Cyprus Mail
A minute with

A minute with Xenophon Hasapis Consultant and leader of The Cyprus Strollers walking group

Where do you live?
Following a 30-year career in Athens and Geneva, I have returned to my native Nicosia, where I live with my son Christos, a university student

Best childhood memory?
Every Sunday in Spring my father would get all the family in the car, and we would drive around Nicosia, to admire the flowering wisterias in the front gardens of large houses

Most frequented restaurant and absolute favourite dish? What food would you really turn your nose up to?
Every weekend I hike with The Cyprus Strollers (cyprus-strollers.org) and end up dining in one of the five or so provincial tavernas they patronise; my favourite dish is oven baked aubergines in olive oil and tomato sauce, topped with genuine Greek feta cheese; I will pass curry flavoured food

What did you have for breakfast?
A bowl of skimmed milk with cereal keeps me going strong until early afternoon

Would you class yourself as a day or night person? What’s your idea of the perfect night/day out?
I like to make the most of my day and cool down in the evening. My ideal day out is a trip to the woods, including a hike of about three hours with friends

Best book ever read?
The New Testament, because it provides answers to any hardship or dilemma contemporary people face; which is why you find a copy in your bedroom drawer in many hotels

Favourite film of all time?
When Harry met Sally with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, which tackles the eternal question of whether a man and a woman with an attraction for each other can truly be just friends; this film also gave us one of the funniest scenes on film, when Ryan fakes an orgasm in a diner

Favourite holiday destination? What’s your dream trip?
I am a lover of the South of France because it combines the sun and the sea with a rich assortment of cultural attractions, spectacular firework displays and also a bouquet of neat villages with their elegant open air cafés and restaurants. The dream trip I have not yet realised is a summer boat trip along the Norwegian fjords

What music are you listening to in the car at the moment?
Since the creation of the Classic channel by CBC at 88.2 FM in January 2018, I am a regular listener

What is always in your fridge?
A selection of European cheeses and Greek yoghurt

Dream house: rural retreat or urban dwelling? Where would it be, what would it be like?
As a lover of the outdoors I don’t have a dream house, I prefer the freedom of moving from place to place and taking the best it can offer, within my means

If you could pick anyone at all (alive or dead) to go out for the evening with, who would it be?
Groucho Marx, perhaps the wittiest American film comedian; his humour would make me wish the evening would not end; he had said of TV ‘no wonder they call it a medium, since nothing in it is rare, nor well done’

If the world is ending in 24 hours what would you do?
I would not be terrified, I would count my blessings; I find the greatest gifts in life hide in being able to appreciate good thoughts and little treasures in small things

What is your greatest fear?
To end life without having prayed enough for forgiveness

Tell me a joke…
A father was chiding his adolescent son ‘at your age Abraham Lincoln would go into the forest, cut wood and help his family’; the son replied ‘at your age, he had become President of the USA’! This is a joke I tell in coaching sessions, to guide frustrated parents…


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