48 Hours Away From Ankara: Part 3

08:30 AM, Monday: I wake up and start my day by watching a few videos.

09:30 AM, Monday: We have our breakfast, and we had a good discussion so as to when should I leave. To be honest, I need to be at Ankara by 09:30 PM (this is why it’s called “48 hours away” in the first place).

10:30 AM, Monday: Well, I try to calm down and compose something (mainly because I don’t want to hurt the feelings of my gracious hosts, which happens to be Recep’s family). I must find a way to explain to them that I must be back by this evening!

11:00 AM, Monday: Ramazan comes to the house to help with the house repairs.

11:20 AM, Monday: I have a talk with Recep’s grandma. Was really nice and good.

11:40 AM, Monday: I start banging away at the keyboard while following a few Dota 2 matches.

01:00 PM, Monday: Only five hours left before leaving. Well, I need to write it all up! In the meantime, a friend of mine asks for a few short stories. I give her whatever I have in my online archives.

02:00 PM, Monday: Four hours left. We eat a bit. Again, his family is reluctant to let me go, but I know very well that I have made my decision, and I hope that they will understand. Recep knows that I am in a bit of a tight spot right now (after all, the school year is about to start and whatnot).

02:30 PM, Monday: After looking outside, I bang at the keyboard again while Recep and Ramazan continue painting the house.

03:30 PM, Monday: I take a break and take a much-needed bath.

03:45 PM, Monday: I continue banging on the keyboard and we buy tickets to Ankara.

05:00 PM: I get ready to leave.

05:30 PM: We leave the house.

06:00 PM: Goodbye Iskilip. See you at the end of the year! Will miss everyone, and will hope to see everyone again (except Sefa maybe :D )

09:30 PM: Ankara once again. Whew.

Boom!

Everyday, we are loaded with information from many sources, such as news portals, the television, the radio, the newspapers,  and social media, and sure enough, one comes to the point that the information is not processed properly, and is simply overwhelmed (take note: the information is not even consumed!)

We are also familiar with the well-known maxim that says “common sense is not so common”, and to be pretty much honest, it is true that it is hard to hold on to one’s sanity, let alone common sense nowadays, so the question is: Why is this all happening?

The thing is that it takes a lot of willpower not to lose one’s sanity over the news that dominates the day. Whether it is irreponsible reporting, rumours-turned-into-facts, or sugar-coated pieces of information, every article that one reads makes the mind stop thinking and turn to the emotions instead, which is precisely what these info items are for.

Personally, I read AlterNet, The Guardian, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Zaman (a Turkish daily), and certain news forums that specialize in one field or the other (i.e. defense, health, intelligence, etc.) I select the things that I read, and I select the topics that I focus on so that my mind would not be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information and text that comes my way. In fact, whenever I feel that my mind shuts down (a good indication that it is not processing the things that I read), I immediately close the browser and move on to other things such as games.

Basically, the point that I want to make is that the information we are faced with does not determine whether we will be overloaded or not (though it is also an important factor), it is simply one’s control and willpower to segregate the information that one recieves each day. If we are able to control it (and read whatever information is shown to us with a grain of salt), then we would not have to talk about losing our sanity in the first place!

In addition, common sense means that one is able to act objectively despite the “leads” that are given, and without allowing one’s self to be too immersed so that one does not see the picture, then a person does not need to talk about losing one’s sanity. This is why it’s called “news”; they are “sterilized anecdotes” of events that have been seen by the eye, or to be more precise, events that interact with the five senses.

Overall, I say that we people are overloaded with information that flows through every medium 24/7 and updates almost every minute. What is left to us to do is to ensure that the overload never affects the “wiring of our brains” in the first place, and that can be summarized in this way: Self-control, discipline, perspective, insight, and willpower. If we have these five things, then we can live in this age where information is everywhere.

Remember, information is power.

It’s all up to us whether we will be able to harness it properly or not.

This question is posted as today’s prompt, and I would like you to read the answers of others too!

Thanks for sailing with this blog! Stay high!

48 Hours Away from Ankara: Part 2

07:30 PM, Sunday: After taking a bath and watching some matches, Recep’s mother call us to have some dinner. It would prove to be a very important point…heck, she cooks liver really well!

08:00 PM, Sunday: We go out to Murat’s house. We reach that place around thirty minutes later, and we find Murat watching a television show all alone. Well…

08:30 PM, Sunday: The notorious gamg comes in: Ibrahim (the business partner), Emre (the muftu’s son), Ibrahim 2, Ramazan (the fireman), and the extremely notorious Sefa (God…why this?) They start playing a game called “okey”.

09:30 PM, Sunday: We consume a whole cake.

10:30 PM, Sunday: They eat something called “çig köfte”, which is a crazy concoction of spices and whatnot. Well, I proced to call the boys back.

11:00 PM, Sunday: We eat ice cream, straight from the famous Park Ice Cream (Lipa, a patisserie comes in mind for their delicious ice cream). So sweet man!

11:35 PM, Sunday: We go home. I was bored by the endless rounds of “okey”. Mehhhhh.

12:15 AM, Monday: I did not go to sleep immediately because I tried to read some things.

02:00 AM, Monday: Sleeping time boys. It’s 7 in the morning in the Philippines!

Part 3 of my travels is coming!

Stay tuned!

48 Hours Away from Ankara: Part 1

Here is how it begins: I take 48 hours away from the noise of Turkey’s capital in order to visit a family and a good friend. So here’s everything:

09:30 PM, Saturday: We leave Ankara in a car that is full of dried goods. There were six of us: Recep, Ibrahim (his elder brother), Onur (his nephew), me, and two unknowns. Whatever.

10:00 PM, Saturday: We have dinner at a restaurant in Pursaklar. I eat

10:30 PM, Saturday: We ride on to Iskilip.

12:30 AM, Sunday: I sleep. Zzzz.

08:30 AM, Sunday: I wake up, download a good deal of music, watch videos, and place some wagers on certain things.

08:45 AM, Sunday: I decide to post my “20 things” challenge on Facebook.

10:30 AM, Sunday: Recep wakes up, receives an invitation, and brings me to a ceremony.

11:00 AM, Sunday: We eat the notoriously delicious Iskilip Dolması (basically rice soaked in beef broth and cured beef).

11:30 AM, Sunday: We return to the house, had a chat with Recep’s grandma. He should be so lucky to have his grandma alive…

12:30 PM, Sunday: We bring Onur to Seyithan’s bicycle shop, hidden at a certain corner of town. After another half an hour of bickering and dealing, Recep finally buys the bike for his nephew.

01:30 PM, Sunday: We reach the house. This time around, we whisked off to a nearby town called Çankırı to help Ibrahim and his team load some tanned cowskins.

03:30 PM, Sunday: We reach Çankırı without much incident. I listened to music all the way there.

04:30 PM: With the job done, me, Emre, Recep, and Murat go back to Iskilip. I listen again to music, while they talk about all sorts of things.

06:00 PM: We reach the house, and we take turns taking a bath…

Basically, there’s still around 26 hours and 39 minutes before I step back to Ankara again, so I’m hoping that I would be able to have more chronicles!

Stay tuned!

Thanks for sailing with this blog!

So?

When was the last time I was stumped by a question?

Is this even a serious question?

You are trolling me, right?

Jokes aside, I do get stumped a lot of times, and believe me, I only have my answers to these questions after a very long time. For instance, there is this one moment when I was asked whether I hated a certain person, and believe me, I was stuck for a full five minutes while we were having dinner! Thankfully, another friend switched the topic, and I felt much more comfortable.

There were also times when I was not supposed to tell where a certain person is, and I tend to get stumped whether they say the words “you’re lying”, “you are just joking”, or “well, if that’s what you say”…Yeah, that’s what reverse psychology does to you.

And here is the thing:

The last time when I get stumped on a question was when I was asked a question of an extremely personal nature. I just tried to show a poker face and I said the following words:

“Oh come on man, there’s a lot of time to think about that in the future.”

The truth is, I never, ever wanted to answer that question, mainly because it is extremely personal. It is simple as that!

Today’s prompt is Curve Balls

Hope you continue sailing! Thanks for your time!

My Fantasy Dubs

Well, everyone has their own fantasy, and one of those fantasies (which applies to writers) is having a book published in all conceivable formats, whether it be hardbound, PDF, epub, or audio…I guess I am also fantasizing about that very day, and of course, why should I not try to live my fantasy inside my mind, no?

If I were to have my blog turned into an audio book, I would like to have anime voice actors to do it. Why is it so?

It is because they would be able to show and to project all the emotions or points that I have lined out in my books, and hey, who does not want a Japanese voice, no? Seriously though, as evidenced by the popularity of the anime shows that they dub (at least in the original Japanese), their voices lend a sense of legitimacy to the works that they dub, thus furthering its purpose as a work of art.

Other than that, there’s someone whom I’d like to see my books turned into audio in the future: Let’s call this person as “XoXo”, and this person has got a great voice and great personality at the same time.

I’d think that I’ll do everything in order for this person to dub one of my books. I think it would be really nice!

I guess this is the way that I want to lay out my fantasy as a writer for now. I think I’ll just to step up and to improve my craft more!

Others have said different things. I urge you to read them!

Thanks for sailing with this blog! Good luck and have fun!

Whatever, royalties! (Line System)

We don’t care about your kingdoms

We don’t care about your royalties

We don’t care about having a life

A life that has too much glamour and fame

We don’t care about getting heaps

Of gold, silver, and diamond

We don’t care about your entourage

Because we know that inside you don’t have the power

Because we know that royalty is no more

That it is just a symbol of old money

Of one age that has been discarded a long time ago

What we care about

Is the people who rise

The people who rise from obscurity

With the means to change everything

Or even if they can’t change the world

Then change the things that are around them

Some will even say

That inner change is important

That purity of the heart is important

That having a strong values system is important

But I’m no moralist

And I will not claim high ground this time

For I know that I’m a human

Only a human with its own potentialities and weaknesses

And to those royals out there:

Whatever punks. We don’t care!

………………..

I am happy with my own life right now

I am happy with my friends and family and the people around me

I am feeling what it is to be human

I ain’t got much money

I ain’t got much fame

I ain’t got much success

But I do not care at all

Because I know that if I work hard and select my choices nicely

Because I know that if I get the right stuff and connect with the right people

Because I know that if I take care of my sanity and keep it under my skin

I will be up there

I will be up there

I will be up there

Without the need for old money

And then I can say to the next generation:

I DID IT EVEN IF I AM NOT ROYALTY!

BITCH PLEASE!

………………..

For more stories, please come here!

Thanks for sailing with this blog, even though I must say that I’m not really that interested in royalty at all!

Hope you got it!

More Meetings

At a bistro in Ankara, a professional who is in her late twenties came to Era’s table. Era is worried so as to whether he will be selected into the national writing team; after all, he has not received a response from his friends back in the Philippines.

Puzzled, he just stares at the woman. She started by saying:

“Hey.”

“Yeah?”

“I presume you’re Era Kruger?”

“Yeah. And what of it?”

He presented her ID, which identified her as an instructor at Warwick University in England. She did not look Caucasian; in fact, she looked more like an Asian…Her name was Assistant Professor Aiko Ritter, Department of Science Writing.

Then, she took out a large manila envelope and asked him to open it.

Era’s expression suddenly changed from a neutral to a shocked tone.

“You’re not kidding, right? I mean hey, what did I do to notice your attention?”

“You write pretty good. We thought you would be a perfect addition to the crew.”

“We?”

“Read.”

The top of the document says “FLORA”, which stood for “Finest Literature, Oratory, and Art”, a foundation based in Berlin, Germany. Looking at the roster, he noticed that some of his favorite authors were there!

“So where do I fit in?”

“You start tomorrow. There’s a USB, which will install programs on a computer, allowing you to be in contact with us 24/7 as long as you have Internet.”

“I see. Thanks for the offer!”

“Welcome to the club. And oh, there’s a smaller envelope there; I think you might need some money for necessities…”

Then the woman left and Era was still gazing at the envelope.

He will never know where that envelope will bring him, but he holds on. After all, it’s a chance of a lifetime!

Come here for more stories and thoughts! Thanks for reading…and have a good time sailing with this blog!

So Close, No Matter How Far

Sometimes, we think that people are too far away, thousands of miles away that they can’t be seen or heard or contacted. The truth is that they’re much nearer than we think. The reason is that these people define our lives in numerous ways, and there are even times that we don’t notice that we are already adopting their ways and value systems.

Of course, the opposite is pretty much true. We don’t need to look too far: As we see the stories that unfold on television, we can clearly see that even though certain people are surrounded by fame and fortune and friends, deep inside, they feel alone and depressed and whatnot…to the point that they think that discarding this world is actually worth it.

There’s just one way to explain this: The value of people is not in their physical worth. No matter how much mass media and mainstream music teach us to “raise and wave our hands” and “be glamorized by money and fame”, there are still a lot of us who have kept sane enough to realize that it is just a sham. An illusion.

Despite all the times that we have lost faith in ourselves and in the rest of our kind, there’s always a way to do some fundamental good. I am not talking about religion or whatnot: I am trying to say that happiness can be achieved by everyone, regardless of race, language, or creed…and that happiness comes from inside.

Happiness is a choice. It’s just pretty much about how you choose to do it, and whom do you choose to share it with.

Of course, I am not saying that every moment of a person’s life would be happy and jolly and gay, but if we just try to exert a little bit more effort to be happy both inside and out, wouldn’t it make a difference?

This is happiness.

Happiness is not about money, fame, or things.

It’s about the fact that one smiles at the end of the day, no matter what happens.

It’s about the fact that one attains peace of mind.

This is real happiness…

Games and Stuff

Life begins with a rise of the sound that is heard during the midnight and which is extinguished in the light.

One part of my life, apart from writing and traveling (whenever I have the money to do so, of course, is gaming). That basically means playing games at a laptop or at an internet cafe, and that means spending quite a good amount of money and time thinking about the latest games and stuff.

Here is basically the history of some of the games and/or series that I have played in my freaking life:

1. Warcraft III and all the fun maps that come with it

A lot of happy moments come when the word “Warcraft” comes to mind. To start with, there are maps such as Legion TD and Castle Fight, and there are also maps such as DotA, LOD, and others…Then there are the usual maps, the ones that are being used in the ladder, and yeah, I can play Undead only proficiently, and even that, with a very bad micro gaming strategy.

Well, then, there are also some very good things that come with playing Warcraft. It is really fun playing all sorts of fun maps, and even though some of the stats aren’t recorded, the games are just fun and exciting to play!

It’s dead by now. However, the time I spent with it was really fun.

RIP Warcraft.

RIP.

Rest in peace.

2. Starcraft

Was fun. My hands are too slow for this kind of shit though. I am afraid that I can’t keep up. I’ll be honest with this.

3. DOTA 2

Well, DOTA 2 is basically one of the hottest games in the world right now, and the thing is that it is extremely competitive and everyone really wants to play this game and whatnot. Of course, it is a bit fun, but seriously speaking, many people are really trying hard, and many people would blame you for each mistake that you have done (I escape the blame game pretty much easily, though).

The only reason that I played this game was that there are friends who have played this game and that I wanted to play with my friends (they learned to appreciate the other games pretty soon enough, though).

I’m out of DOTA 2 for now. I am waiting for mods, and I am waiting for new modes to play!

Whatever DOTA.

Whatever.

See you much later.

4. Command and Conquer (all games)

Another painful proof that RTS is not for the likes of me. Well, the campaigns were really nice though!

5. Battlefield

This series was one of which I have played when I was a freaking child, and it was really nice to be honest. The maps were great, the tanks were great, and everything was just amazing! Basically something that I learned to play overtime, and something that I extremely enjoyed due to the objective-style nature of the game.

Bad thing is that I only got to play this thing with my friends rarely, and Philippines’ crap internet made sure that I never, ever had the chance to play it online with hordes of gamers from around the globe.

That was a nice game.

A nice game.

And yes.

I am hoping to play it again!

6. Age of Empires

What the freaking hell is this game anyway?

7. Call of Duty Series

This is basically the best amongst that I have played, not just for its single player campaigns, but most especially for its multiplayer aspect as well! Playing with players from Europe and elsewhere made sure that while my skills were honed, my fun was also loaded to the max! I played all sorts of Call of Duty maps and mods and games and yeah it was one hell of a ride!

This was the only series where I was almost addicted. In my first year here at Turkey, I used to play 6 hours of COD a day, for a total of 30 hours a week, and every minute that I spent was really worth it!

I’ll admit that my hands were strained to the limit.

But it was okay.

And yes!

I am really waiting to play this game again…and again…and again!

8. Counter-Strike

Pretty much Counter-Strike as it is. Well, I’m happy enough with the games that I have played, even though some were just bad.

I guess that’s my attempt at “meta” writing or whatever it is.

Hope you enjoyed reading!

This is for: Full Tanka

Thanks for sailing with me and my blog!