February 2015: Marianna Hunt has been busy already and written another fantastic article. For a fun overview of the dramatic relationship between Russia and Vodka, have a read of ‘War and Pissed’.
March: A vivid experience of Bill Webb’s short job-hunting visit to Barcelona recounted in his A Quick Sketch of Barcelona. Emmeline Skinner Cassidy is back with another moving article telling the story of her neighbours – a Syrian refugee family including three young girls. Definitely worth reading her piece Scattered Hearts.On the other side of the world, Sarah Peyton Jones’ Tereré with Ña Juana gives us a great chance to meet a true Paraguayan, and more importantly hear her story.
May: In contrast to Simon, Lise Noyau articulates the frustrations behind administrative problems in The Burden of Bureaucracy. Meanwhile, we’re back to Italy again as Laura Shanahan takes a look behind the crime-ridden reputation of the City of Naples. Finally, an entry from a new language – Living In a Radical City has been written from Athens, Greece – and I’ll leave it to you to check out what is being reported from this action-packed place.
June: So far we have two distinct surveys of people – the first from Mary Maschio while she is On the Metro in Paris – of course she’ll meet all sorts. Whereas Kelsey Hibbitt’s year abroad Somewhere in La Mancha (specifically Ciudad Real) has been made by the lovely people she has met and befriended there – have a look at her defence of less-well known destinations.
My thanks go to all my lovely contributors and I would be delighted on their behalf if you explore as many as possible. I can only reiterate that it’s been an absolute pleasure for me to compile and that I am thoroughly grateful for all their help. Please enjoy!
February 2015: The first set of articles were written by students of the University of Oxford, but we look forward to welcoming submissions from other students too in the near future. For an introduction to these first few see here:
The first piece I received was from James Reid, offering a thought-provoking alternative view of the commemoration of the First World War. Also within the theme of remembrance, Thea Bradbury’s The City with a Scar at its Heart gives a touching description of the anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, reiterating the literal scar that ran down the heart of the city should not be forgotten in marvelling at how far Berlin has come as a city in only a short period of time. Katie Graham looks at a rather different dividing line, reflecting on her life in Saint-Louis, a town sitting on the French-German-Swiss border and how borders are approached there. Metaphorically, crossing borders also occurs in pieces by Aurelia Specker and Nathaniel Hunt who take apart the stereotypes of Italy and Russia respectively. Meanwhile Asha Parmar deals with the serious issue of attitudes to women in South America.
My two coursemates and I (all studying Chinese) all chose completely different aspects of our year abroad to write about – my own piece explores a different side to a visit to the Great Wall of China, while Billy Beswick offers a sharp and humorous view of a trip to Hong Kong from the bathroom floor, literally. After initially promising to write about food, Leo Munby later came back to me begging via Wechat to be able to change his piece to an article on musical theatre in China following his formative visit to a performance of Into the Woods in Beijing.
After buying 2.5 kilograms of fruits and nuts, Lewis Spring gives a fascinating account of his experience of the tumultuous rate of the rouble. Meanwhile, I received beautifully written articles offering impressions and experiences of moving to various cities. Emmeline Skinner Cassidy’s description of How Amman Stole Her Heart which anecdotes and examples of the spirit of Jordan’s capital. Amanda Thomas offers a glimpse of her life in Portugal’s capital, Lisbon with photos making me pretty jealous while also enlightening me on Portugal’s history a little. Ianthe Greenwood writes about her short stay in Haiti, the country that dominated the headlines in early 2010 but then perhaps seems to have been accidentally forgotten, as often happens in the media. Finally, Marianna Hunt sent me a plethora of photos which collectively give a comprehensive tour of food in Russia, each with humorous commentary which also give further insight into her life there.