Visiting ‘Europe’ and Home.


The following facebook conversation took place this morning while talking to a friend.

Friend: Dude you’re in Pakistan?

Me: Yeah 😀

Friend: After only a month of college? Why?

Me: Didn’t you hear? I left Bilkent.

Friend: Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

Me: I mean for a week! I am here for my brother’s wedding 😛

So yes. After only a week of classes at Bilkent, I am back in Pakistan. Back home. There was no way I was going to miss the first and biggest wedding of my family. You see my brother is like the superstar of the family. So people from even other countries (Saudia Arab?) have arrived to attend his long awaited wedding. Honestly I am super pumped up for it. Not only I get to see so many cousins and family members after a long time but also I get to hang out with my own friends. This is just perfect.

My total journey time from Ankara to Islamabad is around 26 hours. The reason(s) for the elongated time was my short visit to Istanbul. So I flew from Ankara to Istanbul on one of those extremely inexpensive promotional flights ($28) and had to change airports in Istanbul. The two airports in Istanbul are continents apart. And I mean literally; one is in Asia and the other in Europe. So on the way I got to hang out with my two awesome YES buddies Bilal and Zoya who came to Taksim Square just to see me.

You guys are awesome!

Zoya and Bilal
Zoya and Bilal at Taksim

Zoya is studying at a university in Istanbul so she was a cab ride away whereas Bilal (our very own global traveler) was in Istanbul because of a conference and was living in a hostel nearby. I was really glad I got to meet both of them. It’s just the sort of experience I used to envision. Sitting on a road side cafe in some foreign country and speaking your heart out to a good friend.

You can literally feel the difference between Istanbul and Ankara when you’re at one of the other places. Even though my visit to Istanbul was only for a day, I could see the high level of diversity in the city and a larger variety of people. Maybe it’s because Taksim is full of tourists. It’s definitely a bit more expensive and the weather was warmer than Ankara. However the most beautiful thing is the lakes and sea that surround the city. That exact sky blue color of the sea gives certain warmth to the overall image of Istanbul and I would die to play in one of those football fields right beside the sea. The traffic is horrendous in Istanbul. It reminded me of Los Angeles’ never moving traffic for some reason when we were stuck there for 3 hours and almost missed our flight.

Future advice for anyone travelling from Sabiha Gokcen Airport to Attaturk Airport: the best way to do this is to take the Havaş Bus from the airport. It will take you to Taksim and from there you can get on another Havaş. Total trip will cost you 23TL ($12) and depending on traffic it can take from 2.5 to even 4 hours. So make sure you have plenty of time to make the transit.

Oh and of course how can I fail to boast about visiting Europe( Read: European side of Istanbul) for the first time ever. I was expecting some sort of European welcome as soon as we crossed the Bosphorus Bridge but unfortunately the presence of something evident was missing. It is possible that I had the wrong view from the bus seat so couldn’t notice the vital differences between Asian and European parts of Istanbul.

In front of the famous Republic Monument at Taksim.
In front of the famous Republic Monument at Taksim.

Right now I am at Karachi Aiport. The Rs.100 tea was totally worth the WiFi (swear to God they won’t let me sit here without me ordering something). My next flight to Islamabad is after 4 hours; so what better to do than blog when you’re stranded at an airport. I am missing a lot of classes back in the university and they don’t even have a leave system so they will all count as absents. I depart back to Turkey on the 1st Oct and hopefully will get to see more of Istanbul this time or meet my old time school friend Humza. For now I am just super duper excited for the next 5 days of shadi food,  photographs, dances and all the attention I can get from them ‘aunties’.


Skip ‘Jobs’, Watch ‘Pirates of Silicon Valley’ Instead


Good artists copy. Great artists steal – Pirates of Silicon Valley

Last night I saw Jobs. Before I say what I actually thought of Jobs, let me make it clear that I went with extremely high expectations and was looking something related to the Social Network in terms of class or how motivated it makes one feel.

(Spoiler alerts ahead)

JobsThe movie started off on a high note with Steve Jobs introducing the iPod for the first. This got me all excited because I wanted to see more of the start of iPhone and iPods and delve into the life of the Steve we’ve all seen in the last decade. But that never happened. The movie ended without anyone even using the word “iPhone”, perhaps Apple’s greatest invention. The movie was mostly well made with a few scene dragging on too much. The whole deal with his board of directors got a little boring. Steve Jobs was shown as kind of a big asshole but then his whole rekindled spirit and new attitude added a little spark. As for Ashton Kutcher, I am a bit ambivalent on which side to go on. While watching the film, my mind was battling between accepting Ashton Kutcher as Jobs because he totally looks like him and trying to forget that this is not a comedy movie. The crying scene when he finds out his girlfriend is pregnant was perfectly executed and filled the theatre with a sense of bewildered aura of sadness; shortly followed by Apple’s success and high value in the market. In short Jobs wasn’t gripping and lacked content.

PiratesWhen I found out that they don’t even show Bill Gates in Jobs the movie, I went nuts. I mean come on! You can’t find an actor with big glasses and blonde hair who looks like he’ll never get laid? I mean I can find one on Google images right now. So as soon as I went home, I searched other movies about Steve Jobs and landed upon one of the most amazing technology based movie which was released in 1999 : Pirates of Silicon Valley. The movie begins with Steve Jobs saying:

I don’t want you to think of this as just a film – some process of converting electrons and magnetic impulses into shapes and figures and sounds. No. Listen to me. We’re here to make a dent in the universe. Otherwise, why even be here? We’re creating a completely new consciousness, like an artist or poet. That’s how you have to think of this. We’re rewriting the history of human thought with what we’re doing – Pirates of Silicon Valley

This movie won my heart. It shows the beginning of both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and their ultimate rivalry when they both come to power in the infant computer industry.  Seriously the actor who played Bill Gates was so good, I literally forgot this was not the real Gates. Being a TV film, I doubt it many people have seen this one thus I won’t ruin it with spoilers. Therefore I highly recommend you watch Pirates of Silicon Valley today and let me know what you think of it in the comments section below.


Extinction Level Event and you survive out in Space


So yesterday, oddly enough, while taking  a shower it occured to me that so far I haven’t read a certain type of space related story. That is in which an extinction level event happens on the Earth but a few astronauts out in space survives. As the idea swarmed through my head, I quickly jumped out of the shower and jotted some points down. The main idea of the story that I want to write is that the story will be from the point of view of a team of astronauts who witness everyone on Earth die from their space ship and how they themselves contemplate and handle the situation. Its just a rough ideas so a lot of room for addition. If you know a story/novel based on this idea, please let me know in the comment section below. I will be grateful forever.


Bye Bye Earth


Woman Unveiled إِمْرَأَةْ تَنْكَشِفْ

Nelson Mandela once said that “it is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor.” Her Majesty Queen Rania told us that by educating a girl we educate a family, and work towards the future. There are hundreds of men and women around the world devoting all of their time and effort to improving the lives of girls, because they see it as the best investment in a sustainable future. I couldn’t agree with them more. Progress in the past few decades has been impressive,

Today marks the first International Day of the Girl. As many of my readers have probably noticed I am always interested in covering gender-related issues. This is a day for all girls, but on this day I would like to highlight the heroism of a girl who almost lost her life working for this cause at the tender age of 14.

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