When Friendship Turns To Blue

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There is one particular thing I learned when I have entered thirty.

If my opinion about this has become sharper than when I was on my twenties, it is just because life is full of lessons.


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I remember a talk with one of my good friends when I couldn’t answer him back a question. This happened when we were at university. We had a casual talk and a question about the way I thought about friendship appeared on the air. He asked, “So you are such a picky, you won’t call these friends as your friends? They must be good for you until you call them “friend”, huh?”

What he meant “these friends” were our friends in class.

In my mind was loudly echoed with an answer, “Of course they must be good that’s why there is the same word attached to it.”. But I couldn’t say anything. I thought twice on what to answer. Was I picky? Was I? I stayed silent. I thought my statement was wrong. Should have I opened a wide door for some people easily to be a friend with and told them “You all are my friends”?

Back then I was quiet. I wasn’t brave enough to say what I had in mind but time has taught me as growing older.

I have some personal thoughts about friendship which it’s been stored in my life dictionary for the last few years. Friendship has stages: a friend, a good friend and a best friend. The last one is formed by three essential things: heart, time and history. The heart gives you signs for good or bad, good and bad. Time is a key to why “just” a friend could be a good friend, and a good one could turn in to a best friend. History formed by times. History is what I value. And these three are flexible.

Looking at my different friendships from the past and present, there are tons of things I’ve learned including how important maintaining it because sometimes it goes low, sometimes is high. Friendship also has its own age, by remembering this we all know time is the essence. Never buy friendship, cause it has to be genuine and pure from both sides.

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Have you ever sat alone staring at the clear blue sky and thought of an old friend just popped up in mind? With some questions like how is he doing right now? Where is she living for all these years?

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Time is changing in flash. There was a time in silence I thought about how blue my friendship with a friend who used to spend hours and hours laughing on the phone when both had problems, something to say, or even for stupid jokes. We live a thousand miles apart yet distance and time zone do not matter. She was one of my best friends and still be, but our friendship has changed drastically. I used to think the way she disappeared was such vexatious reality which made it faded. I was like “I didn’t get it” at the beginning. Questions in mind for some mistakes I did, might be, disappearing in the dark.

I wondered if there were one or two things I did wrong. I wondered if it was just something she wanted by creating distance between us. I wondered and kept wondering until I stopped worrying about it. Our friendship was sweet but it didn’t have a long age as I thought it would be. Our friendship turned to blue and unfortunately, the blue was dark enough. Was I sad? Remembering the first time we met, together we travelled in our twenties, laughter on the mountain and sunshine we shared with fog on the lake, all those moments. I might be wrong expressing my feeling into words but I learned, no matter how much joys and tears we had in the past, nothing lasts forever.

I sometimes think the way it turned blue and later faded with no single trace is such a new lesson I must take. But I won’t let all the worries haunted me if, on the other side of our friendship, she didn’t feel the same. Just like a phone call, it can only last as long as the person on the other end of the line is willing to talk. As I will never buy a new friendship, I won’t begging for such a blue to be bright.

The feeling of loss is still there. One time in a darkened room, a restless thought was jumped in my mind.

 


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How about a dear friend I love right now, when will our healthy and bloomy friendship end? Three years? Five?

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I used to write It Feels Like An Autumn when I felt restless if my friendship with one of the very best friends would change bit by bit. He is one of the most important persons in my life. We have gone through monumental moments in life together. He was there when I was nothing. When I crawled to reach what I’m having this day. My insecurity was increased just because he started his new life chapter.

Let me take you to my mind.

As I am right now who do not think of marriage in the next few years, the feeling of loss is something I must take. As someone whose kindness is real to me decided to take a new life chapter as a family man, I felt insecure if we won’t have much time to talk like before. Or to even have a five minutes phone call. I was worried if someday the way we both walk in a very far distance without some hellos or goodnights. If you are having the same feeling with me, I need to tell you one thing; if the friendship lasts for more than ten years, there is no need to worry too much for such things. I later realized that my friendship with him is still strong no matter how our life has changed. And that’s all because those three essential things: heart, time and history are all still solid. Our hearts are strongly connected. Time makes us closer while we cherish our friendship by creating more memories. People say by growing older your circle will be smaller, and that’s a hundred and ten percent true.

We may not have a weekly phone call or even texting but when both minds are connected through the spirit, the friendship is real. I used to think about him if he was doing good one time in the afternoon. Five minutes later I saw his text of how are you appeared on my iPhone. That was enough to prove how strong the friendship we have until we ended by spending 45 minutes over the phone. Talking about life with laughter in between.

This heart-bounding moment also happened in another scene.

I’m currently having a three good year of friendship with a dear friend whose background and culture are totally different. If you read this blog, you might know how many times I’ve mentioned his name. As a genuine kind-hearted human being who I respect from the day we became friends, he taught me that our friendship must be mutual, it has to be two ways of love, respect, understanding and also, communication.

There were few monumental moments I could count as true-friendship bond. And all of them meant a lot to me. He was there when I failed on something precious which I had waited for so long. The worse part it had happened twice. The first one was deep while the second torn me to pieces. I had fallen for this particular “thing”. He might not realize how much his text at 2am when all my fingers were frozen while writing a text of failure meant to me. He might not realize his voice recording to cheering me up after the second fail was something I keep till date. Even though he always there when I need to talk, I feel something different recently.

The way I look at myself as someone who always asks his time to listen to my problem but never heard any of his, it takes me back to the meaning of mutual friendship. Do we really have this friendship? Or am I become demanding? As I write this sentence I will be honest and raw on this. I just feel that mutual friendship doesn’t really work both ways. If this is a weight scale, the left side is heavier than the right. I might be fallacious.

But it’s bothering me sometimes if it’s not most of the times.

I used to take steps back when I was just about to call him for something just because he was the correct person to talk to. I’m sure if I did, he won’t mind picking my call. As we both are getting busier this day, I could include this as a perfect reason to leave the phone call hanging for months. I am the kind of person who always asks for permission by text if I need to speak to my best friends, except there is something bad happens. Apart from that, it’s rude to make a call directly, this just me. It applies to him as well, particularly he is European. There is such a culture of politeness which is different from how Asian would take. As much as I seriously take this reason of politeness, the phone call never happened. I was wondering perhaps a part of me was trying to test the mutual friendship from his side by not making a call or sending a text.

From the day I had a will to ask a question till a month, he later sent me a text written in German. And this is the funny thing. I thought about him an hour before I saw his text on my iPhone wanted to find out if he was doing great. But my fingers stopped typing so I went back to a thought of “is this mutual?”. Funny enough, I still keep the question behind with a vocabulary of touchy on it.

Till date, I’m still learning the state of this friendship. Perhaps, I should appreciate more to kind gesture as simple as a text of how are you after a while and count it as proof.

I do intensely cherish this precious bond though there are still many insecure feelings like, I never know how long this friendship would last.

Einem Deutschkurs Und Neue Freunde

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Soll ich im Deutsch schreiben? 

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I’ve been neglecting this blog for almost two months (that’s pretty bad) but right now I’d like to share some new life updates!

If you scroll to the last two posts, you’ll find “This time around, my time would be a little longer”. That means I have three months in Indonesia to be exact. Having such an opportunity to stay longer to finish a few things I’d been dreaming of comes to two things. One, you’ll never have enough time if you can’t cleverly manage to accomplish your goals. I did try from the first day I arrived even though it wasn’t such a pleasant time. I was sick from the day I travelled until it got worse when landed. I had to tweak my plan for three nights stay at the hotel from “I just wanted to laze a whole day as a reward” to “holy crap all my systems are weak, a fluffy white blanket couldn’t even warm me up”. Two, to enjoy every second of the day is a wise thing.

I do realize every time it comes to end: it is always hard. Here’s the middle of April, that means I would soon back to reality. Do I feel a bit maudlin? Yes, I do. Am I ready to be back to my daily routine? Well, I have to.

There are three major things that I put as goals for these three months. Thankfully, two have accomplished and one is still on. What is still on? It’s for my tiny house! Why was I so excited even though it was quite exhausting? Because I’d neglected it for more than two years ;|. I have finally started building the back part of the house where my little kitchen would be, my little ‘hopefully it would turn simply stylish’ bathroom as I thought, and the remaining space where I would have my dining room. Then what were the two?

The two were some mixed feeling of happiness and sadness. One, I finally made a spiritual trip to the holy Mecca last month which I would share the story on a separate post. Another one was I finally attended a German course while I’m here! It was a very basic A1 course which made me excitingly realize, learning a new language was stressfully fun. Stressful in a very good way, ofc.

The course itself was 4+ hours von Montag bis Freitag for almost two months. The class for me personally was perfect: there were just 9 students and that made our Super Intensive Class became very intensive. Apart from the main thing I liked when learning German (read: when I had to push my brain to follow the lessons, it’s a good thing when your brain is always being challenged, isn’t it?) I felt glücklich for all the eight new friends in the class and our teacher, Frau Yusi. All of us were pretty close and that was a great vibe if I may say.

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On the first day I came, I was quite surprised by the fact that most of them already had their plans on what to reach in Germany. That was impressive, isn’t it? If you are wondering “how about me”, I honestly thought about having my Master Degree in Germany (fingers crossed) in the next two years (Ich hoffe nächste Jahr! *fingerscrossedagain). So I took a chance to learn the basic which I’m still struggling on the Grammatik and German Artikels as a first step to reach later on I called my next dream. Forty-plus days have gone so fast and it led to the time we’d planned as a lovely Mittagessenzeit two days ago :)

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Rather than starting the maudlin vibe here, it’s much better to share more photographs during our time together for the sake of beautiful memory.

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I’ll miss how hilarious Firman truly is, how impatiently Hayyi to Frau Endang ;), funny words from Klein, sharing laughter with Ivan, Ratri and Frau Yusi. Oh, I couldn’t resist attaching Tika & Adit’s last photograph again, I’m surely going to miss this cute young married couple ;)

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When I woke up yesterday morning, I already missed my schedule when I was still in the course. The games in the class, stupid jokes, impromptu trips, täglich Hausaufgaben, fun times after class from culinary hunting till crazy vibe in the karaoke room (I was glad we made the time to do that, Van!), all were pretty unforgettable.

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There are so much to learn and I’m really looking forward to planning to the next grade hopefully next year. Apart from the main reason to reach the next dream to study in Germany, to be able to speak German fluently would be wunderbar. The latest thing I need to push myself on is for die Prüfung next week. Wish me luck!

November 27

I’m writing this to kill my five hours transit among millions people who are heading to different places on earth. I just had one chocolate croissant with damn I answered vanilla and it’s such a mistake too-sweet cappuccino at Paul before heading back to a real life in the next three hours. When I’m set, I will try to share some stories which I really want writing them with heart.

I used to make a vow to keeping posts in sequence, but that doesn’t belong to this blog anymore. No regret, as life sometimes will teach you how to slow down for a good reason. I took my time slowly on the last few days thinking about all that had happened: deep emotions, guilt, pain, laughter, jokes, everything in a very fast one month. 

Dubai Airport, 7:45AM. 27/Nov/18. 

A Poem For The Brave



You crumbled my emotional dreams

You made me cried overnight

Few times

It was casually cruel, to be honest

Till I felt “it’s okay, to give up”

You gave me some heartaches, deep down to my heart

But that’s okay

You taught me how to stand straighter after crawling

from falling

Thank you for all those moments

For all those ups and downs

For all those random human beings

And let us became friends

Some have become my best friends

For giving me opportunities to see other parts of this earth

Thank you

I’ll let you show some shines and I know

you will give me some differences in my life

Let most of them be adventurous

Which could make me pursue

To always give my very best


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?

Merci, H


“That day was colder, as I didn’t expect spring could be that cold.”


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I looked at the sky when I came out from Taksim metro station. It was grey and a bit dark. Rain just stopped pouring and left some drizzle from up. The hustle of people was still the same like the first time I arrived in Istanbul. That evening I arrived a bit late. I had a slightly longer flight because of the weather. I had a very pleasant short trip in Cappadocia and expecting my last three days in Istanbul could be a perfect ending. 

I said to myself that rain won’t stop me to enjoy every bits of the city. I had four beautiful days before flying to Cappadocia and I was so sure I would have a better time then. 

A cold day made me wanted to enjoy a warm Turkish street food at Taksim Square. Standing on one corner with a warm beef kebab while watching random faces enjoying their days under the drizzle could be one of a simply happiness. I decided to buy one for 11TL and thought it would be enough to fill my stomach before I continued looking for the way to my hostel. I finished half of my kebab and continued walking again pretending that drizzling made the evening scene in Taksim looked like a movie. 

The sky got darker and rain was started pouring again. I had to step faster so I won’t get wet on the street. Dragging my small suitcase under the rain on a busy Istiklal Caddesi wasn’t funny. What I had in mind that evening was I would find a soft bed with a thick white blanket in a warm room after I dropped my things in. Taking a bath with warm water under the shower, rested a bit and went out just to capture the evening scenes around. But all my imagination had disappeared instantly when I found that something serious was happening to me.

I couldn’t find my wallet when I wanted to pay my stay. I was so panic till I couldn’t talk for seconds. I couldn’t believe it. All my dollar, euro, naira, my debit cards, my green card, everything was inside. I felt so numb a bit.

The reception man suggested that I should go back to where I bought the kebab and tried to look around in case I got some lucks. Then after, I should go to the police station to get a report. Police? When I heard about it, my mind gone scarier. I was trying to calm myself down and started looking for solutions. My iPhone was about to die. I decided to charge it while I was thinking few people who I could ask helps to. Saf, my new friend that was on the conversation since I was on my way to Istanbul kept asking how I was doing. I couldn’t keep anything but told him what happened. He was already in Paris and a bit shocked, we talked on the phone for minutes. I kept trying to call one of my best friend in Indonesia, Mas Andhi to tell him too. It took minutes to finally speak with him on the phone after he was in another call. He told me to keep calm and started thinking clearly what to do. I was so confused, scared and tired in the same time. After I tried to calm myself down, I remembered the only person who could possibly help me in Istanbul was Hasan. 

I had no choice but told him everything. I had to see him wherever he was. I had to sort my lost. When Hasan answered that we could meet in Taksim square I said it would be better to see him at his hostel. I vividly remember how messy I was under the drizzle and the wind. My mind thought about where I would sleep at and what would I eat with for my last two days in Istanbul. I had nothing but 8TL left in my pocket with the most important document, my passport.

When I finally met Hasan in the hostel reception I had hopes. I held his hands to ensure he was real. I looked at him with half of my sense on, just wanted to say thank you. I repeated the same thank you for times cause truly, I had no clue what to do if he wasn’t by my side. 

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“Azis is okay, it’s normal. Don’t panic. I’m here. The most important thing right now is you. You’re safe.”


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I froze after Hasan spoke like that. Tho Hasan can barely speak English, his words was beyond enough to calm me down. I had no words to explain how lucky I was. He was true, I might be sad and confused cause I had no wallet, no cash, no cards, nothing. But I still had a genuinely kind person that I met only 1,5 hours after midnight, was helping me unconditionally in Istanbul.

I was still shocked but I had to get up.

My mind wasn’t complete when Hasan offered me to go to the nearest police station. I told him I was there before I met him but nobody speaks English. He told me to calm down then we went together to the police station. I couldn’t imagine if Hasan wasn’t around that evening. Who would help me to explain in Turkish what exactly had happened. Saf had told Hakan (he’s also my new friend, three of us met in Istanbul) if Hakan could explain to the police about the case though both of them were already back in Paris. Phone conversation could be my last option if Hasan wasn’t around tho I knew it would be more complicated.

Hasan and I were at the police station to explain what happened. I just looked at his face when he was explaining the case to the police trying to understand their language. “I’m dreaming I know. How could this happen to me” was still in my mind. Hasan kept calm me down. “Azis, it’s normal, OK”, and what I could say was only thank you.

10 minutes explanation at the police station, they instructed us to go back to the place where I surely thought my wallet was stolen. We met with two policemen there to get more information from me and from the cctv. I couldn’t stay focus cause I was froze, exhausted and ravenous that night. It was too bad. I almost said to Hasan to forget about my wallet. The only thing I thought about was my green card. Without the police report I would have a big problem in the immigration, definitely I would.

I really felt so bad dragging Hasan in my case. He wanted to enjoy his evening by watching a Turkish football match before, but there, he was with me, and two policemen. I kept saying “sorry Hasan, so sorry” till I couldn’t say anything again. I was so so sleepy and exhausted but I had to keep awake. The policemen were telling Hasan that they couldn’t see somebody stole my wallet from the cctv. I gave up, I didn’t care anymore with this case. I was just too tired, I just wanted to lay my body on the bed. Running from that freezing night. But Hasan told me to keep calm till we got the report. I couldn’t belive that after midnight we were still at the same place where I bought the kebab. Hasan said, “Azis, we will go back to the police station after the match. Is it okay for you?”

I looked at the wall clock, it showed to 1am. Right after people were cheering up for the winning team, I and Hasan went back to the police station. Our second visit was different. That time we finally entered the police room painted in white, with the room heater that made us warmer. After one policeman asked all the details he needed, and Turkish-English translation in between, 1o minutes later I got the police report. I smiled to Hasan with another thank you. If I had no one like him who speaks Turkish and French fluently after my lost there, in Istanbul, I couldn’t imagine how I would be.

We walked down through the same alley, back to Istiklal Caddesi, passing through the night market along Sahne Sk, till we arrived in my hostel somewhere at Kamer Hatun Caddesi. “You’re hungry Azis?”, “No, I’m fine Hasan, thanks.”

Sure, I was lying to him that I wasn’t ravenous. I sat on the couch while Hasan was trying to make a payment for my hostel.

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“Hasan, I need to sell this tomorrow, I dont’ know where but I have to pay back your money”

“Azis you can pay when you are back okay, I’m still in Istanbul for 2 weeks before back to France. I will lend you this, is it OK?”


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He gave me TL100 and I couldn’t speak words again. I was too tired. I was too messy. I packed my jacket, stored and double cross-checked my passport, and I was about ready to carry my suitcase up to my room.

I followed Hasan till we stood in front of my hostel. With a cigarette in his hand, we both smiled. I tried to do an instant recovering, I shook my head, and said thank you again to Hasan. “Azis you need to rest, you are okay? I need to sleep too. We will talk tomorrow?”

And I said goodnight when the clock showed 2am.

I had never imagined I would walk with Hasan almost midnight, in a very cold evening in spring that made me shiver, till we had a business in the police station when I was on holiday. Not even in my wildest dream. But I had no regret right now cause the drama that night gave me a huge lesson about the trip. About life, about kind human and about unconditional friendship. Hasan might think what he did to me was normal, to help somebody that needs help, as simple as that. But for me, he had no idea what he did was meant to me. I won’t take his kindness for granted, his help that night scored in my heart and my mind. It was a drama that made my trip unforgettable one.

P.S. I had to blur an iPhone selfie I took with Hasan. Hasan said on my last night in Turkey after we went to have a dinner that “No Azis, you can talk to me, but no picture.”. So to respect him, I had to blur his face here but in the same time, I want my memory with this kind human stays on this blog. I had time with Hasan after the drama, I’ll keep it till I have time to share it here. Half of this post was written on the plane, when I was on my way from Cairo to Lagos. I wrote it in my iPhone when I was remembering Hasan and all my new friends I met in Turkey. I arrived in Lagos yesterday afternoon with a little drama in Cairo Airport. I had nothing to regret for cause in the end, coming home safe and sound that matters. I’ll share more stories and photos from this trip very soon hopefully, right now, I’m back to a real life.

Better

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Been very quite last month on this blog and came back devoting some rues. 

I needed three days to recover myself from a hurricane of emotions last week. Found that I failed on something I’d worked for a month wasn’t an easy fact. Tho I have played “gotta get up, and try, and try, and try” many times but truly, it wasn’t that easy to handle something like that. Perhaps because it was one of the most emotional “thing” for me so it felt like I was a broken-hearted man when I failed. I wanted to share what had happened here as part of my journey but felt like “I’ll keep it in grey for now, save it for later :)”.

However, I felt better when I found that I still have few people who I’m comfortable to share with no, not because I’m picky. And I was touched how they supported me under a feeling of roller coaster.

It took me minutes to separate my private and professional life that day on how I should left that “thing” and continued working on some deadlines. It took me seconds to realise a support from my African mum when she told me that everything would be fine and “life must continue”. It took me thirty minutes in the morning to call one of a kind human I know here, to let her know what had happened the next day. It took me an hour at 2AM to reply a message from mein bester freund when I saw his reply after midnight cause felt we’ve made friends for years and I lost words. And it took seconds for me to finally relieve and completely ready what should I do next after I spent two hours on Skype with mein bester freund last Sunday.

I also took a lesson from him not to look down too deep to myself and let mistakes go. Skyping session with him wasn’t only made me felt better, but also, it resuscitated me that there are so much things in life we should be grateful for. Sometimes, you may feel your life is miserable and theirs are fairy-tale like, but you must know something, when you feel you want to give up on something you want the most and failed,

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“Remember why you started. Don’t give up, and find ways…”


 

 

 

Candid picture by Giri Prasetyo.

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