Practical Guidelines for the Eternal Tourist

As the end of the school year approaches (give or take a dissertation for some of us), a certain demand for summaries and conclusions is in the air. The sun is out, the birds are chirping, and with the finest Hollywood internalization I feel like any minute now a pop-rock song will start playing, just in time for my final monologue. Luckily none of this is actually happening in reality; my end credits might prove embarrassingly short. But as one of many international students in St Andrews, I do feel that my soon-to-be-over studying abroad experience is worth looking into broodingly. Moving to another country for an extended (but not permanent) period of time creates a strange paradox: on one hand, I'm somewhere new and enjoy feeling that difference in everything from local traditions to the design of the grocery brands. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to feel like a visitor for months on end. What is needed, then, is the golden path.

This is Africa: The Garden Route

As the Easter weekend and the ensuing Spring (o.k., technically Autumn) Break approached I faced the grim reality of needing to submit a thesis proposal. I weighed up my options. Spending the week in the increasingly freezing library or jumping in the car and driving a 2000km round trip soaking in the sunshine of the Garden Route—one of South Africa’s top attractions. Obviously being the responsible student that I am, I chose the latter: just think how refreshed I would feel returning to the library after a week away. One week on and I am in the library, attempting to stay in the holiday mood, whilst fear quickens my respiratory rate. 

A Gelato Tour of Florence

Gelato in Florence; my friends and I ate it with every meal. We wandered those springy alleys, marveled at the winding Renaissance architecture, and the rich, red tiled roofs and the yellowness of the buildings. We fell in love with the food, the smells, the sights, and became enchanted by the city from which the Renaissance sprung. The city was inspiring, and the scoops of gelato that we were spooned were heavenly.

Women’s Global Health and the Medsin Talk Series

Women are going to change the world. They are single most important agent of change that can and do bring societies out of poverty. If women are given resources and education, they will add billions to the global economy. In Uganda for example, $10billion is lost in potential earnings to girls leaving school early. That is why their health is so important.

Peru and the Art of the Remix

In a smoky bar in the Highland city of Cusco, two rather cosmopolitan Limeans tried to explain contemporary Peru to me. One of them had just finished a set with some Brazilians who studied music with him in Sao Paulo, and was best friends with the former Peruvian Prime Minister’s son. The other, born in New York and with Spanish, German and Sicilian blood was constantly being asked if he was Argentinian, somewhat compounding his sense of disconnect from the country. They told political stories of idealism and corruption: hyperinflation, abandoned projects and broken promises. They talked about the annals of Peruvian history so often ignored and generalised under the umbrella of ‘Incas’, whose empire actually only lasted 100 years. So far, what with the Cusquena, the Pisco and loud music, their attempts were a little incoherent, if enthusiastic. 

Crab, Grapefruit and Brussels Sprout Salad

This colourful, springy salad is relatively inexpensive and very healthy. Eating raw brussel sprouts may seem a little bizarre, but when sliced thinly with a mandolin, they serve as the perfect base for a salad. The bitterness of the grapefruit cuts the richness of the crab, and the lemon juice and olive oil brighten up the dish. I recommend going to Kerachers’ for top notch crab meat.

Dancing at Lughnasa: Reviewed

The Mundy sisters arrived into town fresh off the boat from the Northwest of Ireland for two showings of Brian Friel’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa.’ Part of the ‘On The Rocks’ student-run (and might I add very successful) theatre and arts festival, the Mundy family had some big boots to fill and the sold out Barron theatre eagerly awaited their arrival on stage.

Cocktail of the week: Blood Orange Mojitos

In her daily perusing of blogs and tumblrs, my flatmate stumbled across this delightful recipe. As avid lovers of blood oranges and mojitos, this is our new go-to cocktail. It is sweet, citrusy and has a beautiful colour.

Big Top Ball // What To Wear

Drop the books, juggle those deadlines and run away with the circus this weekend. Big Top Ball is here, so quit your clowning.  After the cartwheels and highwire antics of On The Rocks festival, dress yourselves in sequins and a top hat, mosey over to Lower College Lawn, and party on down with the elephant rumoured be in attendance.

Hometown Highlights: Bristol

Instead of being (logically) rather creepy, the West Country greeting of ‘Arright me lover?’ hallooed by everyone from bus drivers to bank managers is strangely endearing, and a comforting sign that I have come home.