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Inside/Out with Susan Pietrzyk, anthropologist researching on HIV/AIDS and sexuality
September 01, 2008

Describe yourself in five words?
Passionate, opinionated, loyal, spontaneous, long-winded

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
In order to understand Chapter 2, you have to understand Chapter 1

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
I've never done anything ridiculous because I have special skills in convincing myself that even ridiculous things are necessary

What is your most treasured possession?
My music collection

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
When someone makes me feel hurt. Or being told something is not possible

Do you have any strange hobbies?
Staying up into the wee hours of the morning

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
When I was about 15 I was riding my bike and ran into a parked car. I chipped my front tooth and I can still see the chip

What is your greatest extravagance?
Owning more pairs of shoes than any human actually needs

What have you got in your fridge?
A lot since Zimbabwe has taught me to hoard. And I love to cook/eat. Four flavors of Mazoe, Lion Beers, spinach, peppers, onions, tomatoes, butter, eggs, various juices, ginger beer, soda water, sauces to make spicy food, feta cheese, lazy daisy cheese, strawberries, some nasty tasting Breakers alcohol that I refuse to throw away, pickles, sun dried tomatoes, honey, peanut butter. And probably a few specks of mold since I'm not so good at cleaning my fridge.

What is your greatest fear?
Missing out

What have you got in your pockets right now?

What is your favourite journey?
The process of learning. Or to go somewhere I've never been

Who are your heroes in real life?
The rock 'n' roll rebel Patti Smith. The roughly 20,000 Americans who died from HIV/AIDS during the six years it took for Ronald Reagan to realize it was important for the President of the US to speak publicly about HIV/AIDS. My family and friends ­for their quirks and their love

When and where were you happiest?
Whenever I've been on a beach as the sun sets

What's your biggest vice?
Smoking. Drinking.

What were you like at school?
In the early days I was very studious. But that got old and at university I was more interested in fun than in school. As a PhD student, I'm one of the oldest students (but still fairly cool, so I like to think)

What are you doing next?
Continue my (secular) prayers that Zimbabwe Immigration will grant me an extension to my temporary residency permit

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