October 04, 2015

eyes and ears open

my new fav song. googled and turns out its written by Bob Dylan.
The Basement Tapes: When I Get My Hands On you. spotify - youtube 

"And now you know
Everywhere on Earth you go
You’re gonna have me as your man

i revised my alarm clock tunes. I had Birdy (by 22-Pistepirkko) for a while but now decided to go back to Kokomo, possibly my all time favorite. also i added Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World in the selection :)

i seemed to have caught a cold! oh wellllll.

just watched an old Guns n Roses documentary. it brought back memories. it was definitely one of the bands that shaped my youth and the music, i still think, is fucking amazing. when i was a 13 yr old little anxious rebel, they gave me hope and meaning.

tonight i want to watch Going Clear, the HBO doc on scientology. its documentary day! last night me and doctor watched a Todd Solondz film; Dark Horse. i have to say it was a disappointment. very 'meh'.

VICE: american vigilantes who are fighting ISIS 

October 01, 2015

tantunis are the best

im trying to get back on track after the trip to Mersin. i had my laptop and did some work while there but it was almost like a long (holiday) weekend. our way back was tricky as the flight was delayed due to bad weather in Istanbul. and when we finally landed at 2:30, there were so many other planes landing late as well, and the luggage took forever to come out (about 35min to be exact) and the queues to the busses were so long...  we were at home like 4:30am. so  yesterday was messy, i started work late.

i really took the wedding party that doctors family arranged as a sort of "theatre". i mean, it was a show where i did have the leading role, but only as an actor. everything else was arranged, including my "costume". technically, my mother in law did call and ask my preference on  a number of things like the table cloth color (wtf?), which was considerate, but in the big scheme of things, they were details anyway. i had checked out already.  also she took me to a wedding gown shop and i could pick whichever dress i wanted....but a turkish wedding dress is not something i would want if it up to me. so i thought, whatever, and just went with it. i played my part, "chose" the dress that she (and my sister in law) seemed to prefer and at the party i followed the traditions and everything went very smoothly i think. the MIL seemed happy which was the most important thing...  and i do appreciate her doing it all, even if the culture expects it from her, she was clearly into it, and so i did my best to go along :) the only things i said 'no' to were a tiara, diamond studded dresses and "professional" make up artist. and they were offered many times.

turkish wedding shop selection (tiaras!)

at the party, doctors cousin said he'd googled me and digged my photos. that was an odd one. there were around 90-100 people - thats very small by turkish standards. i didnt really care but doctor had asked to make it a small one. there were traditional dances, i was forced to join too. but it was a 'lol', i didnt mind, part of the experience :) it was fun. there was a live band and a guy with a mic announcing what the couple needs to do (dance, cut the cake...). then we would go around and greet everyone. and towards the end of the evening they would come to our table and give their gold coins/bills (=turkish wedding gifts) into the white chest on the table, or the red ribbon around my neck. another option is to hang the stuff on the brides dress, but my MIL opted for the red ribbon.  i can say its odd standing there, while people attach gold coins on you. humbling too, the family and their friends are all lovely people.

the red ribbon that i got for the gift giving portion.

we sat at this table under a cave like thing, overseeing everything. meh, let me put the pic of the cave; (its from a group photo, of which hundreds were taken...turks love group photos at weddings)

we were taken to the place an hour after the party officially started. thats how it works, apparently. doctor's brother drove us to the place, and as soon as we walked in, there was a photographer and a videographer there, and i felt like i was on a movie set. they wanted to shoot the entrance, so they walked backwards in front of us, and there were balloons and firewords and whatnot. walking towards the bright light of the camera was awwwwkward! but i felt like a movie star :D 

doctors parents home is just at the edge of the city, in a gated community, where each family has a 2-3 storey house. thanks to the hot to mild weather, they can live on the rooft terrace half of the year. even the 2nd floor bathroom has its own balcony! its really nice and calm. i still rather live in a city but its a wonderfu place nevertheless.

there is a toilet on the roof terrace, with the sink outside the toilet, with this view...  so weird for a finn.
 the roof terrace is probably bigger than the flat i had in Helsinki.

on sunday we raided tantuni restaurants. instead of döner, Mersini is focused on tantuni, and it is truly one of the best things on earth. we had tantuni for breakfast, then another after a break, some coffee, more tantuni. i should be a tantuni reviewer...  i could have a column in a culinary mag where i write about tantunis...  i really got into the role, i think i can now pretty accurately tell if a tantuni is good or not, and how it should be served. not just due to this trip of course, but it helped.

a spice shop. a big one. this is just one room in it. fresh and cheap.

a great desert experience: künefe (and some small sweet bites in the back). this is really one of the odd desserts because it has a load of cheese. but it really is good.

a square near the center of the city. it was a hot day (supposedly only 31 degrees...felt like more) so sitting in the shadow was the only option. 

Mersin seaside. lots of green. lots of palm trees. palm trees are everywhere in Mersin.  

 monday was beach day! we went to kiz kalesi, a beach near Mersin. the water...oh lord, it was 28-29 degrees. which means it felt heavenly, doctor said "pee warmth" :D its been forever (since thailand, to be exact) since i swam in warm waters. the sea was so shallow too, and all sandy...   it was nice. and a free, uncrowded beach, on top of all.

someone we met on the way home from the beach. well, he was hanging out at a tourist attraction (Heaven & Hell) that we visited. camels are huge animals...  nor my first time seeing one, but still i was impressed.

the guy in the line - funny story

television: new season of The Ultimate Fighter started, its US vs europe... a couple of swedish guys on it. in lack of finns, i am okay cheering for them.

australia's first Bachelorette season started. good stuff, its the woman who was (allegedly) dumped by season 2 male lead. 

The Grinder seems like it might be boring, but i like Rob Lowe so i am giving it a good try.

Blood & Oil has Don Johnson, its obviously supposed to be like the new Dallas, but i think it will fail like Luck did (not suggesting Luck was supposed to be dallas, but i see other similarities)

but something that has me *really* interested, is The Catch. it helps that Mireille Enos is somehow mysteriously seductive. but i have a weak spot for female detective and the like. which reminds me Mulder & Scully are returning too...

Face Off also continued, and its awesome every season. its one of those feel good reality shows.  

today while working, i was communicating with this colleague over gchat, he is a developer and told me something is going to the test environment and is ready for testing, and i said okay etc. then for while, i went to facebook, where he is my friend, and he has posted something about the finnish economy and disposable income and stuff. i started replying to the post and just then realized its the same guy that i "talked to" at work. but it felt different. very odd.

September 24, 2015

possibly my favorite hobby: telly

today im happy because:
-i can have my favorite energy drink every morning
-i have a great computer for work and an amazing personal computer(i could just write PC?)
-my bf made me breakfast cos i was busy working

my pet peeve: people say they dont want tv just cos they don't own a television set, flatscreen or otherwise. but then, they will mention the latest episode of GoT or whatever. umm, so where did you watch that?? "oh, i have a computer and internet..." right. but so you do f*cking watch TV!! i mean i know we associate the word tv with the black box, but its 2015 and just semantics, tv has obviously come to mean the content as well. tv is the stuff that is not a movie. it could be a series, a game show, news...  its the content that we used to enjoy through the black box. now we have our iPads and what not, but we still enjoy the content.

September 22, 2015

holiday week in turkey

i met this syrian girl here, she is taking the IELTS exam soon and i offered to practise english, socialize and share whatever info i have about the exam. we had a good talk and i learned a lot. she has a good university degree and her english is already decent, so that's a start. in addition her brother (also highly educated) moved to the US years ago, before the war, so she might have a chance of going there. or, there could be an option of going to sweden where her other brother just moved a month ago. this, again well educated, brother had a business with his friends in istanbul, and it was doing well and so all was good, but his syrian wife had already gone to sweden a few month prior (on a fake passport if i understood correct). obviously the brother would've had a legal right to go to sweden, using the family tie, but instead, he wanted an adventure and paid $3000 for a boat ride to greece and a fake passport and flight to sweden. so, instead of waiting for paperwork and enjoy life in istanbul, he opted for this 'adventure'. not my words. they had talked about the sister going with him, but she decided to stay here because she has been studying german now and is interested in applying to germany, to further continue her studies. and the IELTS exam is in case she would like to apply to the UK. so, a lot of possibilities, although there is no certainty that any of them would work out. but she has a job here (which is great, most westerners have hard time finding a job here) and a place to live and i personally think she made the right choice of staying here for now. but she said it is stressful because the rules and regulations are changing constantly and you never know if waiting will increase of decrease your chances. what i found also interesting is that her parents who are still in Syria live in a small coastal town which has not suffered so much from the war, in fact it is peaceful and "ok" there, she says. electricity cuts and low salaries, but overall fine conditions minus some tension in the air between 2 sects. so she has even considered going back to her parents. making decisions in this situation can be hard, with your family all over the world, your parents still back home but safe (but for how long?)...

also i learned that a boat ride alone should be around $1000. but the boat + bus to Athens + fake passport & flight to sweden for $3000 is not a bad deal at all, in fact i think its a fair price for starting a new life, and she agreed. of course it is still plenty of money, especially if you are not rich and have a family of 5, but for her brother it was not bad. i do get the feeling there are different levels of these boats, not all of them are crappy inflatables...  because she did not find it super risky, and said that going by foot or land can be worse (referring to the truck found in austria).

there is a new restaurant near here that only makes (home made) lasagna. it is very good, i cannot deny. so i order it for lunch every now and then.

this week is a holiday in turkey. doesnt effect doctors or my working schedule though, yet we managed to get some time off to go to Mersin. his parents wanted to arrange us a turkish wedding party (which we guessed) and so, we set the date for this saturday. so the mother in law has been organizing the party and we will just show up. i appreciate that they want to do this for us, but at the same time i dont consider it to be my 'wedding' (in my head), i feel like its a party they are throwing, and a chance to meet and show myself to the rest of the relatives. so i do want to have some ties with the family, especially since we plan to move away next year and then won't be seeing them much i presume.   

MIL sent a photo of the printed invitation. names of the parents are usually included in turkish wedding invitations. my mother and father eded up having the same surname because somewhere along the line someone had trouble comprehending that parents could have differing surnames. understandable perhaps, since that would not really happen here.

September 20, 2015

going out in 'Bul

i got a blue screen of death 4 nights ago. im still shaken over it. and to be honest this was like the 3rd time this year. things are not good. but im in denial about it. i just wish my computer would hang in there and be reliable for a year more. then she could retire. but it might be too big of an ask :( i dont know what to do.

the satirical cartoon publishing (LeMan) that opened a chain of restaurants finally arrived to Kadiköy too, this year. me and doctor checked out the establishment this week. the decor and atmosphere is cool and fitting, but the music was kind of dance-y, made it feel like a club for 20 yr olds. and the menu was like 50 pages, everything from pizza to burgers to whatever - they are one of those "wannabe international, everything for everyone" places, common here. it just means that nothing is really well done, in my opinion. the food we ordered was tasty though, i cant complain, but i think they could shrink the menu down a little without the business suffering.  

so The Bachelor AU has had a non-white male lead in one of it's (3) seasons, while the original US show never has - and it's been running for like...10 or 20 seasons. call it a coincidence...  i dont. i cant make deep analysis of either country, but in my 2 months in Australia i did feel like it was truly very open to all nationalities and colors. anyway, im now wasting my weekend away watching Bachelor AU. i like that the women in the Aussie version don't wear make up 24/7 and the 3rd season male lead is from Hobart, living in Melbourne. its weird, having been to those places recently.

last night me and doctor went out eating with friends (a couple we're friends with), in Taksim. good food, good times. out of the 4 of us, the other 3 happen to like metal music so we then went to a metal bar. and of course there was a live gig. i dont know how i suffered through it, it was like, black metal type of stuff..  a couple Rammstein covers saved it or me, but i was not loving it.

from last monday. Bosphrus dinner/party cruise of 38 doctors and 2 of us who were not... there were many spouses, but ER doctors seem to generally couple up with other doctors.
the views were great, gliding under the bridges was cool, combined with the turkish dances people really got into...

and then there is me and girls at mama Shelter's rooftop bar & restaurant last week. great food and views. 
found a video from my camera too. i guess the views, nice atmosphere, music and lounging chairs (and maybe alcohol) made me want to capture the moment.... :)  in the beginning of the video there is some unknown male, its odd cos it looks like he was lounging practically next to me :D

that was a crazy night. i think i got back home at 5, no idea. and i paid for that fun the next day, it was tough.

September 18, 2015

helppo neuvoa

tällä viikolla sain seurata kun suomi valmistautui kolmanteen maailmans...eikun siis perjantain mielenilmaisukseen. tämä oli vallan on "viihdyttävää". joo, hyvä se on täältä puskista huudella ja arvostella. no, mitäs tuohon lisäisi. niin.

tällä viikolla löysin sellasia helmiä kuin Siskonpeti ja Ensitreffit alttarilla tokan kauden, se oli alkanut suomessa enkä tiennyt asiasta mitään.  Siskonpedistä olin varmaan kuullut mutta olin hyvin skeptinen, yllätykseni oli positiivinen. suomalainen huumori ja tilanteet viihdyttää kovasti...  jaksojen 'musavideo' osuus ei ole suosikkini, mutta siis noin yleisesti ottaen hyvin hauska.

silmään pisti tänään hesarin artikkelin otsikko:
 "Ninjoiksi naamioituneet heittivät bussia kananmunilla Itäkeskuksessa ".
josta tuli mieleen otsikko eilisessä turkkilaislehdessä:
"Masked attackers throw Molotov cocktail in public bus in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu"
 (Beyoglu on Istanbulin keskustaa, ei mikään kylä jossain itä-turkissa).

Muualla uutisissa... "Turkey spent $7.6 billion hosting 2.2 million Syrian refugees". nyt voi viettää hiljaisen hetken ja miettiä tätä.

nyt palaan töiden pariin. viikonloppukin tulossa. 

September 15, 2015

hangovers get worse with age, lesson learned...again

i came across refugeeswork.com the other day. what a nice idea.it's still in the beginning stages but i contacted the creator to give some feedback on how to improve.

turkish (last ) week wrapped up (without the hundred or so articles on clashes, vandalism, attacks and general instabilty...)
(Today's Zaman) video footage released of american women killed by turkish airport police. thats fucked up. and i bet the only reason we even know about it is because she is a foreigner.
(Today's Zaman) Court gives high schooler prison time
(Hurriyet) Turkish Kristallnacht coming soon?
(Hurriyer) Why insanity is a Turkish pastime? 

last friday i went out with the girls, on saturday i suffered from a hangover, and yesterday i went on a Bosporus cruise with doctor and his colleagues (2 of them just graduated). so, stuff going on.

September 09, 2015

schnozzle surgery

yesterday we got up as early as 5am to get ready and drive to the hospital on the european side, just to make sure we are not late - u never know with istanbul traffic. while doctor was in surgery from the morning till noon, i napped on his bed for a couple hours. everything went well although the operation was apparently more difficult than expected. the nose was heavily bandaged and continued to bleed all day and night. but thats normal and thats why we had to stay the night. the sofa chair next to his bed opened into a bed and the hospital cafe offered room service, so i was happy with my life too.

turkey turkish public hospital gaziosmanpasa
the gaziosmanpasa public hospital was new and quite nice, not crazy crowded. ive seen some pretty 'eww' public hospitals in this country so this was a nice surprise. the patient room was in fact great, better than some cheap hotels ive stayed at...  it was spacy, with a great view, in good condition, with a big wardrobe and fridge and a big bathroom with shower and all.

turkey turkish public hospital gaziosmanpasa

the only thing not that great was the (free) food. i mean...  this is how they keep the cafe alive...  (i had one spoonful of the macaroni before taking a pic).

turkey turkish hospital food

a turkish prescription! the system is all electronic though, u dont need the paper if u have the number.
turkish drug prescription

something i realized I have a problem with, very quickly after my wedding, was the word "husband". changing from bf to husband seemed and seems uncomfortable. while bf does sound almost too casual, it's so vague, husband is way out there, sounding traditional and making me feel old! Doctor agreed with me and we decided that we can use gf/bf or whichever term we prefer, for as long as we feel like. it shouldn't matter, anyway. I have also used the word 'partner' on random occasions.

September 06, 2015

managing on all fronts

i happened to run into the work of Taner Ceylan, a turkish artist who will be featured at the Istanbul Biennial. the website is not very user friendly, but his work really is cool.

Trainwreck was a really fun movie to watch, i was surprised. the premise didn't seem too interesting. but i found myself LOL'ing a lot - that's a good sign, and rare!

next on my list is Jafar Panahi's Taxi, which seems interesting and will probably remind me of our trip to Iran. although the trailer also reminds me of Turkey - the 2 countries do share culture.

doctor is undergoing a small nose surgery on monday. its a routine thing, and maybe he could live without, but it could improve his life quality. and its better to get everything 'in order' while we are still in turkey. ill go and stay with him at the hospital of course, thats one of the good habits ive picked up on in turkey. i am also looking to get my sterilization finally, i have been calling around for prices etc. i think im old enough to decide, yet still young enough to benefit (its would hardly be of much use 10 years later). so this is a year of...body management for us?

people react to this sterilization thing like i was telling them that im going to a belgian clinic to get euthanized. "well, it is a big decision, if you are really sure, i guess...". but it's not just the words, it is the tone of voice. i am 35 for f*'s sakes, not 20...   one friend admitted that she realized she would react much more carelessly to a man making the same choice. there is still this stigma in women who say they don't want children. even if i have been saying it for years and years, the mention of sterilization seems to surprise some people. what, am i just supposed to juggle with contraception all my fertile life?  

my friend Billur is moving to Cyprus. kind of suddenly too (by finnish standards!), she got a job there like 3 weeks ago (or so). it was a good offer, she is a psychologist and its a university and ...well, it fits her well. in turkey  things change fast. you meet someone in february and they are happy in their job and then you meet them in march and they have a new job and say that the old one was actually shit anyway. something like that happens all the time. people change flats and jobs like shirts. maybe this is not the right time to roll eyes over it since Billur is actually not a textbook case, i knew what kind of work she was looking for for a long time, but to me it still seemed sudden and it reminded me how things are here sometimes. me and doctor went to see Billur to her place, she has a nice terrace in the top floor flat, and despite living in the city, we could see a lot of stars, and in september the air is still perfectly soft and warm in the night...     it was a lovely evening.

the refugee discussion is going on wild. today i was thinking how money is sometimes in the wrong place...  i dont know how much it costs in finland to upkeep/feed/etc the refugees, but my guess is that its not cheap. i think thats a fair guess..   i currently live in a country which does host more refugess than any other, but at the same time, many of them see turkey only as a gateway to europe. turkey is a pit stop. not good enough to stay. because really, besides the camps by the border, and some fragmented NGO work, there is nothing in turkey. europe offers the real chances, from social benefits to other help.in finland the homes are on average quite small, so hosting refugees is not an option for most families. of course its not just a space issue... but its also a space issue. in turkey, the homes are big, but if you were to take a syrian family, you would need to feed them too, cos, it's not like they have income? it's all on you. so it's not very common here. maybe in the east, but i doubt it. this country has its prejudices too. but honestly, if finnish gov sent me a fraction of the money it takes to "host" a refugee family in finland, let's say 400 euros a month, i could go find a syrian family to stay in our guest room (before they take a boat across to europe, or attempt to) and feed them and it would cover our increased utilities too. even if not, the money would at least feed them and help with the basics. i bet a most syrian families would rather stay near their home, in a culture thats similar...   with the finnish money it would theoretically work here. but i realize thats just fantasy. just saying. they are already in turkey and there is space and big homes here, too. the refugees should be stopped here, by giving them what they need. but of course essentially millions of people shatter the balance here too. and turkey has its own unemployment problems etc. oh well. i just messaged someone who can take our clothes donation bag to an organization helping the poor and the refugees in Istanbul. once a year or so i collect extra clothes and it's nice to pass them forward.

September 03, 2015

monthly (not really) app rant & review

pinterest. ive been looking for a sort of visual 'to do list' app or an app that allows me to create small visual bookmarks (but not just of stuff online, could be anything). all sorts of notepad apps fail miserably, they are too complicated and requires titles and are not visual enough. technically, pinterest should fit the bill? but honestly whenever i look at pinterest it keeps striking me as "selfish". all companies are selfish and must think of their advertisers and shareholders bank accounts, but it's not supposed to show to the user! pinterest is always pushing their own agenda; not allowing you to browse anonymously (forces you to create an account), and now, that i downloaded the iphone app and wanted to pin a photo of mine? they wont allow that without a description. so im a fucking tagging robot for them now? i dont think so. and when i open the app, instead of MY BOARDS, its pushing me to choose topics i like, so it can show me a bunch of BS i dont care for. i wanna see the boards i created. at least i should be able to choose what to see first...  if its this hard to find my boards, in order to pin something...and then i have to describe it for them... nevermind. with the messages, notifications and features in general, pinterest seems more like an instagram of photos you did not take. in other words focused on the social side of it, showing things you have 'collected'...  they want me to pin stuff, but yet it doesn't seem to be the point...

Evernote. what a wonderful idea. and i still use this app. but dear lord how confusing and complicated it has become. i think they want to be everything to everyone? i mean i open it, and it looks like a christmas tree:
where the F* is the button for a new note, i have to look for it every time. and then there is "web clips" "files"...  ??? i wish they had a "simple version" available, and then they could charge money from people who really need all this... stuff. the UI actually reminds me of like, Outlook. as said, i use Eevernote from time to time, it is a good place to save ...recipies. all 6 of them.  but i dont find it user friendly. and on the phone, the app is not any better, making a quick note is not too easy.

Oneminute. the app intro is not very clear, or maybe i just didnt pay attention, but this is a cool app...  very random and i find seeing photos from distant places inspiring, as well. anyway, in short,
"You never know when your notification from OneMinute is going to arrive, but once it does you have just 60 seconds to take a picture of your surroundings before the app scoops everyone's photos up and freezes them in place for all to look at." (Business Insider). so the anonymous app is like an anonymous instagram, but without the filters and always representing one moment, eg. 9:48am.
theres not much else to do, u take the pic and then browse other people's pics. i just enjoy seeing a glimpse of the world, the different time zones and lives.

erityyppisiä ymmärtämättömyysongelmia

nyt kun on lomat lomittu ja kotibileet suoritettu ym niin on energiaa ihan erilailla kaikkeen taas. töissä alkoi yks uusi projekti ja se innostaa, mutta aikaa riittäisi muuhunkin. menin sanomaan Artulle että jos sillä tulee mieleen jotain hauskaa testailtavaa tms niin voisin katsoa. sillä on työn alla harrastemielessä joku 3D-softajuttu joka kuulosti oikeestaa aika oudolta mutta no, mikäs siinä, katsotaan!! nyt asennan koneelle Unitya jotta saisin sen homman pyörii. yhdellä ystävällä on myös uusi bisnesidea jossa verkkokursseja ym. joten tarjouduin tsekkaamaan kuinka se skulaa. jotain pitää ihmisen ajallaan tehdä...

suomessa käy pakolaiskeskustelu kuumana. toki niin monessa muussakin euroopan maassa. se on totta että suomi ei ole vielä hyvä kotouttamaan pakolaisia, ja ihan mielin määrin kerralla niitä ei systeemi kestä ottaa, mutta suomalainen asenne ja meininki heijastuu hyvin siihen kun kitistään parista sadastakin. tai tuhannesta. kun opintotukeenkaa ei ole tullut korotusta sitten vuoden XY, niin ei me nyt voida tähän ainakaan laittaa rahaa, eikös? suomi on maailman maista jossain viiden joukossa joka edes antaa opintotukea. ja vanhuksistakaan ei pidetä huolta. totta. mutta pakolaiset ei oikeasti vaikuta siihen. suomi on rikas maa, ja on köyhempia ja rikkaampia maita joissa joko pidetään parempaa tai huonompaa huolta. kyse on prioriteeteistä ja miten rahaa käytetään (ei siis vaan tuen kohteet vaan järjestelmä, infra jne) ja elintasosta ym. suomessa laitossiivojankin palkalla voi about asua kalliossa, jos vähän vyötä kiristää. se onnistuu aika harvassa maassa (siis asua hipsteri-keskustassa siivojan palkalla). mutta kun mikään ei riitä. eli tuo ei kalliossa (tai haagassa tai pitäjänmäellä) asuminen ei riitä, siis että siihen on varaa. kun on niin huonot tuet yksinhuoltajana tai työttömänä että pääse viroonkin vaan kahdesti kesässä, se on rankkaa...  :( musta on kiva että mun työttömillä kavereilla on varaa mennä viroon (ja usein pidemmällekin, eikä kyse ole säästöistä), mutta se suomalaisten loputon valitus.....  joo, se on elintaso-asia, ja itsekin sorrun siihen. mulla on asiat niin hyvin pulkassa, että kun Subwayn huonopalkkainen newbie on hidas ja sekoilee näennäisen simppelien asioiden kanssa niin kiroan sen mielessäni alimpaan helvettiin. nuo on vaikeita juttuja, kun maailmassa on enempi huono- kuin hyväosaisia.

mietin sitä kun turkissa on 1,6 miljoonaa pakolaista jonkun arvion mukaan, mikä on ilmeisesti määrällisesti eniten maailmassa. ei siitä hirveää numeroa tehdä. paljon ihmiset lahjoittaa tavaraa ja kaikenlaista keräystä ja avustusjärjestö on, mutta yleisesti ottaen se on yksi aihe monen joukossa. ja nyt kun hukkuvat syyrialaiset on otsikoissa, niin jossain luki että turkin merivartiosto ym on tähän mennessä tänä vuonna pelastaneet/hakeneet/noukkineet merestä 18 000 jotain ihmistä, jotka oli ilm. matkalla kreikkaan. sanotaan nyt 18500 kun en muista oikeaa lukua. se on mun huonolla matikalla 1 pakolainen per  4324 kansalaista. se olis suomessa 1271. kuvittelen mielessäni otsikot, jos suomessa olis merestä pelastettu tänä vuonna tuo kappalemäärä vaikka venäläisiä tai ketä nyt vaan. kansa olisi raivona, joko siksi että nämä tyypit olisi nyt veronmaksajien kontolla, tai siksi, ettei kansainvälien yhteisö tee mitään kys. henkilöiden auttamiseksi kotimaassaan tai missä tahansa muualla kuin Suomessa. mutta eihän maita keskenään voi verrata ja se, miten pakolaisiin suhtaudutaan riippuu paljon aika monesta asiasta.

tuli taas tänään "pitkästä aikaa" (ei niin pitkästä, mutta en tunne muita vastaavia sanontoja) tilanne kun soitin lempilounasravintolaani, etten ymmärtänyt mitä setä luurin päässä sanoi. vaikka turkin ymmärrykseni on ok, niin puhelimessa se jotakuinkin puolittuu. oma moka kun menin kysymään mikseivät ole enää listattuna 'ravintoloiden kotiinkuljetussivulla' (suomessa kai Wolt on melkeen vastaava). mutta näitä tilanteitahan oli etenkin ekoina vuosina tuhansia. se on kummaa mihin kaikkeen tottuu. oli tilanne sitten se, että kaupassa kysyy asiaa X ja myyjä alkaa selittämään ummet ja lammet, tai kotibileissä jossa kokoonnutaan kohottamaan malja  ja joku pitää puheen. ja kaikki menee iloisesti ohi. ja siihen kohtaan nauhaa tulee vaan tyhjää, jos elämistä vertaisi muka-kätevästi nauhoittamiseen. eikä siinä ole mitään outoa, aivot menee hetkeksi pois päältä. ellei sitten ole niin "ikävä" tilanne että asia on todella tärkeä ja pitää pinnistellä ja pyytää toistoa, jotta ymmärtäisi. olennaista on päätellä, oliko asia joka meni ohi, tärkeä vai ei. yleensä voi jonkinlaisella varmuudella todeta, ettei se ole tärkeää, ja todeta vaan että OK, ja vaihtaa aihetta (tai kilistää maljoja muiden kanssa, tietämättä mille). kehonkielen ja prioriteettien arviointi paranee hemmetistä kun on vieraassa maassa...  :D mutta tuo tilanne helpottaa kieltä oppimalla, eihän siinä muuta. silti kätevä taito. tiedonjanoiselle ihmiselle vaan erikoista että oppii 'päästämään' kaiken toisesta korvasta ulos mitä ei ymmärrä. toistin myöhemmin kysymykseni pojalle joka toimitti ateriani ovelle, ja sekin asia selvisi. en tiedä oliko ongelma tosiaan vain puhelimessa, vai sanavalinnoissa vai aksentissa. 

September 01, 2015

valuable things

i headed to the european side of the city this morning. the Finnish consulate moved to Levent (imho not a practical location) and is open twice a week for 2h...  i want to register my marriage in finland, so i took the necessary papers there. its unclear if it will go though however since they actually expected me to send the original certificate.. no way am i letting it out of my sight! so the consul took a copy and i sent that... i guess i will find out soon enough.

since Duolingo app got esperanto added, i started the beginners 'course'. i looked into esperanto 10 or 15 yrs ago, but didnt bother with it. now, with an app, giving it 10 minutes here or there seems like fun. not like i will even be able to communicate in this language, but ...it activates my brain cells, maybe.

so i asked myself what is it about music festivals that i like so much. because i am not a fan of concerts per se, it must be the other stuff?? i find festivals enjoyable of course, but also specifically relaxing. okay, who doesn't relax while out and about partying? it's more than that. i love traveling, but relaxing and letting go still remain a challenge. a festival however, with it's restricted area and program seems to enable my 'relax' switch. there is only so much i can plan and worry about at a festival. in fact, if i feel like my phone &  money & passport are safe, the only thing left is to choose which bands or other acts to see. the options are clear - no need to google or ask for tips. the food is there - just look around and pick, while the selection may vary, prices do not that much. there is a deadline so no need to ponder when and where to move (as you do when traveling without a plan). after a day or so, you know the area and your options. that's very nice, for me. yet, you are constantly surrounded by people & activities that all ooze party and life and colors - so there is certainly no chance of being bored. the liberal and happy atmosphere combined with a limited, familiar area and options seems to make a wonderful combination, and i am for once able to let go a little. if we move next year, festivals may not be an option financially. but perhaps the year after that. lets see.

me chillin' in a swing at Sziget. not as drunk as i look, really, just happy :)

its not New Year but recently i have been trying to have or stick to a couple of resolutions. first one is avoiding chicken and turkey meat because they are factory farmed here, of course. free range (whole) chickens are sold in a few places but a whole chicken, really? not to mention the price is consequently through the roof. i have been trying to do this for the past years, but my success has been up and down. lately im much more strict about it, and since red meat is not healthy nor ecological on daily basis, we have more veggie days than before. i dont cook every day of course, but there are vegetarian options when ordering from outside too.

the second one is sticking to non-animal tested cosmetics. around here that pretty much means MAC.  although fairly recently they started selling in China which means they also need to test products sold there...  so, im running out of options. the list of cruelty free cosmetics companies Peta gives me for Turkey is short. and not a single familiar name on it. i do have enough cosmetics to use for another year or so though. hopefully by then i will live somewhere else and have more options.

Chemical Watch: turkey restricts animal testing of cosmetics

August 31, 2015

lalala... "jenni's wedding planning diary"

and more on the wedding...(...!!)   mainly my musings on the process...

prior to our relocation plans, the only practical reason i had considered a 'pro' of being married was giving and having some legal rights, like being the emergency contact etc.  these things are accentuated especially when u live abroad. anyway, we took a few weeks to think about it and then decided that it feels good, so lets go ahead. we also agreed to just 'get it over and done with', go to a register office and thats that. not in a negative way, but arranging a big ass wedding didnt sound right nor did it seem feasible (financially or otherwise).

while we contemplated the possibility of marriage, i googled for places. i looked at Lisbon, but it was too soon in relation to our holiday approaching, and there were some practical issues related to their requirements. we thought about London, but as we are foreigners and doctor is from outside the EEA, we wouldve had to visit UK 2 times, once to 'apply' for the right to marry, and then a month or two later for the wedding. finland was an obvious option, but with so many friends and family there i had a feeling it could turn stressful and one-sided. and actually we started feeling like getting married in a 3rd country would be nicely impartial and whimsical :) although Vienna is not 100% impartial, me being born there. and my father lives there, that was a practical bonus. since we were heading to Budapest in August for Sziget, and its a few hours from Vienna...  and the Austrian requirements were quite feasible... 
what Austria requires for a foreigner's wedding;
  • certified copies of passports
  • birth certificates (with apostille)*
  • proof of residence*
  • certificate of no impediment (ie. paper saying youre eligible to marry)*
*has to be translated to German by a certified translator
luckily both finnish and turkish magistrates could print birth certificates and certificates of no impediment in german directly. i was especially surprised it was possible in turkey, too. in finland i had to pay for apostilles and wait for a week (i did this during my trip in helsinki). in turkey everything was free and they printed them while you waited - u never know when turkey surprises you...  there was a slight setback when the austrian registry office realized id been born there. they then wanted an Austrian birth certificate from me, but once i gave them info where in Vienna i had been registered (my father had to dig deep to remember!), they found it on a computer and it was fine. that brought up the 2nd issue; i had been given my fathers surname at birth. so i had to get a decree from the finnish magistrate about my surname change.... frustrating. BUT considering i learned this on a friday at noon, and with the help of a friend in Helsinki and priority mail, i arranged the paper to the Viennese registry office by monday morning at 9am....  i think i did well. overall, collecting the papers took us a couple weeks, and they processed everything in about a week.the Viennese registry office (specifically a woman named Bettina) was super helpful, speedy in replying & very friendly, we were really happy with them.

to get a certified copy of my passport, i had to get it translated to turkish, the notary could not otherwise deem it as genuine... this is what a passport translation looks like :D

i always said that i would not get married in turkey. i cant rationalize it, i admit its mostly psychological. its like im just trying to avoid the government and everything official, i dont want any more "legal ties" to this country, although i know that being married here doesnt really tie me to anything...  in fact there are perks in being married to a turk, some things get easier and you get gov health insurance via your spouse. if i want to give any practical excuses, id say the paperwork & compulsory blood tests for a foreigner to marry are too much work. and that the registry offices (or 'wedding halls'), while its considerate that they have made them very festive and pompous, are not to my liking style wise. but its possible to have the ceremony outside the registry office too. also, from the get-go, they would force me to take doctor's surname. i could then file a request to have a double surname, which is now possible for women, but NOT men. finally, while turkeys marriage law is generally european (being adopted from switzerland), divorce can be a bit trickier. hoping it wont go to that, of course, just being rational.

(turkish wedding halls, brought to us by google images - fair use?)

having a small ceremony (and keeping it a secret) was a major lifesaver, considering how stressy i can get even over a house party...  in this process i nevertheless got stressed, mainly for the paperwork in june, when we were waiting for the austrian registry office to confirm everything and it was cutting close to their 'registration deadline'. and when we first decided on Vienna and my father called around, we learned all of august was booked and the first available times were in october! wtf! the whole thing started very nonchalantly, "lets just go to a registry office somewhere, sometime...", but when i set my mind to Vienna & august, i got obsessed, as is typical of me. i pushed my father to call around for cancellation dates and considered nearby municipalities and whatnot. then, thankfully, my father got us a cancellation date on one of the days i had requested.

as the ceremony appointment we got was on the 11th, we missed Florence & the Machine who performed at Sziget on the same day. but such is life. we still made it to the festival on time basically.

it was really hard to keep this a secret from everyone. it also felt like cheating, especially when it came to close friends...:( but it was best for everyone, now no one had to think about gifts, i didnt need to answer questions, i couldnt get myself too worked up, no one could be offended about not being invited... (until after the fact...)...and then we had that small house party when we returned home, anyway.

i was never obsessed with having a wedding, but i did know that if i have one, id want Marianne to shoot it. we met through photography like 10 something years ago...and she became an established London based wedding photographer with a distinctively wonderful style. how cool is that?  now, since we chose vienna and a small budget registry office thing, when i came around to actually thinking about photography, that seemed to go out of the window. i decided to ask her for recommendations though, like maybe she would know someone in vienna. no such luck. but within 24h i had booked her after all! so that escalated quickly... in the end photography was the one thing i really wanted to invest in; i appreciate the craft, i appreciate quality photography, i love Marianne's style and it IS nice to have memories that are visually pleasing. whether wedding or otherwise. jenni wants photos!

photography put some pressure on me though, wardrobe wise etc. while at times i was pretty uninterested in what to wear, the thought of it being etched in jpg's made me really think twice. same for doctor's attire. being so photography focused has its price...

which shirt for doctor??!

we both felt like keeping our own surnames was sensible, and rings were not so important either. we can get something later perhaps, something to wear on special occasions...but i dont see myself wearing the same ring every day everyplace. there was no time to try and find suitable rings anyway, im so picky. 

considered these shoes, too. but in the end felt like shoes deserve some more attention, so they oughta be pink! 

picking a dress was hard. finding anything from a shop here seemed impossible so i headed to eBay.co.uk. new or 2nd hand, i didnt care at this point, i got potential dresses for a few pounds + postage and tried my luck. then i took them to the tailor of course, i hate O-necks and babydoll style and nothing is ever exactly how i want it... 

some candidates;

this is my chosen dress, before and after a visit to the tailor (neck & dress part changed). 

August 30, 2015

yay to finding new places

my friend Carilyn just moved to a new flat in central Istanbul (like, the european center). very nice cute place. i went over to check it out last wednesday, she cooked and we had some wine.

ive been thinking about this relocation thing again (surprise!). during summer and when life is smooth and the political situation "calm" (between elections now, not much happening), life in Istanbul and specifically Kadiköy is sweet. aches to think about leaving this. looking out of the window now, with the sun shining, friendly neighbors and a guaranteed 27-32 degrees for at least a another couples weeks or so... not to mention the new Cuban restaurant downstairs that has REAL nachos!! but i know that's only the other side. when i read about censorship, new laws taking turkey back to stone age, police brutality and occasionally the is general unrest... and the car repair shop takes zero responsibility over the shitty repair work...and i find new moldy corner in the house and i know the landlord doesn't give a shit... and the grocery store cashier cannot see their own mistake after overcharging me and will argue it (prolly cos she is half illiterate, but nevertheless).... mmm. yeah.

no country is perfect though. mold is a worldwide problem anyway, and im sure you get to argue with car repair shops everywhere. but there are various 'levels' of these problems, and some countries have implemented structures to deal with them and to protect consumers.

the open terrace of Rock n Rolla next to our home. hadnt been there for like...months? so we had one drink with doctor the other night. 

i wanted to write a wish list for an ideal city to live in. (there is a pre-condition of english being the official language).
  • a developed/western country
  • wide variety of restaurant foods & cuisines available
  • multi-cultural
  • good public transport options
  • decent quality & modern (yet somewhat affordable) housing
  • possibility to live in a central area, with shops/restaurants/life around
  • big & central city (the capital or of similar importance, a hub for business etc)
  • lots of stuff to do, possible acitivities
  • nice weather, long summer
  • processed foods available (microvaweable meals etc)
  • organic/free range etc foods available
  • large varieties of western brands and products (eg. Cheerios, nachos, H&M, bra strap stickers, steak seasoning with fake smoke taste...)
  • good education system
  • good health care system
  • low income gap
  • with decent travel opportunities (=location and & distance...)
  • political and economical stability
  • safety (general safety on the streets plus safety as a country)
  • generally liberal people & attitudes around (relative, but i mean when i wear a mini, men dont stare)
  • fast internets
  • decent variety of alcohol which is affordable
  • decent to good work opportunities in IT & healcare 
  • good online shopping opportunities
 i was also gonna add the metric system, but meh, whatever. 

i think i just described Helsinki? :D minus weather, multi-culturalism (and language pre-condition). maybe the city size...   anyway im not surprised. i bet finns in finland dont feel like they have half of those things, but everything is so relative...  we are never happy with what we have anyway. thats especially a first-world problem.

i hate when this happens to shoes i really like. its not that i used them so much, the fake leather just deteriorates with time...

video: kitties wrestling
tumblr: anonymous essays on female orgasm
hurriyet daily: on the suffering horses of istanbul island

i cooked from the party leftovers the other day. cheese, sausage, tomatoes... 

August 25, 2015

eating party leftovers

Sinquefield Cup 2015 has started. means chess games live streamed with commentary! so far i am not liking the commentators actually, but okay, whatever. it's still fun listening/watching.
before the wedding i got this idea of getting a notebook and titling it "i love you so much because..." and then writing one reason per page.  as a gift to doctor. so i bought a notebook and soon learned it doesn't have nearly enough pages!! :D i had to go and buy another, this time paying more attention to the page count. 96 pages would have to do!

reasons include "...you are a watermelon specialist" "...you have good teeth" "... you don't drink like a Finn" "...you are humble" "...you are an atheist" "...you show me a lot of attention & affection" and so forth :)

i think i got this pretty genius idea before our holiday. we were gonna use this large fabric tote at the festival, and i sometimes use them in the summer too. but finding your phone from a bag full of stuff can be hell! also, what if it's at the bottom or side and you hit the bag onto something hard and the screen cracks? unlikely, but...  so inside the tote, i sewed a small loop, onto with i can hang this karabiner, which itself has an ankle sock attached to it...  perfect for slipping in a smart phone :D with the stretch the phone won't drop out, yet its easy to put in and pull out, and the sock provides some protection and the whole system makes it easy to locate the phone. yeah, im a genius, no news there.

despite requests to forget about gifts, we did receive some wedding gifts...   

a friend of doctors gave us these fancy turkish coffee cups. im now sure how they match our otherwise ikea-ish style, but well, there they are.
 a friend living in the UK gave us London related things, this cool iluustrated book and shot glasses among them. she knows we plan to move to London, so that was the theme. very thoughtful and cute, it's nice to have *someone* to "support" our plan!

my stepmom gave me this handmade backpack. she makes these out of aluminium can ring pulls.... seriously cool looking stuff. this bag too is very well designed, with a smaller pouch inside. the bags are durable but lightweight. innovative, ecological and different looking. 
soda can tab ring pulls bag DIY

of course a few people wanted to give a traditional turkish wedding gift, the gold coin. in turkey, its usually cash (bills) or a gold coin - no other options. there are a few different coin sizes - i think this one is from the bigger. no idea of value - too much!

another friend gave this cool frame where we could stick photos or cards to. we dont really do photo printing so maybe cards then...

Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival just made a whole load of films (which theyve previously screened) available for online viewing. awesome!

August 24, 2015

'summer 2015 party' report

our house party was pretty epic, even if i say so myself. but we have witnesses that agree :) the price tag was pretty epic too - i estimated it to come around to turkish monthly minimum salary. but that was a choice we made, wanted to go all out for once and share an unforgettable experience with our friends :)

food wise, i only made a salmon pasta salad, and Carilyn helped me in putting it together. also i accepted one "food donation"; finnish meatballs from Melisa. the rest of the stuff, turkish pastries, mezes, chocolate chip cookies we bought. oh, and i did make some cocktail snacks with foreign cheese :) we also ordered pizzas - even one with real prosciutto - so no one was left hungry!!
on the drinks side of things, doctor prepared fruity jello shots.
i like gelatin too so went for the vodka-liqueur infused gummy bears. berry vodka, cointreau and lime juice (not sold in turkey so doctor hand squeezed almost half a liter...). 24h in the fridge.

i also studied cocktails and bought glass jars to prepare drinks beforehand (make the drink, place jar with lid in fridge, or freezer, if prepping just before serving). i made 23 different cocktails using vodka, gin and tequila as base spirits. now that was fun! import liquor is so expensive in turkey you dont see middle class drinking cocktails...almost ever.
then i made a drink of my own from this finnish sweet & sour, licorice based candy (Turkin Pippuri hot & sour). infused a bag of candy in vodka, in a glass jar. it came out syrup-y, first tasting like cough cyrup, but then giving a sour back kick. it was well liked. i served it in shot glasses.

my cocktail recipes on our kitchen cupboards.

individualized punch glasses, of course...   (plastic table cover makes cleaning easier!)

 our fridge was packed!

 the guys corner...   and pizza leftovers.

for toasting, and pure enjoyment, we acquired 5 bottles of sparkling wine. and our guests surprised us with 3 more, as a gift. somehow they were all finished. for 17 guests, some of whom left early, even i thought this was impressive (considering all the other alcohol consumed, from whiskey to wine to finnish salmari, and the punch and shots of course).

today i have heard reports of extended hangovers. in addition, 2 individuals 'found each other', and exited the party together.... so i consider that a success.

the minus with holding parties is that with quite a bit of focus spent on "hostessing", and so many people, you dont really get to talk with anyone. you exchange a few words here and there but thats about it. nevertheless, i love hosting parties.

i think we went to bed around 4. the last couple hours were dance oriented, were were only a handful of people, getting somewhat drunk, and air guitaring ensued.

the smokers formed another party on the balcony. where my dear friend Carilyn also gave a speech (under pressure from others). it was appropriately short and sweet ending in something like "...and here's to doctor and jenni not marrying their cousins." :D there is a reason she was pushed to say something.

i got off pretty easy hangover wise. i woke up feeling kind of decent, and went for water right away, and as i felt a headache maybe coming on, i made the executive decision to get a hair of the dog. cos once a hangover goes bad, it's pretty hard to fight off. and whether it was that drink, or just luck, my day has been ok. some of our friends stayed overnight in our guest room and were less lucky. i think its also that doctor had me drink water before going to bed...  (reason #127 why i love him).