Like a bird on the sky

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” _ R. Frost

Yet again in London on a visitor visa…only difference from when I first got here is I’m visiting my husband this time, not my boyfriend. It feels funny that a piece of paper says I’m here only for visiting my husband, the country once I lived and worked in and the home once I lived with my husband. We are back to beginning where we started. Only a month left to go to Turkey, prepare all the paperwork and apply for residence permit. Hoping that it won’t be too stressfull and difficult like first time.

We have left our life in Qatar behind, been spending some quality time in between UK and Sweden with family and friends, now looking forward to new adventures, a bit of travelling and visiting family and friends in Turkey. It is already exciting me. 4 weeks in Istanbul, islands and around, 1 week in Bodrum, 4 weeks in Nazilli, Denizli, Izmir and around. Good opportunity for Jo to practice Turkish and for me to fulfill my longing for my parents and my country…

Leaving Qatar for good

Exactly 1 year ago on 4th of May, I came to this country with full of hope and lots of questions in my mind. We thought we would be here for another year or so but our time in  Doha has come to an end. Leaving here today on 4th of May,  again with full of hope and lots of questions in my mind.

While looking forward to going back to our lives and continuing our adventures in Qatar, we are only back to pack our stuff and say our goodbyes to our friends and Habibi.

Our last 8 days in Doha was very busy; packing, tidying, cleaning, giving away things, selling things, meeting friends for dinners,  a couple of touristic visits, 1 last lunch on the Pearl, 1 last dinner in the Souk and 1 last trip to the desert . We have been to the Pearl Exhibition in Museum of Islamic Art. I’m very pleased that we had the chance to see those amazing pearls and shells.

So ready to leave Qatar with nice memories and move on to our next adventures. Long summer holiday is waiting for us and I have already started planning. Will be updating with photos wherever we go…

Habibati

Our compound’s cat Habibati. We were told that it belongs to somebody living in our compound but we have neither met that neighbour nor seen any living presence in that villa. We learnt that her name is Habibi but we are calling her Habibati which is more suitable. Whoever named her, has given her a male name. Habibi means my dear, beloved one for male in Arabic and female version is Habibati.

She is always in our garden, on our windowsill, on or under our car. She visits us everyday, opens the garden door, goes to the kitchen and waits in front of the fridge. Basically makes herself home. 🙂

We have been away from home for  4 weeks now so I have been wondering what she has been doing, who has been feeding and scratching her. Poor Habibati must have lost hope in us. We won’t be coming back for another 2 weeks or maybe more.

Missing the sunshine, my Arabic course, friends’ and her company the most…

London is very cold, cloudy and rainy. Despite of the grey sky and wet roads, it is still nice to be back, seeing familiar faces, going outside, joining a crowd of strangers and being independent again. Things can be difficult and even sometimes hurt but at least it feels real and alive.

Doha is like a fantasy world, like a sweet dream of ordinary people. However; you can’t sleep forever so it is good to wake up and catch up with the outside world as well.

Water

The human brain is made up of 95% water, blood is 82% and lungs 90%. A mere 2% drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on smaller print, such as a computer screen. (Are you having trouble reading this? Drink up!) Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue.

Water is important to the mechanics of the human body. The body cannot work without it. In fact, all the cell and organ functions made up in our entire anatomy and physiology depend on water for their functioning. Water is involved  in all bodily functions: digestion, assimilation, elimination, respiration, maintaining temperature (homeostasis) integrity and the strength of all bodily structures.

* Water serves as a lubricant
* Water forms the base for saliva
* Water forms the fluids that surround the joints.
* Water regulates the body temperature, as the cooling and heating is distributed through perspiration.
* Water helps to alleviate constipation by moving food through the intestinal tract and thereby eliminating waste- the best detox agent.
* Regulates metabolism

In addition to the daily maintenance of our bodies, water also plays a key role in the prevention of disease. Drinking eight glasses of water daily can decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50% and it can potentially even reduce the risk of breast cancer. And those are just a few examples!

Correct timing to drink water is very important!

Correct timing to drink water will maximize its effectiveness to human body.

Two glasses of water after waking up help activate internal organs.

One glass of water 30 minutes before meal helps digestion.

One glass of water before taking a bath helps lower blood pressure.

One glass of water before sleep to avoid stroke or heart attack.

6 weeks break

It is more than a week now since we arrived in London; already involving in life, doing a bit of voluntary work, enjoying walking around and not being dependent on cars. Our 2 weeks holiday at the end of February has extended to 6 weeks and started earlier than we planned.

While getting ready for our 3rd camping trip in the west coast (on the 29th Jan) and trying to arrange outfits for a cocktail party (on the 5th Feb which is today), we got the news from London. Instead ended up packing, running around to complete the paperwork waiting to be finished, emptying the fridge, canceling my 2nd level Arabic course which was due in the week we left.

And, here we are in good old city London again, in the middle of winter. It is nice having a weather change, travelling around independently, walking in the cold, doing my own shopping without any assistance; basically being an ordinary person again. This is definitely a “welcome back to real life”.

One year wiser

I’m not afraid of getting old anymore, neither of seeing grey hair nor realising fine lines on my face. I appreciate the every moment I have got to recognise them.

I am happy that I had yesterday, still living today and will be happy to welcome tomorrow. I feel lucky every time I open my eyes to a new day and see the sunrise. Because there is still hope for me to succeed in life and get one step closer to the things I have been longing for.

And, yes happy birthday to me!

2nd camping trip

We have just come back from our 2nd camping trip but this time we have been to the north coast. There isn’t any soft sands like the south coast, just rocks and stones. It made the journey too bumpy and uncomfortable but the view was worth seeing.

The last camping we didn’t have a tent so we slept in the car. It wasn’t very comfortable so we ended up buying a tent for this trip. Everything was very warm and enjoyable except our tent. The zip came off and we had to sleep with the zip open. Because of the damp I woke up my hair wet and freezing. Only good thing about it was falling asleep listening to the sound of the sea and breathing the fresh air. Also I shouldn’t forget the stars shining on us.

I had beautiful dreams and slept so peacefully after a long time. Falling asleep with the sound of sea (or rain)  is just priceless…

The laughter factory in Doha

When I heard about the show, first doubted about going but I did in the end as it was also for a birthday. The reason behind it; my lack of understanding English humour. It doesn’t matter how good you learn the language, you still cannot learn the humour of the natives in that culture. That’s what I was told and what I experienced. I watched many comedians but either didn’t understand as they were refering to the certain events/situations/cultural jokes I had no idea of or didn’t find it funny at all.

Yesterday I went to the show with all these thoughts in my mind. 3 comedians from the UK took the stage in turn. The first one was alright, the second one was even better and the third made me laugh the most. I actually enjoyed the show. I still can’t believe that, though. Either I’m getting used to the English way of life and humour or those 3 comedians were exceptional.

Maybe I’m the one who is changing after all. A couple of years ago when I first tried porridge, I hated it. Talking now I love it and even get cravings for it. The idea of adding milk in a tea sounded too wrong in the beginning but now it is one of the best things in the world to me. I can’t recognise myself. Is that really me?

Here comes the proverb; ” Üzüm üzüme baka baka kararır.”

The literal translation- Grapes will darken by looking at each other.

The meaning – People are affected by those around them.

Events of the month

Doha book fair at the Doha International Exhibition Centre will be open to public twice daily from 9 am to 1 pm and 4 to 10 pm until 9th January.

Contemporary art exhibition at the Grand Hyatt will be open for viewing from 10 am to 1 pm and 5 – 8 pm until 11th January.

Cowboy up – food and Country Western music at the Salsa Restaurant at the Doha Marriot on 16th January. Entrance and buffet for QR 150.

Live music listings;

http://www.dohajazz.com/gigslistings.pdf

Eid holiday in Turkey

Started writing on the 6th of December 2009

In 8 days, we have managed to visit 2 cities and have seen almost everyone in the family. Also arranged 2 dinner/bar meetings both with high school and uni friends. It looks like I have missed a lot for the last couple of years; met boyfriends, husbands and got baby news of some friends who couldn’t make it to the meetings. It was lovely to see everyone and I really enjoyed it. I don’t think I was quiet even for a second. Jo puzzled to see me talking that much. Oh well… there is no other language than your first which you can express yourself very well and make jokes and also you don’t have to worry about if they are going to misunderstand you or they will catch the humour in it.

I know this feeling very well because Jo explains to me what people mean when they are joking or using idioms in English. I still remember the days I ended up crying for days because of the things people told me or tried to understand what they meant. Communicating in a foreign language and living in a different culture… still trying to get used to it. I’m improving I can say, at least I don’t get shocked when I see something unusual and learning to like differences.

Completed writing on the 6th of January 2010

The street lights, decorations, new year trees (Christmas trees are called so in Turkey) were all up in Istanbul. Even Istanbul was ready for the new year.

A new year, a new decade… and I have realised that I had all the big excitements, the firsts, disappointments, grief, big changes, life time experiences in the last decade.

At the start of millenium we lost my mum’s dad. It wasn’t a good start for the millenium. First time we had chaos in our close-knit family and felt the grief.

A year after I started uni and a new life in a fascinating city Istanbul. I met Jo and it was a big turnout in my life which made me realise the existence of  different kind of men (!) in this universe than the ones I had known when I almost gave up hope on men. He was neither judging me because of my choices nor categorizing me like others. I grew up upon listening to advices on how to become “a good girl to be married”. Otherwise I would be “a girl to have fun with” only and left for an other girl who is to be married instead of me. In those times I had no idea what “having fun” meant and I used to reply to the advices by saying ” …but I want to have fun” and almost giving people heart attacks. (!)

Another sorrow and then another hit our family. We lost my dad’s dad and a few months later my dad’s mum.

I graduated from uni and joined Jo in London. We have started a new life together after our marriage and enjoyed our entended family. I became an auntie, this is definitely a sweet feeling.

New start in a new country shadowed by 3 losses. So hard so sad, spent the last year scared and worried. Even stopped calling people, just wanted to remember everyone how I left them; alive and happy. Wanted to freeze the time so would never have to let anyone go. I hate saying goodbyes but it is time to let go.

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet white doves in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.