Category Archives: culture

Blog Update

I haven’t been updating this blog because:

a) I am in Chapel Hill, back from Notting Hill.

b) I’m waiting for a new blog name to come to me. Something to do with food and crafts and my aforementioned love of both. Any ideas?


So Far

Things I love about being back in North Carolina:

  • THE PEOPLE! Duh, friends and family. They’re the reason I came back.
  • THE SUN! It’s so bright and shiny and warm. And I no longer have to fear an adult-onset case of rickets.
  • THE DOLLAR! I can get so much for my money.
  • THE FOOD! Of the barbecued variety, specifically. Also, ungodly-large portions.
  • THE ACCENT! Southern accents are the aural equivalent of peaches.
  • THE CLOTHES! Sun dresses and shorts and sandals and other no-fuss apparel. Color is also nice, for a change.

In Preparation for Amurrica

I don’t recommend going to see Enron, a play about corporate corruption in America, two days before returning to the scene of the crime. I made that mistake tonight.

I oscillate almost daily between wanting to leave the U.S. the moment my Tarheel blue mortarboard leaves my head and wanting to stay and fight the very issues that often make me feel like a stranger in my own country.

Fortunately, if anything, as much disgust as I experienced witnessing conniving executives equivocating to their hapless employees, I experienced even more of a desire to go back and incite change. I have to. I must. I cannot stand to live in a place that inspires award-winning, critically-acclaimed plays about its depravity.

So I suppose I’ll come back simultaneously feeling really loved and really irritated. But take it or leave it, that’s me at my best.

British Humour

Fantasy in Harsh Reality

I have to say it.

Women who wear burqas are my real-life dementors. Seeing a woman, or what I presume is a woman, clothed in such a way that robs her of her identity and self-determination not only bothers me, but it terrifies me. And it does, in fact, cause that same sinking, dreadful feeling, as though my very soul is threatened by her shroud.

What I desperately need is a rational explanation for why some women are compelled to answer for men’s immorality.

Does anyone know?

Food ‘n’ France: Day 8

Our last day in France, we went to Reims to visit the Clicquot factory and tour the local cathedral. Like I said, my camera batteries were dead at this point. So sad. Alas, these two lonely pictures were stolen from a dear friend. That’s all I have.

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Factory. I have spoiled taste buds.

Cathedrale de Reims

Perhaps it’s better, anyway, to end this series with fewer pictures and more words. Because the shivers I get whenever I think about this trip surely deserve more than pictures and captions as recognition. Yet it’s so difficult to describe the magic we all certainly felt throughout our journey, but particularly in its denouement as we realized how very close we were to that magic potentially ending.

Early flights and early train rides meant the following morning was a rush of rolling our suitcases out the door, so that night in Paris was it for most of us. And I’m so sorry I couldn’t walk around after our jaunt to the Louvre for a few last pictures. I could feel the joy of the trip draining from me with every tear, and trust me, there were lots of tears. I wanted so badly to remember the happy moments, the spontaneous laughter, the long dinners that grew into early breakfasts, the late-night chats aided by wine and acknowledging our own vulnerability–like we could share anything with one another. And we did. That’s what I wanted to remember, not the goodbyes punctuated with choked sobs.

Of course, for those of us prone to writing sappy entries like this one, choked sobs are never far from the surface, always threatening to burst from our throats at the thought of a that last Perfect Day or, more solemnly, a life cut short.

So here I am, two weeks after the trip’s end, reflective and still a little sad. But it’s not leaving France that hurt so much as leaving them, those people with whom I’ve shared so much.

Again: I miss you all and I love you so much. I’ll see you soon, but in the meantime… Don’t forget to toast to Tuesdays.

Oxford Day Trip, or a Harry Potter Palooza

Another day in pictures. Can you tell I’m too busy to write more than a few hundred words? Well, I am. Soaking up my last few days in London requires little talking and lots of walking.

Radcliffe Camera--this place is still a library

Bodleian Library. These libraries are brilliant because they actually inspire studying.

Gardens outside of Christ Church College

Lewis Carroll attended Oxford and based Alice on the dean's daughter, so there's a big Alice theme here!

Lunch at the King's Arms

Chicken & bacon pie with veggies and chips. I'll miss how the Brits top everything with a flaky pastry.


Outside of The Great Hall, where Ludivine is being studious. Duh.

The Great Staircase from Harry Potter. Swoon.

A boat ride along the Isis was tempting, but not for 23 pounds.

A sweet ending at the sweet shop, which kept playing songs from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. Another childhood fantasy realized.

So, I’ve done the Oxford thing. What else should I do in my last ten days? Any suggestions? Any questions about my experience abroad that you want answered?