Cyprus Mail
A minute with

A minute with Vicky Karaiskou Associate Professor of Art History at the Open University of Cyprus; author

Where do you live?
Between Cyprus and, Athens, Greece.

Best childhood memory?
Swimming in a deep blue sea nearby Melbourne, my birth-place; I will never forget how endless it looked in my eyes and how white and fine the sand was.

Most frequented restaurant and absolute favourite dish? What food would you really turn your nose up to?
I like to change places and try. You never know what your next choice will be like. For example, I feel attached to Duende bar-restaurant in Athens, near the Acropolis, but, nevertheless, I am not a frequently there.
Favorite dishes – but not “absolute favorite” – the butter pumpkin cooked in any version, and seafood.
I avoid like hell processed food. Would rather starve than take a quick bite of anything full of sugars or fats.

What did you have for breakfast?
Green tea and a full bowl of fruits.

Would you class yourself as a day or night person? What’s your idea of the perfect night/day out?
Certainly a day person. I love light. Perfect day out: by the see alone, swimming and reading a book or with my beloved people; or sailing.

Best book ever read?
There is not one ‘best’. There are many remarkable. One of the mind opening books for me was The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. I was astonished to realise how our biology works and how it influences our mindsets, choices and behaviours.

Favourite film of all time?
Cannot name a sole film. Unforgettable movies have been The Pillow Book by Peter Greenaway, Dreams by Akira Kurosawa, Metropolis by Fritz Lang, Satiricon by Federico Fellini, Memento by Christopher Nolan.

Favourite holiday destination? What’s your dream trip?
Favourite destination is anywhere by the sea. Greek islands are at the top of my list. They are unbeatable.
One of my most memorable moments was a morning in Santorini, many years ago: the room was overlooking the caldera. I woke up, opened the windows and I could see only the top of the Old Kameni floating in the mist. I could see nothing else. For a moment I felt totally lost: had no space reference at all. Was an extraordinary experience.
My dream trip? All the trips I have not yet taken. My real wish is to keep on traveling for work or pleasure. It does not make much difference to me. All places have beauty and knowledge to reveal once you are willing to experience them.

What music are you listening to in the car at the moment?
Jean-Michel Jarre, Leo Coen, Pink Martini, ambient music. Depends on my mood.

What is always in your fridge?
Fruits, yogurt, salads. A friend once made the comment that my fridge “is very sad”. I laughed a lot. She meant that there is no comfort food there at all!

Dream house: rural retreat or urban dwelling? Where would it be, what would it be like?
Urban dwelling. Certainly. I love the energy of the cities, the option to do or attend a broad variety of things and events. There is abundance of stimulation.
It would be placed by the sea or, at least, it would have a sea view. It would have plenty of light, it would be filled with objects from my trips, photographs I took and many books.

If you could pick anyone at all (alive or dead) to go out for the evening with, who would it be?
May I pick two? Umberto Eco and Roland Barthes. Their books on semiotics – but not only – totally fascinate me. No matter how many times I read them, I discover new ways to perceive reality.

If the world is ending in 24 hours what would you do?
I would go sailing. Get lost in the sea.

What is your greatest fear?
To be deprived of stimulation. Not to travel any more. Be obliged to do the same thing again and again every day.

Tell me a joke…
I am not good with jokes. Apologies!

Vicky’s latest book, a novel, is called To Allo Prosopo (The Other Face)

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