Take Me Home Tonight

My hometown Istanbul (taken from the Galata Tower)

My hometown Istanbul (taken from the Galata Tower)

Had you asked me a year ago today if I was ever going back to Turkey, I would look at you weird and say “hell, no, son!”. Yeah, that’s how much I hated it there. And don’t even get me started on how attached I was to New York! I would consider myself as a New Yorker, and act like one on many occasions.

And life wasn’t so bad – if you don’t count that soul-sucking job of mine (but hey, isn’t it almost the most New York thing? Hating your day job and drinking your sorrows away at happy hours?). We had just moved out of The Ranch to a new apartment and a new start (paid a lot of fees, that is) and I was really excited about my future there. I was following lifestyle blogs, looking into DIY, buying fabrics and crafts stuff to make furniture into. I bought wood paint; I was so obsessed with painting that old bed frame I had into a beautiful piece of furniture! I guess at that time, I thought a pretty home would make me feel accomplished in life. I really thought it would change my life. But I mean, hello, is it 50’s? I was one step away from buying puffy dresses and curling my hair.

But of course, my enthusiasm was soon demolished, the paint dried out, the fabrics were left in the closet, and those beautiful frames stayed where I put them leaning against the wall.

My life was in such a rut that a change of apartments was not enough to shake me up. I needed a change of pace. And a change of place.

First I worked a bit to get to London. Didn’t work out, of course. Too expensive. And I had almost no savings…

Then I thought a graduate degree in Berlin would be nice. That didn’t work out either.

Then after exactly about 6 months after I thought going back to Turkey would be the worst thing I could ever do, I bought my one-way ticket to Istanbul against the protests of my Turkish friends, against the extreme joy my parents showed over my decision they thought I made because I wanted to start a family, and against my better judgement.

Then on August 11th, I was at the check-in counter in JFK crying at the clerk to let me take all my belongings to the plane even though the suitcases were really overweight. “Please, ma’am, I’m leaving New York after 5 years, it was really difficult to stuff my life into two suitcases, can’t you let this one slide?” Thankfully, she was sympathetic. She told me to at least make them the same weight, so at one point I was sitting on one of my suitcases, and she was trying to zip it close. Bless her. Still, only I know how I felt when I had to take bags of clothes & shoes to Goodwill, and when I had to leave my books (my books!) at the curb only to go back out and sit there to see them safely to people who would actually read them while crying out “Hello, look at these books! It’s a great collection! Wouldn’t you like one – or all of them? It’s free! They need a home! Please, sir! Don’t let the garbage people take them!” to strangers.

My curbside after the moving out. It's actually worse than It looks here. Much worse.

My curbside after the moving out. It’s actually worse than It looks here. Much worse.

All those furniture I handpicked and pinned my hopes of a brand new start and a brand new life on was just left to the hands of Astorians, who needed cheap stuff, and the garbagemen.

But, you know what they say, you shouldn’t get attached to material things. Hit the reset button every once in a while. See if you can survive it. Right?

So after all the hassle, I found myself in the car with my parents, heading to my teenage home. With my teenage room and my teenage books and my teenage bed. I mean it wasn’t the first time I came back home after I moved to NY, but it was the first time that I wasn’t a tourist. That was it. This was my home. No going backsies to New York. That chapter is done. Kaput.

Anyway, it’s not all so bad. But let’s not turn this blog post into a novel, shall we? I – along with my dear old roommate from the Ranch – will be coming here occasionally to tell some sad, some hilarious, some tragicomical stories. We’ll see how that goes. So stay tuned!

Returning Home

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our new skyline

Home is where the heart is…
Or where the passport’s from…
Or where you keep your stuff…

Interesting question come to think of it. At this point, I’ve different answers to these questions. Over the past few years, I’ve been hopping around from location to location. The latest in my long list of passport stamps has lead me home to Singapore.

It’s been a grand total of 5 years since I’ve been home. Dang, that’s weird to say out loud. If you’re Singaporean, ever been to Singapore or know anyone from there, it’s an eternity in the evolution of this tiny little island. 2015 will officially mark 50 years of independence. Things have gotten a lot more interesting since I left.

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