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When East meets South West

In The Art of Travel, 3. Communicating, Buenos Aires by CY1 Comment

I find it pretty amazing how I found people of Chinese descent everywhere that I’ve been, even here in South America, the continent geographically furthest away from Asia. In Argentina, some minimarkets and supermarkets are called “chinos”, in the sense that they are operated by people of Chinese descent. They used to be called “mercado chinos” but true to the …

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Désolé

In The Art of Travel, 3. Communicating, Paris by Zoe1 Comment

I confidently sauntered up to the counter at Miznon, a pita sandwich restaurant in Le Marais, menu in hand, and said, “Bonjour! Je voudrais un pitta avec l’agneau kebab, s’il vous plait.” (Hi! I would like a lamb pita, please). To which the man helping me replied, “Do you want any drinks with that?” In. English. It’s a common thing …

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Scusca, No Italiano!

In The Art of Travel, 3. Communicating, Florence by Tia1 Comment

I will come right out and say it now – I have taken being a native English speaker in an English speaking country for granted.  Growing up in Canada in a fourth-generation Canadian family, English was naturally my first language, and French my second.  No matter where I went in the country, I could communicate, or at the very least, …

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Non-communication is beautiful, will it remain?

In The Art of Travel, 3. Communicating, Shanghai by Mark1 Comment

During a two-week trip to the Northeast last February, I remember being particularly sensitive to the fact that I felt like a foreigner in my own country. As odd as it sounds, after many months in Bulgaria and Romania the most bizarre part was being able to understand what everyone was saying, all the time. The unnecessarily personal conversations unfolding …

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The Trdelnik Trap

In The Art of Travel, 2. Getting oriented, Prague by Erica1 Comment

The streets are riddled with trdelniks. What is a trdelnik, you ask? Well, according to Wikipedia (the only time I will rely on this site as a “reputable” source), a trdelnik is “a kind of spit cake” and is “made from rolled dough… grilled and topped with a sugar and walnut mix.” All over the Old Town Square, and nearly every tourist …

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Death On Every Corner

In The Art of Travel, 2. Getting oriented, Paris by Andie2 Comments

Paris loves a good death. It stands in every metro station, swings from every street sign, and trips off the tongues of tourists attempting to say “gateau Saint Honoré.” When Kevin Lynch said “every rock tells a different story,” death stuck fast in the mortar. When Suzanne Langer said that architecture is a manifestation of the “total environment made visible,” …