Friday, July 20, 2018

44 is a nice number, isn't it?

Well, I'm one of those weird people who like certain numbers. And 44 is one of those. Even and symmetrical! Today in Cyprus though, it's a sad number. An even and symmetrical sad number.

What I am writing here is definitely not the whole picture. There is rarely a whole picture. But I felt the need to write a few words for my "circle" out there who might be wondering what's the problem  with Cyprus, at least from my perspective.

If you know a bit of history of the 2 communities, skip the next 3 paragraphs.

This is Cyprus. The Southern part of the "Green Line" is the part effectively controlled by the GC Government. The Northern part is controlled by the TC and is called "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (not recognised as a State by any country except Turkey).

What is the context
1. In Cyprus, for more than 5 centuries, there are both a Greek Cypriot community and a Turkish Cypriot one. That means that there are people here who speak Greek (mainly the Greek Cypriot dialect) and are traditionally mostly Christians - they also usually consider themselves Greek descendants (from the times before year 0 and on); and there are people who speak Turkish (a dialect as well) and are traditionally Muslim and also usually consider themselves descendants of Turks (mainly since the Ottoman conquest of Cyprus in the 16th century).

2. Both communities lived more or less harmoniously and both religions and languages were respected. The two communities were not living separately. After the Ottoman Empire comes the British rule. The smart British decide to divide the two communities: schools for GC in one village and for TC in another etc (you know how it goes). The island of Cyprus soon became an incubator of nationalistic passions ready to explode.

3. In the 50's, GCs started the fight against the British rule, aiming unification with Greece. After the fighting ended, the British gave us instead "independence." (I won't really explain the quotation marks here, but in short it's funny to be independent but then have 3 "guarantors" in the Constitution:UK, Greece & Turkey).

"Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots"
If you are a Cypriot, according to our marvelous Constitution, you need to be either Greek-Cypriot or Turkish-Cypriot. You can't just be CYPRIOT! (You can sense the British authorship there...) So, after the signing of the agreement for "independence" and the adoption of our Constitution, to put it bluntly, nothing went well: loads of inter-communal violence, political crises etc. The UN had to come over in the 60's with a peacekeeping mission (they are still here today, more than 50 years later). Things were not very much better really, and in the 70's, more violence erupted.

Number 44
And here is when number 44 comes in. In 1974, 44 years ago, on the 15th of July there was a coup organised by a right-wing nationalistic paramilitary group against the President of Cyprus at the time (who was funny enough the Archbishop as well...). Five days later and exactly 44 years ago Turkey, under its "guarantor" hat, decides to intervene in order to "re-establish the Constitutional order." This intervention was considered by the UN an "invasion" and the territories under the Turkish rule an "occupied territory."

Today, the situation has not changed in terms of occupation, but the language has soften. No one talks in Europe about a part of EU territory under occupation (Turkish occupation), even though the whole island is part of the EU (with a special agreement concerning the occupied part). No one talks about occupation anymore. No one talks about the rights of the TC violated that are being violated and their isolation from the "outside world" as a community. Both GC and TC communities have suffered and still suffer from the war and its consequences. We forget too quickly and we only focus on our little bubble.

We know that GC and TC can harmoniously live together; it's happened before and it's happening now (in a smaller scale). With so much happening around us (wars and instability) we should build on the strong cards we have and build viable peace.

I don't know why I wrote this. I guess I needed to say something and express the sadness of the situation. But then also to reflect on the nice initiatives that are taking place to bring the 2 communities together and build a CYPRIOT identity instead of a "Greek Cypriot" and "Turkish Cypriot." And arts is always a good start to bring people together!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Παραπληροφόρηση, μαλακίες τζιαι πυρώνω

Αλήθκεια, γιαξ. Τι εν τούτες οι καταστάσεις; Έσιετε μια φάουσα δημοσιογράφους μες την αίθουσα, τζι εν ευρέθηκεν ΕΝΑΣ να μεταφέρει τα γεγονότα όπως είχαν. Τζιαι μετά, ούλλοι θεωρούν ότι το τι έγινεν, εν τζιείνον που είπαν τα νέα. ΚΑΝΕΝΑΣ δεν αρνήθηκε στο Χριστόφια να καταθέσει τη δήλωσην του. Απλά είπαν του ότι πρέπει ΠΡΩΤΑ να απαντήσει στες ερωτήσεις προφορικά, όπως εκάμαν ούλλοι οι υπόλοιποι που εμαρτυρήσαν.

"-Όλες οι απαντήσεις είναι στη γραπτή μου δήλωση που θα καταθέσω.
 -Πώς ξέρετε τι θα σας ρωτήσουμε κ.Χριστόφια;
 -Ε, εσείς πώς ξέρετε τι γράφω στο γραπτό μου κ.Πική;"

(Χα! Κόφκει τζι εμέναν ο νους μου εν να εσκέφτετουν τζιείντην ώρα, περήφανος με το πόσο ετοιμόλογος εφάνηκεν.)

"Να μου δώσετε τες ερωτήσεις γραπτώς και θα σας τις απαντήσω γραπτώς εντός των ημερών."
Δις ις νοτ ε ττέικ χόουμ εξάμ μίστερ. Οι ερωτήσεις εν για σέναν, όι για τους κοψονούριες βοηθούς σου.

Όχι όμως, "εγώ δεν είμαι ο οποιοσδήποτε μάρτυρας." Είσαι κύριε, ναι! Ενώπιον της Επιτροπής είσαι κι εσύ πολίτης! Τον τίτλον του πρώην Προέδρου της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας δυστυχώς εν μπορεί να σου τον αφαιρέσει κανένας, γιατί δυστυχώς μηχανές χρόνου εν έχουμεν κόμα. Τζιαι να υπήρχαν όμως, έτσι όπως μας έκαμες εν θα είχαμε λεφτά να αγοράσουμεν. Τζι αν εδανειζούμασταν τζι επιάνναμεν μιαν, ήταν να την πομπάρεις πάλε.

Τέλος πάντων. Το θέμαν εν ότι εν μου εμείναν μαλλιά τράβα τζιαι να τραβήσεις, στη λλίην ώρα που ήρτα να δω τη συνεδρίαν της Επιτροπής, κ.Χριστόφια. Αυτοπυροδοτηθήκαμε για χάρη σου, εβουττήσαμεν με την κκελλέ στην κρίση τζι εδώκαμεν πας τους βράχους. Τζιαι ατού ο Γαβρίλης.

Αγαπητέ τέως Πρόεδρε (όπως σου αρέσκει πολλά να σε φωνάζουν γιατί καρκαλιά σου τ'αυτούι σου τζιαι σιαίρεσαι), εν εμπορούσα να πιστέψω ότι ο οποιοσδήποτε που έσιει τα λογικά του (όσα τζι αν ένουν), μπορεί να περιφρονεί ΤΟΣΟΝ ΠΟΛΛΑ τους θεσμούς. Ακόμα τζι αν'ναίν παράνομη η Επιτροπή, εξακολουθείς να βρίσκεσαι ενώπιον της, τζιαι πρέπει να την σεβαστείς όσην ώραν είσαι μες την αίθουσαν. Απλά δεν είναι κοινωνικά σωστόν να διακόπτεις τον Πρόεδρον της Επιτροπής κάθε τρεις τζιαι λλίον. Τζι εν λλίον αντροπή να λαλείς πελλάρες τζιαι να κορτώννεις τζιόλας ως τζιειπάνω με έναν τουπέ 1000 καρδιναλίων.

Ας πάρουμεν όμως τα πράματα που την αρχή γιατί εν τζι εν μόνον πάνω σου το κρίμαν τούντου κλίματος.
- Τι λαλεί ο νόμος; Ποιος διορίζει Ερευνητικήν Επιτροπή; Το Υπουργικό Συμβούλιο. Εκτός που πότε; Εκτός αν εμπλέκονται ο Πρόεδρος της Δημοκρατίας ή μέλη του Υπουργικού Συμβουλίου. Τζιαι τι γίνεται σε τούντην περίπτωση; Την διορίζει ο Γενικός Εισαγγελέας. Τελεία.
- Εδιορίστηκεν Επιτροπή; Ναι. Που ποιον; Που το Υπουργικό Συμβούλιο. Εμπλέκονται ο Πρόεδρος ή μέλη του Υπουργικού Συμβουλίου; Ναι. ΟΥΠΣ.

Μα γιατί;
Μετά από διαβούλευση με το Γενικόν Εισαγγελέα είπαν.
Ο νόμος τι λαλεί;
Ξεκάθαρα ότι αν εμπλέκονται ο Πρόεδρος της Δημοκρατίας ή Υπουργοί, πρέπει να διοριστεί από το Γενικό Εισαγγελέα. Η διαβούλευση ΕΝ ΚΑΝΕΙ.

Ποιος εμάσιετουν ούλλη μέρα να στήσουν Επιτροπή τζιαι να στήσουν Επιτροπή τζιαι να τον εξετάσουν τζιαι τζιείνον;
Ο νυν Πρόεδρος της Δημοκρατίας.
Ε καλό γιατί την εδιόρισεν το Υπουργικό Συμβούλιο;

Πώς γίνεται να μεν το επήραν χαπάριν πριν; Λαλείς να μεν ιξέραν; Μπορεί να μεν ήταν νομικοί ρε...
Άμπα τζι άλλαξεν ο νόμος τελευταίως τζι εξιάσαν το;
Εντάξει μπορεί να μεν το εκαταλάβαν καλό.
Εμμμ. Εν δικαστές με μια φάουσαν πείρα. Το νόμο θκιαβάζεις τον κάθε φορά (υποτίθεται).
Ε καλό ίνταλος γίνεται...;

Ε καλάν τζιαι ποιος το εκατάλαβεν;
Οι νομικοί συμβούλοι του Χριστόφια.
Α ναι; Μπράβο! Εκόψαν μέσα αλόπως τζι αναγκαστήκαν να σκεφτούν λλίον πέρα που τες κλασσικές μαλακίες που εν εδουλεύκαν πκιον.

Εντάξει, άιστον Χριστόφια. Με την Επιτροπή τι γίνεται; Τι θέματα ήταν να εξετάσει τάχα μου;
Τζιείνα που εν μες τους όρους εντολής της.
Δηλαδή τζιαι τη διαφυγή κεφαλαίων πριν το κούρεμα;
Ε καλό γιατί ελαλούσαν του Αναστασιάδη ενώ εμαρτυρούσεν ότι εν θα το εξετάσουν τούτον το θέμαν καθόλου;

Τζιαι ήταν να εξετάσουν τζιαι το γιατί εκατάρρευσεν το σύστημα;
Ε ναι.
Μα δηλαδή για ούλλες τες τράπεζες που μπορεί να εμπλέκονται;
Δηλαδή τζιαι το Συνεργατισμόν.
Τι εννοείς; Γιατί όι;

Όταν σε μιαν υπόθεση εμπλέκονται πρώην και νυν Διοικητές της Κεντρικής Τράπεζας, Υπουργοί, πρώην και νυν Πρόεδρος της Δημοκρατίας και άλλοι που τάχα εν τζιειπάνω, τζιαι κριτές εν μεγάλα ονόματα κυπριακού δικαίου τζιαι αυθεντίες κυπριακού και διεθνούς δικαίου, περιμένεις να εν η πιο μεγάλη εγγύηση για σωστές δουλείες. Κάμνουν όμως τελικά μιαν επιτροπήν που εν'ναιν καν νόμιμη (δηλαδή εν παράνομη), τζιαι κανένας εν το παίρνει χαπάριν ώσπου να χρειαστεί τζιείνοι που μουγιάζουνται παραπάνω να σκεφτούν τζιαι να ποσφίξουν τον νουν τους να εύρουν επιχειρήματα για να σώσουν τον πελάτην τους.

Τζι εκτός που τούτα ούλλα, εν τζιαι πυρά.



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mierda flowers

(texto en español sigue)

Well, sincerely, I don't know too much about what EXACTLY is going on in Cyprus and why or how. Too much information and physical absence can be a bad combination if you really want to know what and how is happening. All I can do is express my anger like any other person concerned does these days. I keep on saying that whatever happens it happens because of our own stupidity. And yes, unfortunately the theory is confirmed once more.

Scandal over scandal, with a few stupid egoist people abusing their power to gain more and more money, and a mass of stupid not-necessarily-egoist people who cannot be bothered to care, and just let it be because in any case 'we can do nothing about it'. This people's apathy for what was going on all these years, made us wind up in this situation. I am not saying 'stop blaming the Germans'. I'm just saying that what is happening is happening because us Cypriots let it happen.

The big 'NO' of Cyprus' parliament a few days ago sounded super heroic to some, and irresponsible to others. Well, someone said that saying 'yes' to everything is like not existing'. Think about it, it's true. We've been saying 'yes' for years. This 'no' comes as the evidence of the leftovers of Cyprus' dignity and existence. This 'no' gave time to think over the situation with a population that was finally somehow informed. Because on that Saturday morning, when everyone heard the news, no one had by that time the slightest idea of what was about to hit us. And at least small savers will not be affected that much (I mean yes, they will probably be the ones who will lose their jobs, who will not be able to finance their studies, who will have to go live with their parents and grandparents not being able to afford their own apartment etc etc, but at least no one will take their money out of their accounts; at least not for now).

If we think of the Phoenix legend, this is the moment where Cyprus is turned into ashes. Once again. Hopefully, it will reborn from these ashes, like it (more or less) did after 1974. It seems though that each time we lose a piece in the process of rebirth from the ashes. In 1960 the Brits kept a part for their own, in 1974 more than 30% came under occupation. What is left dead in the ashes now? Part of the oil that is apparently discovered in our territorial waters? The sovereignty we never had? I don't know yet.

On another note, crisis always generates good things as well. Apart from art (music, poetry, plastic arts etc), it wakes up the humanitarian aspect of many.
-Doctors came together and volunteer, creating the "Doctors of the Poor" project.

-People remembered that food comes from nature, and move back to their villages and grow their own food.

-People start exchanging products or services instead of just buying them.

-People realise that consumerism culture is not the only culture.

Hopefully people will escape from this pretentiousness that seemed to be an intrinsic characteristic of Cypriots in that tiny society where everyone knows someone you know, or at least someone who knows someone you know. We might realise that
going over to a friend's house instead of texting them (regardless of whether the reason is that you don't have money to buy credit, or because you just want to go over and actually see them),

riding your bike to work instead of driving your car (whether it's for exercise, because you like it or because you don't have money for gasoline),

buying stuff from local shops and family businesses instead of big shopping malls (whether it's because of the price or because you want to support local producers),

growing your own food in your backyard in the village or on your balcony in the city instead of buying everything from a big supermarket chain that is very reliable (whether it's because you can't afford buying anything or because everything tastes better and is healthier if you grow it yourself)

not buying super expensive clothes with the brand glowing its price out loud for everyone to know how much money you have (which is useless because people don't care, and those who do are irrelevant people to you),

meeting in someone's house to cook together instead of going out on Makariou Street to have dinner in Mondo's (whether it's because you don't have money or because you just want to have a cooking night),

is quite nicer and more fun...!

Coming back to sincere lives is probably the best we will get out of this crisis. We lost the meaning of many things in our super financial development that we made happen after 1974. Being in a refugee tent or a house under a bank mortgage is not that different in some aspects after all. Both make you realise what the important things in life are. It's time to come back to those important things and abandon pretentiousness and gossip. Replace them by sincerity and solidarity. And hopefully this will last, regardless of whether Russians, Arabs or the Germans take over the island!

Bonne chance!

(¡disculpen mis errores de gramática!)
Pues, no conozco mucho sobre lo que pasa exactamente en Chipre ahora, ni porqué, ni como. Demasiada información y ausencia física puede ser una mala combinación si quieres realmente saber qué está pasando y como. Todo lo que puedo hacer es expresar mi cólera como todos. Siempre he dicho que lo que nos ocurre ocurre en causa de nuestra propia estupidez. Y sí, desafortunadamente, esa teoría se confirmó otra vez.

Escándalo tras escándalo, por algunas personas estúpidas y egoístas abusando de su poder para ganar siempre más dinero, y con una población de personas conscientemente estúpidas pero no necesariamente egoístas que no tienen ganas de involucrarse, y sólo dejan la situación seguir siendo como es porqué de todos modos "no podemos hacer nada para cambiarlo." Esa apatía de la población por lo que estaba pasando esos últimos años es una de las causas de nuestra situación ahora. No digo que no debemos echar la culpa a los Alemanes. Todo lo que digo es que lo que nos está pasando pasa porqué los Chipriotas lo dejamos ocurrir.

El Gran "NO" del parlamento chipriota sonó super heróico a los oídos de algunos, y muy irresponsable a los oídos de otros. Pues, alguien dijo que diciendo "sí" a todo es como no existir. Es verdad. Estábamos diciendo "sí" por años. Ese "no" es una prueba de lo que queda de la dignidad y la existencia de Chipre. Ese "no" dio tiempo para reflexionar sobre la situación juntos con una población que, por fin, más o menos, se informó. Porque ese sábado, cuando todos escucharon las noticias, nadie tenía la menor idea en ese momento de lo que nos iba a ocurrir. Y por lo menos pequeños ahorradores no van a ser tan afectados (bueno, sí, van a ser probablemente las personas que perderán sus trabajos, quienes no podrán estudiar por falta de dinero, quienes volverán a vivir con padres y abuelos no pudiendo pagar por un propio hogar etc etc, pero por lo menos nadie les va a sacar su dinero de sus propias cuentas bancarias; por lo menos no por el momento).

Pensando a la leyenda del fénix, este es el momento cuando Chipre se convierte en cenizas. Otra vez. Ojalá que vaya a renacer de esas cenizas como lo hizo (más o menos) después de 1974. Pero parece que a cada vez el fénix pierde algún pedacito durante el proceso de renacimiento. En 1960 los Británicos guardaron una parte del territorio chipriota, en 1974 más del 30% del territorio vino bajo ocupación. ¿Qué se quedó muerto en las cenizas ahora? ¿Una parte del petróleo que se descubrió en nuestras aguas territoriales? ¿Nuestra soberanía que nunca tuvimos? Todavía no lo sé.

Con un poquito más de optimismo, una crisis siempre genera también algunas buenas cosas. Aparte del arte (música, poesía, artes plásticas etc), despierta a muchos un aspecto humanitario.
- Algunos médicos se juntaron y iniciaron el proyecto "Médicos para los Pobres," como voluntarios.

- Hay gente que se da cuenta de que la comida viene de la naturaleza y regresan a sus pueblitos, empezando a cultivar sus propios cultivos.

- Hay gente que empieza intercambiar productos y servicios en lugar de comprar todo (con dinero).

- Hay gente que se da cuenta de que la cultura consumista no es la única cultura.

Ojalá la gente escapará de esa cursilería que parece ser una característica intrínseca de los Chipriotas, en su sociedad donde todos conocen a alguien que tú conoces, o por lo menos a alguien que conoce a alguien que tú conoces. Quizás nos vamos a dar cuenta de que
ir a la casa de un amigo en lugar de enviar un mensaje SMS (independientemente de que si la razón es que no tienes dinero para comprar saldo o porque simplemente quieres ir a su casa y verles),

andar en bici y no en coche a tu trabajo (que sea porque quieres hacer ejercicio o porque no tienes dinero para comprar gasolina),

comprar cosas de tiendas locales y negocios familiares en lugar de grandes centros comerciales (que sea por el precio o porque quieres apoyar a los productores locales),

producir tu propia comida en tu jardín en tu pueblo o en tu veranda en la ciudad en lugar de comprar todo de un supermercado bien fiable (que sea por el precio o porque todo tiene un sabor mucho mejor y es mucho más saludable si lo produces tú mismo),

no comprar ropa super cara con la marca gritando su precio bien alto a todos para que sepan cuanto dinero tienes (lo que no sirve a nada, porqué a los demás, de verdad, no le importa, y si les importa, son personas sin ninguna importancia para ti),

juntarse en la casa de un amigo para cocinar en lugar de salir a comer en algún restaurante caro de la Avenida Makariu como Mondos café (que sea porque no tienes dinero o porque simplemente quieres pasarte la bien en una tarde de cocinar con amigos),

¡es más bonito y divertido...!

Regresando a una vida más sincera es probablemente lo mejor que esa crisis nos ofrecerá. Perdimos el sentido de muchas cosas durante nuestro súper desarrollo económico que pudimos lograr después de 1974. Ser un refugiado en una carpa o estar en una casa bajo hipoteca, en algunos aspectos, finalmente no es tan distinto. Ambos te hacen darte cuenta de cuales son las cosas importantes en esa vida. Llegó el momento de regresar a esas cosas importantes y abandonar a las cursilerías y los chismes. Reemplazarlos con sinceridad y solidaridad. Y espero que eso dure, ¡independientemente de si los Rusos, Arabes o Alemanes se apoderen de la isla!

¡Bonne chance!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bienvenue chez ton ex-chez-toi --- Welcome to Calypso’s Island

I’m back to the land of green spring and golden summer.
I’m back to the land of concentrated racism and social intolerance

To the land where people still speak a rich and wonderful dialect
To the land where despite the crisis people buy new cars

I’m back to the land where people pass a red light when there are no cars, and that’s logical and normal
I’m back to the land where people sell the family property to buy the new cars and new handbags

To the land where you can find yourself with no money, phone or car, but still manage to eat, make a phone-call and get a ride home
To the land where all what people do is watching and commenting people who have fun, while forgetting to have fun themselves

I’m back to the land where people bring Greece-reunion symbols and Che Guevara flags in football matches
I’m back to the land where people don’t eat just because or when they are hungry, but usually just because they enjoy it

To the land that others find exotic but I find beautiful and interestingly banal
To a paradisiac island that you need to know how and when to quit

I’m back to the land where I love to be,
The land I love to be when I know when I’ll leave it.

I'm back to Calypso's Island.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

On avance

Tout va bien. On est encore vivants. C'est tout ce qui nous reste. Mais comment on va faire pour la suite? Où sont les modèles économiques pour sauver la planète maintenant?

La Grèce en chute. Mais non, c'est fini la chute- on a déjà atteint le sol. Florence and the Machine dit
Because falling's not the problem
When I'm falling I'm in peace
It's only when I hit the ground
It causes all the grief.

Pendant que la Grèce tombait, tout le monde profitait de la chute -elle a ouvert un parapluie et en profitait (elle regardait le paysage, chantait). Jusqu'à la collision brutale avec le sol. Mary Poppins n'est finalement qu'un mythe.

Ce qui se passe maintenant consiste en un état pitoyable. La Grèce n'arrive plus à lever la tête -une tête qui est déjà découpée du corps d'ailleurs (résultat de la chute). On accepte l'aide financière et le peuple se révolte. On décide de le consulter via un référendum, et Angela-Nic se rendent furieux. Mais que faire alors? Que ferait-il, Périclès? Que proposeraient-ils, Socrate, Aristote et tous ces hommes idéalisés tout au long de l'histoire? Aucune réponse. Personne n'a de réponses satisfaisantes. La question n'est plus "quelle option est la meilleure" mais plutôt "quelle est la moins mauvaise." Triste, non?

Comme vous l'auriez deviné, je n'ai pas de réponse non plus. J'imagine seulement un monde où on pouvait vivre directement des ressources du pays, sans modèles compliqués et interdépendances détruisantes. Je sais que retourner en arrière n'est pas la réponse et ne doit jamais l'être, mais avancer implique une consultation du passé. On pourrait garder les bons traits des modèles antérieurs. A-t-on pas de ressources naturelles suffisantes pour entretenir les habitants? Je sais que c'est bien plus compliqué que ça, mais pourquoi est-il devenu autant compliqué que ça?

Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof, diraient les allemands, mais on pourrait quand-même pouvoir au moins avoir le droit de monter à notre propre cheval, n'est-ce pas?


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cyprus, creating our own dead-ends

It is indeed very tragic. The worst part of our tragedy is the fact we tend to create it ourselves. On our own. We don't need destiny or third parties. Third factors finalise the tragedy, but we are the ones credited for creating the fertile ground for it. They say that when it rains, it pours. However, in our case, we are the ones holding the rain-bucket and pouring the rain on our country, causing all the 'floods'...

The main relatively recent tragedies were obviously the inter-communal violence in the 60's, and then the coup d'Etat in '74, followed by the Turkish intervention/invasion. Then, more recently, the Helios plane crash a few years ago due to pure negligence. And now the self-immolation we wisely decided to let happen on 11.07.11. Our brains during summers are obviously dysfunctional or a-functional. If we still didn't manage to adapt or get used to the heat of our own country, then we are of significant importance in terms of theories of evolution.

We managed to destroy our key power plant. This results to a continuous obstruction in the basic functioning of a State. The population has the luxury of enjoying electricity during usually all night (20:00 to 8:00) and also for some hours during the day! And this in July, the heart of the summer, the high-season for tourism. Tourists cancel their holidays. Offices (in both private and public sectors) do not have electricity on a permanent basis thus the whole work schedule is every day messed up. The timetable of electricity interruptions is not consistent. Electricity cuts out unexpectedly. It is a chaotic situation. Nowadays, internet needs more than a landline to work; it also needs electricity. So no internet either. It will probably cost billions to recover from this major manifestation of our stupidity. The economy is already largely affected.

And apart from all these, we are being humiliated by the Turkish politicians. As Erdogan rightly stated, "don't consider Turks as your enemies ... Your enemies are within yourselves." Turkey's Prime Minister also reminded how Turkey does not recognise the State whose agreement is necessary for his country to enter the European Union. He also said that Turkey would not accept talks with the EU during the Cyprus EU presidency in 2012 under the term presidency of so called "Greek Cyprus." "There is no Cyprus Republic for us." The pressure for finding a solution as soon as possible is reiterated with Erdogan saying that a possibility of a united Cyprus will slip away if a solution is not agreed by the end of 2011.

States that take the EU presidency on the 6-month rotation basis prepare this for years before they actually exercise the presidency. We are actually trying to find a quick solution some months before the presidency, in order to manage to co-exercise this presidency with the Turkish-Cypriot community of Northern Cyprus. How can any State possibly achieve such a co-exercise of the EU presidency without firstly knowing if such a cooperation is viable and functional on the national level? How can we take such a responsibility without allowing ourselves some time beforehand to function under the radically new conditions? How can the first step of our existence (as the new State we are negotiating for) be the presidency of the mega european creature? Furthermore, a little detail that shows how unorganised we are, our Secretariat for the EU presidency is still headless: Andreas Moleskis, the Head of the Secretariat, after his resignation (he resigned after being accused for ..."questionable recruiting practices"), has still not been replaced. And our Presidency starts in less than one year.

It makes no sense whatsoever to hurry for a solution. Reconciliation and forming a State on new circumstances take time. There are many chapters that so far have not been examined by the leaders of the two communities. We are still basically negotiating on the governance chapter. How can we possibly find a coherent solution and create a whole new Constitution that would be fair, balanced and viable, in a few months time? The situation is way too complicated for this to be possible.

Making twice the same mistake is anything but wise. Making the same serious mistake three times or more goes beyond any level of human stupidity known to science. Doing the same wrong thing over and over again and expecting different results, is actually a definition of stupidity. Therefore, let's try to be responsible for once, and take it step by step. We should not hurry for a solution just because of Turkey's pressure. We are supposed to negotiate with the Turkish-Cypriot community and not Turkey. We need a viable solution for the two communities and not a solution that satisfies the interests of Turkey, Greece, the UK or any other country. Let's use as less stupidity as we can and try to put some solid fundaments for a new solution. A balanced and fair solution is the best for both Cyprus as a whole and the EU. A hurry for a solution and a co-presidency of the EU will do no good no either.


Friday, August 27, 2010


I am back to the land of the green figure for pedestrian crossing instead of a white one.
Back to the land of people not smiling to strangers in the street.
Of the subway that makes you run for the "dernier train".
Of the city that does sleep at night.
Of the 24h time format.
Of buddies drinking and laughing in the streets and by the river.
Of the trees in the streets.
Of the boulangeries and patisseries.
Of the beautiful old buildings.
Of the eternal movie shooting in the streets.
Of the pharmacies that are actually pharmacies and don't sell alcohol or cigarettes.
Of the little cafes with tables on the pavement and chairs facing the street.
Of the Fontaine Saint Michel, Rue Mouffetard, Montmartre.
Of my old neighborhood.
Just for a day. And a night. A beautiful night.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

This is not a hostel anymore.

It is not a hostel. It's my house. My home for a while. Feels like it. Pictures, posters, music, windows, kitchen, people, key, living room roof, stuff! Not a hostel ANYMORE. Used to be. People still come and knock the door of the "Planet Travelers". Couchsurfers find a shelter. Common backpackers don't! Don't anymore...!
House/ home full of musicians and people who love music. But this is not enough. Other musicians who used to live in this house with such an amazing character, still come and hang out with the common tenants! The house fills up with violins, harmonicas, trombones, accordions tambourines, guitars and nice people. And always has people playing sax, guitar, accordion, celo, etc etc...

Post stay: Second semester in the most perfect house and neighborhood I could get. Kensington Market. Augusta Avenue. Ex-hostel. Music, food, people. And a roof.

Living room. Ouzo, tsoureki, cigarettes, friends, music. Brock-sitar and Tangi accordion jamming...

My housemate Brock tocando su saxofono.

Sitar (Brock) behind glass doors.

Tangi with accordion. Mike smoking. Living room moments. Drinks and cigarettes. Still winter. Warmth in the cold.

Almost spring. Cold. Sunny. Breakfast in the backyard. Raccoons, graffiti, milk with cereals, some bread with nutella. Eyes closed absorbing sun. Music.

Ouzo, haloumi, marshmallows, roof, friends, easter, clouds, breeze, view. I miss the roof and all that comes with.

It is midnight in the market.
(The Market Song:

Roof and beers with friends.

Enjoying the view and the silence that a roof can offer.


Rodrigo y Gabriela. At Phoenix in Toronto. Melodies. Rhythm. Blind coordination. Passion. Spontaneous. Again: feels stronger when you are by your self.

THIS IS PARADISE but/and Mr. V. is dead.

Back to Toronto. New start. Cameron House on Queen Street West. "This is Paradise" it says. It is someone's paradise. Mine when I am there. Could be yours as well. Music: violin, harp, guitar, flute, accordeon, piano, SAW, trombone, drums, banjo. And Kevin Quain with the Mad Bastards. Sunday. Perfect new start. Promising semester.

Post hoc: New amazing start but somehow going back and then forward again. Weird stuff happen when other people get involved; and when YOU get involved.Weird; very weird. Pushes you forward, then feels like it holds you back, then you leave it and go forward again. Regret? No regrets. Everything is part of it.

And then I guess Mister Valentine is dead.