Vermilyea Avenue

I was hit squarely with the strong distinctive odor of cabbage and fried schnitzel while descending the stairs from my friend's fourth floor apartment. Then, it happened. You see, my nose, having been accosted, sparked the memory which stopped me in my tracks somewhere between the second and third floor... And there we were. My …

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Falling under the spell of South Africa

Mal d'Africa is an apt term that describes the strong feeling of nostalgia and desire to return to Africa once visited. I experienced this firsthand, living in a fog the month after my return home. I would go through my daily routine somewhat mechanically, feeling like something was missing or not quite right. Another notable …

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Another place

We were completely surrounded. Bodies pressing into us, hands prying and violating; a crush of human flesh and bones. The ATM's had been emptied out days before, so we had stashed as much cash as we were able to withdraw underneath our clothes, to tide us over. The air thick with the mixture of sweat, …

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Costa Rica

Breakfast in the forest We awaken to the trumpet like blare of peacocks (an alternative to the more clichéd rooster), the rustling of palm fronds and a variety of squeaks and clicking sounds from insects and animals in the undergrowth. From the terrace of our guest-house, which is a wooden structure on stilts, painted a …

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The little boat that could

When I was four, my mom and I went to Italy for summer vacation. We stayed in her small town for about one month. It was a typical quiet old country town suspended, uncertainly, between past and present. My mom's childhood home faced onto a gravel courtyard full of bikes and cats, kerchiefed grandmas shelling …

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Meet you in Paris

I awake to a drizzly grey morning in Paris. It is the type of gloomy weather day that only European cities manage to pull off.  From the tiny guest bedroom on the second floor, my window overlooks a charming internal courtyard that could easily be a vignette from 1940. My friend’s flat, interestingly, occupies parts …

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