Monday, January 9, 2012

Roommate Profile: Niko

I submitted a list of questions to my roommates in the hopes that both you and I could get to know him a little better. Consider this character development for all my stories about the famous Niko. I used Princeton's University Press Club's 21 Questions With... as inspiration but some questions are flat-out copied from them. Thanks, UPC! So here we go...

What's your name?
Nicholas Demetrius Kontovas

How old are you?

Where are you from?
Northport, New York, USA

When was the first time you came to Turkey?
Summer 2007

How did you end up in Istanbul this time?

What are you doing?
Researching the development of Turkish queer slang. Trying to gather as many Turkish books as my incidentals allowance will allow.

What's the best meal you've had in Istanbul?
Hm...probably a grilled fish I had in a small place up in Bostancı. I'm a sucker for good seafood.

What do you do all day?
Generally review Turkish vocab, read, do some work on my thesis/Fulbright project, engage in an unhealthy dose of self-loathing, practice calligraphy, cook, play videogames, eat...

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?

What are your plans for 2012?
Find something to do after Fulbright. Probably continuing onto a PhD in Turkic Philology.

Who is your mortal enemy?

What's the most dangerous thing you've ever done?
Drink from Lake Baikal.

In 25 years, you will be...
Who the hell knows?

What's the most interesting thing you've learned about Istanbul?
Not so much a specific thing, but I'm always struck as I travel around the city by how decidedly non-Turkish Istanbul used to be, and consequently how quickly all of that non-Turkishness has been forgotten.

What is the thing you most want your friends to see when they visit?
The Bosporus. That's easy, though - it's hard to miss.

What's you favorite neighborhood in the city?
Cihangir. Maybe Kadiköy.

What's your favorite Turkish dessert?
Kestane şekeri isn't particularly Turkish, nor is it really a dessert so much as it is a sweet. But there you have it.

Turkish coffee or tea?

What does your family think about you living in Turkey?
I think they think it's pretty neat. My mom used to worry about my safety. I think my dad just wishes I would get a job.

How long will you stay in Istanbul?
At least until May

What is your least favorite aspect of the city?

In three words, how would you describe Istanbul?
Big, yet small.

Anything else we should know?
I'll probably be embarrassed by my answers later, so please don't remind me of them.


  1. I want his number. He sounds so intelligent and sexy.

  2. Oooooo, he does! I must admit that I am jealous that someone else in your immediate circle has the distinction of cooking god...