Wednesday, 9 June 2010

About virtual friends

While discussing our differences in the recent posting on racism and political correctness, I came up with this idea of…well, you guys.

Because, I suddenly realized. I talk a lot about my friends. I told you about my old friends and my new friends. But I have not yet talked about you guys. My virtual friends, as I like to call you. Because, you and your comments make this blog come alive. Excuse the pompous expression. I thought I would bring your attention to this colourful box on the left hand side- the followers of this blog. I don’t know if you ever looked at those guys. Do. It is quite fascinating.
Most of them have an amazing background, stories to tell and cultures to share. Not to mention all of you who are reading this right now, but have no google profile or are not ( why not???!!)  followers of this blog. So, let’s talk about you, for a change. I want to know who you are. Where are you from? What colour and shape are you? Are you skinny, are you fat, are you funny? Are you boring? Are you an Islamic fundamentalist? Please, tell!

I know little about the followers. But thought it would be fun to talk about some of them. So, I picked out just a few from the list. The ones who either had some info on their profile, links to their own sites or simply sounded interesting- for whatever reason. Of course, I simply could not list all 120 (Hey, not long till 10,000 now! ), so I apologize if I missed you out.

Writers, journalists, photographers, artists and bloggers…from all over the world. And I just wanted to say it makes me feel pretty good knowing that people who follow and read this blog are interesting, in their own ways. Because, that makes this blog interesting, too- by association, if nothing else. I would hate it if I opened the followers section and saw a bunch of idiots. That would annoy me. Because, we say in Russian- Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are. I am quite pleased with my list. My list is pretty cool, so I say so myself.

So let me introduce just a few of my followers to you.

I hail from the Netherlands and am an expat writer not living in paradise. I do not drink wine from my own grapes or tend my own olive groves. I have, however, visited my butcher’s bedroom in Palestine, eaten fertility sausage in Kenya, and almost landed in prison in Uganda. I follow my man around the globe and watch him work on agricultural and other business projects in developing countries.”

I'm bilingual blogger writing about everything I want, including personal notes, but mostly I comment on contemporary social change and cultural issues in post-Soviet Georgia (secularism, nationalism and ethnic identity, popculture, and etc.). 
I graduated Tbilisi State University (Cultural Studies), later The University of Edinburgh (Nationalism Studies), currently looking for a good PhD program. 
"isterika" is my blog's name, though my social nickname too, but you can also cite me as Shota Khinchagashvili

Writer of fiction and lots of good insurance the good life in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana.

Oman Collective Intelligence-
Been in Oman for several years; it's a great place led by a great man. I love this country and always will. I graduated in London and then got the best job in the world which took me to places like Angola, Sudan, Ecuador, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Romania, and some others. Of course i ended up here in Oman
Μου αρέσει η έκφραση "τριάντα-φεύγα". Με εκφράζει και ηλικιακά και διανοητικά. Δεν ντρέπομαι να παραδεχτώ ότι είμαι φευγάτη, ή έστω, θέλω να είμαι!-
(No idea what that means, maybe she or one of you could translate it for me?)

Originally from Toronto, Canada, I began "Le Retour (in 3 Parts)" in 2008, when I returned to 3 cities close to my heart: Amsterdam, Paris, and Yerevan. In 2009, I decided to move to Yerevan (Armenia) where I currently live with my partner and try to survive the trials and tribulations of this so-called life
an open, honest conversation about sex, gender, body
Freelance Journalist and Photographer at, Bloomberg News, Liberali magazine (Georgia)
Tbilisi, Georgia

I’ve been a university lecturer, actor, director, television presenter and RLF Writing Fellow at three Scottish universities. I’ve published three crime novels. The first two, Material Evidence and Rough Justice, appeared in hardback in the UK and then in paperback in the USA. The third, The Darkness, was published in paperback in the UK in December 2008. A historical crime novel, The Figurehead, is due for publication by Virtual Tales as a paperback and an ebook in the summer of 2009. Three of my short stories have appeared in the annual anthologies of the Crime Writers’ Association. My radio and stage plays have been produced in the UK, Australia, and the USA and I’ve written a prize-winning verse translation of Molière’s Sganarelle. I co-authored Just Write, a book aimed at demystifying academic writing projects for students.I've written and performed revue sketches and songs at the Edinburgh Festival fringe.Oh, and I like writing children’s stories.

 I am an American, who started writing this blog in Azerbaijan. Then - I moved to Russia. Then I moved to the United States. I tend to move around a lot.

It's not that I'm mean. It's just that I sometimes say things others only think, yet are afraid to voice themselves. Oh, and I'm not very good at talking about myself. That's why I make up people, and then place them in situations, and throw in a guy with a gun. I'm a writer, attempting to peel away from the world of Systems Engineering. Not that Information Technology is bad, its just that I don't love it. Not like I love storytelling. Pays the bills though.

Long-term survivor for many years - homelessness, hiv/aids, hepatitis c, cirrhosis, alcoholism, addiction, and depression. It is my hope to share my unique experiences and perspective on life in a way that will help others.My spiritual beliefs are Christian, but I am Not a fan of organized religion.And I'm open to other people's beliefs. Life is a journey and we learn along the way. My best qualities are intelligence, open-mindedness, and willingness to accept others. Every day I wake up with a desire to better myself and make a difference in the world around me.

I'm Jefferson, and I live in Jakarta, the biggest city in Indonesia. Maybe there aren't plenty of you that know about Indonesia. Jakarta is a really crowded city, and you will meet traffic jam everywhere, especially during busy hours. But I'm happy to live here, because Jakarta almost got everything. They got lots of shopping center, a huge amusement park, Sea World, etc. I just can't stand the traffic!
Alaskan born and raised, I am a Peace Corps Volunteer in the mysterious country of Azerbaijan.

Svet and Kyle Keeton- a lovely pair of helpful bloggers who focus on giving advice on blogs and blogging- both in Russian and English.

Who here does not yet know Riyad? An ex-colleague from Baku and an active commenter of this blog from day one, when none of you even knew it existed.

Fatalin: famous girl back home!
“Liberal feminist, theist, activist, ache for the earth, eager for justice, love life”

Lives in Manchester, UK. Has full-time job, 6 year old daughter and a football obsessed husband. Tries to maintain her sanity by singing in a renowned choir in spare time. Would like to have it all: fulfilling career, well adjusted child, perfect marriage and beautiful home. So far have achieved stressful job as teacher, demanding daughter, 16 years of marriage and an old house that "we're doing up".

And of course, Gabriela!

Now, you tell me. Aren’t they all fascinating? Different? Cool? Now it’s your turn. Just say hello and tell us where you are right now and why you are here. Go on, just this once!


  1. I have no idea, before you ask, what happened to the formatting of this posting! It has gone mad! No idea.

  2. I was born in Azerbaijan, Baku and still living here, despite the growing desire to emigrate. I love my country, though. Just got bored.
    Writing my own stupid and filthy blog for no one in russian. Just because I can (:

    Found your blog via someone`s retweet.

  3. Thank you, Tso (sorry no russkiy letters on my keyboard..)
    Your blog looks fun, and I am sure people will read it. Keep it up. I liked the funny scary face sketch, is that by you?

    Nice to meet you!

  4. No, my drawing teacher hated me since fifth grade for not being able to draw even one stupid apple, so that was definitely NOT by me (:
    That comics was originally one of the 4chan`s mems. Now it's a worldwide internet`s property.

    Yep, nice to meet you too (:

  5. I've been following since we "met" on Twitter several months ago. The basics: 29-yr-old Bulgarian woman married to a sweet American man from San Francisco. Living in Memphis, TN. Cultural clashes EVERY.SECOND.OF.MY.DAY. I blog about it all at

    Also, I just started The Migrant Bookclub. We are reading books on immigration and expatriation. Join us!

  6. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. I follow what goes on in Azerbaijan.

  7. I lurk around the Azerbaijan neighborhood.

  8. GOD! I sound such a puffed up dickhead. In fact, could you add that to the profile if you ever use it anywhere else. 'He's also a puffed up dickhead.' Thank you.
    By the way, I think the gap between virtual and real is often illusory.

  9. I started browsing the blogs of the fellow followers - it's addictive! I think I spent over an hour. You people are great!

    Of course there's a reason we all like Scary's website. She writes well, and she writes from the heart. She talks about important issues, not just mundane stuff. I may not always agree with her views, but I enjoy hearing them just as well.

  10. Hello Scary:
    You are so sweet, not at all scary!
    This is a good idea. Although I read each and every post of yours since I came across your blog, I am not an actual follower. You see, it's a function I don't use. BUT, I am well aware about when my favorite blogs have new posts.
    I'm a Peruvian, living in Lima. I'm a professional lawyer specialized in Arbitration, and volunteer translator for Global Voices. I have a 16 yeard old nephew and a 2 year old niece, and I love them very dearly.
    I am left-handed, and very proud of that.
    I love the gray sky Lima offers, specially in the cold months. I make chocolates, as you already know (and tasted).
    As I use to end my comments... saludos.

  11. Hi Scaryazeri,

    I so appreciate you mentioned us in this post!

    Thank you very much,

  12. Hi Scary, thanks for the props! I echo Riyad's comment: we like reading you because you write from the heart and you address important issues. I may not always agree with your views either, but I enjoy reading them. Even though a blog is one person writing his/her views, the comments lead to dialogue (and I love that you respond!): which is what we could use more of in the South Caucasus, eh? ;)

    As mentioned in the blurb about me, I'm originally from Canada, but I repatriated to Armenia last year where I live with my partner who's from here. I'm Armenian by ethnicity (my mom's from here, my dad's from Iran) and I started blogging at the suggestion of a friend years ago and haven't stopped since! It's one of the things I do for myself. That and reading other people's blogs :))))

  13. @Tso: Is this a smiling face or a sad face? because, to me this :) is a smiley, whereas this...:( is a sad one. this...:((( is a VERY sad one. :))) see, how I am smiling big time.

    @Petya: It was great discovering your blog. I noticed something about the books in your last posting and meant to check the list out.

    I quite liked, talking of immigrants and their books, Ludmila Ulitskaya. Look up "The Funeral Party". Fits your topic quite well. :)

    @Gump: Ah, someone new I have not heard from before! Thank you for introducing yourself.

    @ The arabic name I can't reproduce: What do we call you? tell us more about yourself?

    @Bill: I respect, amd owe you too much for being so kind to me with my fiction writing attempts, so there is NO friggin' way I am calling you a dickhead in a million years!

    @Riyad: You are the best follower ever.

    @Gabriela: Besides you.... :)

    @Svetlana: You are very welcome.

  14. Hi Scary - this is Ana. We met when I came to visit Sharon and the twins at your place, the day before they left. I really liked meeting you and decided to check your blog. I do not have a 'proper' blog, but I post a short comment, roughly once a month, about the application of marketing in every day life, in my website:

  15. @Adrineh: Finally,your comment appeared. I thought it got lost. I, myself, like bloggers who respond. and I like people leaving comments, it makes it fun. Otherwise, it is like talking to yourself; and if you get to that stage, you are in trouble, eh.

    @Ana Isabel: Oh, yes. Hello again! did not know you have stopped by. will go now check your site out.

  16. I follow you occasionally usually by clicking on the links you share on Twitter. These days in general I don't have so much time to read blogs, so I've become more occasinal reader of many blogs. I like the posts you write I can relate to, those I would read until the end, but sometimes I have no comments, I see that your loyal readers give good comments already. Anyway, I've done a "delurking post" myself few days ago and only one silent reader revealed herself to me. I see you're luckier :)

    Good luck for the future. You're a great blogger.

  17. @Nino: Hi...I actually was not impressed with the replies. Someone is out there, reading this. :) But keeps me as a dirty little secret, clearly! :) Thanks for stopping by. I know it is hard to follow blogs. I hardly find the time, too. I try, but struggle to keep up with everyone I wish I could read.

  18. Well, my self-description is full of Greek colloquialisms but I'll translate.
    I like the expression "thirty-away". (meaning:thirty plus)It describes me mentally and age-wise. I am not afraid to admit that I am always "away", or at least, I am trying to be.