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Overview

  • 43 References 27 Confirmed & Positive
  • Fluent in English, German, Russian; learning French, Polish
  • 36, 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

CURRENT MISSION

Trying to eat my vegetables!

ABOUT ME

Mr. No-Stress.

Grew up on the prairies in Canada. Studied German and Russian at university.

In the summertime, I usually work in Western Canada as a tour guide.

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 stuff. One day I'm going to sit down with those books and write some songs.

DIET ALERT: Recently, I've made major changes in the way I eat. I avoid milk and most gluten products if possible. Nowadays I try to eat mostly 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 try not to be dogmatic. 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. (If you don't want to talk about that stuff, let's relax and have some Bienenstich). I like experimenting and I've tried many things, like 100% raw vegan, but also stuff like LCHF. One thing I learned: 30 bananas per day is too much!

ALLERGIES: pine nuts/pesto (really serious, you would have to stab me in the heart with an epi pen!!); sunflower seeds (pretty bad); dogs, horses....

One other point worth mentioning is that I normally don't drink alcohol. I'm trying to get off of coffee, but without much success (UPDATE: I lost the battle and I lost the war. I'm drinking coffee again).

PHILOSOPHY

You can make time for anything.

A smile is international and it goes a long way.

Be the first to do someone a favor.

Schnapsideen vertrauen/ausprobieren!

Give something back along the way - VOLUNTEER!!!

Why I’m on Couchsurfing

HOW I PARTICIPATE IN 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.

COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

My first "official" couchsurfing experience was a magnificent week in Wiesbaden during the GoEast Film Festival. 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.

Interests

Recording songs, distance running (half marathons).

Russian podcasting.

Biking on my rusty old bike.

информация в чистом виде

Minimalism.

I'd like to get into hitch-hiking at some point. I read a book by Anton Krotov and was inspired by it. I bought a bivouac sack a couple years ago and would like to try it out soon.

  • dogs
  • horses
  • books
  • festivals
  • dancing
  • dining
  • coffee
  • vegan
  • dieting
  • running
  • drinking
  • traveling
  • painting
  • drawing
  • minimalism
  • music
  • guitar
  • cycling
  • hiking
  • tourism
  • hitchhiking
  • volunteering

Music, Movies, and Books

MUSIC
Neil Young, Bob Dylan, several artists from Germany (e.g. Funny van Dannen, Hannes Wader, Dieter Sueverkruep). Also many artists from Russia (e.g. Высоцкий, Окуджава, Умка и Бро).

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!)
(update 2015 - it's almost all gone! But I'm thinking of starting again)
(update 2016 - it's turning grey, what's up with that??)

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

The summer of 2015 will go down in history as the summer where I (re)discovered Mariachi music.

MUSIC GENRES
folk, авторская песня, and slow pre-war acoustic blues, ragtime, lots of jazz recently. But also some metal (Slayer!!) and rock - HIGH VOLTAGE ROCK N' ROLL!!

BOOKS
Robbins, Nabokov, Jack London

Варлам Шаламов.

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 Vladimir Vysotsky (Высоцкий) 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.

MOVIES
Predominantly foreign films and documentary films - they seem to make me (re)think the most. It seems like everywhere I go, the Polish films are often the coolest, I don't know why... I go to the DOK Film Festival every year in Leipzig, this year we had some good ones from South Korea.

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

These days, podcasting has become my new preferred media source. It's really cool to just concentrate on someone's voice and let your imagination take care of the rest. Some people say the genre is dead, but I think it has a big future as we become saturated with images.

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

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

My sister got married recently and it was an Indian wedding ceremony with all the food, all the colours, all the music, and all the dancing. It was an incredible cultural experience.

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" erklären

I really respect people who can draw, sketch, or paint. I have little talent in this area, but I feel that I could develop my skills if I met someone who could show me a few tricks.

What I Can Share with Hosts

A smile, a good conversation, hopefully some vegetables.
If you have a guitar I will play a song for you.

Countries I’ve Lived In

Belarus, Canada, Germany, Russian Federation, Ukraine

Old School Badges

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