Mark Wilkinson

Leipzig, Saxony, Germany

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  • Fluent in English, German, Russian; learning French, Polish
  • 35, Male
  • Member since 2007
  • teaching/studying @ Uni Leipzig, translating, tour guidin...
  • BA, MA in Germanic and Slavic Studies
  • From Saskatoon, Canada
  • Profile 65% complete

About Me


Implementing 80/10/10 raw food lifestyle!


Mr. No-Stress.

Grew up on the prairies in Canada.
Studied German and Russian at university.
Lived for a total of 7 years in Germany, a year in Russia, and half a year in Ukraine and Belarus'.

Currently living in beautiful Leipzig, Germany!

HOBBIES: guitar playing and long distance running.

But my favorite hobby is collecting words and phrases!!! I always carry a little book around with me and write down all sorts of funny stuff. One day I'm going to sit down with those books and write some hilarious songs!

DIET ALERT: In the last year I've made major changes in the way I eat. I avoid milk and gluten products if possible. Nowadays I try to eat mostly RAW fruit and vegetables. Often my meal is just a really huge salad with a bit of lemon juice. Hosts should not worry, though - I regularly make exceptions while traveling and do not expect any special treatment from the people I stay with - just please don't be offended if I can't eat something you prepare.

One other point worth mentioning is that, with rare exceptions, I have stopped drinking alcohol. I'm trying (against my will) to get off of coffee, which is an awful stimulant. I just bought a juicer and fresh juice is going to be my new espresso. Many people today are considering alternative dietary regimes, and if you're interested in such issues, I'm sure we'll have a lot to talk about.

ALLERGIES: sunflower seeds (pretty bad); pine nuts/pesto (really serious!!); horses.... so I hope you don't have any horses in your apartment :)


You can make time for anything.

A smile is international and it goes a long way.

Be the first to do someone a favor. Random favors are golden.

Schnapsideen vertrauen/ausprobieren!

Give something back along the way - VOLUNTEER!!!

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


In the beginning I surfed a fair bit. My goal now is to host more. Leipzig is a beautiful city and well worth a visit.


My first "official" couchsurfing experience was a magnificent week in Wiesbaden during the GoEast Film Festival. Most recently, I had a wonderful time with two couchsurfers in Izmit, Turkey. I've hosted a number of people since I've been in Leipzig.


Recording songs, distance running (half marathons).

Russian podcasting

Biking on my rusty old bike.

informatsiia v chistom vide


Like a squirrel, I stash piles of books at my friends' houses, promising to come back for them later. I don't get worried about them, because unlike acorns, my friends can't eat the books! They can only read them...

I'd like to get into hitch-hiking at some point. Just bought a bivouac sack last summer.

Music, Movies, and Books

Neil Young, Bob Dylan, several artists from Germany (e.g. Funny van Dannen, Hannes Wader, Dieter Sueverkruep). Also many artists from Russia (e.g. Vysotsky, Okudzhava, Umka i Bro).

I'm a child of the 1980s. When I hear those old 80s tunes, I start playing air guitar and wishing that my long hair would grow back ....
(update 2012 - my hair is almost finished growing back...)
(update 2013 - it's baaaaaaack! And my roommate's boyfriend even had to cut some off...)

Awesome experience in Turkey listening to their music. Really emotional stuff with a completely different vibe. Soaring voices and great vocal vibrato/tremolo. Turkish arthouse music and arabesque.

folk, OLD scratchy music, avtorskaja pesnja, and sloooow pre-war acoustic blues. But also some metal (Slayer!!) and rock - HIGH VOLTAGE ROCK N' ROLL!!

Lots of jazz recently. Now I'm trying to get into classical.

Robbins, Nabokov, Jack London


Since I was recently in Bielefeld, I've read some Niklas Luhmann, a sociologist who wrote about the "reality" of mass media and developed systems theory. Pretty thick stuff.

Theory books about identity construction, conversation analysis, discourse analysis (this was a number of years ago)

In Russian, I've been hooked on Vysotsky for a long time. He's my hero, I could listen to him forever.

If I had more time, I would try to read Vasily Grossman - he was a WWII reporter and wrote such clean, economical Russian. It's like water when you read it, completely effortless!

I used to read a lot of correspondence, letters of famous authors, because I like to pick up old-fashioned phrases and anachronisms. I just picked up the letters of Wilhelm von Humboldt recently, now I'm on to Münchhausen ...

Everyone should read Elif Shafak, a fine Turkish author. Her most recent book got me interested in Rumi and Sufism.

Stefan Zweig is at the top of the list for German literature this year.

Predominantly foreign films and documentary films - they seem to make me (re)think the most. Eastern European films. It seems like everywhere I go, the Polish films are always the coolest, I don't know why...

I just finished 17 mgnovenij vesny?... awesome Soviet production with great actors and cool music. "ne dumaj o sekundakh svysoka ..."

I try to avoid television, and even more since I started reading Luhmann. When you watch TV, you enter into sequences which you didn't initiate yourself, and over which you have little or no control. These days, podcasting has become my new preferred media source.

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Finished a 30 km race with a really fast time (for me). That was my longest race ever.

Teach, Learn, Share

I can teach you how to teach yourself to play the guitar.
I can teach you English, German, or Russian.

For German-speakers: Ich kann dir viel über "Aussiedler" erkl

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