Höşgeldiniz! It was the first word I saw when I walked into TÖMER (a Turkish language school), a night after I arrived in Turkey. Naturally, I wondered how such a ridiculous string of letters and characters would sound like.

You must understand me, I have practically used English my whole life, a little bit of French and of course, a number of local languages in Ghana. I know about the other languages in the world but, this,… The “word” must have something to do with welcome. That much I gathered because right underneath the strange string of letters was the word WELCOME.

So i walked right ahead, İ was going to register to learn Turkish, and I hoped I will be “welcome”.

My first experiences in the country were not too pleasant or easy. First of all, I had a hard time finding my way to a pay phone. I found it strange that nobody I came across, apart from the gentleman at the foreign exchange stand spoke English in an “international” airport. I had read that the predominant language within the country was Turkish but considering Portugal, a Portuguese speaking nation that has a sizeable number of natives also speaking English, a global language, I kind of expected a similar situation here. Alas, here I stood lost with no means of communication. Eventually, I found my way out of the airport.

After some other events I have safely locked away in the “never-visit-again-cabinets’ of my life, I arrived at my dorm and I met Asia, and oh, how she made me feel welcome. Someone at last who would speak gibberish as well as English. She would later be a real friend to me (another story for another day).

Fast forward eight months and I have finally finished my course. İ walked past the same sign, even though I’m nowhere near perfect in the language and I have bouts of doubts and uncertainty about what word or expression means what sometimes, I don’t think its so strange anymore. In fact, I wonder – How cool is it that a whole sentence is said in one word? Höşgeldiniz – You are welcome.

Embrace whatever new experiences you are facing and find the good in it. I bet you will find many ‘cool’ stuff to add to your reservoir of experiences.


The mind is a phenomenal tool designed to do marvellous things only if we train it.


what are some of your experiences in new places?

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Ain’t it strange how a simple word remains the key to the intimidating gate of a great conversation…?

I have to make a move. How hard can it be; a few mumbled words and the usual pleasantries. But then, what if I get snubbed; that will be painful; would I even stand out; someone like that must be spoilt for choice’. Pushing these and many more conflicting thoughts aside, Mitchell strolled into the conference room on the last day of the inter-company training conference held once in every two years

Sitting on the other end of the vast conference hall was Hope, overwhelmed by a torrent of thoughts which made it difficult to concentrate on what the speaker was saying. She had to literally, pinch herself to snap out of her day dreaming. Her gaze kept wandering constantly to the young man from Kyler & Brunt. In her mind’s eye she saw the world’s greatest couple. If only he would say “hello”, she imagined. “Or I should? No! Men are supposed to make the first move” she continued in thought sadly.

Five hours later, Mitchell was on the flight back home and Hope had just entered her apartment. Nancy, her sister, was going on as always, typing some important project from school. How did it go, she asked.


And that could describe the conference for Mitchell as well.

Many times we lose loads of opportunities and possibilities because we are ‘afraid’ to even try. We want to start something – a project, learn a trade, divert into another career path, set up a blog like me or even get a girl like Mitchell. We get fascinated by how awesome and novel we want it to be. Over & over again, in our minds, we examine the complexities/competitions there are associated to whatever it is, but fail to start.

We wonder the repercussions of failing to make an impression; what if it’s not good enough….. Well, you can’t get snubbed when you haven’t said ‘hello’ for thoughts are as good as nothing when we don’t act. We wouldn’t know the outcome unless we do something.

Sometimes, there is the blanket of the excuse or understanding that society can give us, so we just stay in our comfort zones; constrained by some typecast. After all, “aren’t men supposed to make the first move?” How differently Hope would have described the day if she had taken the bold step and said “Hello”. It is time to break the stereotype and be extraordinary.

The possibility of a great relationship (Friendship, couple, Partnership) or a “freezing off” has been lost because neither Mitchell nor Hope said “Hello”

Whatever we want to be…. to do…. It all begins with a “HELLO”

                                          …………..so “Hello” Continue reading