Clap Clap Clap

Apparently, I’ll never get away from a country’s capital, at least for now.

After studying for four years in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, where the metro turns into a public shower on rainy days and where the mayor is more focused on crazy projects than upgrading the city’s utilities, I am back.

In my country’s capital. Manila, Manila, where traffic is a pain in the neck, I begin my teaching (not-so-career) and even though it is not my (FINAL CAREER DESTINATION), I really find teaching stuff interesting. There are a lot of things that are extremely new to me (though it may sound weird to other people), mainly because I did not do these things as a part of my life back in the past.

But then, it is time to step up and take the mantle. Here are some of them:

1. Routinely ironing clothes: I never needed to do it, except for special occasions. Then I realized that doing stuff like this is also a measure of self-respect and proof that I can handle myself properly. Heck, apparently, this is the minimal standard of being an adult.

2. Standing straight up: I never reminded myself that I should stop slouching when I walk in public, that is, until pretty much recently. Damn. I guess I need to straighten up if I don’t want to turn into a letter “C” or a letter “L” by the time I get old. It is pretty hard to remind myself to keep it 100 percent up, but I guess I need to start being conscious of my body.

3. Getting some weight: Unlike those people who need to shed off some stuff off their body, I need to get a bit of fat (or muscle) mainly due to the fact that I am underweight. I calculated my body mass index (BMI) and I found out that I need at least three kilograms in order to reach my normal weight standard. That means a lot of eating and sleeping. Oh well. These are just some of the things that are “new” to me. I’ll be damned!


On another note there are many new things that I am experiencing at the moment, aside from the ones where I almost get myself killed (yeah, all thanks to electricity.)

I am seeing the thrill of living one’s life where everything is based on the way you deliver. Then, even though I have no idea how to interact with different sorts of people, I try to do it in my own way because I feel that trying something is better than doing nothing.

Another thing is that I am getting the feel now of being a person who lives here in Manila: It is quite different in the sense that people are more cosmopolitan and that people are more varied in their opinions on certain things.

I want to see not the bright lights of the city, but I want to see its soul.

I want to acquire new things, new skills, new stuff…meet people, make some noise together, create new approaches and collaborate with different personalities.

The last part does not sound like me, considering that I prefer to do things solo in the past.

Guess what, there are some opportunities here and there!


Then, someone told me that maybe I should learn how to take things slowly.

Here I am, taking things REAL SLOW like a turtle would do, Ain’t enough for you?


Some things are just hard to control.

The easiest way to put it would be trying to tame a zoo that is full of mixed specimen inside.

But then, it is part of the challenge. Besides, if people succeed in doing it, then it is wonderful anyway.


Overall, I see and feel weird things.

So mixed, so chromatic and so twisted.

Well, I am absolutely looking forward to the way that it all pans out!

Real Life

I really love music as long as it sounds nice and as long as it has a bit of meaning behind it.

Here’s a song that I found on the interwebs:

I feel electrified when I hear the song!


Speaking of being electrified, I met Death in the face when I tried to charge my tablet at a socket in the guesthouse that I’m staying in. I could clearly see the electric current inside the charger and the air suddenly reeked of ozone.

Thank God my reflexes were quite fast that day. Believe me when I say that it was a live event, considering that there were quite a number of people in the room.

Mr. Mikail said the following after the said event:

“For years, we’ve been putting stuff in that socket, but this is the first time it has happened. Something’s different with you.”

I also really wonder why some things have to be different when it comes to my life. Yeah, sure, my life is unique, but then, there are times that it just gets out of control.

This year’s going to be electrifying. I said that it will be a hype train back at the beginning of the year and I guess I lived up to the hype in my own sort of way.

Even if it meant that I have to learn some things the hard way.


Okay, now I am an elementary teacher and I have scratched my head during the first day of my work.

I realized that I need to step up my physical appearance, not just for the job that I am in, but to prove to the rest of the world that I can clearly take care of myself…and that I value myself highly.

Then, I noticed that I needed to adapt to the new environment (that I’ve got myself in) and that I needed to stop being noisy and talkative.

Within a few days, I learnt how to do all of the stuff that “normal people” do. Sure, it looked great on me, but at the same time, I felt like I was undergoing a freaking metamorphosis that may redefine me once again.

I guess that is the awakening that real life is giving me and I just hope that it gets better.


It is actually my first long stay here in the capital. Some things are expensive and some of the things that I want are basically unattainable, at least in the short term.

There are many interesting places and spots that I want to see: after all, I want to see how it all works out as I go through my first year of “real life”.

One thing is for sure: There is almost zero room for mistakes now. A person has basically three strikes before all hell breaks loose and I don’t want to use all of those three chances at once.

Many things aren’t the same anymore, but I know that I can adapt if I stay strong and if I focus on the things that I need tgo do.


Well, I don’t miss Turkish food at all.

But I certainly miss many of the good memories that I have experienced especially in my last two years in Turkey.

If I ever get a chance to go back to Turkey (or to go elsewhere), I would certainly want to grab that opportunity.


Someone mentioned that being a teacher at a Turkish high school here in the Philippines is not easy.

I’d bet that notion is true, so I guess what I need to do is to make a lot of things work out – before I get booted sooner or later. in fact, the guy told one of my friends that “you will only last a maximum of two years before you tap out.”

I’m lucky to have a back line in case sh*t becomes real. I just hope that my friends also have that kind of fallback.

Because you will never know when the hammer hits you in the face.


Some of those who read may ask why in the world I don’t hype things too much anymore.

The truth is, I want to have a look at things in a positive way, but sometimes, people get tired.

My last year in Turkey brought me to the very limit of my patience.

I don’t want people to experience the “gray and black” stuff that we did back there.

If not for my friends at school and my “job” as a “writer”, believe me, I would have tapped out a long time ago.


I’d like to end this long wall of text by saying that I am looking forward towards having a constructive experience in life.

I don’t want to reach the age of 30 without having done anything substantial in this world, so I really, really want to learn right now and hope that I will be able to apply everything to the best of my ability.

Unless I get totally wrecked, I’ll keep on believing!

Mini Posts…

So I finally get to go back to Manila after a week or so of rest and recreation (R&R). I really had an unexpectedly wonderful time with my friends doing all sorts of things such as swimming, trekking, bowling, eating and whatnot. I guess that it works out pretty well for me! Yay!

I guess I will have a lot of good memories to look back when I start doing my job in a few weeks.

I still wonder how will it all work out – guess I will just have to cross my fingers and see what happens next!

Nuts.

On Being Free

I said that I will feel better once I come back to my city and it has proven to be both true and false for a couple of reasons.

It was true because I finally get to see everyone and everything after that taxing four-year adventure back in Turkey. It felt very good to be on terra firma once again and it felt great to see the streets that one used to see in previous years. The thing is…nothing is the same anymore.

People live with the threat of war and conflict over their heads and to be perfectly honest, I was totally shocked when I saw that the city is populated by strangers.

The city that I used to know is slowly disappearing under a combination of blood, fear and death.

Blood that comes from the battles that have been fought in the past…and will be fought in the future. I have saw what it meant once…and even seeing war as a spectator has been more than enough for me to stop writing war fiction.

Fear of being disjointed, of losing a home that is once known and familiar — fear of being caught up in a quagmire which has no end in sight. Except for the people that I knew back in the past, I know nobody here — many have left for different places to create a diaspora of a different sort.

Death – that is both literal and figurative as people die every single day in the city, while at the same time having the values of the city die slowly as people struggle to redefine their identity in an ever-changing world.

I will miss the beauty of my city soon — a city which I have chosen to call my own.

Nothing lasts forever, it seems.

However, what remains of my city remain beautiful: The trees, the sun, the air and the sea…all of these have been given by God in much abundance – and surely enough, everything is just wonderful.

As I go around with my elder brother, I kept on having my mind blown by the scenery that I keep seeing on road. I missed seeing the greens of my place, that’s for sure. In fact, there are certain places that I have saw for the first time in my life and I really thought that it was nice to see those spots.

Then at night, I keep seeing the Milky Way whenever it is not cloudy. I keep on looking at the stars, hoping that a shooting star comes from above and fulfill my wishes. Funny, ain’t it?

The only time that I saw that kind of sky in Turkey was on a winter night, 28th Dec. 2014 and that was the day I felt that there was something else awaiting for me – and up to this day, I really wonder what the future holds in an unpredictable world such as this one.

Maybe I should get my own spaceship and fly above the sky. LOL.

Not writing anything of substance for almost a week felt extremely weird. However, it also felt refreshing as I did not have to think much about the things that my editor will tell me.

It is really relaxing to do nothing but to spend some time with the people you consider as friends.

Oh well.

Then I realize that I need to do some stuff pretty soon.

In a few days, I will say hi to real life, where appearance is considered to be a very large part of personality and where first impressions matter the most.

I would like to take this one pretty much seriously, because it would set my tempo and outlook for the rest of my working life.

Career?

Not yet. I am just starting.

I would like to play to win this time around.

Any sort of win in life will do, as long as I have earned it in the right way.

I really wonder what should I do when I start doing stuff as a teacher.

I feel that I should be able to deliver the goods and be able to bring new stuff to the table.

I want to be very good this time around. I want to break the sky.

I want that feeling of fulfillment.

Here is a song that reflects the curious state of mind in which I want to know…a lot:

 

Lyrics:

There’s something about you,
I wanna know,
I wanna know.
There’s so many questions,
I wanna know,
I wanna know.
Smiling at strangers in the dark,
I wanna know you,
Yeah I wanna know you.
Tell me the secrets in your heart,
I wanna know you,
yeah I wanna know you.

I’m feeling nervous,
Do you feel the same?
Do you feel the same?
Your smile makes me curious about you, about you.

Smiling at strangers in the dark,
I wanna know you,
Yeah I wanna know you.
Tell me the secrets in your heart,
I wanna know you,
yeah I wanna know you.

Pigeons and Butterflies

Birthdays, Games and Sweat

To start things with, it is the birthday of one of my friends and thus, we celebrated that moment with seven rounds of Call of Duty 4 at the internet cafe; I can say that it was one of the best days of my life thus far.

To be more precise, it has been one of the most memorable games of my life here in Turkey for two reasons: First, I get to enjoy a game with my friends without having to worry about carrying them in the game. (The last time we played together, we needed to play against a Turkish clan and I had to lead my team to victory.) Second, I get to enjoy my pistol kills: No matter what others may say, I showed that I can play in a relaxed way without trying to micromanage people!

wpid-wp-1436387710054.png
Well, not much love for those who try to challenge me in in CoD!

Afterwards, I get to have lots of gifts during the day. However, it was extremely tiring to walk under the sun (I also had to pay the house bills along the way) and it was a bit disorienting at times. Still, by the end of the day, I almost filled up my bag with goods and I was able to say my farewells to a lot of people out there. It was a good fast-breaking dinner overall, but then again, I was extremely tired that all I could do was to sit it out somewhere and hope that I could have the energy to continue doing stuff the next day.

wpid-wp-1436385947062.jpeg
Tadaa! Me, my friends and whoseover else is in the pic.

A Wednesday Full Of Farewells

It is a Wednesday and I have just woke up from a very short sleep. The thing is that the house back in Cebeci does not have any electricity and that we are supposed to get out of the house because they are about to close it down.

Well, I guess it is time for me to really remind myself that I will be leaving and that I will be teaching some children back in my country. In the afternoon, I went to Middle East Technical University for the very last time to say goodbye to my friends.

I found Recep, Mucahit and Nedim all in the same room and it was really nice to see them for one final moment. They’ve been a great part of my life here in Turkey, so I guess I am going to miss them…a lot.

11714374_410383042487190_1833234969_n
One last time.

Then, there’s a dinner at a home in Çankaya where some Filipinos live – a sort of despedida party as four of us are leaving Turkey pretty soon. The dinner was great and the food was extremely delicious.

We also left them with some sort of memento – a little thank you for the things that they did for us over the past year or so. Afterwards, it was time to go home and take all our crap out of the house towards another place. It was extremely tiring, but what else can be done about it? Then, it’s time for more photos…


Going For A Final Splash

Today is basically the last “legit” day of my four-year stay here in Turkey’s capital and I really wonder how many farewells I still need to do. I know that I still have to do a lot but I am afraid that I do not have much time to do it.

Then, I had to say goodbye to Akif at a fast-breaking dinner. I’ll admit that it was a little bit rushed, but I guess I can’t do anything else about it.

wpid-wp-1436385956855.jpeg
Ankara, you’re wild, you’re a bit interesting, BUT you won’t be missed.

At the moment, I have taken a sort of pseudo-break from my newspaper; after all, I am about to go back to my country and I want to spend some time for myself. For now though, I really need to pack my bags and make sure that I am able to buy all the things that I need to buy.

Heck, saying goodbye this time around is a bit tiring – after I take care of my remaining paperwork tomorrow morning, all I want to do is to rest and close my eyes…until my editor said otherwise. WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD MY FRIEND!

Anyways, it will be a long night on the road to Istanbul some 24 hours from now and from then on, Turkey will be a distant memory…and I hope that I do not forget it.

Just one thing: Ankara, you’ve been a damn spoiled brat, you were not cooperative and you are nothing but a bloody teenager who wears makeup. Sure, I’ll miss the people and the moments that I spent in the city.

But Ankara, you won’t be missed. Sorry, not sorry.

 

And here’s a song to top it up:

Opinions and Thoughts

As of today, I have crossed another line off the list of the things that I am supposed to do here in the city of Ankara. I have visited the mausoleum of the country’s national hero, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

I must say that the architecture was colossal and wonderful. I also liked the fact that there was a garden around the complex and believe me, it was extremely refreshing.

It was a good visit. Yeah, it was great to see another one of Turkey’s iconic monuments and get something off it!


Once upon a time, one of my editors told me that being bad is better than being good in some ways.

When you are bad, you have at least two options:

1. Since you are bad, you don’t need to try anymore and you don’t need to waste your time trying that certain field in which you suck.

2. Being bad leaves only with one road to being better: Since you don’t have the talent, you’ll reach that maximum ceiling pretty soon. At least you know that is your maximum level!

But then you know you are good and in fact you are better than a lot of the guys out there…and then you choke at the vital moment? That is just horrifying and head-wrecking to watch!

I wonder how those guys at the booth feel after being unable to deliver (I’m referring to a North American Counter-Strike team called Cloud 9).

Why can’t you keep the advantage, boys?

Then again, you are fighting against the best team in the world at that game.

But still, just make it 3-2 at the worst – and don’t lose in that fashion again!

Having a very good advantage and just unable to close it out is just outright ridiculous.


Sometimes, I really wonder if I can take a break from writing in general. I do not have a writer’s block or something, but I feel that I am just going mechanical – though I am still writing with all of my heart.

Then again, writing is one of those few fallbacks that I have when I face a lot of frustrations in life.

Nice catch-22 to think on, I guess.


Tomorrow, I am planning to go to a museum. But then, maybe I’ll not have the time for it.

Then, sometimes, I am getting tired of doing things solo.


Consistency was never a part of my life. Like I’m always aboard on a hype train where I feel the greatest highs and the worst lows at different points of the year.

I got my new highs and new lows too. I just said quite some time ago that 2015 is my year and it turns out to be quite true in unexpected ways.

Then again, I’d like some consistency and static in my life right now.

I’d like a strong foundation to build the rest of my life on, because talent – and talent alone will not help me do much.


One of the best ways to start being consistent would be my writeups and my newspaper work in general, because here is what another one of my editors said:

“You look like a Mozart in which you write based on what you feel. You write differently each week and you experiment with new stuff every now and then. I don’t say that is bad and I see very huge things coming for you.”

In the same vein, he said:

“Learn how to be consistent. Look at your best articles. See what worked. It is the same with games; once you get tired of that same strategy, then go for the next one!”

Then he also mentioned something of note:

“Clear your heart.”

I’ll do whatever I can!


Sometimes, I am tempted to say that life is just a lie.

But then, that’s just being ingrate and stupid.

It is too tiring to hope at times. Try it.


Nothing in life comes easy. But then, the greatest things in life started at a dim point, no?

Well, I just hope that it will be worth the headaches now.

Time To Create A New World

By the end of tomorrow, June 28, 2015, I would have graduated from Middle East Technical University and I would have moved on to the so-called “real world”. I would start my work as a teacher at a Turkish charter school in the Philippines, while at the same time working as a electronic sports journalist at one of the country’s largest periodic publications. I wonder if I really spent my four years of university in a meaningful and productive way.

Did I leave a lot of good memories? I hope that I did so. As for the bad ones, I wish that I did not do them. I am aware that I will be leaving a lot of baggage behind, both literally and figuratively. Will I be able to carry them all? Absolutely not. Will I be able to to bring the ones that matter? I am not sure if I can even do just that.

Will I be the same person that I was during college? I do not really know if I can say that in a confident manner. Will I turn into a person that is unrecognizable by the people around me? I hope that I would not become that guy, but believe me, sometimes, one part of me just wants to shed it all and undergo into a metamorphosis, into a place where there is no return. Another part of me wants to make me stay the way that I am and I should say that I am at a crossroads at the moment when it comes to defining myself.

I know that my choice will affect me and shape me for the rest of my life.

I just hope that I make the right choice.

……….

Sometimes, I keep coming back towards the recesses of my mind and ask the “ifs” that are inside it.

Maybe I have missed an opportunity or two, messed a momen or two, or I just got smacked by time and reality in the face.

There are times that I try to think of all the possibilities and all the things that I could have done.

But then, I don’t regret any of the choices that I made.

……….

For now, I just want to enjoy my graduation ceremony and play as many games as I can – in fact, I do not even want to write something serious for now. I want to get lost in places, to get lost in time, to get lost in space.

Because I have no idea when will I have that kind of time again – a time where I am never restricted by stress and by insomnia.

……….

It is time to create a new world under a different sky.

Or at least, a better version of reality where there is a bit of kindness left and results are shown at the time that is needed.

……….

This time around, I will play to win.

I will make sure that I get the results that I want.

If I will bend worlds to do it, then so be it.

There is no turning me back because I have nothing to lose and the sky is the freaking limit anyway.

I have just one way to put it: EASY PEEZY LEMON SQUEEZY!!!

……….

A Beautiful Life

Sometimes, I really wonder why am I still trying to smile.

Sometimes, I don’t want to be that hyped person anymore.

Sometimes, I just want to smile silently, lurk in a corner and go on with my business.

But then, it’s a beautiful life!

So everything is good and wish good :)

Beauty Of Life

You will never know the real beauty of life until you’ve experienced the worst blows that it can throw at you. You will never appreciate what it means to be yourself until you start to become lost in the abyss of the things that are happening around you.

You will never know how lucky it is for you to have a conscience until you see how those who don’t have it fall six feet down the ground. You will never know how lucky it is for you to live until you go to the grave to answer all of the things that you have done in this life.

You will never know how nice it is to be young, to be able to do all what you want, to be able to pursue your dreams and to be able to put another layer of effort until you get old. Pretty damning, ain’t it?

Sometimes, life is really hard. It is so suffocating that it does not even allow you to take a breather.

But most of the time, it is so beautiful that you may wonder if it is still possible to call it as “life”; it may even seem to be a dream!

At the end of the day, it all only matters if one can put meaning and purpose behind it.


So finally, I will be able to graduate without having to worry about makeup exams or summer school!

Yay! I guess what I should worry about now is the fact that I will soon teach English to the guys who may be better than me – and how will I inspire them to learn better overall.

For now, it’s all about shooting paintballs, visiting museums, writing stuff and just going around before the holy month of Ramadan begins a few days later.

Until then, it’s all about being young!

A Walk In April Spring: Retrospect

Music track: Radiohead – Idioteque
Food: All sorts of stuff, currently drinking iced tea and a chocolate bar that I did not eat yesterday.
Weather: Typical spring, whatever.

Well, apparently, the weather outside is amazing, with lush trees fully clothed in their greens and blooms as well as the light spring breeze cooling off heads. Coupled with a crystal-blue sky, it looks as if it beckons everyone to break the sky.

Within the space of five months and six days, I broke the sky. In fact, I’ve just finished my book (or at least, a workable draft of it which does not a lot of unwieldy grammar, I hope) yesterday, May 5, 2015. It seems that a breakthrough in my writing life is accompanied by an easily memorized date (first was 9/9/13, now it is 5/5/15). Looking back, it has been twenty months between these two dates!

If anyone has looked at the title, I’d bet you wondered why it is still a walk in “April Spring” when the date clearly states that it is already May 6, 2015 (or May 5, depending on which part of the planet you are living, anyway.)

I’ll be honest, I am currently extremely dumbfounded at the way things have unfolded around me, as well as certain facts that I need to digest. Leaving Turkey is the easiest part of it actually – not to mention that one week, you could be up there breaking the limits that the sky imposes…and fall extremely hard the following week! Life is never perfect and that is a fact, but hey, that kind of ride is as bumpy as hell!

Take today as an example: Besides this blog post, I have just written two or three articles for eSports Inquirer (and this does not include the crazy stuff that I write in my notebook, which ranges from the murkily dark to the extremely out-of-this-world…things.) And I’m doing all of these while at school (and on top of that, after just finishing a long, long text!)

The thing is, well, there is no throwing the towel now, because I can’t afford not to see my aspirations come to light. I am no stranger to strange territory, mass rejection and endless apathy – hell, I got all of them at one point in my life altogether, so I feel that I can withstand whatever setbacks and obstacles that may come my way this time around.

I really hope that I can do this, because right now, even though it may seem not too obvious to me, I feel that I have just stepped on another frontier.

It is not about winning per se (that is what sociopaths do anyway, as stated in “The Sociopath Next Door”); I’d like to believe it is about the things that I might learn along the way.

Damn, I just hope that I can hold on to my sanity as the bullet train goes full speed…and get my repairs ready when I derail along the way!


Spring seems to be a lie at times. The day that you expect awesome weather is actually laden with hail, snow and torrents at times.

But that is the nature of spring, I guess, hiding its wonderful colors under a gray-and-white blanket.

Then, summer maybe?

And summer is always great to have as an ally on one’s arsenal of tricks.

Spring is beautiful. But I want to see summer more because it is endless sun and light.

Because I am pretty sure that summer represents the zenith of everything.


 

I guess I just have to be patient and to deal with whatever twists life has to offer..and to make the best out of the time that remains for me here in this land some 16,000 kilometers away.

Maybe it is the end of a song that I wish that will never end.

But maybe it is also the start of another, better one.

Yeah, that is what I hope for.

And to answer the question why it is still an “April Spring”:

I am trapped in time at the moment. That is how it feels right now.

Welcome to real life, I guess!


 

The weather now does not burn my eyes or freeze my soul, unlike the past two days.

Maybe it is a sign of good things to come.

Yeah, summer appears after spring…

A great summer.

I guess I’ll just have to believe in it and work!