I am Alive

Oh man, it seriously has been a whole year since I last dropped anything on my website (except for a few new drawings). I had some 'real life' stuff to handle, but worry not, because I had a blast.

The events of the past year have been nothing short of awesome, and I'm eager to write down what happened. So, buckle up, and get your reading glasses, because this blog post is going to be longer than usual... or at least, I hope it will be!

Moving to a Whole New Country!

Guess what? (Well the chapter title already spoils it but...) Since June of 2023, I've been living in Germany. The whole process of securing my visa was no joke however, it took me nearly two years, thanks to some setbacks in Turkey.

Why the move, you ask? Well, it's all about running after a better education than what I had back in Turkey.

Learning German

Making a move to a country where 'Guten Tag' is more common than 'Hello' or 'Merhaba' wasn't a post-arrival decision for me; I started learning German well before setting foot in Deutschland.

Well, first off, to even think about applying for my visa, I needed to get the minimum B1 level. est. Eight months of German grind later, I breezed through the Goethe B1 Prüfung without a hiccup. But that wasn't the finish line. About three months before my visa arrived, I started back from B1 German, this time taking an online course based in Aachen. Imagine 20 hours a week of Intensivkurs for a nonstop six months—now that was a challenge, but guess what? I started enjoying all of it really fast. Hours of speaking German? That's when the fun started during those months.

Just when I thought things couldn't get worse, my visa arrived just in time. Missing out on face-to-face lectures at the C1 level would've killed all the momentum I had built. So, off to Bremen, I flew, alongside my cousin, a pro when it comes to Germany. I wrapped up my last week of online classes, before taking a long train to Aachen.

Imagine swapping virtual German banter for the real deal with locals. It was a tad strange, but fun in its own way. From day one of my Aachen adventure, the vibe was nothing short of welcoming. Shoutout to the understanding teachers who made the language shift feel like a breeze.

The Exam

Fast forward to the C1 level, and our group was down to three people. It was a sign saying, "Get ready, because the DSH exam is just around the corner."

I went through pre-exam chaos, where each subject—Grammatik, Leseverstehen, Schriftlich, and Mündlich—seemed to slip through my fingers. It felt like I was wasting my time. And then, before I had time to breathe the exam day arrived.

I won't sugarcoat it; the build-up had me bracing for a challenge. But when the actual exam kicked off, it turned out to be surprisingly smoother than what my imagination had painted. Here's the best part, Grammatik, the part where I'd practically forgotten all the rules during the exam. Did I trust my instincts 100%? Absolutely. Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow and the magic from your gut will work its wonders.

Fast forward to a week after the first three segments of the exam, the long awaited email announcing that I had passed with a DSH-2 (C1) level arrived. Cue the celebration! But hold your applause because the Mündliche Prüfung was the next hassle I had to get through, scheduled for the following week.

Same situation as every other subject, retake after retake at home, it felt like I was sinking deeper into the sea of confusion. The struggle was real, and honestly, I started wondering if it was ever going to work out. And low and behold, everything... just worked out fine once again. I usually struggle to find ideas for a topic that I have no interest in but, the topic that had appeared during the exam was quite easy to grasp.

After all of that struggle, I passed the exam with DSH-2 (C1).

It has been a few months since I passed the exam, and now I am waiting to get accepted to a University for the Sommersemester.

Switching to a Dumbphone (Sort of)

In a world dominated by sleek smartphones, making the switch to a small, button phone might raise a few eyebrows. However, everything boils down to my use of a phone (and my interest in dumbphones). And so, I made the bold decision to buy the Duoqin F21 Pro.

f21 photo 1
f21 photo 1
f21 photo 2
f21 photo 2

The transition to a dumbphone wasn't without its challenges. Using T9 for texting, adapting to a smaller screen—it's a complete departure from what phones for the past few years have been like. Yet, these struggles add character to my experience, they force me use it deliberately and that's precisely why I love it.

From using bigger screens and fancier features, which don't add any value, my Duoqin F21 Pro is like a breath of fresh air. It is not a conventional choice, it has its quirks and limitations, and that is exactly what makes it special to me.

Behind the small form factor of this dumbphone lies the power of Android 11. Of course that wasn't enough for me, so I made some changes.

I installed TWRP (recovery software) and a CFW (custom firmware) thanks to Jbazt_katuforzs on XDA Forums. The reason is simple, to get rid of possible Chinese spyware and root this small beast. Not to mention I got rid of everything Google Services as well, and started embracing FOSS applications more than before. Finding alternatives for such apps were easier than I thought, and in most cases I found them better than the proprietary apps. I've always enjoyed tinkering with the software side of devices I own. And Duoqin F21 Pro was a playground waiting to be played in, thanks to its unlocked bootloader—something my previous phone sorely lacked. Oh right, since I can access the root folder on this phone, I also changed the Boot Animation.

Mion Boot Animation
Mion Boot Animation

This... may or may not taken a few hours to do, but I do not regret anything. You can find the full image and its sketch in my gallery. I tried to add a boot audio as well, but failed miserably after countless amount of tries.

Visiting My Online Friend

On Dec 4th, 2023 I hopped on a plane headed for Sweden to meet none other than nobbele, an online friend I've known for 6 long years. You might remember him from one of my previous blog post A Happy Birthday Present! 🎂, this friendship is something I cherish. We have much in common in terms of interests and get along really well in general. We share common interests, navigate the quirks of life together, and despite the inevitable rocky patches that all relationships endure, our communication never wavers.

The first face-to-face meeting 6 years of knowing each other through screens. Awkward? Oh, undoubtedly. The switch from online to real life is a different adventure.

The goal of this meetup was to get to know each other, so nothing exciting happened, but nonetheless, I had a blast. I am hoping to meet him once again in the future.

Here are some photos of the environment:

Night Time
Night Time
Authentic Ikea
Authentic Ikea

Plans for the Future

Looking ahead, my future plans are like an empty canvas waiting to be painted. The real starting point will hopefully be the return to university, this time in the land of Germany. Beyond all that, I will let the tides of life sweep me, wherever they go. I might bother myself to redraw all the Higurashi cards that I had planned a long time ago, but I can't guarantee it.

Phew, I believe this is it from me, all that has happened to me is written as a summary. Hope you enjoyed it!


2024/02/13 - I got my C1 certificate from IELTS, this was the last document required for the university I applied to.

2024/02/15 - I am in! I will study Linguistics and Computer Science starting this April.