Çay lav yuu because…

dscn0460I’m an ardent story reader, and sometimes, on this blog, I pretend to be a storyteller. A story reader or teller who works better with çay (tea) especially with Turkish. I love to tell stories… although I usually tell them in Romanian, which by the way is not even my mother tongue, and still, is my native language. Now, probably you think that I drunk too much çay prepared with something stronger than water and ask yourself quite disappointed:

  • Why am I reading this nonsense post?”

Why? There’s always a “why”. And before your “why” arrived I had launched my own set of “Nedenler” (Whys). Don’t be afraid to get yourself lost in translation, soon it will be all clear whether we talk about the questions or the answers (just scroll down). Here’s the list:

  1. Neden yazarım?
  2. Neden bazı insanlar bunu okur?
  3. Neden kendime “neden” diye sorarım?
  4. Neden tüm “nedenlerin” cevabı bilmek isterim?
  5. Neden Türkiye?
  6. Neden Türkiye yerine İtalyadır?

Well, because every question is a boş çay baradağı (empty glass of tea)… excepting one. One single question, question no. 5 is a çay dolu bardak (full glass of tea): Why Tukey? which you can enjoy by clicking here. Şerefe! (Cheers!)

And to eliminate the initial confusion, my mother is Hungarian and my father is Romanian, so I do use to speak “fele apă fele viz” (apă=water in Romanian, viz= water in Hungarian, fele=half in Hugarian, it’s a way of saying “I speak half Hungarian half Romanian”), while on this blog I speak “half su half water”(su=water in Turkish). It seems that I’ve created even more confusion… I guess I’m pretty good at confusing people.

“Calm down baby and drink a çay!”- (never) said my inner Turk-“Then start with the beginning”

Hah! He can be really hilarious! I’ll continue with the beginning… as question no. 5 already had a head start. So…

  1. Why do I write?-Because my words flow like çay in the empty glasses… and there are still too many glasses to fill! Writing is a way to “exorcise” all my uncertainties and fears (together with jogging). Is a way to discover myself and the world surrounding me. It’s a way to (re)create my inner word and peace. Shortly, I write to understand myself. Who knows, one day I’ll figure out who I am! 😉
  2. Why do some people read this?– This glass cannot be filled by me. So, there is a boş çay baradağı and I cannot do anything about. Only you, my dear reader, can…
  3. Why do I ask myself “Why?”– 2 “whys” in the same question? Are you nut? I’m definitely not a nut (dried fruit)! Just in case… 😛 So why why? Because I am the girl with the “whys”! I’m hopefully in love with “why”! Obsessed! I need to know all the reasons and if I don’t, my mind will enter its storyteller mode and bomb me with unlimited possibilities of answer to “Why”. Sometimes I wonder how efficient and inefficient would I be without my dear “Why”?… (note: “Why” is quite important in social sciences)
  4. Why do I want to know the answer to all these whys?-Am I afraid to die stupid? Just a little bit…but please, don’t tell anybody else. Still a glass of çay can temporary work instead of the answer. Or another challenging “why”.
  5. ———————————————-> (scroll up if you missed it)
  6. Why Italy instead of Turkey?– now that’s a really really tough one. A short clarification to understand where does this question come from: those who have visited my blog at least once must have realized that I’m in love with Turkey or at least that this blog has many thing to do with Turkey. If you did not realize that,  but you did read my blog, it means that I’m doing a really awful job and I should stop writing right now. A consolation: I might be the worst writer ever, but at least you can find from time to time some great pictures here… and the name of my blog Turkish Delight Bazaar, should work as a hint. Now let’s get back to business. What all this has to do with Italy? I’m not an Italian, although I do spend some time in Italy, given that I’m studying there. As I told you before I’m some kind of “mixture” (just like Turkey), lost between my Hungarian and Romanian selves: People, especially foreigners tell me that I look like a Hungarian because of my light complexion and blonde hair, but everybody back home believes that I physically resemble more my father’s family, which is Romanian… Moreover, my way of being is considered more Hungarian than Romanian (?!), well, sometimes… Are you still there? Ya sabır ya Allah! (God give us patience!) We still haven’t reach our destination. A glass of çay would be welcomed now, you know what I mean. So here’s a Romanian-Hungarian girl, crazy about Turkey but studying in Italy… Guess what she’s studying? About TURKEY! Now can you understand this dilemma/trilemma…? I’ll give you a short solution: Kader (destiny). There’s an assumption that if you can explain something shortly you truly understand it. Well, not all the time… But I have plenty of time to understand. As for  Kader let’s say that he came before Turkey… And I love Kader almost as much as I love Turkey. So much that I’m considering to open an Italian boutique in my bazaar. Italy doesn’t have çay but it has the best latte macchiato and cappuccino to fill the empty glasses, amazing gelato (ice-cream) and pizzzzaaaa! Mamma mia! It’s impossible to resist! So enough with the “whys” for today!

Moral of the story: I need more çay (or cappuccino?) in my life, more dolu bardaklar!

“Soğuk” stories III: Hasankeyf… my love!

dscn0633Oh, Hasankeyf! Forgotten cave town of Eastern Turkey…you are haunting my daydreams and memories. Testimony of the past, secret of the present … I was enchanted by your calls to prayer, colourful bazaar, rainbow spices, medley of flavours and smiling people…

How time flies, but still keeps our memories alive, held captive in a picture, an object, a flavour or a perfume… All we need is one look to trigger the sparkles of a false déjà vu…

It has been two years since I discovered this otherworldly place, which seemed rather the product of an imagined book written in a surreal time, between now and then. I instantly fell in love with its sunbathing hills, dusty paths, ancient rocks, mysterious caves and warm turquoise Tigris, which carries the secret of this place far away… to an uncertain future or maybe to a new, yet undiscovered past…

I fell in love with its playful, friendly children… whose dreams can change the future and memories the past… who know more than they can ever guess… but unheard stories pass away…

DSC00178surrounded by the children of Hasankeyf

Fell in love with the mystery of the around 4000 caves… some of them 12.000 years old… can you imagine what would it be like if these rocks could speak…?
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I fell in love with this bazaar… guarded by the proud minaret of the Rızk Camii… which has been calling people around to prayer for around six centuries… never loosing its unifying voice… its fate and hope…

 

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I fell in love with the Tigris river… so quiet… melting its refreshing water in the hot earth…

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Hasankeyf, I fell in love with you!

 

Hit the road, Iulia!

e50bb0597a5b9ae903c1b00180a49f93Road take me as I am… Follow my dreams’ map, teach me your secrets and never ever let me stop before I’ve reached my destiny… Hot sunny day, baby kittens playing in the garden, familiar faces, smiles, a quiet village, Romania. The same place where twenty years ago a little girl was playing a strange “travelling” game, which seemed so true to her: visiting her friends who lived on the same street, but  “in an other country”, according to her.  The little girl unwittingly got her great-grandmother in “trouble”, causing worries because of her restlessness. Smiling and continuing her game even when the old women shouted at her in a funny way “Iulia ho!” (Iulia stop!). The same little girl who tricked her friend into walking eight km to her grandparents’ village, telling her that is close. She was only 5 years old and her friend 7 at the time. It was a ordinary day. the girls were playing with a puppy in front of her house. but… the little girl wanted to travel and they suddenly disappeared, without announcing their parents or other adults. And to make their search harder, and their journey more adventurous, they didn’t follow the road, but walked on the surrounding hills and near the brook. When they finally reached the destination the little girl’s  grandparents didn’t  even believe her story…

How time flies! And apparently everything is different… but nothing has changed. She still has that strong desire to travel. She still has moments when she needs to escape, to disconnect from her daily routine, to change something in her life. To start something new. To renew, improve herself. She hates monotony… While other people are afraid of changes, she breathes changes. She needs them in order to survive. And when nothing changes she becomes dreamy, planning her next steps or slightly depressed, in search of an escape.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has these feelings. We all had at least one moment in our lives when we wanted to run away and start again. From zero. Even though this scenario happens never or very rarely in true life, we like to believe escaping is possible, simple and it has the power to heal us… We all imagine a place or already know the destination for our sweet escape. Usually we prefer nature, a quiet place where nobody can disturb us, where we can conciliate our souls with our minds, where we can be ourselves and leave behind all the rush, stress, technology and influences. Usually we choose the mountains, a small village or a desert island. I’m in the last category, I would prefer to escape to a tropical island. I would be the happiest human being if I could do that! I’ve already imagined myself on a white sandy beach, kissed by the breeze. Being waken up in my cozy bungalow by the morning’s light, swimming in the turquoise see, eating only pineapples, coconuts and fresh fish, reading my favourite books in my hammock, enjoying never-ending sunshine. But… if I slice and dice the option of living my whole life on a desert island, my enthusiasm is exposed to serious decline… Precisely because of the reasons behind my escape: routine. Spending some time, up to a month,  on a desert island is divine, but living there, boring. What kind of dreams could I have there? Of course, there are many things to do, but I would exhaust all those activities in, let’s say, 5 years. Moreover, living Robin Hood alike it’s not the happiest scenario for me. I need people. I need to share my happiness with others. So… no thanks!

A while ago I wrote about the reasons why I love Turkey and one of them was my perception of Turkey as an escape destination. Maybe because I stayed there only 3 months and I had too little time to get bored and too many things to discover. And I still have. Turkey surprises me day after day. It has some kind of “sweet chaos”, very different from the usual chaos I’m experiencing at the moment. Although noisy and brightly coloured, if we think about its bazaars and big cities, it can be also quiet and peaceful, if we consider its picturesque villages, hidden beaches and silent mountains. A place where you can learn many things about history, about people, culture and about yourself. A place where you can make everyday a holiday. For me Turkey is like a bazaar where you can find whatever you are looking for… and even things you haven’t known that you need. We resemble each other very much. Me and Turkey. Chaotic and organized, calm and restless… I just want to hit the road to Turkey again, to have the opportunity to debunk my Turkish escape myth. Until I’ll want to escape from it…

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Wandering through my inner bazaar

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Time after time I’m getting lost in the bazaar, searching for something that I cannot describe… going a long way towards the great Unknown… enjoying the journey, without knowing the destination… I’m just like a bazaar, which insted of people and products is crowded with thoughts, questions and possible answers.

I’m a kind of “deep” thinker, having diverse existential problems. Sometimes getting dangerously close to the definition of a “philosopher” (my mother used to call me this way), trying to find “solutions” for the major problems of the humankind, falling into utopian projections, willing to do something with high impact and to save all those in need, feeling disappointed by the selfishness and indifference of people in generally, but in the same time confident that things will change bringing peace and happiness to the whole world….and therefore approaching the definition of whom some may call naive. Yes, sometimes I can be very naive, and meantime, paradoxically, suspicious. Suspecting and interpreting words and events in my own way, finding the hidden meaning of “coincidences”.

My mind is like a playful and restless child, drawing several unrealistic and even non-sense scenarios, explaining a wide range of phenomenons, events, facts in a more or less logical way or  imagining myself and others in different kinds of situations. Like how can some people feel bored when there are so many things to discover and do, how can one decide what is beautiful or ugly, what are other people thinking about, how would my life have been if I had lived in another place or time…or if I had  chosen another path, how can one hurt deliberately another person or animal, what is my “mission”, and the list goes on. Just like a chaotic and surprising bazaar, with many labyrinths and unexpected products, unknown and incredible ways out. Order in disorder. Disorder in order.

My neurons are throwing a party every time I’m traveling by bus or plane, every time I’m alone and having time to waste, every night before falling asleep. And I love to be in this “meditation” mood. That’s why, even though I’m a sociable and friendly person, who hates to eat alone (this occurs only when traveling alone), I really need some time for myself, some “lonely” moments to reflect on my life and on all those odd and unimportant things that come to my mind. I prefer to solve my own problems and questions in my bazaar, without being influenced by others, even though finally I will consult their opinion as well to draw a comparison. I cannot live without introspection, without wandering in my inner bazaar. Regularly.

Image source [1]

Welcome to my bazaar! Enjoy Turkish delight!

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There are no such things in life as coincidences or innocent events. Even if we try to avoid entering some doors, we will end up in the same, initially rejected rooms, embraced by our destinies. The foggy fate is watching our steps and directing them towards the accomplishment of the purposes of our lives. Which is the purpose of my life? What is my mission? I don’t know yet. But I know where I should look for it. In the bazaar… It’s not an option, it’s a fact.

I have been unconsciously attracted to the so-called Orient since my early years. My favourite cartoons were “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp”. Furthermore, in the 5th grade my “most successful” descriptive essay, published in the school’s newspaper, was depicting olive trees, dunes, oasis, mosques, spicy fragrances and endless summers, inspired by the “1001 Arabian Nights”. My fascination has never faded away… Long after, it burst into my life by mistake, a fortunate mistake. Even though I dreamt to become a psychologist, I ended up (still don’t know how) studying international relations. In my second year of university I participated in the European Parliament Simulation, working on the issue of human rights violation in Iran. That was the moment when I became aware of the stereotypical representation of the Muslim societies and decided to write my Bachelor thesis about westernization and orientalism, trying to debunk some Western myths related to the majority Muslim countries and to Islamic culture. Turkey was one of the case studies of my thesis, and a year after it turned into my temporary home, as I was undertaking an internship in Turkey.

Who am I? I’m a Romanian citizen, studying in Italy about Turkish politics… determined to learn Turkish and to understand Turkish realities. I’ve created this blog in order to motivate my “inner Turk” with sugar and words. With lokum (Turkish delight) and Turkish language. Why Turkish Delight Bazaar? Because this blog is a bazaar, where you can find diverse posts related to Turkey, from Turkish language lessons, issues, study materials, short translations  to cultural “sweets”, curiosities, facts, news… Because I’m delighted to learn Turkish and about Turkey… Because I love Turkish delight, and even more, a few years ago a very kind Turkish woman called me lokum.

Before starting, I must add that I’m neither a Turkish teacher nor an expert in linguistic, consequently this is not a professional language blog… I’m still learning Turkish and I intend to transform this blog into a personalized learning tool. Therefore, Turkish Delight Bazaar will provide you learning methods sweetened with cultural Turkish lokum. Learning and sharing. Learning and enjoying. Learning and delight. Turkish delight. A colorful bazaar with countless types of Turkish delights.

Image source: http://cafefernando.com/lokum/