Thursday, June 26, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
In the tea-cup with ibu
Marie Osmonds looking great at 45
Teens heartthrob in the 80s, Donny Osmond
Music is truly universal. It doesn't matter whether it's old songs or songs in a different language, if you just take the time to listen you will enjoy the authenticity and the 'soul' of the music. And I also went to theme park although we only had like 50 minutes to be there since we arrived late in Genting. The only rides that I went on was all the kid-dish ones and can you believe I went on merry-go-round and the tea-cup ride with my.....mum! Haha that was kinda hilarious but I think we had fun.
Anis just gave me my very belated birthday present, a perfume she bought while she was touring Paris. It has a very sweet, tender smell to it. Thanks Anis! Love ya!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Oh and I was in the newspapers yesterday....again. Lol. But this time it was Star newspapers. It was about my Turkish trip of course. Gosh I'm getting really famous these days. Hah just kidding! Go here to read about the article http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/6/15/education/21467438&sec=education
Saturday, June 14, 2008
One day I hope I would marry someone as great as my dad. I hope I would be with someone who would love me as much as my dad loves my mum. And I hope to have a husband who loves and cares for our children as much as my dad loved and cared for me.
I bought my dad boxers as a Father's Day gift. It might seem funny but that was one of the few things that had a reasonable price tag to it. Ahh well it's the thought that matters, isn't it? HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to papa and to all the fathers out there. We thank you for all that you have done for us and we will always love you. :)
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
With an Afghan boy
Vroom! Vroom! My choir teacher who somehow looked like Mr Willy Wonka
With Rui Hao from Singapore
The boy's name was BULAT! As in 'round'.
When everyone was in Istanbul, they toured the touristic places and went on the Bosphorus cruise which I so wanted to go on ever since I came to Turkey. But I didn't get on that cruise when everyone else went! :( Because I was busy at choir practice for the finals. Since the finals would be shown live, everything had to be perfect so they had a lot of practices. From 9 am till 10 pm everyday when we were in Istanbul and because of that I missed the cruise.
But came to think of it again, I could always come back to Turkey anytime but being in Turkish Language Olympics was once in a lifetime experience which should never be missed so I guess I would have to go on that cruise some other time in the future. More of a reason for me to go back to Turkey :)
I didn't wanna go back at first. I loved every bit of Turkey. The people, the places and of course the food. Esra's mum even said I could stay with their family if I didn't wanna go back home. LOL
But Malaysia was where home really was no matter how beautiful Turkey was. It was time to go back to my family who had been waiting for 3 weeks for my return and back to my Malaysia, the land where I was born and bred in. I'll go back to Turkey soon, hopefully. Heck, I might even marry a Turk! Haha...right.
For now, it's time to move on with life and catch up with whatever that I left behind 3 weeks ago.
6th Turkish Language Olympics: chapter closed.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
A'ala the Woody Woodpecker from Poland with Sakinah and I
Sakinah, Achala from Sri Lanka, me and Achala's cousin
A simple 'Merhaba. Nerelisiniz?' (Hello. Where are you from?) could sometimes build friendships that will could probably last for a very long time at the Turkish Language Olympics. I made tons of new friends from different countries. But I grew closest to Achala from Sri Lanka, Niyan and Saya from Iraq, the Singaporeans and A'la from Poland. We came from different family backgrounds, countries and religions but even with our differences we managed to click and remained close knitted until the end of the competition.
Weird, indeed and he was kinda the laughing stock of the competition but we remained friends with him. At the end of our 3 weeks, we exchanged e-mail addresses (not with the French boy though 'cause his computer crashed. He didn't tell me that. He told me by making slashing sounds of the computer LOL) and promised that we would meet again if we would visit each others countries.
As our ways diverged at the end and as we wonder if our paths will ever cross again, we continue with our lives with the beautiful memories made in Turkey still etched in our hearts.
What did I get from this competition? I can now speak 3 languages, I got to learn more about other cultures and traditions, I gained new friends, I travelledTurkey for free, I had the chance to have a taste of fame and popularity ;) and most importantly, by mixing with a variety of people I learned to accept the differences of others and embrace their similarities because at the end of the day we're all still humans with more similarities than we think we have.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Us with the main actor of 'hakkini helal et'
The empty seats in the Gaziantep stadium before the show
Once you join the Turkish Language Olympics you will be treated like a mini superstar and you will be even more famous in Turkey than you are in your own country. Almost all Turks who knew you were a participant of the competition would want a photograph with you and yeah, by the end of the competition most of our muscles were strained because of all the smilings
The Olympics received huge publicity that we were in newspapers and on the tv every single day of the competition. Even I had a fair chance of being on Turkish tv and newspapers. During the finals I was singing in the 'world choir' and close to 8000 people attended the finals in Istanbul and at the same time the event was shown live on Turkish national tv as well as 24 other European countries. Cool, huh? We sang about 6 songs, all in Turkish of course and I never had so much fun in my life.
Singing in front of 8000 people was something surreal but being backstage and getting to know different people from different cultures was equally exciting. I became closer to the participants when we were waiting backstage while watching the finals onstage through the television.
Oh and Sakinah, Isil, Sumeyra and I even made an appearance in one of Turkish's tv show called 'Hakkini Helal Et'. We were acting as Mongolians participants of the competition. We met up with the cast of the show which was really cool.
The fame and popularity we got in Turkey was....unbeliavable, to say the least. There was this one time where some of us were invited to a cafe in the hotel and we were seating in a row and all these Turks were looking at us like we were some kind of unknown species. It got a lil scary but then they started making conversations with us, trying to get to know us and our countries. While we were on our way to Istanbul from Ankara we stopped by Sakarya for lunch. I thought we were just grabbing a quick lunch and then would continue our trip to Istanbul.
There was lunch, alright...with another 600 local people! School kids and local people came to one of the high schools and met up with the rest of the participants while we were trying to eat lunch. But they were all very friendly and nice people so I didn't really mind eating my lunch while being asked to take photographs and chit-chatting in Turkish.
After Istanbul, the Malaysian team as well as 7 other countries were sent to Gaziantep, like I mentioned before 'home of baklava' and the best place to get the dessert. When we arrived at the airport, reporters and cameramen were already waiting for us and they even played Turkish music to celebrate our arrival. After that we were taken on tour around the city of Gaziantep on buses and the buses were honking along the way and we were supposed to wave to the passers-by like we were some kind of superstars. Lol.
The next day we met up with the Governor of Gaziantep and I 'bodek' him a little when he asked me what do u like most about Turkey. I told him 'Istanbul and GAZIANTEP'. And he started to give me a wide smile, "Oh thank you. Istanbul is very nice but traffic jam is really bad there. Gaziantep is more peaceful and quite." Ok, governor. Well, he was right actually but between Istanbul and Gaziantep, I like Istanbul more 'cause I'm a city girl, you know. ;)
On our last night in Gaziantep I was asked to perform my 'Sahit Olsun' song but I didn't expect to perform in front of 7000 people in a stadium!!! But I had to do what I had to do. We went shopping during the day and I was actually more worried about my voice rather than the 7000 audience 'cause I sounded really tired. And it was at night so I couldn't really see the crowd thus my nerve was at an optimum level.
After singing my song, I heard loud applauses from the crowd and people backstage was like 'cok harika!' and 'cok guzel!' which meant 'very good and excellent'. Performing in front of 7000 people in a stadium while being viewed live on local tv? I'd never done anything like this before in my life. But thanks to Turkish Language Olympics I was given the chance to be like 'Celine Dion' for awhile. Haha right.
Another post on the way!
Sunday, June 08, 2008
The Malaysian team in Kizilcahamam
The very main reason why I went to Turkey for 3 weeks was because of my participation in the 7th Turkish Language Olympics. What was the competition all about? The main aims were to promote Turkish language as a lingua franca and to introduce Turkish culture to the world and contribute to dialogue between different countries across the globe. There were 110 countries with 550 participants in the competition. And yes, the 550 people conversed in Turkish although not all the time. People like me who only studied Turkish for 5 months can only make simple conversations but most important thing was that all of us tried and put our Turkish knowledge into good use during the competition.
The competition started in Kizilcahamam in Ankara, a resort situated 1 hour away from the city centre and the best place to unwind and relax. I was in the singing competition and even though singing wasn't really my forte I gave my best shot and I was mentally prepared if I didn't win. I didn't win the first prize. Competing with people from 110 countries was no easy pie but I didn't come back home empty handed. I got more than what I bargained for. For starter I received a bronze medal when the rest only got the normal ones. Lol don't ask me why and how that happened but it was a good thing so never mind.
And after my quest in the singing competition ended, it gave me ample time to make new friends from other countries and I also joined the 'world choir' where participants from all over came together to perform in a choir for the finals in Istanbul. On our 2nd week in Turkey, we had this programme where we set up booths and promote our country to the local people. Malaysian booth sold some souveniers from Malaysia and everything was sold out and we made close to 1000 lira by the end of the day. Not only did we get to make some money, we also had a chance to promote our beloved country to the world. Tee-hee.
Next post is coming up!
Saturday, June 07, 2008
A Turk cameraman who looked like Adam Levine from Maroon 5. Don't you think so?
I'M HOME!!! I don't know where to begin writing down my long, amazing 3 weeks experience on a foreign soil. So perhaps I'll divide my posts into a few sections. So let's start talking about the people.I've fallen in love with Turkey and Turks 3 years ago when I first went to Istanbul with my family. This 2nd trip to Turkey only made my love for the country and the people to grow even deeper. The country itself is a blessed land where everything seems perfect on the surface. The people are beautiful, inside and out. Turkish guys are officially the hottest guys on the planet. Seriously. Go to Taksim Square in Istanbul and every 5 steps that you take you will bump into handsome looking Turkish guys. And Turkish babies are just the cutest kids I have ever seen. Turkish women are not too bad too. All of them have one thing in common: a good heart.
I came across a lot of Turkish people who are now good friends of mine. On my first 2nd night in Istanbul, Sakinah, my Turkish teachers (Isil and Sumeyra)and I went for dinner at a lawyer's house who's a father to one of Isil's and Sumeyra's friends. The wife prepared wonderful dinner and treated me and Sakinah, 2 total strangers in her home like her own family. Her daughter, Ayse is a sweet pie too. We became fast friends despite my inability to speak Turkish as fluent as she is.
3 days before we left Turkey, all the 550 participants were sent to various cities in Turkey and the Malaysian team was sent to Gaziantep, the home of Baklava in Turkey. Baklava; the most famous and delicious dessert in Turkey and you can only get the best of the best Baklava in Gaziantep. We stayed with a Turkish family and of course they were very nice to us.
They had a 16 year old daughter too and we became good friends in a matter of days. Esra was a beautiful, sweet girl and even though I couldn't quite understand half of the things that she was saying, there were just this mutual friendship bond between us and tears rolled down our cheeks when we said goodbye to each other before I headed back to Istanbul to catch my flight to Malaysia.
Go to Turkey if you have the chance and believe me, you will enjoy it as much as I did. You'll gain new friends, make new memories and if you're lucky you'll find love too ;)
Next post coming soon!