Sunday, 13 July 2008

Sunday is survey time

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Walking through a forrest knowing that those I love are okay and that there's no immediate pressure on me.

What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is to experience physical violence in one way or the other.

What historical figure do you most identify with?
I've been considering various characters from South Eastern Europe and have come to no conclusion. When I was younger, I used to admire Talleyrand because I found his ability to always end up on the winning side quite incredible. However, lying is not really something I'd like to identidy with.

Which living person do you most admire?
My father.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Over-reacting to trivial things.

What is the trait you most despise in others?
Over-reacting? No, laziness.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Being self-absorbed to the point of narcissism which results in calls and messages that are never returned, going home early and so on.

On what occasion do you lie?
When I'm questioned about how much my brothers drank last weekend, for example.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
Oh, why so negative? I must say I'm not overly fond of my skin and wish it was smooth like a baby's.

Which living person do you most despise?
Paulo Coelho because his books are crap. I can't think of anyone else right now.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"Das is ja ur-cool!" "Servus." "Yo!"

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
A part of me would like me to completely stop caring about clothes, make-up and other superficial things and to be interested in history only, with nothing else to distract me. That would be so cool.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
They could be interested in history. My family's enthusiastic and loud and cheerful and supportive, but they are just not that into Ottoman reforms and national developments. This is completely understandable, however sometimes I'd like someone to discuss these subjects with.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Writing an essay which resulted in a rather enthusiastic e-mail by my professor who apparently liked it. Okay, so that's not my greatest achievment per se, but it made me feel all warm and proud.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
Haha, this makes me think of Bart Simpson who'd want to come back as a butterfly. Because nobody would suspect a sweet little butterfly of burning down a school...
Anyway, I think I'd come back as a boy who'd then turn into an arrogant politician working for the EU.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
The butterfly! Nah, I actually hate all insects. I'd like to come back as myself please. If I had to come back as a thing, I'd like to be a tree on a mountain.

Who are your favorite writers?
William Shakespeare of course for drama, and Friedrich Schiller. For short stories (and novels, too), there's F. Scott Fitzgerald, Katherine Mansfield who's short stories take my breath away, and Ali Smith who is the only contemporary writer I really love. As for poetry, I love W.H. Auden. And R.M. Rilke, even though he's bordering on the cliche sometimes. What I like reading best are novels though and there are so many great authors that it's hard to choose. However, E.M. Forster is the one I've grown really fond of these past years because there is something in his books that just touches a chord with me. And W.G. Sebald is probably one of my favourite writers of all time. He can't be described.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Desirée from Annemarie Selinko's ingeniously titled "Desirée". Not really a proper heroine, but she's the one who has stayed with me for about a decade now.
Apart from that, my favourite heroes are of course those of the books I adored when I was a child: Tiuri from Tonke Dragt's "The Letter to the King" and Kalle Blomkvist from Astrid Lindgren's books of the same name.

What is your most treasured possession?
My whole room. But especially my diaries. About fifteen years of my life written down.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Being in constant physical pain. Or not being able to communicate because you're old/disabled. That must be dreadful.

Where would you like to live?
Here, in Vienna. Apart from that, I can only see myself living in two places for a long period of time: A little house in the mountains which belongs to some relatives of mine - but not right now. And Utrecht because it was the only place that ever made me feel at home away from home.

What is your most marked characteristic?
I've recently been told that it's my particular way of vociferous enthusiasm.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

What is your greatest regret?
Not taking any chances and being a scared little mouse at times when a little risk would have done me good.
Also, letting moodswings keep me from enjoying the moment and telling people that I actually really like them even if I behave like a complete moron.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Apart from my family, that would be a "what", namely history. Been interested in it for so long now, this is not a temporary affair anymore.

If there is a Heaven what would you like to hear God say when you arrive?
I'd like him to say something inappropriate like he does in Family Guy. "Get the escalator, we're out of here!"

How would you like to die?
In my sleep, of course.

How will you die?
According to my mother, either on my bike or in Kosovo in August.
Which is the reason I'll have to start wearing a helmet soon. Shouldn't have told her about the accident I saw when I was cycling down the biggest shopping street the other day... I sort of hate the thought of having to carry a helmet with me wherever I go - it's really stupid to stand around with a tiny handbag and a big helmet. But then again cycling in Vienna is a bit risky still because whoever is responsible for our district is obviously not interested in bike paths and I keep racing on one-way streets... well, let's hope I'll get one of those that look like skater's helmets:

They're apparently the safest thing there is, too.

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