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Celebrating "Syncretismas" in the land of the shapeshifters



My PhD professor and mentor Roy Ascott, to whom I owe far more than just this one word is the one who coined the term "syncretismas" a few years ago when he sent out a syncretic season's greeting. It fits what goes on here, an essentially non-Christian society, to a tee and I have thus embraced it wholeheartedly in describing the occurrences around this time of year in what I think of (mostly quite fondly but sometimes also critically) as the land of the shapeshifter. Today I went to a cut-price hyper-market to stock up on household utensils, cleaning things and so forth. And then later I took a stroll around Kadikoy market. And since the preparations for "Syncretismas", which is celebrated here on New Year's Eve in the shape of a completely secular, non-religious "Christmas", are well under way I took the opportunity to document some of what I saw, to share with people who do not know my culture.
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I do not know how many people read this blog. To judge by what the wordpress stats give me, not too many at all. 12 today. 5 yesterday, none the few days before that, then 4 and so on. But recently I found out that I do not see all the viewings. And not only the ones via RSS but even regular page viewings. Some of those seem to slip the radar as well. So, really I have no idea.

I also do not know why I keep this blog. It is not really a diary. I have a separate one for that and that is private. And when I look at what I write here - quite frankly I am appalled: It is "me me me" straight through all the way. I cannot write about what I really want to write about. That is forbidden to me. So, I have nothing but my boring self. My alts. My this. My that. My opinions. Me me me. I am very tired of "me."

I travel a lot. Many airports. I board the plane from one which looks almost exactly like the one where I finally leave it. Traveling minstrels we are these days - academics. I walk a lot of streets in the cities that I end up in. Sometimes there is an invisible someone with me. We sit in cafes. We smoke our cigarettes standing on sidewalks. We do not talk very much, we do not need to. It is understood. I miss that companion who has been walking by my side for a quite a while now. Who gets impatient as I insist on buying more shower gels and soaps and curly hair shampoos wherever I go. Who leaves me in front of all the colored flasks and tubes and wanders off in pursuit of other interests. Which is quite perfect. I will delight in all the great new toys when we meet again at the exit.

I no longer wish to talk about things that are stopgaps. Like "me". So, I think I will shut up for a bit. Until I find something to say that isn't altogether about "me". Could be quite some time, that...
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