Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Best & Worst of Greece

You know what's the best part about being in Greece? Having a brand new camera to capture it's beauty.

And the worst? Forgetting to replace the battery after you've charged it.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

We All Do Stupid Things

Stupid people do stupid things, like smoking too much shisha and getting a bad headache.

And guess what? I intend to do all the stupid things before I reach the next decade of my life. Of course, I'm not saying what decade is that - a girl never reveals her age.

Better Than Man U? You Wished.

Emin: Galatasaray is a better team than Man U. When Champions League first started, Galatasaray won Man U.

Brown-nii: And that was 500 years ago?

Emin: That was in 1992. I was 11.

Brown-nii: Yes, you were a young boy and a virgin. Times have changed.

The Wind Blows in A Different Direction Today

I feel different today.

The past week hasn't exactly been the best of my trip. I'm in Istanbul which is supposedly one of most exciting cities to be in but I have so much on my mind that I didn't enjoy the city proper. There is so much more I could have done in the city but I spent a good amount of time indoors. The extreme heat and humidity didn't help at all. On top of everything, I lost my camera and money. I'm heading to Athens tomorrow without a camera. The one place I want to go most in the world and I can't capture its images the moment I arrive. Just great.

After being on the road for almost three months, you'd think I'm immune to such bad luck. I guess things like that always happens when you let your guard down. As the saying goes "When it rains, it pours".

But you know what? I feel different today. The weather was lovely - hot but not humid. I stepped out of the house and realised I forgot my sunglasses and I didn't curse when I had to walk back to get it. I do feel different today.

One a totally unrelated note - I sent some cay to daddy today. The tea cost me 15 lira and the postage fee, 22 lira. Aargh! That's some expensive cay. I wonder if daddy has drank the previous tea I sent back and if he smoked the Cuban cigars already.

Anyway, I went to Istanbul Modern this afternoon. I know, I know, I said previously that i am staying away from modern art.

This is different; there was a fashion exhibition of Hussein Chalayan's works from 1994 to 2010. I can't miss a fashion exhibition, even if it's in a place I swore off! I didn't pay attention to Chalayan's works in the past and my oh my, I have missed my change to be acquaint with a genius! He's not just a fashion designer, he's truly a genius! Clothes with mechanism that change form, installation which combined fashion and art seamlessly - he gave me a tight slap and a wakeup call. Marc almost seems boring now.

Come to think of it, I have been so disconnected with the real world, and by real, I meant fashion, I needed to feel inspired again! This exhibition provided just that. Then again, Chalayan seemed obsessed with flight, motion, futuristic voyages and integration of these with fashion - with all the flights I've been on these three months, I feel him.

I have already said this but I'm saying it again. I am flying off to Athens tomorrow. That's another reason I feel different today. :)

McD Everywhere

Everyone is waiting for me to visit their country for McD.

Case in point - message from Poland

Monday, 26 July 2010

And We Made It To Bebek.

Today, I was resolved to go to Bebek for a visit.

At 4.30pm, Ania and I met and while walking to the bus terminal, saw our bus 40T driving off from the terminal. We're not off to a good start. After 20 minutes of trying to figure out the exact spot to board the bus, we found ourselves on another 40T and were on our way to Bebek. I had expected to wait up to an hour for the bus so maybe the winds had changed.

The 50-minute ride in a non air-conditioned bus had us gasping for air when we finally alighted. A view of matchbox houses, lush mini forest, busy traffic on the Bosphorus strait greets me. Ahhh, so that's the Bebek that has me wasting some hours on my "youth" on for the past few days.

Ania and I strolled down the promenade and found ourselves standing in front of The Fortress of Rumeli.

"The museum is closed but you can go in for an hour", the guy behind the ticketing booth said.

We handed over 3 TL and eagerly stepped into the fortress.

While ascending the steps to the amphitheatre, we heard a voice behind us. "Are you from 2010?"

What kind of question is that?

"Are you from 2010?" a fat Turk repeated his question which had been directed to us previously.

I was tempted to say "No, I'm Neo from the Matrix and I'm here to save your world" but instead, Ania replied "What do you mean?"

"The museum is closed. Why are they letting you in?"

"We were told the fortress closes at 7pm."

"All right. There is a performance in the amphitheatre later. They shouldn't have let you in."

"Well, we have paid. Don't worry. We won't break anything."

With that, Ania and I hastened our pace to the amphitheater, just to see what the heck was the fat Turk so protective over.

There were at least a thousand pair of glasses lying on the circular ground of the amphitheater. Whatever they were for, Ania and I could only guess. We stole a few shots with our cameras and moved onto to other parts of the fortress.

On top of the fortress, the breeze was strong and it provided much-needed relief from the scorching sun. We sat comfortably on a bench, overlooking the walls, tower and more of the strait, and couldn't ask for more. I also figured out what 2010 meant. Istanbul is the European Capital of Culture for year 2010 and the guy had meant to ask if we were part of the team. Geez, now I wished I had said I'm Neo and I'm from the future.

The silence was broken by an old balding man shouting at the top of his voice at some journalist. He must be the director - they are allowed to be eccentric and curse at anyone as and when they prefer. He had managed to shepherd the journalist from one end of the road to the other and then back with his over-the-top shouting and antics. I wanna grow up and be a director in the future - I can be mean and nobody can say nothing.

With 7pm approaching, the security guards wanted to chase Ania and I out of the fortress.

"We're with 2010" I told the security guard and we proceeded to the amphitheater where I had every intention to catch the performance (which we had later learned would start at 9pm). I learn fast. ;)

It was unfortunate that rain poured down on us at 7.15pm. Ania and I made a made rush for the shelter under the gate of the fortress. We decided it wasn't worth the 2 hour wait in the rain for a performance that involved a crazy director and back to Taksim we went. So Bebek remained elusive to me still, just like how women are always to men.

Chris and I met up for dinner and gosh, is he in bad shape or what. He suffered from food poisoning this morning and all I can say is he looked like a truck ran him over. We grabbed a quick burger at McDonald's and I thought that'll cheer me up but it provided little comfort - for reasons known only to me for now, and hopefully, good reasons. The rain poured down on us again. Boo! We took shelter at an electronic store and after answering some of my questions about a 32Gb micro-SD card, the staff asked "Are you married?"

"No, but my boyfriend is over there"  I said, while holding back my laughter, and pointed to Chris. I walked quickly over to Chris and muttered "You are my boyfriend for two minutes, Chris".

Outside the store, I realised I should have said "No, but that's my husband over there". After all, Chris is now the new stalker.

I always have the most fun. :)

The Ex-Hubby Catches Up

So Chris and I travelled to Sofia together, then through Bulgaria with Slav, Vihra & Bibi for a whole week. His entourage of wives must have made him a very happy man.

As much as I am a fan of Big Love (the telly series), I don't fancy myself in a polygamy relationship. So I left the lesser wives and hubby to head for Istanbul.

Now, six days in the hot, humid city of Istanbul, I got a message and it was Chris telling me he's coming to this city too.

Too soon, the ex-hubby catches up. He must know that I am where the fun is. ;)

I Don't Care For A BMW

Mo: When are you coming to Beirut?
Brown-nii: Maybe August.
Mo: I might be in KL, still not sure.
Brown-nii: It's okie. I will go out with your friends
Mo: Hehe. Ya, I will inform them. You'll like them a lot.
Brown-nii:  Are they cute? I only want to go out with cute boys.
Mo: They are ugly and boring and smelly.
Brown-nii:  Yikes, then i dont wanna meet them.
Mo: Mmmm.. I'll tell my best friend. He has a car. BMW.
Brown-nii: I have told you before.. I don't want BMW.
Mo: It's the latest model and new.
Brown-nii: BMW is too small for me. I want aeroplane.

I didn't lie. I don't care for a BMW.

The Woes of A Traveller

A email from Chewy.

Hi Pi,

You still have tax balance outstanding, quickly go pay..

Also, every time u draw cash, there's a $5 surcharge, should budget a bit to prevent the surcharge, will add up to a lot..

Travel safe, miss you!
 


My reply
Me no money to pay. Make them come to Istanbul to find me!


Istanbul has 70 million residents. Let's see how resourceful our government is.

Here I am trying to save some money to extend my trip and there the IRAS is trying to make me pay income tax. Aargh!

They must understand I have no income now!

Their Weddings, My Schedule

While chatting on msn, Minnie (whose real name is Chitmanas but she is dearest Minnie to me) mentioned something about Annie's wedding photo...

Brown-nii: So, when is your wedding?
Minnie: This year, this year. When will you be back in SG?
Brown-nii: Which month? I go back in Nov.
Minnie: Maybe Dec.
Brown-nii: Oh ya, you mentioned it before. And I told you it cannot be Dec 11 because my best friend is getting married on that day. I cannot attend two weddings in SG and Bangkok on the same day. Hee.
Minnie: 18 Dec? Can?
Brown-nii: Make it Christmas period. It's special.
Minnie: Yes, maybe.
Brown-nii: Okie, so Christmas period. I will not go anywhere but Thailand.
Minnie: Okay! *smiles* 

Everyone around me plans their weddings around me. ;)

Sunday, 25 July 2010

How Can I Help?

"How can I help u spend your money?"

The above is the best line I've ever heard from any sales person. And this I hear in Istanbul.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

We Grew Up Together

Sylvana and I felt like we grew up together. Just on different continents.

The Sun Follows Me

I brought the sun and it rained non--stop in Singapore. And the sun shines like there's no tomorrow in Istanbul.

I feel like I'm back home, only without the Singlish.

Same Old Shit

I left Europe to find myself back in Europe-wannabe. Aargh! Should I book myself a flight to Iraq just to get out of the zone?

Friday, 23 July 2010

Dehayim!

I learned to play Backgammon against "the best player in Europe and Middle East" today!

I won my first game of Backgammon against "the best player in Europe and Middle East" today!

Dehayim! :)

One of The Few Times

And I keep forgetting YouTube is banned in Istanbul!

One of the few times when I want to watch something on youtube and I can't... Aargh!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Pierced

I got my ears pierced today at the pharmacy - a second set of ear holes. It was more painful than I thought it'd have been. And I have a high threshold for pain, for crying out loud!

I must have been that bored in Istanbul. No, just kidding. No, maybe not.

Mrs Wayne-To-Be

When Annie sent this picture over, I told her "OMG! You didn't get married without telling me first!"

Turned, out, she didn't. They were trying on gowns at an event.

Phew! I wanna attend an HK-style wedding so badly!

How?

How the hell do we end up where we are now?

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

I Stand & Stare

There were 300000 vehicles, 200000 pedestrians, and one Wynnii lost among them all in Osmanbey.

The traffic on the street was chaotic and a policeman was trying to direct traffic with his oh-so-useful (read: useless) whistle. I cannot help but stare at the vehicles, pedestrians and street vendors - none of which obeyed traffic rules.

Welcome to Istanbul!

The Full History

With the above image Emin drew, you will be able to fully comprehend the history behind the Ottoman Empire, Turks, Kurds and religions in Turkey.

And if you don't, you need to go back to school. I mean, seriously! How much clearer must it be?

The Sleep Monster

The sleep monster never waste an opportunity to sleep.

I sleep on bus rides, car rides, train rides, plane rides, ferry rides.

That will explain the love I have for my inflatable travel neck pillow. :)

Russian Bus Roulette

I have this bad habit of not noting down the plate number of the coach I'm travelling in when we make pit stop for toilet break. And what happens?

When I get back from the toilet, I stand on the pavement and ponder for about a minute before I pick the coach which colour I liked best. Then I pray very hard it's the right one I've picked.

So far, this method has worked and I've reached my destinations without mishaps.

Yeah, I could have been so good at Russian roulette.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

A Watery Farewell

It is said that in Bulgaria, when someone goes away to foreign land, you would splash water on the ground and the person has to walk across the water. This symbolises a smooth sailing journey for the voyager.

Today, it poured heavily two hours before I have catch my bus to Istanbul. Vehra said my journey will be perfect, given the TORRENT rain.

The irony of a smooth journey. The rain flooded the roads.

Unexpected Efforts

Sometimes, the most unexpected thing happens and the person you don't expect to rely on makes the most unexpected effort for you. We are even now. :)

My Body Is Angry

I don't know if I told you already but I've started eating vegetables since early this year. Not only those in burgers now but real tomatoes, leafy greens and many more. Yikes!

I ain't kidding you. Case in point.

You'd think eating greens is good for the body eh. Mine is angry!

And We Go Away From Europe

The rays of the evening Sun burst through the cotton candy that hangs aimlessly 2000 feet above the puddle of rainwater I just stepped into. I am on my way to Istanbul!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Death Wish

Email thread between crazy Brown-nii and a crazier Irish

Ralph
Just been on to Shine, two prime seats reserved! So, all organised.

I recommend getting some good sleep before coming to Ireland again. Also, get some hiking in. I've plans for us on the morning after the wedding! I think we've seen enough castles! 

Brown-nii 
Hiking after the wedding? Are you out of your mind? I don't think we will be sleeping till 10am the day after the wedding!

What is it with everyone making me go hiking? Tell me, who let the "secret" about me desperately wanting to conquer every mountain out of the bag?

Ralph 
Who said anything about sleeping?

Trust me about the mountain, I've got plans. At least I'm not going with one of my Swimming nude under moon light idea, although behavior like that is sporadic and unpredictable. 

Brown-nii
Trusting you and your plans is like jumping into the shark-infested water with bloody fish strapped around me - a death wish.

Ralph
Something along those lines.

Shake It Like You Mean It

In Bulgaria, one would shake his head while saying "Da", which means yes.

I asked Vihra why that is so.

One of the theory is that when the Turks invaded in the past, they wanted to convert everyone to Islam and they do so by holding a knife across a person's neck. It's then logical that one would shake his head while saying "Da" for fear of getting his neck cut if one nodded.

Ohhhhhh....

I still have so much to learn about the world!

Wink & Smile

I recall your wink and I smile.

The Million Star Hotel

Today, for the first time in my life, I'm camping on the beach. When I lie down and look up, the view is beyond amazing!

I see the milky way, the dipper and countless shooting stars.

The waves beating against the sandy shore is strangely comforting and calming. I felt at peace. This is exactly what I needed to clear my head and be rid of the recent troubles.

Another curveball from life, another homerun from me. :)

PS: Slavyana calls it the "million star hotel". 

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Glee in Greece

Day trip to Greece from Bulgaria today!!! Now, I can die happy. Wait, Italy awaits still. Maybe after Italy.

Speaking Greek

You know how when you dont understand someone and you say the person is speaking Greek? What happens when the person is really speaking Greek?

I'm in Greece for the day! :)

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

A Message In A Bottle

Something like a message in a bottle. You are desperate and you write it and you throw it into the ocean, hoping it would get somewhere and do some good. Even though you know it most probably won't, because the ocean is too large and you are too little. And you do your best not to hope, like a fatuous bastard, that there may, one day, be a sequel. Or even a trilogy :P

Monday, 12 July 2010

Don't Act Smart

Google always collects information about my whereabouts and then changes the language of the sites I am at to "suit" my locale and with that, confusing me because I can't freaking read Serbian!

As the saying goes "Being smart is one thing, acting smart is another".

The Love Story

A mosquito buzzed around my ear and I tried to slap at it. Then he told me this story he heard in Africa.

A very long time ago when Ear was a beautiful woman and ready for marriage, there were several suitors wooing her. There were big creatures, there were small creatures. There were fast and sleek creatures and there were slow ones. But they all professed their love for Ear and demonstrated their skills – and there was such an impressive array of skills that Ear had a difficult time making a decision. Then along came mosquito.

"I would like you to be my wife", proposed Mosquito.

Ear was so offended by this affront. "Look around you!" she cried. "Of all the people and creatures in the whole world, what makes you think I can entertain such a thought?" Ear was distressed. "Marry you?!!" she continued. "You will be dead before the week is over. You're not strong, you're weak and I will never marry you!"

Ear was exhausted from this tirade and she fell into her seat, fanning herself vigorously like she was trying to get any image of Mosquito out of her head. Meanwhile, Mosquito was really hurt by all that Ear said. It was very embarrassing to be talked to like that in front of all the other creatures who were whispering to each other and giggling. Apparently, they all agreed with Ear. "Dead before the week is over," thought Mosquito as he slunk away. "We'll see about that."

And from that day forward, whenever Mosquito sees Ear, he flies up to her and says "Emi re, mi o ti ku", which in English means "Here I am, I am not dead."

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Hostelworld Announces World’s Best Hostels

Hostelworld announced the winners of its coveted Hoscars (HOStelworld Customers Annual Ratings) recently in Dublin, Ireland. The 8th annual Hoscar awards ceremony took place to recognize the best hostels in the world, voted for by 1 million Hostelworld customers in 2009.

For the second year, running Lisbon’s Travellers House Hostel received the top honor as the best hostel in the world. Rossio Hostel and Lisbon Lounge Hostel received the second and third place spots on the list. Five of the hostels in this year’s top 10 world’s best worldwide hostels are located in Lisbon, Portugal, indicating that Lisbon is a customer favorite when it comes to best value budget accommodations.
More than 23,000 properties from around the world featured on Hostelworld.com were eligible for the awards. Voting for the awards was based on six criteria: character, security, location, staff, fun and cleanliness. The winning hostels were voted for by those who matter the most: the Hostelworld.com customers who booked their accommodation online and rated and reviewed the hostels after their stay in 2009. 

Here’s a list of the world’s best hostel winners from the 2010 Hoscar awards:

Top 10 Worldwide Hostels

 

Top Ten Hostels in the U.S.

 

SPECIAL CATEGORIES

What If I Don't

I logged into FB and I was told to answer a few security questions because I'm logging in from an unfamiliar location.

One of the security feature involved me having to pick the correct person from a displayed list to match the picture they show of a friend.

Geez! What if I didn't recognised my own friends?

Not For Me

Don't make my decisions for me.

I have a good head above my shoulder. Okay, maybe not a good head but still, don't make my decisions for me.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Watch & Learn

Michal sent the link to this youtube video over and wrote "Watch and learn".

Yeah, I'm sooo going to be awesome at Salsa after watching this, Michal. Watch out when I come back to London!

The Great Escape

Alvin wrote "In any case, enjoy your great escape!"

Wii replied "I like how you call my travel "my great escape". Haha."

Monday, 5 July 2010

Warwick Avenue by Duffy

When I get to Warwick Avenue
Meet me by the entrance of the tube
We can talk things over a little time
Promise me you wont step out of line

When I get to Warwick Avenue
Please drop the past and be true
Don't think we're okay
Just because I'm here
You hurt me bad but I won't shed a tear

I'm leaving you for the last time baby
You think you're loving
But you don't love me
I've been confused
Outta my mind lately
You think you're loving
But I want to be free
Baby you've hurt me

When I get to Warwick Avenue
We'll spend an hour but no more than two
Our only chance to speak once more
I showed you the answers, now here's the door

When I get to Warwick Avenue
I'll tell you baby that we're through

'Cause I'm leaving you for the last time baby
You think you're loving
But you don't love me
I've been confused
And outta my mind lately
You think you're loving
But you don't love me
I want to be free
Baby you've hurt me

All the days spent together
I wish for better
But I didn't want the train to come
Now it's departed, I'm broken hearted
Seems like we never started
All those days spent together
When I wished for better
And I didn't want the train to come
No, no

You think you're loving
But you don't love me
I want to be free
Baby you've hurt me
You don't love me
I want to be free
Baby you've hurt me