Let’s kick off the May Bank Holiday Weekend with an interview with this wonderful human!
I met Anna last April when she moved into our East Finchley abode a month after me. Although I got on with the flatmate who she replaced, we weren’t really ‘grab a takeout and binge a series together’ pals. So I was so glad when Anna moved in! We lived with one other girl who had lived there for about 5 years; she worked from home and spent most of her time in her room so Anna and I spent quite a lot of time together in the lounge.
She was the perfect flatmate and friend in that she was really clean and tidy, liked sharing food and cooking together, seemed to enjoy everything I cooked and genuinely laughed at all of my awful jokes. Oh, and she’s a big scented candle fan too! I loved our Love Island sessions in the summer. Trashy reality shows aside, she also has a great taste in films, books and TV series and introduced me to the brilliant Please Like Me. She made my time in East Finchley so much more enjoyable and it was so nice to come home to a friend!
If James hadn’t moved to London, I’d have been perfectly happy hanging out with Anna and laughing at her dating stories…
Hi Anna, tell us a little about yourself.
Hey! I’m Anna. I moved to London in the summer of 2012 from Poland and was supposed to stay for a year only, but life happened. I’m working as a project manager in a tech start-up and studying to become a UX designer. I spend way too much of my time scrolling twitter, looking for next tv show to watch and organising my Goodreads. Serial procrastinator able to meet most deadlines.
It’s currently Week 7 of the UK lockdown, how are you doing and what are you doing to keep yourself occupied?
In week two I thought I couldn’t take two more weeks of this, but I didn’t even realise we’re way past week 4 now!
Some days are much better than others. I’ve accepted the fact that I don’t have to read 3 books a week, watch a movie every day and listen to all of the podcasts. Sometimes drinking coffee on the balcony whilst listening to 90’s throwback playlist is more important than being productive.
Here’s an Insta post I really like that made me feel so good about not being productive:
What are you most looking forward to doing when freedom is upon us again?
Hugging my friends. I was never much of a hugger but touch deprivation in lockdown is awful.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
War zone journalist. It started at the tender age of 11 and lasted for a while. I think at that time the term “activist” didn’t exist in my head, but I already knew that I wanted to be able to make a change. My parents listened to a lot radio programmes so I was quite aware of the tradition of Polish reportage and ethnography. I obviously couldn’t verbalise things properly at that age but I created the idea in my head according to which all we needed to stop wars from happening was to send me to understand and speak up about the issues. All of this to convince governments to stop all wars. And yes, it had to be me. I was a very confident child with white saviour complex (or just a typical Taurus).
What is your earliest memory?
I was about 3 or 4 years old, my sister would have just been born, my parents were building the house and the four of us lived in a tiny rented studio. I have a few memories from that time and I’m not sure if this is actually the first one – I remember sitting on a cream and orange woollen blanket that was covering the sofa and watching my mom changing my sister’s nappy.
What is your proudest achievement?
Moving to a foreign country with £400 in my bank account and very poor language skills and making it work.
What’s the best gift you’ve been given?
It wasn’t the actual gift but going to Portugal with a group of my best friends to celebrate mine and another friend’s 30th birthday was grand.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Hopefully not in another lockdown.
What’s your most prized possession and why?
My phone. I rely on it to stay in touch with everyone. I use it to listen to music, watch stuff, check the news, work, sort out my bills, waste time, date. I can’t live without it.
If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?
Getting people to understand that equality and empathy for other people is not a radical political view and making billionaires redistribute their wealth.
If you were the ruler of your own country, what would be the first law you would introduce?
I would tax the shit out of the rich. Also see above.
A genie gives you three wishes: what are they?
My super power. Happy and safe life for my loved ones. Flat in the Barbican.
What’s the silliest argument you’ve ever been in?
I was friends with someone since high school. We moved to London together, a few months into living together, at the age of 25, we had a fight about going to see the Hobbit (I didn’t have time and tbh was not bothered by the film). She moved out. We have not spoken since.
If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?
Nothing. Changing anything would alter the person that I am right now, affect friendships I made and people I met over the years. It’s not worth it.
What’s the most interesting thing that you can see out of your window right now?
Not right now, but I saw a lonely mallard yesterday. It was walking around the court seemingly looking for the rest of the flock.
Which celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a coffee?
Jonathan van Ness, for sure. Although ideally we’d go to Campbell & Syme instead
Do you have any unique habits?
I used to be very OCD about checking if door is locked, cooker off etc before I go to bed. Sometimes I’d check twice, just to be sure. The only odd thing that I still do that I can think of is that I brush my teeth if I wake up at night and go to pee. I just need to do that before I come back to bed.
What is your biggest fear?
Something bad happening to my loved ones.
What makes you angry/biggest pet peeves?
People that don’t vote because of laziness or “no interest in politics”. And Tories.
What would be your ‘death row meal’?
Lots of small plates and Malbec.
What would your ideal weekend look like?
This place with my best friend and poetry books.
What personality traits do you share with your relatives?
We’re all givers. It’s not a bad trait, but it fucks us over repeatedly and we’re all slow learners in that department.
Which of your personality traits are you most proud of and why?
Practicality and stubbornness, I’m a Taurus.
Do you ever wish you were raised differently?
I think my mom did a pretty good job, but I wish she would have more confidence and be less selfless so that I could learn that prioritising myself is not a bad thing. And that she would push me more when I got bored of going to dance classes and playing instruments.
What’s the first thing you look for in a partner and/or friend?
I’m naturally drawn to honest, kind and funny people.
And men that will eventually disappoint me.
What is your favourite memory of ours?
I miss chopping veggies for delicious meals that you would cook for us, hanging out in the living room, snacking on seaweed together whilst watching Please Like Me.
TV series: Euphoria, Broad City, Nirvanna The Band The Show, Battlestar Galactica, Black Sails, Flowers, Fleabag, Killing Eve
Film: This is a very random list that contains a few of my forever favourites and fairly recent stuff that impressed me the most: Parasite, Midsommar, In The Mood For Love, Blind Chance, Shirkers, The Breakfast Club, A Simple Favour, Nightcrawler, I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore, The Seventh Seal, Farewell
Book: The Devils by Dostoevsky, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Kundera, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong, Crush by Richard Siken, Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, Sula by Toni Morrison, Uncle Vanya by Chekhov
Type of cuisine: Korean (the things I would do for a bowl of dolsot bibimbap right now…)
Season: Autumn (specifically late September/early October)
Subject at school: History and literature
Country that you’ve visited: Iceland for the taste of tap water and solitude
Instagram accounts: @awardsforgoodboys, @peoplesmomentum, @ocean_vuong, @victorevasecret, @doggosdoingthings, @jeremycorbyn, @madmax_fluffyroad, @henn_kim, @betches, @theofficialsadghostclub, @zeppelinmoon @hillhousevintage