A Short Note On October

Fiuh, I’m back to this blog after being quite for sometimes.

It’s been a week I’m BACK TO A REAL LIFE after a month spent for vacation. I wasn’t alone when I felt quite hard to say bye to “holiday” like “this fast? huh?” cause most friends of mine felt the same. But again, I must work for some dreams, to travel more, to build my kitchen (make progress Azis!!, don’t just write this over and over again!), also to send more gifts to everyone I love (I don’t mind to work as a Father Christmas for a day, spreading gifts to everybody cause damn I just love that feeling!).

Talking about my life this year, it’s been like a roller coaster. The “downs” I’ve experienced was just wow. Failures were many, and most of them were emotional for me tho I still had some “ups” counted as a blessing. I must admit that it never has been easy to be always positive after you fall on something, to put your mind right and accept it, to keep going. But then we just have two choices, to keep bitter about it or to continue and enjoy life. Life is a journey, isn’t it?

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Bromo

I felt such a naughty fellow everytime I lied to some of my good friends for not answering the same questions last month: “When are you flying to Indonesia?”


“No, I don’t feel to go home” – “Well, I don’t mind to spend my annual leave in Morocco instead” – “I have no ticket yet, hey I have told you I won’t go home this year” – even to my mom, “Maybe I won’t go home”

Yeah, you can call me a puckish fake actor perhaps. Don’t count the one to my mom as a lie, it was just the way I loved to surprise her, promise.


I might be a liar yet couldn’t lie to myself how it felt when I had passed immigration in Lagos airport. When I sent a picture of my passport to my very best friend, Andreas Knogler, he immediately replied “Nice feeling, huh?”, I said, “Yeah it felt the same” :)

I have been here in Indonesia for eighteen days already SIGH TIME FLIES TOO FAST!!! HOW COME THIS HAPPENS AGAIN!

Nothing but grateful still had time to hang out with my best friends few times for food hunting, coffees, friend talks, and managed two days to finally visit Mount Bromo for the first time cause funny enough I live in Surabaya which isn’t that far. Woke up by 3am to catch the sunrise (how peaceful it was, not to mention the crowd tho), climbed 250 steps just to see the crater, managed to take photographs with some dust flying made a quite exhausted morning that I thought having an afternoon tea at Aman Tokyo with Alice Gao sounds more me :) (Andreas would definitely love this kind of trip since one of his hobbies is hiking)

Apart of that, things made me grafetul the most was the fact that I spent the time there with Ruli’s family (after five years I couldn’t make time to see his parents!). Do you think some scenes below’s such in Mars?


 

It’s All Right

My life’s such a roller coaster recently. Many things happened, good and bad. Some were worse than I could imagine. But like what people say, this is a journey.

Sometimes I’ll win, sometimes I’ll lose. That’s okay. That’s how life teaches me. Just like you, I’m a human. I’ll cry when it’s time to cry yet I should always try to enjoy this life as often as I can. 

“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible” ~ Jojo Moyes 

 

Cheers!

The Day I Met Hasan


It’s been raining since morning, today. Dim light, silent eve, it reminds me of someone I’ve been missing for past few days. It’s my friend, Hasan…


 

10.30PM

I was running a bit when Hakan and Saf dropped me at Taksim Square. Rain was pouring right after I came out from the taxi. I couldn’t just walk towards my hostel so I stood inside the entrance of Taksim Station. The air was cold, for me, it was too cold. 

I smiled. I promised to myself that I had to enjoy everything from that journey. Rain made me frozen for a sec, but my smile that eve was still bright.

11.03PM

I was already inside my hostel. I managed my breath. I couldn’t even lie that I was exhausted. Very. I sat on the couch at the reception with few Krispy Kreme left.

“Hey, I think there is a birthday party going on upstairs. You don’t wanna check it out?”. I just smiled. I smiled to the guy in the reception that told me about the event upstairs while I was trying to warm myself. Rain in spring was something else. At first, I had no interest to see what was going on. I could hear some giggles, boisterous laughters. What I truly needed was a bed, pillows and blanket cause I had to go to the airport to catch my flight to Cappadocia the next day.

Something came in my mind. I remembered how excited I was when I met a person in Tokyo that later became one of my best friends. You know, random people, random stories, random moments that could probably only be found if you stay in the hostel. I knew that feeling. It was gone for the past three days since I arrived in Istanbul. My mind said no yet my heart said yes. I went inside the lift and pressed 6.

I was a bit surprised when the lift doors was opened. Something jumped on my mind like “Oh no, I’m too old for this.” cause as far as I could see were mostly teenagers. It was a cultural night kind of. Something interesting was happening. Alcohols, spirits, snacks, flags, you know, when different people from all over the world were in the same room and made a midnight party. I just stood and felt awkward a bit. Wish I knew it like hours before, I could manage myself among them.

I chose to see what I could see at the terrace.

11.58PM

It was two minutes before midnight. I thought I was nuts pretending the air wasn’t that cold outside. It was fucking freezing. There were two people smoking cigarettes. I bet they were European tho I wasn’t that sure.

I stood and breathed. It was so serene I might say. I could even remember the smell after the rain was. I felt frozen yet blessed at 12.10AM. I sat on one cushion that was a bit soppy after I managed with an iPhone picture. I just wanted to feel the night. I just wanted to ensure that I was still under the same sky but in another part of the world, far away from home. I couldn’t literally stop smiling to the sky.


Then someone came and offered me a cigarette.


He sat by my side. With a cigarette in his hand we acquainted ourself. His name is Hasan. Hasan Tasci. My cheesiness came out instantly when, “Oh no! you were born in France! Hasan, I met with two guys also from Paris!” (you know me, I have a very high cheesiness level, esp if you mention about Paris, or France, so please don’t judge me). I felt nasty to myself as I remembered. I know, but I wanted to become who I really am. Paris, croissant, what else again that could turn myself into the cheesiest person on earth? 

“Hasan, you know what, I just want to sit down at one cafe with a warm croissant and a cup of cappuccino, in Paris”, the same sentence I repeat every time I dream about one fine day in Paris. I said the same to Hasan. Hasan was smiling when he heard it. We sat very close cause he barely speaks English. When I asked and answered in English, he looked a bit puzzled. Few times I had to wide my ears open when he spoke. Sometimes I found it a bit funny when I knew what he meant to say but took for minutes arranging the words to a sentence. Hasan is Turkish by blood but born in France. He is French, speaks French and Turkish very fluently. Tho few times I apologized when I spoke too fast but he was kinda fine, “That’s okay Azis, I want to exercise my English. I’m happy to hear you speak English”.


Oh, I said also, “Like me when I hear you speak Hasan, I’m dying to be able to speak French!”. In fact, I just know some, “Merci, bonjour, de rien, what else again? je vais très bien?” 


“Azis, I can pack croissants for you when I’m back in France and fly them to Lagos”

I was laughing. Hasan, you were too funny. I wanted to say, “No no, send me a ticket to Paris and I’ll eat my fresh French croissant”. Yes, it was definitely a crap if I said so, no, I’m not that bad. I shaked Hasan’s hand and said “We will see in Paris” with some giggles.

01.38AM

“It’s time to sleep Azis”

“I know, wish we had more time to share stories. Paris, haha but I also need to rest Hasan, I have to go to the airport to Cappadocia by 8”. Hasan said he was staying in that hostel for 7 days, but that morning was my last day. I didn’t want to make the same mistake like what I did in Kyoto. I asked his number but he couldn’t remember his French number. Hasan gave his email instead. “Are you in Facebook?” he asked. “Sure, but it has been a while I do not open my account, I feel Facebook is so boring these days” . He let me typed my account in Facebook on his smart phone. That was the only way we could connect each other after all. “I’ll let you know if I come back from Cappadocia, we can find Turkish coffee and continue our stories” 

***

The second time I met Hasan was late night after the drama. I flew from Kayseri with a positive mind that my last two days in Istanbul would be unforgettable. It was unforgettable, indeed. In so many ways.


An evening with someone kind named Hasan, an evening I won’t forget. 


21st April 2017. 9.43PM

In a cold evening on my last night in Istanbul, I came to where Hasan stayed after I found an adaptor for my iPhone. I sat on the same couch. I felt warmer inside. My Zara couldn’t even help me fighting the weather. Hasan came. I had told him that somebody had sent me $160.

“Wait a minute Azis, let me Google it. Maybe there are some WU open by this time. Oh there is, but this is quite far”. I looked at Hasan and said, “No, don’t worry. This is late. How about tomorrow?”

“I’m working tomorrow till 3PM on Saturday. When is your flight? How about if I take the money when I’m on my way to work”. When he said that, I thought the same thing like the first time I met him. This man is kind-hearted. Genuinely kind. He just helped somebody who he knew for only 1,5 hours, sincerely.

“Have you eaten, Azis? Follow me, I’ll take you to find Turkish tea. It’s good for this kind of weather”. I laughed, “I have Hasan, you know cheap KFC”. I mean, I had to manage Turkish Lira so no fancy dinner for myself. I followed Hasan when he stepped outside. “Hurry up Azis, it’s windy. You are not feeling it?”. Sure, wish you knew how I ran with my hands crossed. It was very cold. Hasan and I went to the park near Taksim Square. He was laughing at me, “Azis, what is your problem, you took a cold water in a cold weather like this”, oh come on, I was thirsty. “You know how to use the water heater in the hostel? seems like it is not working”, Hasan asked and I answered, “You have to wait for minutes before you stand under the shower. It’s bad but it will work”

We arrived at one place like a restaurant. It was quite. I was so sure we came at the wrong time when they had closed. Hasan told me they have a very good Turkish tea. I saw number 10 on my wrist watch. I told Hasan, what was his next plan. He said he only wanted some light food for his dinner. We both headed to İstiklal Caddesi but I stopped my steps for a sec when I saw a beautiful bridge from that park. Night lights could be seen from where I stood. On our way, I thought about something. Perhaps, the essence of traveling isn’t the joy of relaxation where we visit somewhere new. When we take a break from our busy life. But the opportunity when we can learn to know new people. When we meet with some kind people and become friend. When they just come to our life with pure kindness when we are in a place far away from home.

Losing my personal thing when I was in Istanbul might be the one that lead me to learn more when I met Hasan.

Hasan sat with some fried chickens at the same place where I had my dinner earlier. It wasn’t that long till I asked something and he replied, “No Azis, you can talk to me but no picture”. I understood. Not everyone loves having pictures of themselves. Hasan is among. Tho I was still expected he changed his mind cause you know, photograph is the only way to freeze a moment that gone forever.

22nd April 2017. 4.23PM

I ran a bit to meet Hasan on my last day in Istanbul. I had packed all my things and counted how much my time left to see Hasan. There is one WU near the hostel. I couldn’t believe that the time to say goodbye to Turkey had come in end. I waited Hasan at the same place. On the same couch, at the same space.

I thought I would have time to sit with cups of coffee then. It was just happened so fast. Hasan said he had an appointment to see his friend. “Come on Azis, let’s take the money”, he said. We were in hurry. It was just minutes after he came back from his internship in one production house in Istanbul.

I sat beside him when he signed the letter to withdraw the money. I looked at Hasan and said to myself, “I wish we had time, I just want to treat you with a lunch as a thank you”. Hasan made a joke to me why I put his name as a receiver. I said the truth, that was my first time accepted money thru WU. I thought we must have an account, but as simple as it was, I gave him an honest answer. I changed $30 to Turkish Lira in case on my way to the airport, I stopped to grab some fridge magnets.

I sat with Hasan before we left WU. I thanked again and again for what he did to me. For that night, for the money he lent me, for the friendship. I had faith in what I saw that day. I made a promise before I met Hasan for the last time. I made a promise that I had to give him something. I wrote a long sentence in my iPhone, he understood when he read French. “Please do take this”, Hasan was quite. He wrote in French and translated to English, we did it to ease what we wanted to say. “Azis, I just helped you cause you needed. I would call you if I had the same problem if I were in Lagos. I don’t want to take this if this is expensive. Look Azis, I’m not wearing any”

I begged Hasan to keep it for me so I will remember his kindness. He said he would receive it as souvenir. “Azis, if you are in Paris, I’ll be the one that pay your croissant and cappuccino, deal?”, Hasan smiled. My smile was ear to ear. I was pleased when Hasan accepted the gift. For me, it was the simplest thing I could only do that day to express how grateful I was for everything. My smile became brighter when I finally saw Hasan on my iPhone’s screen for a selfie. “I don’t mind but we take together”, Hasan surprised me when he changed his mind after I asked how about the picture. “Hasan, see the background is perfect, haha, Western Union, I’ll remember you every time I see WU”, though it was only one picture but it was enough to end my trip with gratitude.

Before I left, I hugged someone kind-hearted who I met only 1,5 hours, who accompanied me when I had a big problem in somewhere far from home. Someone who I learnt from that in this world we will always have a destiny to meet kind people, for a reason.

 

 

See you in Paris, mon frère.

 

It’s July!

Okay, 2017 you are flying too fast. Can’t believe six months just gone like that. Man, I mean, July?

I have been living in a quite though life since eighteen hours ago. Came back home by 3am after long Saturday with last-minute notice for the work (like always), the air was cold (and I kinda missed my friend, Hasan, when I was on my way home, literally) and woke up at 7am with homeworks on my mind. But that is fine, still feeling grateful for everything. At least, I could manage myself for 2 hours sleep from 10am to 12pm, finished my homework by 4pm (as I scheduled), now time to do my personal homework.

But wait, think I should enjoy this afternoon with a slice of banana cake I baked (yes, I kinda addicted with baking recently! this one is the best so far!) with a cup of hot chocolate before continuing my personal homework.

I probably a bit slow updating this page on July yet I’m hoping I can face a new week by accomplishing so many important things both in my work and personal. Wish me luck!

Textures And Colors Play

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I’ve been hearing so often how stunning Morocco is. Some of top photographers I’ve followed along on Instagram said that country is literally a heaven for a photographer. Textures and colors everywhere. It must be so tempting for eyes not to grab a camera and photograph every single second while in Morocco. Recently, I mentioned few times my curiosity about the country on my social accounts. And reading this particular post makes me want to pack my things, jump on the plane and land in Marrakech right away.

While I’m ensuring myself to travel to Morocco very soon (let’s see, this is June, right? my annual leave is so close as it should be!) and dreaming to discover those beauties Morocco has to offer, here are some of the textures and colors I found from my recent trip, taken randomly in Istanbul and Cappadocia.



Galata, Topkapı & Ortaköy I

were three places we created those friendship memories…


.

Spring breeze that night was icier. I was running in hurry on my way back to the hostel with a happy smile on my face. Had to admit that I was so stoked on the day I met Hakan and Saf. It didn’t come to my mind I would meet and became close friends instantly just like that, spent time together till midnight (anything better than ice creams and friend’s laughters to end the day?). Back to where I met them for the first time, Saf was the first person who offered me to join him and Hakan if I had no place to go. I almost said no to Saf yet I kept it in my mind till I remembered something: “while you have no itinerary on this trip, so make it memorable with unpredictable, unplanned, unexpected things!.”

.


“Where do you have in mind to spend tomorrow at, Hakan?”


 

Since it was Saf’s first visit in Istanbul, Hakan was his guide if I may say. Key questions about the city went directly to Hakan if we had some. When Hakan mentioned about “boat” on Bosphorus Strait, I won’t say no when he offered me on the second day. If you googled things to do in Istanbul for the first time, boat tour is among the top must do. Before boat tour, Galata Tower was the first place we visited.

We agreed to meet there at 11 in the morning. Hakan said 10am before but I knew we won’t make it cause hello, spent a whole day and ended by walking from Sultan Ahmed till Taksim Square in midnight wasn’t a joke (Istanbul has many uphill alleys, kindly note). I took sometimes earlier before I met them by enjoying a buffet at Parole İstiklal on my way to Galata. I shouldn’t tell you the truth this brekkie scenes more like ‘picture-purpose’ yet I did enjoy Turkish chai in spring. I’m serious.

As much as I enjoyed Istanbul, I tried to take my time to do one of my favourite things when I’m traveling: starting my morning with a cup of cappuccino in a coffee shop. When Hakan sent me a message they would be a bit late, I took my time to linger around to take some pictures and ended with a coffee right in front of Galata Tower. I was about to tease myself spending my Turkish Lira to bring home one of cute vintage table lamp from a small shop (designer’s temptation, classic – full stop). Nevertheless, I didn’t enter when I finally saw Hakan and Saf were walking hurriedly. A bit confused but I understood why it took sometimes for them to arrive at our meeting point. Hakan said, “there were three men behind us when Saf wanted to get a new ring but we didn’t take it” while Saf added after, “so sorry Azis, we didn’t mind to unrespect you by came late”.

I answered, “so let’s get tickets and enjoy Istanbul from above”. 

Surely, with a bright smile on my face cause we would spend a whole day together.





More pictures to come on part II :)

 

Happy Eid Mubarak for those who celebrate! I wonder to celebrate Eid next year in somewhere new. Marrakech perhaps? Or even, Paris? Dreaming is free, right :)

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