Mozzarella Mamma Rolls into Istanbul


Ortaköy Mosque, along the Bosphorus, in Istanb...

Ortaköy Mosque, along the Bosphorus, in Istanbul, Turkey. Français : La Mosquée Ortaköy, sur le Bosphore, à Istanbul (Turquie). Türkçe: Büyük Mecidiye Camii (Ortaköy Camii). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As one half of a  Turkish-American marriage, I am always interested in other people’s experiences in the living of a cross-cultural life. And as you may have gathered,  I have a troupe of traditional yet modern Karagöz shadow puppets who have assigned themselves to me in order to help me navigate my Turkish-American life.  That is what this blog is all about – a little bit reality and a little bit fantasy.

While I take the sci-fi meets anthropologist approach to documenting my experiences in between cultures, another blogger takes a more straightforward approach.  One of my favorite blogs on cross-cultural married life is written by Trisha Thomas, the author of Mozzarella Mamma: Deadlines, Diapers and the Dolce Vita.  Trisha dishes on all things mamma, all things wife and all things journalist as she balances the care of her three kids – with panache and wit.  However, at the moment, she is enjoying Istanbul, which you can read about by clicking here. Looks like she has ascertained that female Istanbullus are giving Romans a run for their money on the wearing of high heels and that there are more than one pimples on the face of Turkey’s current strong economic and political reality…I’ll leave the rest to her.

Enjoy Istanbul, Trisha and Gustavo!

Living in the blue light of the Write-a-Matrix


Blue light exposure

Blue light exposure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Upon my return from the conference in Oregon (and yes, I did get the “special treatment” package from TSA, but it was fine), the puppets and I were startled awake by the dog at the side of the bed, who was running excitedly from our room to the dining room table, where flashes of blue light seemed to be emanating.  I really could not be sure, as I was mostly asleep and my eyes were not working right.  I wanted to turn back over and keep sleeping, but Karagoz and the entire troupe nudged me out of bed and made me walk into the dining room.

And there we stood, me, the dog, Karagoz, Esma, Kenne, Hacivad and all the rest, looking at the rounded-square shaped characters crawling out of the computer screen.  One by one, those oddly-shaped electronic tumbleweeds clip-clopped onto the table, down onto the floor until they surrounded us, each one of us, with their tinny but deep blue electricness and before I knew it, I was sitting in an armchair made of those oddly-shaped laptop-induced beings, typing away at all hours of the night just to keep up as my days at work had grown so long.

I became so enmeshed in those lights that they carried me through the days of meetings and classes and more meetings that left my head throbbing and tired despite chugging on day-quil to keep what must be a sinus infection at bay.  I could see the puppets waving and yelling at me through the blue silence that was at the same time a din – but I could not understand what they were saying other than “when are you going to come back?” and “we haven’t been able to deliver tea to you in days – you should really stop with the Starbuck’s green tea lattes and Dunkin Donuts creamy coffee in the drive through – you can’t survive on oatmeal, bananas, bagels and cream cheese, you know” and “your husband misses you.”

Suffice it to say, the Write-a-Matrix has found some keen allies in these tiny blue electric beings, but they are not long for this world.  Their power source is fading like the electric lamp in the projector in my classroom and their jig is going to be up soon.  My students end-of-year thesis presentations are tomorrow and this will be a major turning point back to life as we know it!  Done will be the student tears, angst, gnashing of teeth and arguing.  Done will be the battling for rooms large enough to accommodate our audiences.  Done will be the endless stream of complaints about the presentation schedule, the fact that I, the alleged toughest grader in the school (so say my students), will moderate their presentation and ask “a scary question.” Done will be the after-party celebration with  my students at our local camp-o-rama Fantasty Island tiki bar.  It will all be done and it will be time to go home and reconnoiter with my puppets and more importantly my people.  I can see the puppets reading my mind behind the electronic barrier – and they are jumping with joy at the idea of coming back soon!