“Soğuk” stories: Fall fal told me my destiny…

tumblr_m23m1kLDcW1qa6qjbo1_1280Photo: LITTLEテアシ Draws

It was a fall fal, although I’m not so sure of that…but considering the fact that it was a little bit cold that night, it must have been autumn already, as Elazığ kept itself çok sıcak until our last days there and probably turned soğuk only to show us its disappointment caused by our decision to abandon it. Unless it was a summer night frozen in mystery… It doesn’t even matter anymore the exact time (or season) of the experience. It’s more important how it felt. It felt like fall. It sounded like fall (fal). Therefore it wasn’t a summer fal for sure, it was a fall fal for me. And it still is. But the resemblance of the 2 words (fall/fal) don’t give us any assurance about the truthfulness of the fortune-teller. I’m not even sure I had a real falcı (the person who can read the fortune in coffee), whatever that should mean. But I don’t care, It was fun. And I succeeded to avoid some paths of destiny written in the coffee grounds. Or not? Well, it depends what I want to believe… According to “Inside out Istanbul” (the post I shared yesterday) it is believed that the fal has the power to predict only the near future. The very near one. Forty days. Well, it has been 2 years since then. Let’s check the “list” of predictions:

  • you’ll work a lot: ok, I did work a lot…but who does not? A whole year I was reading for and writing my Master thesis, participated in as many conferences as I could, learning for my exams, preparing for my Ph.D admission exam, learning Italian and Turkish on my own, having a strict programme from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and only a few hours of free time during the weekends. Working for a foundation and coordinating a youth programme (Youthbank), writing editorials for a newspaper… If this is not a LOT of work, then what is it? So this one is true…but I don’t consider it a prediction! Unless you are filthy rich or you won the lottery, you must work. And estimating your amount of work is a subjective issue.
  • and succeed:  True…up to a point. If I take only the ups and forget the downs. I did pass my Ph.D. exam in Italy, so now I’m one of the 15 lucky Ph.D. candidates in History of Europe (my thesis focuses on Turkish politics) at Sapienza University of Rome, the oldest and biggest university in Europe. And one of the 3 foreigners studying there. This was the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced. And passed. Successfully. Another achievement I am proud of is being one of the 50 students (from more than 320) selected to participate in an international conference this year in Izmir, and one of the 10 students who received funding. Well, I did participate in many conferences before, but this was my first one in TURKEY! Just one more and I’ll stop. Promise! A live TV show, a few weeks ago. Me as a presenter. 3 guests. Topic: Linguistic journey in Turkey. Turkey and Turkish- 2 words which transformed this humble experience in something extraordinary! (Even though I could have been more extraordinary) I’m sure for most of you these are not great achievements, but I was happy like a child, a child in her twenties. Ok. I agree. Enough with the praise! The following word spoils the magic:
  • BUT
    (there is always a silly BUT, right?)
  • but you won’t be rich. The falci‘s eyes said “Don’t panic” and his mounth continued the idea. You won’t be poor either. You’ll have enough money to live well (and to travel, I hoped secretly!).  No. I didn’t panic. I’ve never dreamt to be a rich girl:-) And if  I were one, I would use my money to bring smiles on the faces of poor children. Take this as a promise! The fal was right, I’m still not rich!:-))
  • you’ll live somewhere in the mountains near to a lake. Now that was really disappointing for someone who’s hopelessly in love with the sea… From that moment I’ve started to dislike the mountains. Last summer while being in the Alps for 3 weeks at a conference, instead of enjoying the sight I was complaining about the weather (it rained a lot!) and about our host, who said “Romania nicht schön, nicht schön” (Romania is not beautiful, not beautiful), although she has never visited my country! I hate the stereotypes related to my country! Ok, I lived in the mountains for 3 weeks, but there was no lake near to our pension. Now I live in Romania. No mountains, just hills, no lake just a river. And in Rome (Italy) not too far from the sea.  Dear falcı, at this point I prefer to consider you a liar!
  • You’ll make a parachute jump. I did not. Not yet.:-)

The truth is I am my best falcı, I’m drawing and guessing my destiny (destinies). But still, who knows? Let’s keep a little mystery!

DSC01353This is a picture of my coffee cup. If there is a falcı, I'm waiting for a second opinion:-)

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…

Photo:[1]