Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Saturday 27/08

I hate Saturday nights.

Not for the same reasons as Angela though (if you don’t know who Angela is, dear reader, trust me you are lucky. Just another woman who hated Saturday nights). I hate Saturday nights because they remind me of all the fun I used to have, all the friends I used to have, some time ago, somewhere else. Far away. Saturday nights at home, watching TV. Alone. No laughs, no existential conversations accompanying drinks, no stupid conversations accompanied by drinks. No board games at sticky pub tables. No Saturday night movies. Cinema is too expensive here on a Saturday. Maybe Tuesday night? (who cares about Tuesday nights anyway?)

I hold the bag with my dinner (pasty this evening) as I walk back home. I stop at the lights waiting for the green guy to light up. Loneliness is so heavy on my shoulders I have to lean my head on the pole next to the WAIT light. The guy next to me is looking at me I realize. “You know where Rivington street is?”, he asks as we cross the street in tandem. I am not sure if he really doesn’t know or if he is trying to flirt or if he just sensed my loneliness and is being kind.

“You go straight and then somewhere on the left”. I’m really bad with directions, what can I say?

“Where exactly on the left?” he asks awkwardly. He doesn’t do this often I guess. When I say that I am not really sure, the 2nd or 3rd turn, he explains he is going to a comedy club. The acts start at 7. He doesn’t say it, but there is for sure an unspoken invitation. Have you ever felt so lonely, dear reader, that you would actually consider joining a stranger to a comedy club? Well, I did.

“Have a nice night”, logic says and I turned right to head home.

The neighborhood is quiet. Everyone is out. It's Saturday night anyway. The pavement is still messed up from the road works this morning, I have to go around the barriers to get to my door. Oh, what a surprise, the pile of garbage bags has not moved from the entrance. Rather it has been fortified with empty cardboard boxes. I guess from the shop below. A very hurried close down of yet another unsuccessful business.

Our turquoise door does not open with ease. Something is blocking its movement. The postman has been around I guess. No letters though. Just flyers; pizzas and professional cleaning ads. And subscription magazines. Not in the mood to bother this evening. Push everything to the side for now and walk up the stairs.

The brown door on the first floor, decorated with a license plate of a car that doesn’t exist anymore, of a car far away, opens to our apartment. Stuffy. Must open the windows before devouring my dinner I think. Summer in the city… The laundry in the middle of the living room doesn’t help either I guess. The laundry is in the middle of the living room because there is nowhere else to put it in case you were wondering.

Sitting on the white sofa, I turn on the telly. At least there are some movies on. Possibly the only good thing about a Saturday night. Won’t have to succumb to Netflix. Would hate doing that after spending so much time saying how much I hate this new version of television, the good television for the few. Television is supposed to be shite and for everyone.

Half-way through the shite movie a 'bing' coming from my phone demands my attention. Very demanding this new smart phone, much more than my old stupid one. It’s a picture from the forest. An excursion to the mountain back home. Oh, I miss it too. I sent a picture of my pasty. I hate this phone, the smart one. But somewhere in this small box there lies a portal to people far away. Oh, Internet. No need for tearful letters of homesickness. Pictures of pasties and trees and jokes
travelling kilometers within seconds. How life depends on this phone, how one 'bing', one stupid 'bing' coming out of it can make it all better. How sad and pathetic that life depends on a 'bing'.

When I first left what used to be home (after you’ve been away long enough - I am not sure to tell you how much time is long enough time – home becomes less of a home, as you become a strange body to its ecosystem. A strange body everywhere. To all ecosystems.), I used to call with my old, silly phone (or wise phone as a friend used to say. Another friend, somewhere else in the world), call back home, like E.T. There would be a familiar voice on the other side of the line, a familiar breathing pattern, asking “how are you?”. There were no pictures of trees or pasties, just a few words and the tears would flow.

Homesickness, a kind of sickness.

I want to say here again how much I hate smart phones, but I am currently loving this one, since it is beeping this evening. I’ll take a beep and a picture of a tree, why not? I’ll take anything.

The pasty is long finished, the movie is near the end too. It was a stupid one anyway, wasn’t paying too much attention to it after all. The night is not over yet, but the worst part of it is gone. The voices of people outside tell me it is still early, they are not yet drunk enough, but I’ll go to bed. Read myself to sleep. That sounds nice. And at the next moment of consciousness it will be Sunday.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Top 10 Burgers in London

according to Time Out and our experience of them with ratings, prices and all (we take our burgers really seriously):

(don't worry the blog is not turning into a foodie site, but this is a project I have worked hard for, especially my chewing muscles, and I just wanted to share)

  1. Maze Grill (9.75/10) - two cheeseburgers & two sides £36
I am still not sure why this does not get 10 out of 10. I suppose for that possibility that there is a more amazing burger out there we haven’t tried before. Or for the atmosphere. Because the Maze Grill, Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant, is posh. It looks posh, feels posh. And there is always an awkwardness when you eat a burger (which can be eaten properly only with your hands) at a posh place. I, myself, was ready to give it a very low rating the moment we stepped in the restaurant and were greeted by 100 and 5 waiters. But then the food came. And it was MASSIVE. And it was bloody amazing. The burger itself was so nicely made and so soft, it was just melting in your mouth. The bun perfect, and the sauce it was not just mayo/ketchup, it was…. I don’t know what was in it. There was a kick but not spicy. It was just right. Yes, it was the most expensive of the list, but god it was bloody worth it.

  1. Brgr.Co  (9.70/10) - two cheeseburgers & two sides £24.10
The first one we tried. Brgr.Co is not the dirty kind of burger place. The contrary; it’s as “clean” as it gets. Cause there it’s all about the meat. It’s the only place as a matter of fact, where you can choose the part of the animal you want your burger to be from. And there actually IS a difference. Extra touch that made an impression was the paper on the table saying the name of the farm where the meat comes from. Lovely burger, nicely cooked and full of flavor. Burger good, bun good, fries good. What else do you want?

  1. Patty and Bun (9/10) - two cheeseburgers & two sides £20
Now this is the traditional dirty burger place. Cutlery? Noooo. Who needs cutlery? Who needs plates? Your burger comes wrapped in paper. And you eat it with your hands (as you should). Huuuge burger with lots of an interesting sauce. It’s one of those that will make you messy eating (don’t wear your white shirt I’d say). I got the normal cheeseburger and found it absolutely lovely. The relationship got the special of that day and was burning hot, he said. So yeah, choose wisely. The fries I have to say were really lovely with lots of herbs in them as well. Problem? The place is tiny and popular. A bad combination. We had to stand at the queue for about 40 minutes. And I dare to say I thought it was worth the wait as well. One of those places I would definitely go again. 
Update: a long time after our visit to the original Patty & Bun at James street, we went to their new place near Liverpool street station, which is more a fast-food type place and were not as pleased. It didn't feel the same. So if you want to try it, I strongly recommend queuing at the original place.   

  1. Mother Flipper (8.75/10) – two cheeseburgers £10
That was a tough one to find, cause Mother Flipper is a caravan in King’s Cross serving food at lunch time. So it was hard for a working person to get there on time for food exploration. But the relationship is dedicated to our burger cause and he did it. I am just unemployed. Anyway, street food. Street burger. Good burger, I liked it all. I can say devoured it. Also very rich with lots of sauce. A bit too much, if I would to find a drawback. Felt a bit greasy. But otherwise good, just good. I would definitely get that again if I were around and it was too.  

  1. Meat Liquor (8.25/10)- two burgers & two sides £22.50
Now this place, what can I say.. It’s an experience. You will pass in front of it and think nooo, I am at the wrong place. But you are not. It may be dark and have loud music and a bouncer outside, but it is not a club. Or it is a club, but it is also a burger place. You cannot see what you are eating and you can’t hear yourself talking, but… there are burgers alright. Spicy ones, with a bit of a kick and god.. tasty gherkins. That was a surprise for me because I don’t particularly like gherkins, not at all as a matter of fact. This one I am not sure if I would repeat again. Not because I didn’t like the burger. It was tasty and all, but I like to see the food I eat. However, it is an experience. A very funky place to take a visitor to show them the crazy Londoner style of doing things .   

  1. Dirty Burger (8.25/10) - two cheeseburgers & two sides £18.75
Hmmm…. This place could have gotten a better score, because it was soo tasty. I mean the burger was good. Simple and clear in a way. Burger, cheese, bacon if you want (actually amazing smoked bacon, you should definitely try it), some salad and mayo. That’s how a McDonalds would be if it was good, you know what I mean? There was absolutely nothing I didn’t like. Except from the fact that it was a bit small. I finished and thought, “god, I could have a second one”; and that’s not a good feeling. I am from Cyprus. The end of a good meal has to find you with more open buttons on your pants than at the beginning of it. It’s a rule. Other than that…Lovely, just lovely. And I liked the fact that I could see the burgers being made.

  1. Honest Burgers (7.5/10) - two cheeseburgers & two sides £19
Looking at this now, I think: hmm.. this was very good. Why is it so low in the list? I cannot think of anything that wasn’t good with this either. Again another “clean” burger. Lovely meat, great bun. Simple flavors. Not a lot of sauces, no grease or anything. And even though it may not count in the rating, I just have to say it. These were my favorite fries. Of all places these fries with herbs, rosemary or thyme or lots of I am not sure exactly what were the ones I enjoyed the most (and those at Patty & Bun). Almost more than the burger itself, which was great, but I assume compared to the rest possibly not very special. But I would go there again. Sure thing!!

  1. Opera tavern (6/10) – one burger & side £11
I am not sure why this place was in the list to be honest. Because it’s not a burger place. It’s a tapas place, with one burger on the menu. A tiny one as well, because …it’s a tapas place! That was just… I don’t know why that was on the list. I suppose because it had a weird burger. There aren’t many places that can offer a pork burger with foie gras right?? I must say, it was actually an interesting tasting thing. I had never tried foie gras before in my life. A very odd taste. There was a good balance of flavors, which I think was not easy to achieve and the whole thing was very moist and juicy, but yeah… weird. A burger is one of those classics, that you know what to expect when you order it, it’s your comfort zone kind of food, not your culinary experience. It is not to be messed around too much. I wouldn’t go for that again.

  1. Advisory (5.75/10) - two cheeseburgers & two sides £19.50
Now this was not pleasing. I don’t know why. Maybe they had a bad day or something. It’s been a while since that day and to be honest the only thing that I recall vividly from that place is the horribly greasy looking onion rings the relationship ordered as a side. I don’t like onion rings, so I didn’t try them, but I kind of felt a bit sorry for the relationship, who did try them. They just didn’t look good, swimming in a bowl of oil that had dripped out of them. The burger on its own.. I actually don’t remember. I just remember leaving there and not having enjoyed the meal. I would definitely not repeat that. I would nearly rather have that foie gras again (not!).

  1. Bar Boulud (5.25/10) – two cheeseburgers & two sides £34
This gets the last position in our list just because it was o-ver-pri-ced. Wasn’t worth the money. And not just over-priced. It had elementary errors as well. The burger was dry and there was no sauce in the burger AT all. I wouldn’t mind it if I got that burger from a market stall, but at a hotel restaurant, from a known chef, from the Time Out Top 10, and paying lots of money… that just pissed me off. Wouldn’t go there again, and wouldn’t recommend it either.

PS.  delayed disclaimer: The above list includes only the places reported in the Time Out London website, as we wanted to put the list to the test. I am sure that there are other great burger joints that could be included in the Top 10, some that I have tried and some that I haven’t yet. The search for the great burger, is luckily a never-ending one. Furthermore, all establishments are ranked according to our own taste, which is something extremely subjective. I am not sure whether there is one single truth out there (a 90’s reference for the nostalgic among you), but it definitely doesn’t apply for food. So, go ahead and try some yourself!!   

Sunday, November 16, 2014


"I want to live my life", she said
whatever that is, in any case, left when morning wake-ups,
and commuting,
and work shifts,
and meetings,
and late studying,
and social obligations
and television shows
even that plain household
are gone.
If anything is left that is.
I want that.
Just be.
You know?

And my response,
oblivious and confused
sprung across digital space:
"What do you mean?".

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The last remembered absolute happiness...

(written ages ago, posted today cause i miss posting and i miss people and i miss lots of things today)

During today's usual Skype meeting (a weird modern, long distance tradition resembling traditional Sunday lunches with family), M.#2 was saying that in crappy days like these she has been trying to retrieve to her memory, to re-live a day in the past when she felt so absolutely completely happy. No other emotion, just pure happiness.

And she had to go far she said. In May 2007, the first psychology students conference we organized. I remember that day. Every time i put on the t-shirt. What a great idea that was, to make t-shirts. it has gone very bad now of course after 5 years. its blackness gave way to ugly grayness and the red letters of the motto are coming of bit by bit. still my favorite. Although, i am not sure i have the same smile as that one i had when i first wore it. I remember that smile too. Its the most impressive in that picture with the rest of the "organizing team", standing outside on the grass, almost dark but not yet, and we look so happy. I am massively ugly in that picture too. but so happy. So happy.

I remember the rush. I remember thinking at some point, in the middle of running up and down and talking to people, that must be what "being high" is like. Being high on happiness.

My day is the Dogstock day. I dont remember the year (sometimes they get all confused in my head, probably because little change over time, or at least little is what you notice). At that bar called Paradise Place and it is not an exaggeration. My first time at Pomos. That day, quite opposite to the one above, was chilled out. There was no rush, no arousal, no excitement even. There was swimming, and there was the sea, and there was the sun setting into the sea during that last swin of the day in orangy waters. And there was music, all sorts of music, and there was festival food (i had Lebanese i remember), and all those known faces, and dancing, all that dancing. and sitting on the roof top of the bar under the stars at 2 o'clock.

It could be that other days of absolute happiness have passed since then, but yet the memory of none of them can create this warm feeling inside.

M.#2 said all her happy days involved us three and i agreed. She said that's really something. I say that's friendship. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My geeky Valentine

(nerd alert)

Written on the blackboard in our office kitchen

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
if you were a null hypothesis
i would fail to reject you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The house at the village

My friend KatoYdata beat me to this, but i did took some awesome pictures at the old house of KatoYdata's grandmother at the village, when we went for a walk during my Christmas stay in Cyprus.

And i suck at taking photos. I really do. So taking one or two good ones, is something isn't it? Especially when the photos are of something so usual and so unique at the same time as a traditional house in a small village of Cyprus.  


Traditional pot alignment in the kitchen. There is no Cypriot of my generation who has grown in a house not owning at least one of these flowery ones. 

A traditional oil lamp hung on the kitchen wall (just like my grandma's).

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Erykini's 4 stages of dealing with setbacks

Step 1. the existential questioning

Thats where you wonder why? why me? why now? why did it have to happen/not happen/happen this way? Why couldn't it just work?

Caution: if this step continues too long it will inevitably end up to re-thinking the possibility of the existence of a divine creature, that has decided to torture those who dared to doubt his/hers existence. Also this step is necessarily accompanied with emotional eating, and as emotional eating is not usually focused on salads and fruits, it can end up badly.

Step 2. the self-blaming

As an atheist you cannot reaaally blame God for your misfortune, and due to your trait tendency towards depression, you will eventually blame yourself either because it is indeed your fault or... you will find something you did badly. its not that hard anyway.

It includes calling yourself bad names (but not self-whipping due to lack of religious belief as already mentioned) and even greater amount of emotional eating (by now you need to refill the nutella stock).

Caution: whereas step 1 was pretty much an internal thing, now you are whining to all your significant others (this can also end up badly)

Step 3. the Self-pity

After waking up from the self-beating, you realize how pathetic you actually are for doing all that self-blaming and all that eating. So feel sorry for yourself and for reacting this way, which leads to even more emotional eating (and that's what we call a vicious circle. Delicious but vicious)

Step 4. (this part differs according to the situation)
a) something happens and you are forced  to actually DO something for the problem (or your friends make you do so cause they cant stand your whining)
b) you eat so much that you feel bad and you decide to fight your misery and do some on-line work out exercises (shake your hips to lose weight). Exercise increases hormones in your brain (i cannot remember which) that make you feel less miserable, so you actually carry on your life/whatever you were doing despite the setback
c) nothing happens and one-week passes by. After one week of self-pitying you are ready to do anything to make it stop. And the problem is solved.