It has been more than a week that I have returned after a solo travel in Istanbul. I don’t know if I am to share my awesome experiences in this blog or keep it to myself and be selfish about how it is to be in magnificent Turkey.
While contemplating the thought on whether or not to share my breathtaking journey, I would like to thank Sam Smith’s music for keeping me sane during the lengthy travel time from Manila to Istanbul via Seoul, South Korea. It was a crazy 15 hour flight with 5 hours layover at Incheon Airport each way!
Here is my favorite track in Sam Smith’s recently released album:
I am more keen (of course) on writing about my Turkey journey. It’s just that my experiences were all so beautiful and colorful, I actually don’t know where to start. The title of this song is so like my travel to Turkey, “Baby, You Make Me Crazy”!!!
Single and unattached uncles often times are the cooler and more amiable versions of a father. They are often the type of human beings who initiate messy-yet-fun activities that parents dread or wouldn’t dream of doing with their kids. They are the ones who permit impish and playful pursuits of youngsters that nervous or impatient parents would not want to do.
Since single and unattached uncles are often times financially stable and obligations and responsibilities are few and are often far between. Thus, they even become cooler because they have the money to splurge.
And since uncles are older and experienced, they would often be the ones that kids would run to in case they could not discuss stuffs to their parents. They can give worthy and wicked advises that kids need not necessarily follow. And in case nieces and nephews refuse or won’t listen, nothing changes. Kids not following advises is not going to be an issue to cool uncles. Cool uncles remains cool uncles.
Though my monster pamangkins (translation: nieces and nephews) would totally disagree, I would like to believe that I am that type of an uncle. And while my family had a short vacation in Japan, I further my being a neat praiseworthy uncle by accompanying 3 of my monster pamangkins around the marvelous sites of Kyoto and the grounds of the massive Osaka Castle.
Though I was there slave photographer, I had a blast with these three!
Only now that I realized that in the past 7 times that I have travelled to Japan, only few times did I went to a public art museum. Reason maybe is because Japan in itself is one whole country of a public museum. Everything you see, touch and feel seem worthy of being preserved, collected and exhibited.
When I go to a foreign country, I often set aside a day to visit either an art, cultural or historical museum. I call it my “cultural day”. A day when my soul is fed with art, history and culture. But being in Japan, everyday seem to be a “cultural day”.
Though it is my 8th journey to Japan, this visit is still something different. It is because I got to go and check on an actual museum. And what is so unique about it is that I myself seem to be part of the museum’s exhibit.
While my nieces and nephews settled to go to Osaka’s Universal Studios, accompanied by one of my nieces, I, my sisters and Nengkoy went to Osaka Museum of Housing & Living.
The whole museum is a replica of an old Japanese town, specifically during Japan’s Edo period. The cool thing about this museum is you got to rent and wear clothes of people during that era. Thus, visitors donned in kimonos and yukatas can interactively feel how it really was 200 years ago in Osaka.
Adding up the modern Japanese technology, the lighting and sound simulations of the whole museum would shift, in which visitors would get to witness how it is to be during early morning dawn, daytime and nighttime period of the Edo era. The awesome feeling was like stepping into the good olden days of Osaka!
The ultimate measure for the most favorite travel destination to a foreign country of a traveler is the number of times that traveler has returned. Intentions for such returns must be for leisure and never to count the reasons due to work, study, business or religion.
Me and Nengkoy’s most recent visit to Japan was our eight time. And Japan, Osaka in particular never ceases to amaze us. Both of us thought that we have basically done everything a tourist must do in Osaka and its nearby cities like Kyoto, Nara and Kobe.
We then decided to further plunged ourselves to the Japanese culture by attending and learning the Way of Tea, otherwise known as the Japanese tea ceremony. My niece booked us at Maikoya Osaka, a Japanese cultural experience center who fortunately holds some of their cultural classes in English.
We got to witness how the tranquil purification process was done along with the very elaborate and refined steps of the ceremony. The Way of Tea for me is like a transcendent ritual that truly demonstrate respect through grace, charm and poise along with the showmanship of how a high level of good etiquette should be carried out.
The Way of Tea ceremony is a total opposite from my being brusque, coarse and unmannered. The beautiful rite was so calm, serene and peaceful. It was so dreamlike, I wanted to lie down, sleep and snore right there at the tatami mat!
I thought my 8th visit in Osaka prefecture would be a bore but our first Way of Tea experience was such a refreshing encounter. It provided me reasons to come back and further explore beautiful Osaka and its nearby cities in the future.
When you got old, when you got poor. When you got sick, when you got hungry. When you got lost, when you got heartbroken. These are the low moments in our lives when we would know the true people who cares for us.
Like what Warren Buffet said, “It is only when the tide goes out that you discover who’s been swimming naked”
Have you ever been introduced to a poignant and beautiful lullaby while reading a novel? And have you ever tried searching and listening to that music inscribed in such book? I was and I did.
Thanks to young Elio, the main character in the book Call Me By Your Name, for he introduced me to Fenesta Ca Lucive, an old, sad and touching Neapolitan song. As soon as I finished reading the pages where Fenesta Ca Lucive was penned, I dropped the book and took my Ipad. I searched the song and this is what it was…
Chiagneva sempe ca durmeva sola Mo dorme co’ li muorte accompagnata She always wept because she slept alone, Now she sleeps among the dead
While listening to this beautiful lullaby, I took the book and re-read the portion where it was portrayed. The music gave a different sensation. It suddenly gave the novel I was reading a brighter color. Though, I don’t understand a single word of the song, the music is so haunting, it felt like I was in the streets of Rome witnessing the tenderness, passion and the imminent despair of the main character.