Asfa: Well I have to admit I am still unsure about keeping my promise to interview you, a spontaneous decision during our accidental meeting while waiting for our flight a few months ago.
Orestis: Considering the fact that usually you interview celebrities then you'll probably regret that one with me as fame is not even close to me and I thank all the 12 Gods of Ancient Greece for that. However you might enjoy it as I am much more intellectual than all those guys. Oh by the way I am quite modest too...
Asfa: And kinda humorous...but also special sideways and that's why I gave you my promise. Hope you won't disappoint me so let's start with the basics: tell me about your birthplace, childhood etc.
Orestis: And this is where your disappointment starts! Nothing special here, I was born in an average suburb of Athens, in a family that's pretty much average and finished an average highschool. Well, that one was partially not so average, it was quite bad sometimes.
Asfa: Such as?
Orestis: Well, for example we were digging holes on the walls of the classroom.
Asfa: You're kidding me!
Orestis: Not at all. We did so using the legs of our chairs. Like prisoners! The best student of this class was scoring 16/20 so imagine the average and the bad ones. About 1/6 of my schoolmates in my class (the one full of holes) were really into heavy drugs. Few years ago I saw one of them and he looked so terrible. You can't see anything more pathetic than that. I wonder how I skipped that shit.
Asfa: So how did you skipped “that shit”?
Orestis: I was never into drugs or even smoking during school. My instinct was always keeping me on the safe side and so does today with just a few exceptions.
Asfa: So which are those exceptions?
Orestis: For example when I am in love. Then it sucks big time.
Asfa: In which way? Starting drugs or something?
Orestis: No no – I rarely fall in love anyway but those few times I did when I got “sober” again and looked back it was like “Me with her? No fucking way! How come?” But I guess I am not the only one like this so...here we come back to the average again that will spoil your wannabe special interview hehe.
Asfa: I get a feeling you are a little bitter when you think of this or not?
Orestis: No – it's not my style to live in the past anyway though I visit it from time to time. Bitter comes from feeling unlucky and this is not the way I look into life. And objectively, I had a very nice share with the opposite sex which I don't regret no matter the black spots we all face sooner or later. Even considering the times my in love feeling was not fulfilled I still wanna thank the girls who kept me out of their lives. They did much more good to me like this (probably unintentionally haha)
Asfa: So what was wrong with you being in love? I assume that all the times you felt like this went wrong.
Orestis: It was just 2-3 times as it is a feeling I get very rare. I guess I accumulate too much energy when I feel like this which is hard for them to handle or maybe I just look like a stupid as most people do while in love haha. I also think that people are less and less ready to support substantial relations in general. Internet is a fantastic revolution of information and communication but unfortunately has spoiled people a lot giving them the fake sense that they have “countless better alternatives” in life which is wrong of course. Instead of expanding their real lives through internet they substitute them with the virtual online thing.
Asfa: I must admit that no matter if I regret this interview, I enjoy your Greek style of English.
Orestis: Is it my Borat accent or the words I use? Or both haha...
Asfa: No your accent is not that bad, the way you try to express yourself is interesting.
Orestis: “Try” is the critical word. My English is about 70% of my Greek so I have to “try”.
Asfa: No worries – it's fine.
Orestis: Adds something special to an average interview...
Asfa: Come on! So, you told me about school, what came next?
Orestis: I entered the Agricultural University of Athens which I finished with a Master in Agricultural Engineering.
Asfa: Cool! Sounds interesting
Orestis: As a title yes. As an experience not at all. 90% of the studies and the guys in the University were so pathetic. I have no friends from that period today.
Asfa: Really? But you do have some from school or?
Orestis: Not really...
Asfa: Come on – there must be a problem with you. They can't be all assholes!
Orestis: True. Not all of them but most of them were frome indifferent to real assholes. My problem was the fact that I didn't stick to all the few but good ones. In that case I would have kept contact with some of them now but that's not the case.
Asfa: It's never too late to find them on Facebook.
Orestis: I am not in FB. I deleted my account 5 years ago.
Asfa: Now this sounds special! Why?
Orestis: Why stay in? It's a generic bullshit that everyone is in there looking for everyone else to start sharing crap. I also hate Zuckerberg. Of course he was clever enough to make a shitload of money out of people's stupidity but he and his idea is not my kind of party at all. Also the terms and conditions of FB were something that pissed me off back then. Yes there are still some people who read them including me. Well...at least sometimes I do read them. It is a bit scary that if you are not on FB today you kinda don't exist. I prefer social networks that have a character or a definition.
Asfa: Wanna name some?
Orestis: Mmm no...we are already a lot of people in there haha. Tell people to email me if they really wanna know.
Asfa: Are you technophobic?
Orestis: Not at all. I LOVE that stuff. That's the revolution. Internet offered people with just one click much more than all the so called “leftist” pseudo-progressive guys would do in a whole lifetime. All the information you are looking for is one click away no matter if your family is poor or your Dad is a money whore.
Asfa: I must agree on that. So what happened to you after the University? Got a job or?
Orestis: Yes I did. My first one was at that University. Had to do with G.I.S. (Geographic Information Systems). Interesting thing but wouldn't stand working there for long so fortunately my contract ended quite soon.
Asfa: Again I see you disliking things around you. I get a feeling you can't get along with others or?
Orestis: No! Not at all! I love working with other people.
Asfa: So what's the problem then?
Orestis: How long can you work with a narrow minded professor that his office is partially managed by his 20 years old daughter who is paid same money as you by not even showing up there?
Asfa: Hahaha I get the picture...
Orestis: And I ain't said nothing yet...But almost same stuff happened in my last office job which I quit 3 years ago. Well paid, secure one but...same stupid mentality. So I quit it and did 12000 (or more) around Europe on my motorbike.
Asfa: Wow...at the same time all the world was focusing on Greek crisis and you quit your job. That was a decision eh!
Orestis: What looks impressive to you was the only way to go for me. I traveled a lot ever since, tried various ideas with friends, nothing really worked unfortunately. As I said in the beginning I don't like to consider life as being lucky or unlucky but luck was not exactly on my side the last years. Or maybe I dreamed more than I was able to achieve.
Orestis: Simple thing: some income flexible enough to allow me to travel and a decent girl. Simple things are the most difficult though. Steve Jobs knows a thing or two on simple things but he is too far away to help us now. And while I was in this search and reorganising of life 2012 sucked every bit of my energy. I spend the whole year in and out of hospitals with both my parents finally loosing my Dad after an extremely painful fight with cancer.
Asfa: Oh man! I am so sorry!
Orestis: Yes it was insane and unbelievable. Mum broke her leg, then Dad was diagnosed with cancer then Mum broke her wrist then Dad died. I could even deal with all these but unfortunately it happened in the worst way possible with me being the one who kept the whole thing together till the very end and this was way too extreme also considering the fact that I was not in the best period of my life. I feel like I just started recovering from that but you have no idea how it was like.
Asfa: I can only imagine but if you wanna share some details go ahead.
Orestis: Just imagine yourself feeling up to your limits and then knowing you have no chance for rest so you have to create energy from zero again and again. And things getting worse and worse. And you just don't know where is the rock bottom. Long distance runners know a bit about it but still what I faced was out of their league. At least they know where the finish line is. I didn't. It was an extreme experience for me. From watching so many people dying in front of my very eyes in the hospital up to trying to help Dad while he was in terrible pain with no hope to get out of it. You get to know some guys with cancer in the hospital, start helping them and become short of friends with them and then one day they just die and you only see an empty space where their bed was. Fortunately my Dad mostly at home and he didn't even visit hospitals during the last and most difficult part so at least we had our privacy. The thing is that after all this gloomy parenthesis I am (in the best case) just back to were I was before, still having to design my life from zero on a white paper but with a less clean mind than before. Not so much fun as I like to look forward and now my best scenario is to try to get myself back to where I was. But I guess there's nothing better to do so...
Asfa: I wish you find your balance as soon as possible.
Orestis: Nicely said. Balance. That's the keyword. I think I will because I am balanced. I mean I am ok with myself, and I am ok with my Dad – I mean I did everything I could for him till the day I had to close his eyes and in his extreme drama he was lucky enough to see his son doing his best for him. At the same time of course he felt sad about it. So many times he repeated to me “I have to go away and you go back to your home”. I think he finally went to a better place for him anyway. But talking about balance in my case music is what applies balance to me.
Asfa: Art in general can do so but how does it work with you?
Orestis: I started playing the guitar when I was 14. You know this was when Heavy Metal became popular so … lately I bought a set of drums so I also play them too. I also have a bass and an acoustic guitar so my house looks like a home studio with my amps and stuff. Balance comes when you have an honest relation with music and art as you said in general. Because no matter if everything collapses around, art is ALWAYS there. It is up to you if you wanna reach out for her. Of course when you expect things like money from it then...that's another game. I never did so and music is my personal church in a way.
Asfa: Are you religious?
Orestis: No but I think we are all religious in a way. I mean I don't follow any religion but I think we all feel religious for some things and we should have some sacred parts in our lives. If I was forced to follow one though I may choose the 12 ancient Gods of Greece. The most good looking and humane religion ever.
Asfa: Haha never though of it that way. So I am interviewing an Agricultural Engineer, Musician, Motorcyclist Traveller, am I missing something?
Orestis: I would just say self taught – this is the common thing in all that you mentioned. Oh I also like to repair stuff. Last 2 days I repaired my PC monitor and the 4WD on my car.
Asfa: Wow I am impressed. We should live closer haha.
Orestis: And to finish this show off I once made a motorcycle on my own.
Asfa: Did you? How?
Orestis: With my poor tools back then and 2 months of working everyday on it. Bought two bikes and made one out of them combining some other parts too. I loved it and my ex-girlfriend then loved it even more I think. She was in love especially with the sound of the exhaust.
Asfa: Not with you?
Orestis: With me too I guess. No I am sure she was. Probably the best girlfriend I ever had by the way. Amazing person and one of the best artists in Greece.
Alfa: Sweet...We've already been talking for quite a while, to be honest I feel like time flies when talking to you and unfortunately we are running out of time. I am curious to know something about what's in your head about your future. What do you see in your next days, months or years.
Orestis: You know they say “God laughs when people plan”. I felt it deep in my skin this one during 2012. At the same time I am a boy and can't compromise on that. You know boys don't feel ok with loosing the game so I'll keep walking, planning and dreaming. However, I won't go far on that till I feed my baby soul and rest my head a bit more which means getting my bike on the road for a while. Trips on my motorcycle are a sound factor of balance for the last years and probably for the next years too. Don't know how long this trip will be but I'll keep it a bit loose. I don't prepare or plan too much before trips. Usually I just decide and go, almost always alone cause if I waited for the proper company I wouldn't do anything at all. I don't expect anything specific from this one but wouldn't be bad to find all I need out there!
Asfa: Wanna name some of these?
Orestis: Simple things as I mentioned before. I'll tell you more on the next interview.
Asfa: Haha ok then. Thank you so much for this one I wish you the best and maybe see you for the next one.
Orestis: Why not, all the best to you too Asfa. Was my pleasure.