Thursday, August 11, 2011

Every Story Has Its Ends!

What does one do when one has 2 weeks left after a year in a foreign country? I have laughed, I have cried, I have spent the best times, I have spent the worst times in Turkey. I have went through my ups and downs to adapt my life in Turkey. I have made Izmir, Turkey, the "city of love," my home!

I have only two emotions about going back to America. I have absolute excitement to see my family. They have been going through possibly the most worst scenarios a family can go through, and I want to be a light of hope for them. I also have complete and distinct fear of leaving Turkey and returning to the many problems that await me.

I feel like everything that I have experienced is coming to an abrupt end! How can this be? How does one cope with this kind of energy? This has been nothing I have experienced before. I know this slightly what I should be going through; however, the extremes that I will be going back to, to be frankly honest, scares the living shit out of me! I would like to know your thoughts, opinions, and advice in the comments section below!

How should I spend my last 2 weeks here? Life is spinning out of control, that I need to grab a hold of something. I will! Dustin means brave and valiant warrior, and I believe our names were given for a reason. I have the strength to fight a million, but I feel like I may fall down to a peasant level, not able to fight anymore. I may need a refresher course to become the warrior I was and am currently.

Like my family, Turkey has been the light of hope for me. It has made part of who I am and appreciate them both soo much! I have learned many things through the eyes of the Turks and I hope to bring that back with me!

I have promised myself to be as strong as possible through this,, but it will be painstakingly hard. I have come here to become the person I am now, and would not trade any split second of a moment, EVER! I will leave with tears water-falling from my eyes and my heart beat at an irregular rhythm, but I would recommend this experience to the world!

I leave every single person that reads this with strength, hope, power, happiness, passion, courageousness, stability, knowledge, compassion, confidence and ultimate love for your near and far future!

Video to watch: Dido - Sand In My Shoes

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Marmaris - My Favorite Place in Turkey

When the water is perfectly waving from the water sports and boat tours, you know its the perfect time to take a dive in the luke warm Mediterranean sea in Marmaris, Turkey.

Yes. Marmaris, Turkey and its surrounding hiding spaces are by far my favorite places in the world, so far. There is something so attractive about it; from its sea, the boats, the sun, the beaches, the many groups of British, the bar street, the ice cream, and even the 10 kilometer seaside walks. Ok I'm rambling.

A secret restaurant about 20 minutes outside of Marmaris. VERY relaxing and peaceful.
So first thing you will notice after the wonderful sun is the amount of British influences on the area. At every street corner and alley way you will either find a British individual or a British themed restaurant. It is amusing at times hearing the rantings and hassling from restaurants where they are trying to convince you their restaurant is the best in Marmaris. They either start in Turkish or English and proceed from there. I have had some interesting conversations, laughs and even bargained down prices with my knowledge of Turkish, just an added bonus! ;) It always surprises me how many languages these workers know. They ask you where you are from and begin speaking in that language, quite fun and very useful in the touristic sector.

Marmaris has something for every person!
The beach is not like that of San Diego or Miami beach. Imagine the the sea being about 20 meters from the sidewalk. In between is a beach filled with indescribable amount of sun beds. Typically the beds cost about 5TL each (3$); however sometimes they are free as long as you buy something from the bar or market that owns those particular beds. You can spend the entire day to your liking. I like the mixture of swimming, sunbathing, reading, and listening to music and/or just hearing the water's waves with the sounds of laughter around me.

Water sports, a MUST!

So you have your day plans: tubing, para sailing, sun-bathing, swimming, dining; but what about at night? Well I have a treat for you. Go enjoy the famous bar street of Marmaris. Now if you look at the name, it doesn't sound all that appealing. Imagine an alley way that stretches the distance of a couple football fields, it is just wide enough to fit a small car. Now imagine you are walking past one small door with their body guards listening to Shakira. It doesn't attract you, maybe its the people, the music, the atmosphere; walk 10 more steps and there is your next potential destination playing a different style of music. They have a variety of music from rock, pop, house, techno, R&B, Turkish, folk, etc. If you want to dance, there are places; if you want to stand and watch live bands, there are places, if you don't know what you want, there will be a place for you. Then there are the popular doner kebab places where people grab a wrap of doner on their way home.

Beach Club.
You can swim at any hour, even 5AM. ;)
To get away from the crowded beaches and hustle and bustle that goes on in the streets you can escape to Beyaz Marti, a private, very small beach. The water is indescribably clear. When you look, you can see the bottom, and after diving in, you cannot reach the bottom, it is that clear. You float there with the salt holding you up, you feel like you are lying in a humongous bath! When you get out, you can grab a nice hammock and/or a carved melon filled with scrumptious ice cream. YUM!

Beyaz Marti
I have managed to go to Marmaris the past 3 consecutive summers, and can I tell you, I hope it continues this way. Marmaris, Turkey brings joy, happiness, laughter, relaxation, sun, tan, and life!

You have to do a boat tour if you go to Marmaris!

Monday, August 8, 2011

See the Beauty That Comes From Foreign Lips!

What kind of person can sit there and trash talk any musician if they cannot even understand a single word?

Shocking right? This post comes after I was watching a variety of non-English speaking singers on YouTube. I just browsed at some comments and I started remembering some of the comments I got after listening to foreign artists, such as Turkish, in my car.

Some of the comments I read and have heard:

"That's not singing that's a bunch of noise hurting my ears"
"That's a bunch of trash."
"Who would listen to something of another language?"
"This is a bunch of jibber-jabber."
"They will never make it" (meaning they cannot make it, because it's not English)
"English is the only way to go."
"If you can't understand it, why listen to it."
"They are trying to be different and cool."
"This is the anthem to terrorism."
... and the list goes on and on.

I would like to share my point of view and how I feel these are all, firstly, very cruel, secondly, very ignorant, and thirdly very close-minded.

Firstly, language is an absolute BEAUTIFUL thing. Since the beginning of time people were separated by language and culture, this I feel is what makes us all beautiful and special in our own way. Language is expressed in different ways. For example, to say your goodbyes to a friend in Turkish is completely different than saying your goodbyes in English. This does not make one better than the other, it makes them special, unique, and culturally adapted.

To say they will never make it, because they don't sing in English or that they are just trying to be different is absurd. If you look outside of the English speaking countries, there are thousands of very famous singers making it big in their own region; in Turkey alone I would need more than 5 hands! To think that if a singer does not make it America, they will not be famous, is a scary thought. Yes, of course coming to America and other English speaking countries is a plus, but to be that self-centered is beyond my belief. There are differences in success and if you want to place your definition of success to America alone, then you are in for a long haul in life. Sorry.

If I can't understand a song, why listen to it? Well for starters, their voice, the music, the beats, the art that is behind each breath a singer takes. If you don't understand what they are saying, ask! Translate, find someone to explain it. It is not hard at all to broaden your mind even a little bit! It scares me to think that we have people out there, that if they don't understand something, that they give up and don't pry for more knowledge, leaving them at square one, insulting something they know nothing about. (This does not just apply to music alone!)

Anthem of terrorism? Do I even need to explain this? There is terrorism in every single culture, every single region of the world, and every single language. If you even think for one second that just because a song is sung in something other than English, that it has terroristic roots, you may want to evaluate the world that you are living in, and find out what terrorism really is!

I understand, plenty of people have their niches, and some prefer certain things. If that's the way you see it, go ahead with it, really. I would not judge you one second. However, if you do not favor something such as the language, the music, the style, DO NOT follow your listening with an ignorant close-minded statement. Move on to something that IS in your comfort zone. Please, be open to the world. If you don't prefer it, then don't, but at least show respect to others culture, music, and region. We are all people and if you live with a self-centered attitude we will never make the progress that is necessary!

"Peace at Home, Peace in the World" ~Mustafa Kemal Ataturk