There are things I overhear which push my brain into contemplation. During my last visit to the grocery store, there was a couple along with their 4 year old choosing biscuits for themselves. The mother was showing different brands to her kid, opening up Robert Frost's two roads diverging into a wood for her child! The activity doesn't invite much attention, really, for it's quite normal. But what struck me was the language that the mother used with her child. English!
I grew up in NYC and spent most of my life there, even attending college at NYU. I've seen my city at its best and worst. I remember 9/11 and years from now I will say I remember Gov. Cuomo's press conferences. Still, I've been itching to leave this city for a while. As rent prices and college costs grew, I realized that living in NYC as a young person is often unsustainable unless you have a very high paying job. When I traveled, I found many other cities that didn't have this problem to the extent of NYC, and that people were less stressed and happier. NYC is also often quite disgusting. There are smells of urine, trash, and homeless people who haven't showered. There are rats, cockroaches, and too many pigeons. Now that COVID-19 has driven out many of the commuters, tourists and workers that would create such a high density population in the city, I wonder if these problems will change. Recently my friend in Brooklyn sent me a news article about homeless people being found dead in the subway. This is horrifying. I hope that COVID-19 will wake us up to help these vulnerable populations. Even before the pandemic, I always found the inequality in NYC to be striking considering the extremes of lifestyles on display. I attended an elite private school in Manhattan, and would often see children of the uber-wealthy get driven to school in black SUVs. COVID-19 has only made these differences more noticeable as the poor face more difficulties in beating the disease. For me, living in NYC has lost its magic, perhaps because it no longer feels like a place where anyone with enough drive and a bit of luck can make it. Instead, it has become a place of the haves and have-nots, which is often decided by the lottery of birth. Living in NYC seems like an endless rat race to me, although perhaps this will change as many have fled the city to work from home in various states. I made the decision to move to Europe (a plan I had decided upon before COVID-19) and although it initially appeared to be the epicenter of the disease, I think the way many European countries have responded to the virus has been admirable, as well as reassuring that a universal health care system is the way to go. I have been living in Germany for the past two months and really enjoying the ability to get fresh air, sun and nature without much stress. I feel healthier here.
Anyone else feeling like they could use a new hobby? I know with the quarantine going on, being in the house all day can be a pain in the neck!!
*For the sake of this article, we’re going to pretend we’re living in a perfect world.*
The French got up early the day they handed out national stereotypes. While the Brits were sleeping in, they pinched a flair for gastronomy, romance and fashion, leaving les Anglo-Saxons to take home bad teeth, inferior lovemaking and good queuing.
She's ready. She's so unbelievably ready... So ready, in fact, that she's not even phased by the ungodly time of a 4am departure.
Take my hand; the gods are calling you to the secret and sacred land of Bali. Let the heat of the glorious sun embed into your skin, waking every cell within you with its pure golden radiance, as locals welcome you with open arms and wide smiles. A Balinese local once told me “when in Bali all your troubles melt away.” You are starting to feel this now, as the distant, steady beat of a kemanak finds its rhythm in the wild, mixed in with a chorus of voices entwined together signalling the start of a ceremony. Their words are unfamiliar to you, but contain a beautiful melody that make your hips sway slightly as you take this moment to close your eyes and soak in the magic that has been intricately woven into their repeated chants.
“Help us leave nothing but footprints, not only for our beautiful planet earth but also through inspiring others to pursue their passions and dreams. Take what does not belong here and create it into something that will help drive our enthusiasm and passion.”
Agde is a little-known town one hour's drive west from Montpelier. Traditionally beautiful with boulangeries around every corner, each likely having served there fair share of TV commercial scouts through the years.
1) THERE ARE OVER 1 MILLION OF THEM
In a new series of interviews about the experience of language learning, I asked Katy a few questions about her experience with Norwegian.