Friday, January 09, 2009

interview with a...well, not a vampire, but more of a small town american girl in europe

i've recently discovered a blog called willow manor. and i'm playing along on a fun little interview game that willow has going on, here are the rules (there are always rules):

willow says:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me." check.
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions). check.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.  see below.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. check.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. please comment below and i'll ask you five questions and we can keep the interview chain going!

and the questions that willow asked, not in the order that she asked them, but you'll see why in a minute:

2. You mentioned in one of your recent posts about a Fulbright Scholarship. Tell us about it.  

arizona state university was (in the mid 90s) year after year playboy magazine's #1 party school (perhaps it still is, i've lost track). i was there, doing a master's and they were eager to shed their party school image, so their scholarship office went on a campaign to help their students get fulbright and NSEP scholarships in order to raise their perceived academic standing. seven of us won fulbrights that year. i pitched a project to study macedonian literature in, you guessed it, macedonia. a couple of months in, i found out it didn't exist (difficult to create a viable national literature when your language was codified in a political move in 1945), so i was hanging out in the balkans. 

1. How did you come to live in Denmark?

"there among the concrete slabs, great love was born." --monica b., skopje, macedonia, sometime in august, 1997. 

along the way, in the ex-pat community in macedonia, i met a wonderful (and very cute) danish boy who was there with peacekeeping troops. at the time, there were two battalions there--a US and a nordic, the nordic consisted mostly of finns, but there was a single dane, a single swede and a single norwegian. since my danish boy was in the army as a career officer and i was a graduate student, it was logical that i came to him, tho' at the time, i was a snob for eastern europe and used to proclaim that i didn't DO western europe. however, suddenly you find that more than ten years have gone by and you find yourself with a house and a child and friends and a career and, well, a life, and you live in denmark, which you never imagined you'd do, growing up in a small town in south dakota.

3. If you had to choose one spot in the world to live, where would it be?

cape town, south africa. i've been there twice on business and fell madly in love with the natural beauty of the winelands and the cape. tho' i could also easily live in manila. i love the philippines and find filipinos so friendly and warm. but i'm supposed to choose only one, so i'll say cape town.

4. Apart from your loved ones, what is your most treasured possession?

these days, it would seem to be my camera, but probably, it's our home. we built on in 2008 and it's really great now, exactly as we wanted it. we not only built on, but built a number of smaller buildings in the for me, one for husband, a fantastic a-frame greenhouse and a sauna. and our home is filled with us and our life together...things we've collected on our travels, our memories, our laughter. it's definitely a most treasured possession.

5. Before blogging, what, if any, was your main mode of personal expression?

my small black moleskine full of "to do" lists that i still carry wherever i go. it's full of everything from travel impressions to lists to small sketches to snippets of song lyrics to clever or funny quotes said by people i've encountered.  people who know me well are always trying to get a quote into my book. and in my last job, people were a little afraid of my "little black book." once one is filled, i save them, because i feel like half my brain is in there.

* * *

so, now it's your turn, if you'd like me to interview you,  asking five questions of my choosing, please leave a comment below and let's keep this ball rolling. this is gonna be fun!


Barb said...

Sounds like fun.

I'll await your questions with a sense of trepidation and excitment so please interview me!!

Barb xo

Barb said...

Oooops, forgot to check off the email choice. Barb

Anonymous said...

I think this would be a blast--add me to your list!

Amanda said...

interview me! was that right? did I follow the rules?!

Lynne said...

yes please! I'd like to be interviewed.

hele said...

I'm on my way to Capetown in February. I will take some pictures just for you.

hele said...

OK. I'm scared of being interviewed cause I still have two outstanding interview questions from ummm two years ago.

Yet I can't resist. Please interview me.

julochka said...

hele--i don't have your email address, please send me a mail at jknachti (at) gmail (dot) com and i'll send your five questions!

everyone else, i think i have your email addresses! :-)

Relyn Lawson said...


I would really like to play along, if you don't mind. I know that we are newly discovering each other, but as much as anything, I'd love to see what questions you come up with. That lets me know you better. I also responded to Willow. I thought it would be fun to do a two-fer interview post. If that's OK with you, sign me up.

Happy weekend.

Gwen said...

macedonian literature? why does that not surprise me.

Oh, you quirky U of C grads ....

tangobaby said...

I'm glad you weren't trying to learn Etruscan! Otherwise you would have never met your sweetie. ;-)

Oh, okay, I'm curious to see what the other julie would ask me. Shoot. You have my email.


Tess Kincaid said...

Oh, this was wonderful! Thank you very much. I so enjoyed getting to know you a bit better! And I added your link to my post, too. :)

Mary said...

Loved reading about your adventures and the fact that you just "go for it" AND get to hang out with sailors !! I'll be following your blog (and am going to Capetown in Sept.)

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

At first I just liked being interviewed but now I'm having great fun reading the interviews....your's especially! Great to get to know you and I'll be stopping by regularly!

Bee said...

I have a bi-cultural marriage, too . . . but I ended up in England.

Your black book intrigues me . . . as I have been reading these interviews, I have been jotting down the names of books that I want to/need to read!

You made Cape Town sound so dreamy. It seems like I hear so much negative about South Africa.