funterview: christina the secretly dark singer, speech therapist, and future carpenter

who are you? who am i?

yes. christina, the waitress at sunset.

i was just about to ask what do you do. i’m a waitress at sunset.

that’s not all you do. right now it is, but yeah, no.

what else do you do? i’m a speech therapist for children. i also sing. i am  a singer. and…

a tattoo artist? from yesterday, yes, you can call me that. i’m also a future carpenter.

who do you sing for? this band is prins obi and the dream warriors. the band before that was baby guru.

i love the names. what kind of music? baby guru was more crowd psychedelic, and prins obi and the dream warriors are more pop.

how did you get into music? i started drumming lessons with the drummer of baby guru. then one day i went to the studio where we had the lessons, and he was recording for another band. they had this chorus in the song, and they asked if i wanted to pop in and sing as well, so i said why not? and then i was with baby guru after that.

did you ever tour? no. they haven’t toured at all. baby guru did. they even played in the us.

you haven’t performed in a while. last time was april with prins obi.

where? in athens by the sea, a cultural center where lots of events go on like music events, artistic events. it’s more official. it’s interesting how you perform differently in a place with a stage with people who are there to actually watch you quietly. feels like they’re there to hear your music rather than being there and music just happens to be in the background. when you’re on a night stage, i’m going out there and partying with my group mates. but there it was more of us as a band having to perform for them.

what’s it like for you, performing? it was a big challenge to be onstage cause i’m really quite shy. not that much anymore, but popo, i feel i was very bad on stage for a long time, very uncomfortable and self conscious.

how old were you when you started? old. (laughs) i was already 22, 23.

how old are you? 30.

when i asked nefeli how old she was, and she said 30, i said, ‘oh we’re both old!’ ahh, sometimes you feel pipinaki, sometimes you feel skatogria.

what does that mean? shitty old lady. we told you this last night, remember.

(laughs) oh, yes!! we use this expression very much here on sunset when we want to force people to go out and try to make them feel bad. “don’t be a f-in skatogria.”

let’s talk about your tattoo artistry career. so last night was your first time tattooing. yes, on my friend nefeli. she felt very confident in me, choosing an image that was quite challenging for a newbie like me. and i won’t lie to you, yesterday i went to bed and i was like, ‘f-, i ruined her arm (laughs). i destroyed her. i wonder if she can adjust by herself because i don’t feel this is what she wanted.’ i felt kind of like how children start learning to hold a pencil.

yes, it seemed a long time to be tattooing. yeah, i didn’t expect it to be that long. i felt quite tired. but, popo, it was the best experience to have, cause she was so chill. she didn’t say ouch or complain, and she was like ‘do whatever, i trust your judgment.’ if you trust me, i trust myself.

so i interviewed matteo. i asked him about your relationship, now i’m asking you. about me and matteo. what are you asking me exactly?

um, how’s it going? ah! it’s going very well. i’m very happy, actually. we’re here, we’ve been working together, living together, going out together. we weren’t together in the winter cause i was in athens and he was in paris. we visited each other a few times. and now from that, we came to this, which.. working together is a whole different thing in a relationship. it brings in matters that don’t entirely have to do with your relationship as a couple.

like what? like work matters that don’t have to do with us, but somehow they affect us obviously, and it’s a part of our life here, the biggest part of our life here for these months, the summer season. and that’s been a first for me.

working with someone you’re with? yes, but we’re okay finally, with the work thing. and to be honest, i really look forward to our trip [to thailand]. i really wanna travel. i feel super open in experiencing all this new stuff. you feel that, whatever happens, it’s gonna be super okay cause you’re ready for anything. and matteo is also very spontaneous and very fresh and energetic, and a very positive person, so it’s for sure the right person to do that with.

have you traveled a lot? not a lot, actually. when i was a child, yeah, but as an adult, not that much. i studied here and then abroad in the uk, and then i came back to athens and then i was working, working, working. i just went to cambodia to visit my brother. he was there for 3.5 years working at the international school with his wife. life there is super simple and chill, super slow. people are nice.

you said you wanted to be a carpenter. yeah, you can do so many things. in general, something i can do with my hands i enjoy very much. i like fixing things, changing things. i like having instruments and tools and trying to make something. not like art, but i would really like to make furniture. i like interior design in general. i love it. its something that i’d be very interested in doing. and even by myself i prefer that, trying out by yourself. i’ve made many many mistakes, and then you start doing something, and then your window doesn’t open.

have you had any near death experiences? i don’t think so, but it’s possible that i forget things. i mean, i do forget things, i know i do, but maybe there were things i’ve pushed away. i remember one time everyone else thought i died. i was on a flight coming back from cyprus, and there was a flight before mine, the same company, and it crashed. everyone knew i was coming back with this company but not the time. as soon as i came back, my mom was in a state of shock, so when i came into the house, she was like who are you? i knew nothing cause i just came from the airport and nobody told us. so my mom was leaning against the wall and she completely lost her mind. she said, ‘if you’re the devil playing games with my mind get out of my house.’ and i said, ‘no it’s me.’ she said ‘come pinch me’. as soon as i touched her, then she kind of cracked. it was like she got freed of whatever had control of her at the time.

oh shit i forgot i’m working. [she goes to deliver drinks.]

my mom told me she was trying to find the strength to jump off the balcony, my friends were calling and crying.

that’s a pretty intense experience. it was intense to see how people would feel if something happened to me. it was a lot actually. it made me feel like i should be more careful. there’s people around who are gonna get really f-ed up if anything would happen. it makes you think of it while you would never.

it’s kind of nice right? it’s nice obviously to see that people are sad if something happens to you, but actually not at all. bottom line, because it’s just a tragedy. it’s overwhelming how shitty it is, a situation like this. for sure i listened to my mom more after that.

tell me about greek moms. should i?

(laughs) yes. okay. greek moms… obviously always you’re their baby, like a five year old. even now, i’m 30, and whenever i text my mom saying, can you call me whenever you can, she’s like ‘what happened??’ calling me after 30 seconds asking if i’m okay. whenever friends of mine pick up the phone for me, she’s like ‘where is christina??’

is that every greek mom or just yours? i think every greek kid says it’s just their mom, but i’m pretty sure it’s every greek mom. it’s what they do best.

worry? unreasonable worry. key ingredient to make a greek mom.

does that ever bother you? obviously, like a lot.

how? you don’t want to talk to your mom anymore! just want to say a ten second phone call: ‘hi i’m good, okay bye.’ that’s all i want to discuss. they’re overwhelming, for sure, most of the time. they have a very hard time letting go, accepting the fact that you’re an adult and you have to go through shit alone, living your life.

how is she when you’re here or traveling? she’s better knowing i’m right here with marcello, and she knows the girls and guys and matteo. and she’s okay with that. but she’s constantly asking when am i going back. every day, when are you coming. i don’t know. my mom tells me often that she wants to take me and put me back in her belly. is that cute or creepy? i don’t know.

i guess i would say cute, but maybe that’s cause i’m creepy. you are, actually. you’re a mind f-er! we already said that.

(laughs) how else am i creepy? do we want to talk about ‘choice number 2’? [i asked some of the girls the other night, among other questions, who they would sacrifice if forced to.] it’s very authentic, and i appreciate that in people. it makes me feel good that people like that exist, but we have to be honest.

do you feel like you’re getting paid enough? in general, in my life, no. im greek, remember?

what does that mean? it means we are severely underpaid.

everybody? the majority, for sure.

why is that? because greece is in a crisis right now. but it is not only because of that, it’s also the government is taking advantage of the fact that we are in a crisis. and they try to bring citizens at their lowest point where they’re just looking for basic things and be happy with that. very basic things, having a roof over our head or being able to feed your kids.

it wasn’t always like that? no, it wasn’t always like that. up until the 90s, there was lot of money flowing around.  you could take loans super easily: vacation loans, house loans, car loans, etc. and everyone went over their heads with the money they were borrowing from the banks, and they thought it’s something they could pay off eventually. that didn’t happen, firstly cause they didn’t pay it off and suddenly a lot of people were without jobs and have to give back their houses had to sell stuff. land, property.

did you experience that in your family? oh yeah, we lost our house when i was in 3rd grade, 8 years old.

wow. my sister, we have a 9 year difference, she has a completely different lifestyle than mine. it would be hard for me to move to the us, but this is something that, as a lifestyle, is very matching to my sister. she’s used to the flow of cash, being able to make money and buy stuff. this kind of mentality i never had because i never had money and i never had this thing of spending. of course i wanted to buy things, but i also started working quite young, and then i would work illegally in bars in athens. i always remember wanting to earn money. i enjoy that as a feeling. like i can do it, i can have my own money, i don’t have to ask for money. it’s a good way to hide what you buy from your mom.

what would you hide? lots of non-important things, the way i see it. in general, i have a very good relationship with my mom. she’s a very cool person other than the greek mom thing. she grew up in south africa, so she has a different mentality. she loved the rain and would grab us and we would go out and walk in the rain, experience it.

[christina goes to take someone’s order and returns quickly. ‘he’s not ready yet. f-er.’]

i miss my binoculars. in athens, elena and i would look into the city.

like spying on people? yeah, definitely. literally with lights closed, passing a joint.

what’s your worst habit? i ask because you’re such a perfect tiny beautiful sweet thing. smoking. i have a very bad temper. that can really change my image. like, a lot.

what’s the biggest expression of your anger that you’ve had? i’ve thrown things at people at for sure. i also have very bad road rage.

me too! oh f-. i once got attacked by a guy on his balcony with oranges. he was afraid that i was gonna bump into his motorbike while parking. he started shouting and i started shouting, and then maybe i called him a malaka (asshole), but he started throwing oranges.

what did you do? um, nothing. i lost my mani pedi appointment that night because of it all, though.

how do you want to die? …car crash, i think. like a big one.

(laughs) why a car crash? it’s exciting. it’s instant.

hopefully. yeah. that’s what i want if i can choose.

what would you be driving and where? big road, driving something big.

any scenery? mountains.

time of year? autumn.

how old do you wanna be? i look good, so young, i guess.

so you’d still be intact for the funeral. no, just the entire crash image, and my face like this [a look of open-mouthed happy surprise].

what do you want on your tombstone? my name.

anything else? nope.

just your name? so they know who it is lying there. it’s me!

where do you wanna go after you die? many places for sure. i wanna live and die again and again.

do you remember past lives? no.

anything else? …who would i sacrifice? how about that?

(laughs hard) okay, yes. who? i would sacrifice … marcello (her boss at sunset).

perche?! just because. i feel like that. it feels more right.

do you not like him? oh, i like him.

and what would your last meal be? last meal, ooo i like that. soup.

soup! what kind of soup? beef soup.

is it your favorite food? in general, yes. pasta as well, but soup.

and last words for this interview or in life? a dopo. (see you later.)

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