Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Huzun iz a color

Originally uploaded by Andrei Singer
As much as blues is a feeling, huzun is a color. One only has to spend a few days in Istanbul and quickly realizes that a patter appears. The yellow grey buildings, the faded yellow gray marble, the pigeon blood red tulips on beautiful plates, and the red flowing on every mast make out a map. Orange juice, and orange hidjabs spice up the mix but ultimately everything is reflected, connected, changed by the eternal Bosphorus blue. It is a blue of many shades: almost black in the evening, bright dark turquoise on some mornings and silvery blue very early when the ferries start their daily trips. One cannot rest immune to all this. Only very few days are in fact necessary to make a total stranger into an Istanbulu of sorts. You develop a habit. You follow a daily routine that is as much about unpredictable as about the constant ebb and flow of things and people, the sea and the seagulls. Have some tea, strong and intense as the pungent smell of the roses up on the high terrace between Top Kapi and the Bosporus. You can see Asia and smell its wind. You feel the Empire. Of all the little tea-houses and cafes I discovered in Istanbul - there must be thousands – my favorites where hidden in old cemeteries. No beer is served here as they sleep – this is holly ground my friend! But arkadash you should try the narghile it is good, it cleanses the soul. One more coffee and you are just a bit closer of understanding Huzun.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Italian Connection

Originally uploaded by Andrei Singer
Mobile communications have come to define our lives. All walks of life and all cultures alike. It is this universal equalizer of kinds not yet fully democratic and universal but certainly a powerful force. It may be true that different people use if for different things but still, on a brilliantly sunny morning in Pisa I couldn't stop thinking how it shows we ultimately are all the same. The chic dress, the expensive suit or the refugee kit all cover the same need for contact, for information. The basic desire to stay in touch, to be in the know, or to just chatter casually and thus manifest ourselves as identity a individual belonging to a communicating society. mobile comms have changed the world in many ways one being that distance has become less relevant and time more relative. Now everything is immediate, instant, pressing. We all rich and poor. young and old, men and women have so much less time as we are expected to be reachable and available all the time. As we come to expect instant access to all. From China to Africa and from NY to Pisa everywhere I go, people these days seam more prone to talk to somebody distant over their cellphones then to somebody just inches away. Is it ultimately a good thing? Remains to be seen how society deals with its immense and intense implications. I personally hate it as much as I love the efficiency of it. Just days ago I left my phone at home for almost an entire day. I was shocked what a loss I felt at the beginning - almost feeling handicapped somehow. I tremendously enjoyed the bliss of not being bothered an entire day and having time to reflect, write and read a bit.