga's aunt, Tolga's cousin and Pati

I was glad to meet Tolga's relatives. Truthfully speaking, there aren't many left. So far everyone I've been introduced to are very welcoming and gave me presents :P For first meeting (it's pretty much their customs). These people will be at our engagement dinner on the 20th June and possibly at our wedding :)