I was born in Africa and attended secondary school in Ireland. I went to university in Wales and Oxford. I don't feel particularly like I come from anywhere despite my passport(s) saying my official nationality. I have a PhD in political philosophy but my interests are far wider than that and my temperament is rather artistic and literary (someone on here asked me to do a Myerr-Briggs test and I got INFJ).
I have travelled a lot in Europe and worked in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania. I love the Balkans and would like to work in the Middle East or north Africa. At the moment I am based in Brussels seven or eight months of the year.
Cervantes, Fielding's "Joseph Andrews", Bohumil Hrabal, Milan Kundera, Ian McEwan's "The Cement Garden", Italo Calvino, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ivo Andric, Cees Noteboom, Lars Iyer. I do seem to read rather a lot in translation - wish my languages extended beyond going to the market - and tend to avoid all the novels that get talked about in the 'cultural pages' of British newspapers (Amis, Winterson etc).
I'll read anything in the old black Penguin's World Classics series, there are some incredible books. It amazes me I can buy for one or two euros the text of something that five hundred years ago existed in only a handful of copies. We don't know how rich we are. I much prefer listening to poetry than reading it for some reason, maybe the lack of an immediate and innate sense of rhythm. In philosophy Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Levinas and Derrida particularly interest me.
All sorts of strange things from Brief Encounter via the Wicker Man to Otasanek. The former notwithstanding, I guess I like something with a surreal edge that's not consistently realistic. The Enigma of Casper Hauser, Aguirre Wrath of God and Remains of the Day are all favourites as is Lars von Trier's 'The Idiots'. I thought it was a general parable about the human condition. But then I went to Denmark and realised it was a desperate cry for help. There are downsides to the "perfect" Scandinavian societies.
I also like The Big Lebowski and most other things by the Coen brothers. Withnail & I is amusing in the same way. The aesthetics of failure, I guess. Superbad is the last film I can remember laughing aloud at. I like a film for being well made rather than what it is about or who is in it.
God Speed You Black Emperor, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Stone Roses, Glasvegas, The Zombies, Ramones. Veronica Falls and King Crimson are bands I have recently discovered. Teleman are excellent and I can't believe when they came to Brussels I was one of only twenty people that heard them. Tragic!
I listen to BBC Radio 3 for classical music (although it is turning into ClassicFM) and BBC Radio 6 for alternative and new stuff. I miss my LP collection which always seems to be in a different part of Europe to me. I guess there is a reason they invented mp3 although I just love the look, feel and sound of vinyl.
Don't have a TV. I do read the TV reviews in the papers though in order to know what people are talking about. Occasionally I have a look at something highly recommended on DVD. Usually I find most television programmes take a good idea and kill it by spinning it out too long. The first few episodes of The League of Gentlemen were amusing in a surreal way but nothing near as good as Blue Jam on BBC Radio 1.
I love to cook. I'm vegetarian for many years now. My first great discovery was with cooking curries but I don't cook them as often now as in the past.I mostly like all kinds of mediterranean and Balkan cooking as they tend to not be meat orientated and use lots of fresh ingredients. My major indulgence is cheese.
(I should have added Momus to my music likes).
* You are potentially interested in meeting in person. I spend way too much time with my computer to want to have long virtual conversations. It is nice to see a human face while you communicate.
* Even if you are not the same as me in outlook. I would find a mirror image of myself extremely unerotic. I might even have a bit of an opposite attraction thing.
* You have adventurous tastes in music and want to go to concerts.
* You are from Iberia, Scandinavia or the Baltic states.
* You have an English accent or an Australian one.
* Go on: if you have read this far you know you want to :)