June 30, 2013

Istanbul Recap # 1.5

via facebook, twitter and the world wide web

This picture has become symbolic to the Turkish protests. There's also the standing man, the girl in the red dress, the naked man (yes, he was naked), the people with gas masks and construction helmets, the ones with their hands open begging and asking...you name it.

Just a few days ago I watched a talk show/documentary on television about the recent drama in Istanbul and other Turkish cities. Also, people were talking about it in other countries as well, so it has not only become a Turkish "issue" it has become a global one. Anyhow, the main discussion in that talk show/documentary was whether or not the protesters do the right thing or not. Opinions differ. Some believe no, these protests are ridiculous and need to stop right now. That the protesters need to be punished immediately (mostly with imprisonment), and that things should go back to normal. On the other hand, the other side strongly argues that the protesters are right and that it has nothing to do with ridiculousness. That it is not just a few hundred unemployed people trying to pick a fight or show off but that indeed old, young, highly educated and cultured are actually protesting too and that needs to be listened to and looked at. Plus, when authorities waltz in and shoot at you while you are happily dancing and standing, how would most people react?

Now, let me tell you one thing.
I am with the second group.
Did I protest, too? 
On my own terms.

Don't freak out. Protest can be friendly and can be done in all kinds of ways.
I ignored all stores and shops and restaurants that are indeed working for the side I am not favoring.
I was standing silent for a long time. I faced Atatürk as well.
I showed solidarity while walking home for two full hours at night because the streets were packed and I could not imagine me sitting in a taxi being stuck in traffic, and paying. I video-taped it all.
I showed solidarity by going out and making noise at nine each night.
I supported my friends, my neighbors, the unfamiliar faces I saw each and every day as well as night.

AND, I drank my alcohol even after 10pm. In a restaurant. After the new law was established.


These flowers were to remember the hurt as well as lost people in the past three weeks. Unfortunately, while people tried to enjoy silence and remember everything the police marched in again. And they weren't friendly. This picture was taken very early in the morning.


I listened to people.
I heard their stories.
I learned from them how to build your own gas mask because stores ran out.
I learned from them how to create liquid solutions to heal the skin and eyes from different gases.
I learned how to protect oneself from getting beating and from having your own bones broken.
I learned how to get rid of that nasty blue color they sprayed on you so they'd have it easier to find you the next day and "punish" you after. 
I learned that you cannot trust anyone.
I know people who are scared to go home because they live on the first or second floor of a building close to where everything is (still) happening.
I know people who are scared to leave the apartment.
I know that hotels, restaurants and stores opened their doors to take in the wounded.
I know that those hotels, restaurants and stores have now thousands if not millions of dollars to rebuild their properties.
I also know that certain management in certain stores closed their doors and ignored the wounded.
I also know these stores/companies aren't to blame because really, if management says no because its too overwhelmed with this unknown situation so be it.

I also know that all this needs to stop.
But, I know that we all need to listen to one another.
It is not the unemployed, bored people that went out and protested.
It is the educated, cultured, open-minded people of Turkey who decided to fight back.

They are standing up and saying no to violence, no to unfair treatment, no to torture, no to laws that make no sense, no to abrupt changes without prior notice, no to a narrow-minded vision of what is right or wrong, no to a religious state, and no to unhappiness.

Would you like to have your doctor arrested for helping you out?
I don't think so.

Read also: Recap #1

Follow on Bloglovin

June 29, 2013

Istanbul Recap #1

This recap is a slightly different version from what you would expect. I would love for you to read what I have to say and how I feel, but if you don't feel like reading I understand. 

I also mention no names, except for Atatürk, and I do not link back to anyone or any place I got the photos from and simply cite them as twitter, facebook, and the world wide web. I have my reasons.

Most of you know that I go to Istanbul pretty much once a year. That is if I can. It's become a routine since I turned two. So, yes, it's technically something I have done all my life. It's part of who I am. So, whenever I land and walk out of the airport I feel at home. Then again, we know that home has many meanings to me. This year however, I was filled with mixed emotions going to Istanbul. I did not know what to except other than possible chaos and unhappiness. If you watched the news, or read my twitter feeds or even are friends with me on facebook, or yes, even read a few posts from me, you know what has been going on. Or you just have a slight idea.

photo taken by me while I was watching live what was going on

You can see the reporter wearing a gas mask telling us what he experiences.
While I was taking this photo, and watching it away from all the craziness I also got constant updates from friends saying where they were and that they were safe and unharmed. Their photos and comments were astounding. And a few minutes after that we all experienced the worst outburst ever with fire bombs and what not. My FB kind of marked this event with an f-bomb. And I never use the f-word online, but it was worth it.
Needless to say, I lost my appetite that evening.


I won't go into too much details because certain things should not be mentioned on here or anywhere else. It's not that I don't want to it's because I cannot or should not. I will keep it neutral and keep it at a level that should be acceptable and tolerable by everyone. What I learned and experienced on my own while in my favorite city is indescribable. Not only was it slightly *but not too* chaotic, it was patriotic like no other. Turkish people are known to be patriots, and they are good at this. But this time, they are even better at this than before. 

For the first time in years (pretty much since the late 1990s) Turkish people are standing up for their rights. They are fed up with what has been going on and how they are treated. They don't want to be ruled by someone who wants to rule only on his behalf. They want to have a say in whatever is happening in their country especially because Turkey is a democratic country. The democratic rules so to speak were broken and now time has come to say NO. 

{courtesy of facebook, twitter and the world wide web}

The hashtag "duran adam" means standing man. It has become one of many symbols in Turkey now. One man stood one night for about eight hours straight in protest and faced the Atatürk Cultural Center; Atatürk being the founder of modern Turkey. With his action he inspired many more to do the same, every day, at any place. 


It took the Turkish people a long time to stand up for their own rights. The time for change has come. The time to find a way out of this religious thinking has arrived. Don't get me wrong, if you are religious it's fine, but don't mix it up with politics. That's not the way. The founder of Turkey and man everyone looks up to in Turkey (even after his death in 1938), Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, would be appalled to see his beloved country in this mess. He'd be appalled to see that his name is being used to defend someone's actions and demands. What Atatürk created and what he wanted and dreamed of has become reality. Turkey is modern, non-religiously ruled, and shares its love and history with the world. His words however, have now been twisted around and used to guide this country into a direction no one wants to go but one person. So, for the first time, this so-called democratic country is fed up, and says finally NO.

I witnessed it in Istanbul only, but other major cities are protesting too.

{courtesy of twitter, facebook and the world wide web}

Excuse the bad quality but this is the main square most people heard of: Taksim.
To me it simply makes sense and I know what buildings and streets I'm looking at.
It's simply insane. Look at the crowds!


Personally I am against violence, protests, demonstrations and what not. Yet, I feel for Turkey and for its people. Quiet frankly I am one of its people too. So this topic hits home for me. I have not met one person that is against what is going on in Turkey at the moment. I know why Turkish people are protesting, and I salute them. 

Protests can have many forms. The best ones are the friendly ones, just as they should be. And this is also how it all started in Istanbul: Friendly. 

Singing, dancing, eating sandwiches, and listening to music while sitting around holding signs is one way to protests. It's friendly, it's quiet, and it's normal. Just the way we all want it. But...

What if then armed forces rush in for no reason and spray people with pepper spray, 
tear gas, and heavy water (later filled with blue and red color so you can be identified and taken in later on) ??? 

What if those armed forces rush in to beat the hell out of you for sitting down and eating?
What if those forces waltz in and ruin your happiness even more?

What if they don't care whether you are young, old, educated, in a wheelchair or already on the ground in pain?

What if your beliefs and your ideas are not taken into consideration? 
Your words, your clothing, your look, and even your breath have no meaning anymore? 

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk would be appalled and in disbelief. 90 years after the founding of the Turkish Republic, after much work that this country would look and act more modern and build itself up to become what it somewhat has become until today...after 90 years, someone wants to destroy it and doesn't want to acknowledge it. Fingers are pointed, names are called, social media is blamed, words are spoken and unfortunate actions are taken to handle the "bad people who act violently". Those "bastards" and "stupid, uneducated misfits are ruining our country" is what the news tells every day. And really, I quoted it because first, it's not true, and second, don't believe the news. Ever. Again! 


Yes, Atatürk. It is a shame. We know that. Let us fix this somehow. And soon.

A website I recommend you read and look at if you are interested more but have hardly time to read. 

Follow on Bloglovin

June 27, 2013

Quote of the Day #6


"You can't be happy unless you're unhappy sometimes" ― Lauren Oliver


Happy Thursday everyone.
Finally, very slowly however, the sky is clearing itself from those ugly and nasty gray clouds.
We hopefully can soon enjoy a better summer, with more sunshine and blue skies. 
So, while I am unhappily holiding an umbrella these days...I look forward to happier, ice-licking days filled with sunshine and colorful flowers.


Follow on Bloglovin

June 26, 2013

Kate Spade Gift

My IRL friends know that I am in love with Kate Spade. Actually, my IRL friends don't know that. Just a few very close friends do. The rest of my very close friends have never heard of her name, just because Switzerland is a little behind in that department. However, those that know me know I love KS. Can't help it. I'm gonna buy my third pair of sunglasses in August, and I own pink earrings, and now even a fantastic purple wallet or mini bag. What will be next?!

I posted this on Instagram and got instant likes...guess we all like Kate Spade?!

Thank you, bestie, for brightening my day...I love birthday gifts even when they are belated. :)


P.s. Istanbul update with photos follows soon. Promise. 

Follow on Bloglovin

June 25, 2013

If you give a little love, you can get a little love of your own

I'm back. Not completely back but I'm back online, back in western Europe and able to start a computer on my own wireless and type again. And, I have time. Plenty of time. I just wanted to say hi and let you know that I'll be back and that you may have to except some sort of comments from me in the near future. Also, as I am still unpacking and settling back into a colder and wetter last days of June in Switzerland and/or Germany, I thought I'd share with you the following video.

While I was away in lovely Istanbul, and while I was probably annoying you with twitter *or even FB* updates that didn't fully make sense to you as we were experiencing something no one had experienced before in Istanbul, let alone in Turkey...I came across this video. My friend posted it and I thought it was perfect. It's exactly what it means to be human and to act like one. In times like these we all need to be reminded to act kind to one another, regardless on how we are feeling in that particular moment *I'd have a story to tell you, please remind me of the cat-hater!*.

But until then...enjoy the video.
And...if you happen to know where this video originated let me know. I'm unable to find out. Not sure what I'm doing wrong today. :( 

And don't forget...GOOGLE READER IS DYING PRETTY SOON. So, follow along vie bloglovin' or feedly or email or anything else you can think of. I'd appreciate it.

Follow on Bloglovin

June 20, 2013

Istanbul Greetings

My time in lovely Istanbul slowly comes to an end and I'm eager to get back to Switzerland, then Germany and maybe even some parts of Italy for the remainder of my European summer. However, I am still in Istanbul and still enjoying food, culture, music and lifestyle. It's the little things such as a new cafe or restaurant, the sea itself, or a cat that keeps following me around that brighten my days. I love this vibrant city.

If you have never been I really recommend going. Maybe not today, but one day. It's fun, it's modern and it's just filled with incredible food and incredible history. Ha, I can't stop myself. ;)

So, to keep you busy...I decided it was worth a try to guide you back to a former post of mine, or two posts for that matter. I found one I wrote a year ago (and most of you may remember that one) and I even one I wrote two years ago. WOW. More picture, and more words. Of course. ;) 

Enjoy them both!!

In the meantime...I'll be on Twitter or Instagram!!!


Follow on Bloglovin

June 16, 2013

Living Gluten Free

It's been months now that I started living gluten free. I mainly started because of health related reasons and my not feeling well for who knows how long. My best friend is gluten intolerant and she was the one forcing me to get tested and all since she felt that whatever I went through was exactly what she went through before she found out she had this vicious food allergy. So yes, it's been four full months so far and I can't say I'm fully used to it. I know it takes years I guess to completely get used to living and eating differently, but I'm making the best out of it.

Worst part of it all is...Europe is not as open-minded to that food allergy or category as I thought it would. Yes, there are regular grocery stores offering gluten free products such as pasta and bread, and maybe one lemon flavored cookie; but that's about it. Price wise, we all know that, it's ridiculous. Then, if you really want gluten free flour and even more products you have to enter a store that you normally would not be able to afford and when you see the gluten free products and their prices then you get shocked all over again. I gave up. Most food, even pure meat, and some other things have gluten in them. Here even more than in the US. Kind of astonishing to me. Most dishes are either breaded, fried, or just include bread-like stuff and hello?; that I can't eat anymore. It's a constant battle.

However, over the past months I learned to go around the gluten stuff. You know, eating more fruits, veggies, meat, fish, and cook it all myself and not have it pre-prepared for me already. Though, there are times you want to go out and have a good time with friends and family...in the US it's basically no problem. Most restaurant I came to learn (and love) offer gluten free menus, or have the gluten free stuff labeled on their already existing menu. I really appreciate that.
Here in Switzerland? Well, let's just say it doesn't exist. I found one restaurant that had it labeled. One. At least in my city. Maybe if I go to Zurich or Bern I might get to see more places that do that. And when I look through the menu I always mostly have to end up with a salad since that is the safest. Definitely, reading a menu these days takes ten times longer than usual.

As much as I don't like to compare things or places it is hard not to. I rely on food and their ingredients, and if I see barley, wheat, malt-anything for example in something I love (chips, skewers, ice cream, yogurt *yes, awful*, cereal in general, and drinks...) I just get really really sad.

So guess what I'm doing in Turkey now?
I eat more than normal portions of fruits, veggies, fish and lamb. You vegetarians might go nuts with this, but it's all I can eat. There's cornbread but one can only eat so much of that, and it's really *sorry* disgusting. My favorite Turkish dishes such as Bulgur, Lahmacun and Gözleme are a no no, too...which creates a huge problem. Börek? Heck no. No more. 
I have to admit that much though...I had to give in just once...I had to. It wasn't the best decision ever since my stomach wasn't my BFF for two days, but it was definitely worth it. 

Here's to another week of Turkish food, sceneries, and culture...

...I shall survive, with or without stomach aches. ;)

And yes, I'm still on Twitter or Instagram!!!

Follow on Bloglovin

June 13, 2013

More Greetings

Hope your week has been great!!! I have been eating a little too much lately and gaining back whatever I lost over the past few months after I started going gluten free. I was amazed at how much junk I shoved into my body and how much I was able to lose in such a short time without even wanting to lose any. 

So, here I am in lovely Istanbul. And since I am busy exploring more old alleys, and houses, and drinking lots of tea and eating yummy foods I decided once again to share with you an older but one of my favorite blog posts...my love for Istanbul can only be felt when you see me or are part of me *which we all know will not happen ever, unless some scifi stuff is happening and let's be honest that won't happen ever*. I reread this post and was quite shocked at how precise I described it...
...and despite what is going on in this country, and what has started in this city I still love it!!!!

If you have never been, I highly recommend this city!
It's beyond gorgeous, dirty, clean, loud and just so very quiet and historical...the perfect mix for everyone!

In the meantime don't forget to follow me on Twitter or Instagram!!!


Follow on Bloglovin

June 10, 2013


While I am away for a few days I decided not to have bloggers guest post but instead have a few posts ready for you, scheduled of course, so you won't be too bored and won't be wondering where the heck I am at the moment. My time online will be limited *as in, only on my iPhone, and only on wifi, so no real blogging time* but this doesn't mean I can't enhance your life with some crazy little things...right? 

I am currently in Istanbul. Yes, that city that has been in the news for a while. And yes, it's all okay. There's a lot I have to say on this subject but I won't just right now. One day I will. 
In the mean time, I thought you'd enjoy a fun blog post my lovely friend Ashley wrote for me last year when I went to Turkey. Just looking back I can't believe it's been a year now. WOW.

Go check it out...and yes, I will eat a ton and lose a lot of weight too (more than I should). Turkish food is not only delicious it is actually very healthy and helps us girls keep our figure (or lose it in my case!)...unless I choose the unhealthy dishes that make my stomach go nuts. ;)

Have a fabulous day, and follow my adventures via Twitter or Instagram!!!

Follow on Bloglovin

June 7, 2013

Friday's Fancies - Sunnies

Happy Friday everyone.
I needed a break from all the drama that's been going on in Turkey, so I decided to cheer myself up with Long Distance Loving's weekly linkup.

This week's theme is all about sunglasses. I love sunglasses. One more reason for me to join today. If you know me you'd know I am utterly obsessed with Kate Spade and her sunglasses. I cannot help it. They fit me and my awkwardly shaped face. I love them, especially when I get them at a discounted price thanks to an amazing friend working at a special sunglass store. I love it. So, needless to say, guess what pair I chose for today's post?!

Kate Spade Glasses Love

I have that same pair of sunglasses and cannot get enough of them. One of the best Christmas present so far. So glad the sun returned to Europe so I can actually wear them here as well. And really, lately I have been into pink pants. Someone please tell me that this is okay?!

Happy Friday, and happy weekend.

Will miss you all when I'm visiting one of the most beautiful cities in the world; even today with all the chaos that's been going on. Istanbul, here I come.


Follow on Bloglovin

June 4, 2013

Impressions - Oh Istanbul

As many of you know, I am a total mud. I grew up knowing two cultures, two belief-systems, and two mentalities. I don't consider myself an expert in both but I do know both. I believe looking at both sides makes my horizon automatically wider and my thinking bigger and quite more interesting. I am very okay with that. Even if this wasn't the case, I think I'd be okay with it too. 
However, there's a slight disadvantage to my background, too. It involves being torn every time I leave one place and move to another, or just visit another place. It also involves emotions I thought I'd never had or would have under control, and it definitely involves feelings of concern when you call three places in this world home and see one of those places in total chaos.

If you haven't heard or read it...my lovely Istanbul is going crazy!!! 

If you've been following me you know how much Istanbul means to me. You know the feelings I share for this giant metropolis with history older and more glorious than you could imagine. You also know that I always visit what's left of friends and family every summer. And now, you know it's in chaos. For legit reasons I may have to add, but this is my personal opinion. 

And...yes, I'm going to visit my city again. Next week. 

HERE is a link I'd like to share with you I found through one of my friends in Istanbul. It's something that will help you see and maybe understand what's going on. Let me know if it works. You never know...

My mom said the last time Istanbul saw/experienced something as direct and brutal like that was decades ago. My aunt said it's all okay and that where we live nothing has happened yet. Since Istanbul is so huge you may never know what's going on unless you live right around the corner from where everything is happening.


To know that friends and even my cousin joined the crowds this week doesn't make it any easier. It makes me smile (yes it does) but it doesn't make it easier.

I know why they are doing it and I agree. Enough is enough.
What started as something peaceful has now grown into a horrible scenario of blood, gas bombs, and hurt people. Two are apparently dead. Who knows why. Maybe we will never know. It's nothing compared to what countries like Egypt, Lybia and Tunisia went through because the reasons behind it in Turkey are different. However, then again, and that's the most interesting part...it is still very similar. 

What started as a protest against yet another shopping mall (and Istanbul has many; many more than Los Angeles and Orange County combined! - I am not kidding!!) has now become a protest against a Prime Minister with stubborn, greedy and religious visions. Visisons that finally made modern folks like my friends, cousins and therelike come forth and say NO to. 

Protests have escalated. They are all over in Turkey. It's no longer about the mall industry and greedy businesses, it's about much much more. It was a friendly protest until the police was called in to "take control of the situation". That control involved violence. "And when you hit me I hit back" is a normal reaction...and that just led to drama. Drama we now witness.

The photo below is taken on the same street the above picture is from...just go figure.

Am I proud? Not really, and yet I am.

What we see on CNN, very few Turkish channels, the Internet, Social Media (unless it's blocked for some people), is just half the story. And what I share is also just half. However, it's better than nothing. 
It is history. Not just Turkey's history but yours as well. You may think you live far away in the US, in Asia or in Europe even, but whatever happens in the world, and we all should know this by now, influences us somehow.

We shall see what happens...but all I know is I will be in that beautiful city next week, and I will keep you posted.


Follow on Bloglovin

June 2, 2013

Happy Birthday to me!!

Happy Birthday to me. 
It's my Birthday Weekend, and since I am jet lagged I decided to actually celebrate last weekend...lucky us it was Memorial Weekend in the US. ;) I will, however, still celebrate with close family. All I want is to sit down and eat food I haven't eaten in a very long time. This would be the best Birthday present ever, right?

What I mostly want is to see everyone I miss at this moment.
Too bad they are all in California.
Though I know they all care and miss me. Hopefully ;)


Follow on Bloglovin


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...