Pretty Eveel Adventures

Pretty Eveel Adventures: May 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

20 things I wanna change about myself

Just sat in a talk by Eric Feng, who is a very good speaker i think. He has this affect of making me grin like a silly schoolgirl when he talks. I like that.

Anyway, he said something about how it's difficult to change 20 things about yourself in one go. But what you need to do is to change small and change often.

Inspired. I'm going to try it.

First, what 20 things do I want to change about myself?

1. Stop making lousy excuses for why i need to skip my gym sessions and actually go to the gym.
2. Eat less chocolates (cut down by 75%).
3. Come into the office with a smile on my face.
4. Bitch less (30% less would be a reasonable target).
5. Jump to positive conclusions rather than negative ones.
6. Practise my pastel art more (at least once a week).
7. Read at least 1/2 a book a month.
8. Watch less tv (cut down by 50%).
9. Nag my husband less (cut down by 20%, eh that's a reasonable target already k!)
10. Dine in with my parents/family more often.
11. Sleep 1 hour more every day (preferably sleeping earlier, rather than waking up later and being late for work).
12. Setting a list of at least 5 task items to be completed for each work day, and actually completing it (instead of blogging about it! =P)
13. Stop getting laughs at other people's expense.
14. Pray more often.
15. Clean my room twice a week as opposed to once a week.
16. Do laundry twice a week as opposed to once a week.
17. Be more confident of other people's ability to do things independently (i.e. be less of a control freak).
18. Donate more money to charity.
19. Pick up a charity to volunteer and help out with (i've stopped for too long).
20. Practise facilitation skills more (like up by 25%)

waaahhh...didn't realise i could come up with 20. I'm quite surprised, as I thought i was perfect the way I am. LOL.

okay i'm going to start with no.1.

I already have a gym bag packed. And today i will not make an excuse for not going to the gym!

I'll report back tom!


Monday, May 10, 2010

ihlara valley walk walk

we went for a 4km trek by the Ihlara valley. it was by a river. the weather was cool, the air was crisp and all the colours of the world seemed more vivid than i could every imagine!

my breathing slowed, my heart's steady rhythm lulled me as i walked. it felt like the earth was about to stop spinning. just to allow me to enjoy the wonder of this beauty...forever. it was liberating to be outside, exercising my legs, and letting my lungs do what it was meant to do, to breathe in fresh crisp air, pumped by nature's natural airconditioning.

not once did i think about work or the office. but i find my mind now, wandering back to the dirt path of ihlara valley, where it seemed i may have left my bliss for good.

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deep deep underground

this was the last thing i saw before descending 8 stories down deep into the earth...

with the view of fluffly clouds floating in the blue blue sky, i took a deep breath crouched down and went in. i'm not claustrophobic, nor am i afraid of dark spaces, but i do just prefer the outdoors. ask anyone, i'd always prefer to have the window open rather than sit in a space with air conditioning!

but we were at Derinkyu which had the largest underground city in Cappadocia, or Kapadokya as it is spelt in Turkish.

it was absolutely unbelievable. they're not quite sure who first built it, but Jihan (our guide) said it was likely to be the hittites. why did they live underground when the weather in turkey is just absolutely fabulous? well because so much war took place in turkey, so many invasions, that they dug a deep underground city, a labyrinth of small alleyways, big enough to hold their horses, sheep, cows so that they can hide in times of war.

i remember something funny he said to us, 'You know the Persians? well they liked to attack Turkey, again and again!'

it was and still is a feat of engineering marvel. i loved exploring the deep caves and Jihan was a fabulous guide showing us where the living rooms were, the churches, the missionary schools, the graveyard, the wine-cellar, etc. they were also so smart these trologlodytes- they'd shit into pots, and mix them in with herbs to kill the smell, and seal it in earthen jars, and when the war had ended and they moved back up onto the lands, they'd mix their shit with their animals shit and use it as fertiliser. So resourceful i think!

i CANNOT imagine living underground, though i nudged hubby and said, 'Hey! I'm sure one day in Singapore, we'll live underground too!' I just hope i won't have to shit into pots then!

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Goereme- the land of the fairy chimneys!

Cappadocia is famous for its fairy chimneys. Formed after years of wind and water erosion, of a plateau created by a volcanic eruption millions of years ago, fairy chimneys are formed when there is a layer of basalt on the top, more resistant to the erosion that the bottom layers, causing the formation of these chimneys.

We thought about it for very long and decided to spend our first morning on a group tour so that we got to see as much of cappadocia as we could in the short 2.5 days that we had.

The first stop was for a picturesque view of Goereme.

Alamak so cantik right?

We had a very earnest tourguide Jihan. He had a bad habit of answering my questions with, 'Hold On, I'm planning to tell you about it (the question i asked) when we get to the next point!' He was really sweet so it didn't frustrate me really, i suppose i should wait so that everyone gets to hear what he has to say right?


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the view from up above

the flight from istanbul to kayseri, cappadocia was a myriad of colours.
 i've never felt more inspired in my life!

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

meow meows...everywhere!

the cats were beautiful. often i found them guarding the gates to a mosque or a church. hanging around watching us go by as if studying us visitors...

i like!



my favourite site in Istanbul

if you were to return to Istanbul again and was given an option of visiting only one place, it would definitely be the Hagia Sofia.

The Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia which stands atop the first hill of Constantinople  at the thip of the historic peninsula surrounded by the waters of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn on three sides. It was built by Junstinan I between 532 and 537 and is located in close prosimity to the Great Palace of the Emperors, the Hippodrome and the Church of Hagia Irene. It was converted into the Aya Sophia mosque when the Ottomons ruled. The hid all signs of the churches existence by covering over the beautiful mosaics which chronicled it's Christian history. It's now been secularised and both Christian and Islam symbols coexist most beautifully together.

I read in a guidebook after my visit to the Hagia Sophia that when you first step inside, the splendour and beauty of the place often stops people in its tracks and takes their breadth away. That was exactly what happened for me, but it's power was so immense that it also moved me to tears.

I felt so unbelievably blessed that I had the opportunity to be in the midst of such history and of the beauty of 2 faiths that are so closely linked to my being.

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hubbie kena CON lah!

my hubby is such a softie. walking past the Istanbul university we came across a square filled with pigeons.

while i thought the birds were horrible vectors of disease, my hubby was thoroughly amused.

while i ignored the lady with the birdseeds, he took a couple of handful of seeds from her and happily started feeding the birds while i clicked away on our camera.

when the feeding frenzy ended. the lady customarily asked him for some money. he looked at me and i shrugged thinking to myself, 'you got yourself into this one all on your own luv, you get yourself out of it yourself too'.

he fished out 2 turkish lira (about SGD 1.60).

she was not impressed. at this point i would have just walked away from her. i mean, come on? how much could bird seed cost.

but softie hubby...fished out his smallest note (seeing that he had run out of coins) and gaver her another 5 turkish lira.

and that is the story of how my hubby kena CON by this lady out of 7 turkish lira! Oits that's like a whole doner kebab, a drink plus a turkish tea to wrap up the meal gone in place of birdseeds ok!!!!


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sultanahmet- our first glance

the first-time, it took our breadth away. we kept returning  back to the sultanahmet mosque or better known as the blue mosque, again and again just because it was so beautiful. i cannot describe to you the feeling of strolling in the square at dusk, and hearing the melodious adhans calling the faithful to prayer.

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brekkie with hubby

i was soo pleased that hubby woke up early his first morning in Istanbul. he was obviously still quite jet-lagged and i was so intent on having a good full day of sight-seeing before catching our flight to kayseri, cappadocia in the evening.

we were both starved so we hopped out to the nearby kebab shop where i had gorgeous grilled cheese toast and he had an islahak (i think) burger. actually he had 2 of them! lol.

he loved the burger (the turkish version of the ramli burger) that we went back for one more to tahpow for the airport after our sight-seeing!

lol. YUMZ!

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kinetix turkey!

i was soooo pleased when hubby arrived in istanbul on wednesday evening. i flew in earlier for work and was seriously missing his company although Winston was an absolutely fab travel partner who made time spent in the conference and outside of the conference totally fun.  i must also give him credit for helping me figure out the complicated token purchasing system of the istanbul metro system (thanks winst!).

anyhow, the first order of business when hubby came was shoe-buying. it was amazing that he was up for a walk out at istiklal caddessi even after travelling for a good 14hours. he was hungry more than sleepy i think. so we went out and bought me a pair of sneakers.

you see- the goondoo i was, brought my pair of CROCS lah to turkey. I was so busy over the days leading up to the trip that i couldn't find time to get a pair of sneakers and i didn't want to bring my trainers cos they were so bulky. i mean i had to bring heels for work and stuff, and was really trying to keep my luggage lean. The CROCS were NOT good for walking on sandy cobbled streets.

i managed to find a decent pair of 50% off sneakers made in Turkey- a turkish brand called Kinetix. i was pleased that it was in my favourite khaki green colour. that it was a authentic turkish brand although the salesman did say that they were MADE IN CHINA lah!

hubby looked at me disapprovingly. i knew he thought i should be less cheap and buy a good pair of nikes or converse or adidas sneakers. but hey they lasted me well during the trip!


Saturday, May 8, 2010

vitamins- old skool

have you had your daily dose of vitamins today?

tell me, did it come in tablet form?

well, when in turkey do like the turks.

ditch the vitamin tablets and go for the real thing.

a cup of pomegranate juice maybe with a dash of orange?

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the cobbled alleys..

my feet did a lot of work in Istanbul. we walked and walked and walked everywhere. most of the time down the lovely cobbled streets. first in taksim, beyoglu and of course the divine sultanahmet area.

i particularly enjoyed our walks down istiklal caddesi towards beyoglu, a seedy area that has now turned into a really hip area with many art galleries and local designer wear galleries.

we took a turn into one of these alleys, just wandering about exploring where the little streets would take us. with the lovely cool weather, i was in seventh heaven. we even stumbled on a quaint little church hidden among the brambles.


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the sweets on istiklal caddesi

after a gruelling 7 hour flight from singapore to dubai followed by 4.5 hours from Dubai to Istanbul with a 2hr layover. i found myself 5 hours behind singapore time, driving by the Sea of Marmara towards our hotel at Taksim Square.

it wasn't until a whole day later, after another 8 gruelling hours in a conference room that i got to explore Istiklal caddesi, just down the road from our hotel.  Taksim Square is really the new more modern part of Istanbul and Istiklal caddesi is the Orchard Road of Singapore.

It was packed with people thronging the stores that lined the caddessi. It was overwhelming but so much fun, with an old tram that went by it towards the Beyoglu area.

Oh but what took my breadth away was the gorgeous Turkish sweets stores salivating at the most decadent looking sweets ever!


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it's spring

i love spring. it's an especially beautiful spring in Istanbul this year!

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