identity returned

home now. after granada, i passed briefly through frankfurt again, and had a lovely visit with katja sarkowski and her partner alex. breakfast with astrid franke, and afterwards delicious ice cream from what katja and alex assured me was the best in best shop in frankfurt. debriefed the conference a bit. learned much as well about the structure of the german academy. apparently it’s common for people to wait years after a job interview to find out if they got the job or not!
next day, on to cyprus, and two nights of chill out with the inimitable frances kruk in larnaca before heading to nicosia for performing identity. the conference took place in a beautiful gothic hall, the last remnant of a castle that had once stood over it. lots of interesting talks, great performances from david khang, anne holloway, david bateman and hiromi goto. ashok mathur and david bateman, who organized, set up a very productive format. papers were posted beforehand, so that the sessions could be used primarily for discussion. nightly crossings through the u.n. green zone into the turkish-controlled north. green zone a mess of razor wire, abandoned buildings, an old hotel turned into a u.n. compound, anti-turkish propanda on weather-worn billboards. the north itself dingy, but beautiful, untouched by the tentacles of global capital. all over both sides of the fence we met migrant workers in the service industry who long to come to canada. stories of dreams and scams abound.
after the conference we split into smaller groups to explore the island a bit. david khang, frances kruk and i went to paphos (touristy yucky– avoid the poseidon restaurant at all costs, unless you like boiled vegetables, minute rice and pulpy octopus) and then up to polis and latsi (beautiful) with a brief detour down to the temple of aphrodite near kouklia village. it’s very ruined. somehow, for me, this made it the most poignant and beautiful place of the trip, in spite of my having witnessed extraordinary architecture elsewhere. (who worshipped here? how? how might we live differently devoted to more than one deity?) in latsi, we snuck /stumbled into a very deluxe resort compound, drank their drinks and napped on the pretty poolside beds. bad mice having a good time. finally, bus and service taxi back to larnaca, where we ate every meal at kapos allios, a charming home-style restaurant that serves the most delicious broad beans (with cucumber, tomato, mystery green leaves and crushed mint), eggplant, cauliflower and sardines.

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