Table of Continents 17
Perspective by Katie Callahan
On Dreams and Language by Jillian Schweitzer
19 Instant Message From Spain to America (Anonymous)
21 On Belfast, Accidental Insults, and General Life Lessons by Rebecca Peller
23 Six Month Lisp by Jenny Frome
25 Paris Story by Andy Madison
YOU ARE HERE
4 Editor’s Note by Emily Dobkin
30 Tokyo Through the Lens of a Purikura
Machine by Leah Hashinger
32 E-mail from Thailand by Katie Shaw
33 LOVE by Emile Sorger
Central and South America
7 Stories by Anna Lapera
12 Journal from Dakar by Anna Tonelli
9 The End of a Child’s Life by Devin Myles
14 E-mail from South Africa by Rebecca Schwartz
10 Cirilo Condor by Patrick Offenheiser
15 Israel* in Hindsight by Bianca Merbaum
* Due to Israel’s location in the middle of Asia and Africa, which continent it
officially belongs to is currently under debate. The Atlas staff chose to place Israel
in this section for editorial reasons.
35 Walking While Eating by Erin Hartz
39 Excerpt from “The Yellow Brick Road” by Marissa Walker
crevices on that train, I didn't think I could fit; yet these people me to start ATLAS.
adjusted to make room for my foreign body. As I sat in my own By definition, Atlas (at-les) is a noun that means one of the fol-
sweat, I felt a child tugging on me, and motion to his hungry stom- lowing; One -- One who supports or sustains a great burden; a
then go to Puerto Rico, Brazil, South ach. I felt broken inside. Yet, moments later I see him interact with chief supporter, a mainstay. Two -- A collection of maps in a vol-
Africa...Moh-, Mah..." I stumble over the pro- other children and see him smile and hear him laugh. Despite the ume. And, three -- According to Greek mythology, the Titan sup-
nunciation of Mauritius. constant whirlwind of commotion stirring, there was still a purity posed to uphold the pillars of heaven as a punishment for being
I tried to visualize the map of the world. It' to the people in this land. My heart felt softened; I was finding the war leader of the Titans in the struggle with the Olympian
seemed so vast in my mind and I could not peace with myself in the land of India. gods.
recall which country followed after Mauritius. I opened my eyes to the wide ocean. I continued to walk on, and
By definition, Serendipity (ser-uh n-dip-i-tee) is a noun that One:
means the following; One -- The faculty of making fortunate dis- "Em, you don't even know you're itinerary?" my friend smirked was struck by something by my foot, something red. It was a heart
shaped bead. I picked the bead up and thought it to represent the Every person at Goucher who studied abroad and returned with
coveries by accident; Two -- The fact or occurrence of such dis- at me.
change I was feeling in my heart. I added it to the collection of that transformative feeling. Every person at Goucher who must
coveries. And, three -- An instance of making such a discovery. I sank deeper into the depths of the purple chair as I undressed learn to cope with the challenge of returning as a changed person
the cardboard sleeve from the paper cup. beads I had been accumulating from every country to which I
One: traved l to, making it the first bead on my bracelet that I now wear to a place that has not undergone the same change, but has kept
January 30, 2007 "All I know is I am going around the whole wide wor---!" everyday. moving forward.
It was sixteen degrees and I could barely bring myself to walk I stopped, looking at the paper coffee cup. Three: Two:
to my 1983 maroon Volvo. I told my friend I was going to meet I smiled. May 20, 2007 This new publication representing a collection of students inter-
her at Starbucks in 20 minutes. I didn’t (and still do not) like cof- "What's it say?" nal maps of their own introspective global journey reflected in
fee, but Starbucks has always been a good central location for us I was back in America, but not quite home yet as I sat in the San artifacts that have been produced or gathered during or after
to discuss what is going on in our daily lives. "'The world is smaller than you think, and the people on it are more beau- Diego International Air Port. I felt different. I felt happy, but con- abroad experiences. These include short essays, poems, stories, let-
tiful than you think.'" flicted. I felt torn, and continue to feel torn. I strolled into Barnes ters, excerpts from diaries/journals, drawings, photographs, and
That night our meeting at Starbucks was different than our pre- and Noble and ordered green tea. I’m over the extra latte portion. I
vious catch up sessions; that night was the last night I took com- I saved that cup, cut the quote out, and pasted it into the front copies of memorabilia (such as tickets, train receipts, etc.), all of
page of the journal documenting my explorations and discoveries decided to buy a new journal documenting my life post traveling. which will reflect Goucher's commitment to global and local
fort in calling an old friend to meet in a familiar place. Although As I waited in line at the cash register, my eyes were drawn to a
shivering from winter’s arctic chill, anticipation warmed my body during my semester abroad. awareness.
card on the rotating stand with a quote that read,
knowing the following day, I was leaving for a semester long February 10, 2007 Three:
journey to travel the world. I would have no cell phone and very "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it turned into a butter-
It was 86 degrees and I had a few hours before traveling to The man whose infamous picture demonstrates absolute power
little internet access. And no Starbucks. fly."
Salvador, Brazil. Exploring Puerto Rico was invigorating, but and control of holding the world
It seemed so surreal. there was still too much comfort that I longed to get away from. I write this quote down on the first page of my new journal.
by his fingertips, an icon of strength and stoic endurance.
I ordered a green tea latte. That's the fanciest drink I can order I could still see that green Starbucks crowned siren on the cobble That is how I felt. I felt a transformation. Unlike the Titan, Atlas, students recognize the sensation of the
at Starbucks. I stoned street corners. May 21, 2007 world at their finger tips not as a burden, but as a privilege that
don't know a dou- I decided to indulge in my comfort zone one last time, treating I am back home about to meet another friend at Starbucks. He should be shared with a community.
ble espresso shot myself to a green tea latte. was just in Italy and we meet up to talk about our travel experi- My goal for this new publication is for students to pause, reflect
from a caramel I once again took the cardboard sleeve off of the paper cup so ences. We sat in the comfy purple chairs and I realized how diffi- and savor those moments from their travel experiences. I have
mochoa-whatever- that I could read the quote. cult it is to communicate how my travels have transformed me. asked students to intellectually and artistically dig deeper into the
atte. So, I give some trinkets I had collected for him instead. "Oh yeah, significance of their journeys, giving the Goucher community an
I begin talking to my new friend and stop mid setence.
As I sat in the big I have something for you, too," he said. official, student-centered forum for discovering experiences
"Is everything okay?" she asked.
purple comfy chairs He handed me something wrapped in Italian newspaper. I abroad. Being the first liberal arts college in the United States to
by the fireplace with I smiled. require every undergraduate to study abroad, I feel this publication
opened it up. It was a bright green bag with a yellow butterfly;
my friend, she “I received this same exact quote the on my coffee cup the underneath were the words, "cio' che per il bruco e' la fine del mundo. is imperative for Goucher College.
inquired about the night before I set sail for the world and here I am getting it again; Per il resto del mondo e' una bellissima farfila." If you take a close look at the cover, you will probably find your
itinerary of my this must be a modern day message in a bottle...but message in a friend’s name written in another language. I hope you take the time
"What does it mean?" I asked..
world travels. I hesi- coffee cup ..." to look at everything in this first issue whether it be a journal entry,
tated trying to envi- "It means, 'what the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a short story, poem, drawing, photograph or ticket stub, and let it
"What does it say?"
sion the exact route. butterfly.’” inspire you to go to that destination.
"The world is smaller than you think and the people are more beautiful
"Well, I set sail * Lastly, I would like to extend my gratitude to those who have
than you think.."
from When I returned to Goucher after my semester abroad in Fall made this abstract vision into something that is now in the hands
2007, I sat in my empty dorm room overlooking the quad to see of the Goucher community. Thank you to the Innovation Grant
Bahamas and March 20, 2007 familiar faces. It was then I realized how much I had grown Committee, the President's Office, Wendy Belzer-Litzke, Jonathan
A new sensation swept through my soul as the accustomed to seeing so many unfamiliar faces but also I had David Jackson, Ailish Hopper Meisner, SGA, the Office of
wind pulled my stride back on the seventh deck. I let grown accustomed to being out of my comfort zone, and I missed International Studies, The Office of Communications, and most
the fresh ocean breeze hit against my face. I found it that feeling. That Starbucks coffee cup guided me in the right importantly to the contributors and my editorial team without who
strange and beautiful to think only the day before, I direction as I found a new perspective of the world. Indeed, it is this would not exist.
was in a populated train that was more like a cattle small world and those people you meet, even just one time in their Emily Hope Dobkin*
car and now I was riding the waves of the Indian village or traveling on a local bus, are the most beautiful people
Ocean. With so many people huddled into small you will encounter. The journal I have been keeping has clearly
been documenting this transformation. It is from the words I have
written, photos I have pasted in, trinkets I have saved, and
serendipitous moments I keep in my journal that have compelled
By Anna Lapera
When my mother and I moved to America, all warriors during the day and song singers at night.
my grandmother asked for us to bring her back was This was a time, I’ve been told, when collective
a red, Revlon lipstick. The color of the lipstick has memory was in danger.
stuck with me since childhood; a red too bright for The loss of my grandmother’s memory has
her pale face, applied dramatically and always a little made for the funniest and most ridiculous of sto-
beyond where the lips began and ended, kind of ries, because it is in this space where she once car-
like her stories. “Ben pa’ ca. Come here,” my small ried around a tiny pink pistol in her purse, or where
grandmother tells me, from a room she has set up the president told her she was beautiful, or where
like an altar the third time she asks me if I remem- Muhamed Ali came to visit her over tortillas and un
ber her first husband, who died after cafecito. When my grandmother
being trampled at a soccer game before began telling stories, I listened des-
my mother was born. I’m certain some- perately, and I felt I was the only
where in the distance an embassy one paying attention. I felt I had
exploded, and stories formed like moun- more to lose, having spent only part
tains, cradling secrets and covering of my childhood here. I was con-
truths. I don’t remember my grand- vinced those stories needed to be in
mother too well before she lost her every part of the fabric that makes
memory. I just know that with the loss “When my grand- me, that they needed to be braided
of memory, the stories began. mother began tightly into my hair, into my voice,
In 1960, the year before my mother telling stories, I lis- into every word that came out of my
was born, Guatemala officially entered tened desperately, mouth. I needed to hang on to every
into the longest civil war in Latin word she said and hope that it would
and I felt I was the
American history, lasting 36 years. Four give me a glimpse into history.
years earlier, the U.S. led a coup against only one paying I’ve learned about Guatemala’s
the elected government of Jacobo attention.” history through my grandmother’s
Arbenz formed by left-leaning profes- stories and love affairs. Her lovers
sionals and students. During a civil war, are what she remembers most from
so many different factions try to keep her life before the loss of memory;
from dying out. her life before storytelling.
The struggle waged by some was to “What is your name again,
fight for the rememberance of their señorita?” she asks me. I tell her for
story. In this struggle the poor took up the third time, and she sings for me a
arms – or, intellectuals and students took song she learned in childhood. She
up arms in the name of the poor – and sings it as if she had been singing it
formed militias and revolutionary armies. Photo credit: Aviva Bergman every day of her life. She tells me
The Rebel Armed Forces, the that boys fell in love with her when
Revolutionary Organization of Armed People, etc. she sang for them. “Manzanita” they used to call
all infiltrated and armed the poorest areas and the her, which means apple, for her red cheeks. I can
universities. I’d like to think they fight for the old picture her, smiling and laughing with her face
woman with a thousand different stories, but this turned back towards them. She lived for those
was a time when old women spoke with bullets; moments. My grandmother was a passionate, irre-
sponsible and cradled woman, the product of a ping of the fingers thing that Latina women do
love affair with a Mexican business man. And she when they are angry or surprised. This seems to
The End of a Child’s Life
By Devin Myles
loved during the most intense fighting of the civil only get more intense with age. “I think that’s why
war. he died.”
Guatemala became a landmine. The country- But I know he died with a bullet in his head. I
side became a safe haven for revolutionaries. The ask my grandmother if she knew that he was politi-
Everyday I would awake to the squawking of chickens, the braying of donkeys, and the murmur of
poor armed themselves with weapons made in the cally involved. “I don’t know, mija, everyone
the bustling Haitian village of Fond des Blanc. I’d stare at the ceiling, lying in humidity-dampened sheets
USA and defended themselves against the govern- probably was at one time”.
until I could find the energy to swing my white legs over the edge of the cot. Once up, I would wrap
ment army. I’ve never found any letters that Fuentes Mohr
myself in a towel, grab a red basin and head into the 5 o’clock morning. I would fill up a basin from my
My grandmother tells me of a lover who I later wrote my grandmother. Perhaps she threw them
water barrel and scurry behind my house out of sight from the path busy with the farmers headed to the
found out was a prominent figure in Guatemala’s out; after all, she was a romantic that never under-
fields. With a quick pour over the head, I called myself clean.
political history, though she did not mention this. stood the political context of her romance.
In 1979, he was assassinated by the military for his Perhaps she has transformed them into incoherent
That day, like all the rest, I knew I would be exposed to hundreds of impoverished, sick, neglected
leftist activities. Sometimes at night she waits for stories with no beginning or end that she saved
people that I could help. Every morning I trekked a short way from my small concrete and corrugated
him, but not in that desperate, lonely way. She sits telling them to me once a year for brief moments,
roofed house to the walls of Hospital St. Boniface. By the time I got there every morning, there were hun-
next to me and demands that I watch her put on allowing me only glimpses, testing me to see if I
dreds of people waiting to enter the process of being seen by one of the seven doctors that practiced in
her red lipstick so that I may observe and perhaps could create a story that fully explained her. Or
the remote village of Fond des Blancs. They all had to be triaged, seen, and prescribed something before
learn a little something about love. This movement perhaps the next lovers used fuller words and
they could leave. As usual, I had to force my way through the human density waiting at the gates to report
is the last one she will ever make and therefore loved more completely. I’ve imagined the poetry
to where I was needed, and on that morning, my talents as a self-taught nurse were needed in the Sale
must make it grandiose. She applies the lipstick in and words Mohr has given her that have tied her to
Pansement, the emergency room.
large, hard strokes across her lips, presses them the earth, to the struggles; I’ve imagined the womb
together and looks at me. below the silence filled with stories and I’ve been
People filtered through the emergency room with cuts, bruises, coughs, fevers; everything that
She asks me if Fuentes Mohr is waiting for her forced to create them because only my grandmoth-
could possibly ail a person in rural Haiti came through this one room. Like any other day, I gave my share
outside. She becomes a little girl again, waiting in er seems to know the beauty of these untold sto-
of shots and stitches to the kids and explained how to take anti-arthritic medication to the gran moun yo
her room as long as she can, to build the tension as ries.
(old people) until my aspirations of becoming a doctor were marred. An overwrought teenage mother
long as she can, between herself and the ghost out- She repeats and retells them. Every time they
burst through the crowded doorway, screaming “amwe” (help), with an infant in her arms. He was tepid
side. But sometimes she remembers that he has are different so I act as a song catcher, at times
to the touch and he had a yellow tint to his skin; he was dead. I was broken.
died, and the stories begin to knock at the door. pathetically waiting. At times I imagine her hair
“Mija” she calls me, “did you know that the day like white cotton, others black and long, and I
The room was spinning around me, or maybe I was spinning, I can’t be sure. I was dedicated to
before Fuentes Mohr died, I told him that I could- think of the stories that must have nested there, in
improving life for people around me, and this had me feeling like nothing else in the world. I wanted to
n’t be with him because he didn’t believe in God?” that black river. I imagine because imagining is all
save everyone from sickness and disease, to give people the opportunity to live a healthy and happy
She opens her eyes wide, and does that fast snap- I’ve been able to do.
life…I was an idealist, naïve in my passions.
I remember coming back to the awful reality. The lifeless body was lying on an aged stretcher
wrapped in a towel. He had a little blue cap on his hairless head. I remember being unconvinced that he
was actually dead, so I put my stethoscope on his chest…nothing; silence, the absence of life, the absence
of a child’s future. His life was taken by poverty, and my ambitions of becoming a doctor faced the cold
truth that death is a singular stage of life that we all reach. There is a point when science and curative
measure are rendered ineffective.
Photo credit: Aviva Bergman
by Patrick Offenheiser
A fat little man is
received like a king
by choirs of mongrels
trumpeting his approach
from concrete rooftops
as he ambles uphill,
a belt of rope and
a mantle of yellow dust
hanging around his
of sharp obsidian
hide in the folds of his
bronze leather face,
biting sharply, speaking
of hunger and
decades of gunmen,
here names are lost
in the dust
and faith is
with hopes of
putting on weight.
The nuns mock his belly,
but he only grins crookedly
with a full mouth of
and a missing front tooth,
cackling in a whisper
“mas para los gusanos,
mas para los gusanos.”
Photo credit: Aviva Bergman
Journal from Dakar, Senegal, Fall 2006
By Anna Tonelli
Every Monday through Thursday I wake a little before eight
to shower and eat the baguette la domestique has left set
up on the table for me along with tea and jam.
I walk twenty minutes to arrive at school for my nine o’clock
class and what follows is not a typical Goucher school day.
When I sit down amongst my classmates my morning shower is com-
pletely canceled out, as I am already sweating. Throughout the
class I continue to sweat as a result of the electricity cut
and thus a lack of air conditioning even in the ninety-degree
My professors (also sweating) write on black chalkboards with
different colored chalk dipping a sponge into water each time
they wipe down the board while flies circle our heads and
The words that come out of our professors mouths are not the
English I am used to, but French, my “foreign language”, that
here is no longer foreign...
Photo credit: Aviva Bergman
Israel in Hindsight: A Love-Hate Relationship towards the country, so figured going back to Israel to
By Bianca Merbaum search for an understanding was my only way of doing
justice to a country that has played such a significant and
By my sophomore year of college, I had already decid- defining role in my life. Now, back from afar, I realize
ed to study abroad in Israel at Tel Aviv University for my experience abroad gave me exactly what I needed:
the spring of my Junior year. A friend commented that closure and a genuine understanding of how Israel plays
I was making a mistake – that I was wasting precious into my life.
time returning to a country where I had spent most of Israel is such a complicated place with a rich culture,
my life (twelve years). Why would I want to go some- interesting people and characters, a convoluted but fasci-
where that is familiar, when I literally have a world of nating history, and a political life that is volatile but
opportunities and places to go? exciting. It’s a country both magical yet disheartening,
However, this very point was the inspiration for my uplifting yet humiliating. Once a country I saw as infalli-
reason to return. I knew this “comfort zone” I saw in ble, this semester’s experience unmasked its imperfec-
Israel was not the “real” Israel – it was a sheltered one, tions. I suffered from this reality check, facing an identi-
one coated with outside-in experiences, masked by good ty crisis as I tried to hold on to the picture-perfect Israel
fortune, an American education, and I had once painted in my conscience.
a safety net of family and a close- I struggled between the denied and
knit community. Furthermore, I undeniable truths surrounding its
needed to figure out how I really felt political, social, cultural and historical
about Israel. For three consecutive spheres, until I was able to accept this
years I’ve hung up my Israeli flag on new reality of Israel – a country so
my dorm window. It’s bold blue and magnificent, yet certainly imperfect. I
white simplicity emanating a proud have come to accept this new love-
patriotism across the quad. Some hate relationship, and for once this
people even labeled me as a pro- Photo credit: Bianca Merbaum
experience has left me with a burning
Israel propaganda tool /Zionist, View from the top: Dead Sea. satisfaction.
what have you. I don’t blame these Needless to say, although a part of
associations. I always sided on the defensive when dis- my journey was a struggle, I no doubt had the time of
cussing Israel politically, whether it was in a classroom my life. I met and bonded with people I never thought
discussion or writing an op-ed piece for the newspaper. I’d have any commonality with, laughed with them until
Prior to coming to college, I was never the brazen my eyes watered, stayed up night after night exploring
activist type. Not until I moved back to the States and the Tel Aviv night scene, traveled Israel from it’s
was drawn into the American-Jewish community, did I Northern tip to it’s southern border, floated in the Dead
start following this path. The Jewish community in Sea, camped out at beach festivals, and slept under the
America breeds a certain Israel-nationalistic character, stars in the Galilee, crossed borders to Turkey and
one that is both comforting as much as it’s counter-pro- Egypt, and sang songs around bonfires crying out for
ductive to the cause. Initially I was impressed by how peace and hope.
much my Jewish peers knew about Israel, how easily I finally have reached a feeling of closure with Israel
they were able to recite important dates and spew out and can accept it and move on. It will always remain a
counterpoints to anything perceived offensive. I was distant home, but my once-upon-a-time aspiration to
moved by their passion for Israel, their efforts at home live there, or dedicate myself to the country/region and
and abroad to build support for the country and educate its distressing political scene has faded into a pastime
others about its history and culture. However, I started memory. I will always love Israel for what it’s given me,
to realize I was forcing myself into a door that required but hate it for how it will continue to agonize my moral
a certain upbringing, a specific education, and an and political conscience. Therefore, I prefer now to
assertive standpoint and dedication. I wasn’t sure if I stand back from the activist scene, relieved to have my
really belonged. hands up and not take a side, and accept Israel for who
In fact, I wasn’t even sure where I belonged. I longed she is: a beautiful, conflict-ridden country embroiled in
to unravel this complex knot of feelings and indecisions political and moral turmoil.
By Katie Callahan
There is a magazine that the local government puts It’s times like this that make me wonder what I am
out here in Oxford called “Big Issue.” They give it to doing here. Oxford, like every city, is a contradiction.
homeless people to sell in a rather official manner, Under the dreamy spires are people living and work-
and I assume it is an official manner because those ing and trying to make ends meet, and making them
that sell it wear yellow badges with numbers and pic- meet in peculiar ways. Youth bustles by with its inse-
tures. They stand on the street corners and on the curities, loud or quiet, generally ignorant or apathetic
main commercial drags and call out to people, as to whether or not the Big Issue is more than just a
they would if they were begging, but with an injec- magazine…whether there really is an issue at all.
tion of capitalism.. There are different ways in which
they go about doing this. Most sit against the walls One day I was walking and crying a little and I
and say, “Big Issue, Big Issue, please…” seemingly looked up and I said, “I dare you to show me what
aware that they are hangnails on this street’s emerg- you’re doing. I dare you to make meaning of all of
ing fist of consumerism and schedules. Others are this.”
apologetic, sitting with their eyes closed, squatting
with their elbows on their knees and their arms It’s a dangerous business, daring God.
extended holding the magazine in front of their
faces. Others seem more self aware, and one in par- So I now have some small snapshots to add to my
ticular. collage: walking and getting nowhere. Walking and
finding some peace. Walking to remember. The Big
“Biiiiig Issue, folks,” he cries. “Big Issue. New copy Issue Man. The river Thames. Leaves changing and
out this week. Two free staples with every copy. Buy falling. One day, I’ll have a complete picture. I am
now and beat the Christmas rush.” His tone is always counting on it.
the same, starting low and building to a crescendo
and trailing off in unresolved boredom. I would be
bored too, watching the throngs whirl by, treated as a
lamppost or storefront rather than a person.
There is something about the Thames River that
feels old, and rich, and full. I don’t know any of its
history, save the fact that it runs through London
and that The Heart of Darkness begins there. But the
way it feels to say when you say it, once you have
learned to pronounce it (it’s “tehms”), and the way it
feels to sit and watch it move…it’s a strange feeling,
peaceful and quieting, provoking thoughts of art and
literature and history and the value of them all. I
wonder if that man, the Big Issue Man, ever has time
to do this. I wonder if he would care to do it. I
watch some swans and then some ducks swim by,
two male mallards and a female, and I think, “well
done,” and then I walked home.
Photo credit: Katie Callahan
On Dreams and Language
By Jillian Schweitzer
There is a statue you can touch in Prague.
If you do, you are bound to come back.
Before I left, I grasped the cold stone on the
My mind doesn’t wait for me one evening.
A Czech poet enters my dream.
“You feel too much,” he says to me. His face
but I think he looks like Ivan Klima.
I hold his poem in my hands and begin to draw
cobblestones on it. He sits close to me, asking me
to read it aloud.
I finger her shoulders, bare.
She looks off in the distance.
I love her just the same.
In each stanza, his love
and gentle possessiveness are seen.
It doesn’t bother me like I thought it would.
He congratulates me on unseen metaphors that I
out as I begin to stir, the thick sleep lifting.
All of the channels have different tongues,
English, Czech, German, and a bit of French,
with all the popular tv shows dubbed near perfect.
German tourists gather in the courtyard,
during our last week in Prague.
Outside my window I hear their loud laughter in
the harsh consonants mixing with the warm air.
My accent is Russian, not Czech, from six years
of class. Sometimes, I slip and say dookoyeh
(thank you) with a Russian accent.
Usually, I just nod my thank you
to the bored looking cashier in Tesco,
as I stuff candy and olives into my bag.
I love seeing all the languages in play, on the signs
and kiosks that offer bus and walking tours.
Vainly, I try to remember the few words
our teachers taught us the first day.
But words fail me.
Photos by Jillian Schweitzer
On Belfast, Accidental Insults, and General Life Lessons
By Rebecca Peller
No one thought it would be a good idea for me to go Later on, Niall, Taggy, and I went out to a few pubs
see Belfast to visit my Irish friend, Niall, for ten days in for drinks. We joked around, laughed, and told stories.
January because not many Americans ever go to that I officially ordered my first drink at a bar, so that was a
city. People would ask me why on earth I would want pivotal moment for me. On our way back to the house
to go to a place like Belfast. It isn’t the most visually for the night, Niall dared me to yell, “God save the
appealing place in the world. All of my friends and my Queen” to a group of boys walking behind us. He told
family were very strongly opposed to my going to me it would be funny. I audaciously yelled, “HEY
Ireland. However, I’m stubborn and I ignored every- YOU GUYS! GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!” It wasn’t
one’s disapproving comments and scheduled a flight funny and no one laughed. In fact there was dead
from Boston to Belfast, knowing perfectly well it could silence for a minute.
be a horrible mistake. Even fate tried to interfere when “WHAT did you just say?” said one of the boys, glar-
the first airline cancelled on me and then later on my ing at me, breaking the silence.
plane had technical difficulties that consequentially led Niall pulled my arm and told me to say, “Sinne fianna
up to a two hour delay. I don’t know why, but I always fáil” to them, which is the first line of the Irish national
feel the urge to get up and leave, to go somewhere new; anthem, and so I did as I was told.
it’s a bad addiction. “You know you can’t say ‘God save the Queen’
The truth is that people were right; the city of Belfast around here,” another one of the boys said to me. I
has never really aesthetically recovered after The thought about saying that I had Tourettes syndrome,
Troubles – the time in which the unionists and national- but proclaiming that I was American would probably
ists disputed. Many acts of terrorism and warfare made explain enough about my ignorance. They understood
the city look barren, bombed, and dreary. The build- everything after I revealed my nationality. After that,
ings are a dismal brown and it looks like a depressing we talked and had a laugh.
place. Unlike any city in America, though, the country- Yelling pro-Anglican sentiments was a big mistake on
side is always within view. The lush green pastures dot- my part. The second mistake I made that night was
ted with sheep are beautiful and vernal all the time, buying a drink called Buckfast, a local wine made by
even in the middle of January. The Botanical Gardens monks in Scotland. Apparently homeless people drink
are only one block away from Niall’s house, which are it; it’s rumored to have a taste that is like a party in your
full of winding paths lined with hedges, shrubs, and mouth and everyone is dying. The third mistake I made
flowers. In the center is a giant greenhouse with exotic was thinking I could go to Europe with one hundred
tropical flowers and vegetation. The lush vibrant green- dollars in my bank account when the dollar is worth
ery in Ireland breathes life into the otherwise dismal half a pound (I ate a lot of chips and sausage rolls).
city. Through all these mistakes, it becomes more obvi-
The first person I met was named Paul James Patrick ous that I don’t know anything about anything.
Taggart, a good friend of Niall’s from the university. Traveling forces you to learn about the world in an
Niall and I were sitting watching television in the living unconventional way. If I mention to ‘craic,’ Tommy
room when a door slammed, and a short, stocky boy Tiernan, or the Limelight, you probably have no idea
burst into the living room like a ball of energy and what I’m talking about. I never knew what any of those
quickly said, “Hi, I’m Taggy, nice to meet you. Can things were before I went to Ireland. I may have
your boyfriend do this?” He proceeded to get down on messed up during my journey, but the actual decision to
the floor and rapidly do ten press-ups (or push-ups as leave was the right one. So my advice to anyone is to
we call them in America). He stood up, red-faced and get up, go out, and explore the world, even if it means
breathless, and then demonstrated his version of an messing up or ignoring everyone else’s opinions. And
American accent. It wasn’t too bad. I tried to imitate my second piece of advice is to never ask a Dubliner
his accent, but my impression of an Irish person is so for directions, unless you are prepared for loud incom-
atrocious that people often assume I am trying to imi- prehensible and angry replies.
tate Apu from the Simpsons.
Six Month Lisp
By Jenny Frome
Backtrack to a state
Regroup, rejoice, redemption.
More or less like
Who is that appearing?
28 lati-longitudes later
Your eyelashes have yet to bat.
Falling into a bottomless taste,
This is my human connection.
In this spot, nowhere else
Have I been found and lost.
Deathly pale, purple
And countless days in airports
Feels like a dream,
Because I’m getting on
And don’t know where I’m going.
That place I grew up
Smells of death now.
I thought I said my goodbyes.
So selfish, heartless minutes
Stubborn. like you
“You’ll never regret if you go home”
Tell me, Anneli, where that is,
A breath of air?
Here ain’t so bad, my respiration
Has never been better.
Should I stay, should I go on?
Layers of spice, my skin,
My hair coated with your
Country like half a secret.
The rain never ends,
But it’s so green here.
Y pues no me le digas, je suis ici.
Photo credit: Jenny Frome
By Andy Madison
It’s 3:06 in the morning and I’m standing alone on ‘thick’ and when she wants to help them with home-
Rue Claude Bernard in Paris’s Latin Quarter. It’s work she winds up getting irritated and doing it; she
warm, the summer has been that way. I have only likes gin; she got a U (failing) her A-level exam in
one condom in my room and none of my apartment Italian; she is convincing enough that when she
mates have any; I could do with another. She is makes fun of the Scots, Welsh and Irish that I believe
upstairs, changing, and the wait is dragging. I see a she dislikes them; she prefers cats to dogs. She is
man in his twenties approaching. positively snooty and an aggressive kisser. This is all
“Monsieur pardon,” I say. maddeningly attractive.
“Oui,” he says. She comes out the door, dressed more simply
“Vous avez peut-être un parapluie?” now than she had been earlier, when we’d been
“Ah, non, désolé.” He’s sorry. drinking sweet rosé champagne by the Seine.
I have asked him if he has an umbrella. It has We embrace and begin necking on the sidewalk.
been my impression that in French slang a condom She has not yet answered me definitively on whether
was an umbrella. He asks:
“Vous parlez Anglais?”
“Yes,” I say. “That would be much easier. Do
you have any condoms?”
“I do, and I do not usually carry them,” he says.
“You are a lucky man.”
He is smiling now, has lost the distance one
keeps from a stranger who asks for an umbrella on
the street at three in the morning when it is not rain-
“Are you going up there now?”
“She’s coming down to join me.”
He takes a square from his jeans pocket.
“A French guy would not do this for you, French
guys are not really nice,” he says. “But I am
Brazilian. You are a lucky man.” she will accompany me back to my apartment.
He gestures upward, “Is she French?” Some people had been at the river, over nearer to
“No,” I say. “She’s English.” the Cathedral. They had been drumming, and it
“Even better,” he says. I thank him as he goes. probably hadn’t been particularly good drumming,
What I know, standing on Rue Claude Bernard, and other than hearing it, we’d had nothing to do
about Alison: with them. But combined with the lights on the
She is 22 and a recent graduate from Cambridge; green water and with tall Notre Dame visible over her
she is over for the weekend with a friend of hers; shoulder, it had been intoxicating, perfect. And on
when she gets home she will begin a job teaching the street in front of her building it is no different.
English; she is terrified of being responsible for
teaching people; she is an atheist; she would like to be We break from kissing a moment and I take her
an academic – she studied anthropology; her parents by the hand and start walking. I make it across two
are illustrators and her father is working on a sex storefronts before she asks,
manual for doing it in cars; she has not liked visiting “Are you leading me somewhere?”
her father in his home-studio lately; her brothers are “No; where would I be taking you?” I say. I put
my hand on her waist, resume kissing her and inch tells him, ‘Doctor, I’ve got such a problem. Some
her backwards into an insurance agency’s large win- days I feel like a teepee and other days I feel like a “You’re my first.”
dow. wigwam.’ The doctor says ‘I know exactly what’s “Uh-” The light is still off and in the dark I am “Come back up,” she says, standing on the stair-
She has asked me questions about writing. In wrong. You’re two tents.’” I will never know still unaware of the blood on my fingers. case to my room, now a long way towards dressed.
fact she seems fascinated by my claims that I am a whether that actually amused her or whether she I am a little numb; would be for a while yet, but “I’m getting lonely.”
writer; it’s something we have in common. I have smiled and seemed less concerned for my sake. the fact of my here-to-fore jaded, uncaring dominant Our time together is at a premium and I’d spent
told her that I’m good – for someone you know – Our sex is beginning to look doomed. She will lover’s virginity obviously merits a deliberate reaction. some of it downstairs because I was afraid she would
not that I’m Vlad Nabokov. I have told her that only lie on her back; she insists on being passive, “I’m touched,” I say, thinking that really I should be. not like my short stories.
young writers are like baby sea turtles, since few sur- receiving. Each time I bring up something else we “You’re beautiful,” she says. Naturally I do not I join her as she reads on my bed. I indulge
vive and many fewer last. I have given her an exag- could try she says, “I don’t do that,” and it’s not as mind hearing it. every neurotic feeling I get when my stuff is being
gerated picture of the petty, competitive side of fic- though these are intimidating or bizarre things I’m “I could not imagine anybody more perfect for judged. I fuss over small problems that I’d been
tion workshops. And I have told her that kids who proposing. What had become of my assertive quasi- me right now.” I have stimulated her imagination. “I meaning to fix. I say, “Imagine if this word were cut
think they can write are conceited, generally. Victorian mistress? I pull one of her legs back, so her love you.” out.” She tells me she sees what I’d meant earlier. I
A loud siren passes. “We could go back chez knee is over my shoulder. Nonsense. Love is earned, accumulated. She has stop looking at the page and just sit in her presence
moi,” I say. “Jesus,” she says. “I’m not fucking Madonna.” never seen me in a moment of weakness or nastiness, until she is finished.
“The street is romantic,” she says. “Of course not,” I say. “You’re fucking Andy.” not even a mild one. “You are a good
My room is a small, garret-like loft up a small spi- She has no basis for writer,” she says and I
ral staircase from my kitchen. It has a The change in position does little. judging whether she’d am relieved.
want to soothe me She says she had
Our sex is
view onto the building’s court yard. It I am still missing out on the pleasure
looks just as an idealized young writer’s gradually intensifying to a point when I feel panicked tried her hand at writ-
beginning to beyondsex. Andbelievable aspectall of
room should. what is of or helpless or whether ing, that when she’d
“So is my place.” having I’m stuck with she would want to see done it at fifteen it had
She stands up from my lap and we look the work on top of it. me again after I’ve seemed so good but
doomed...What worked in the past, in vastly different
start walking again. I tell her how I like I resort to something that has done something cruel later attempts had
her body, she tells me to “say some- or embarrassing. revealed to her that
thing intellectual.” I begin to praise had become of circumstances. I look into her face What we’d drunk she was untalented. I
her stomach’s flatness in overly loqua- and think, “I love you – I love you,” by the Seine had not said that talent was
cious language, but the joke is lost on rhythmically. It does less than moving been real champagne; just being naïve
her. I give up, and tell her what I’ve quasi-Victorian her leg had. I pause. in fact it had been too
sweet and we’d dis-
enough to keep trying
until you don’t suck.
gathered from reading Frantz Fanon.
She likes that. mistress? “How do you think we would do
in a relationship? Like a real one – carded the bottle with It is nearly dawn;
We get into my room, still kissing; this is only hypothetical.” almost a quarter of it in the bottom. But this fling, the sky is no longer night-time dark. As we talk I
my lips are sore from the kissing we’d been doing She says, “I don’t know.” however short-lived, has become a romance. I turn begin to find it less dumbfounding that she had been
since we’d been by the river. So far she has initiated Before too long I give up any hope of reaching the light on. a virgin not too long before. Our conversation turns
and directed most of our progress towards sex – for orgasm. I stop, we’re finished. We remain for a little Her loveliness of earlier is diminished, deprived to scars.
example it was clear from the beginning where she while, quiet and pretty affectionate. of its irresistible vixen quality. She wants maybe to On my hand:
expected me to put my hands, whether we were in “I should go back home,” she says. read something of mine. Before I fetch it I warn her I was on vacation in England with my family, and we
public or not. I was content to be led. “Mais non,” I say. that I am a pain in the ass when I know somebody is had spent the day in Brighton. (Alison agrees with
“No light,” she says in French. She says, “Mais oui.” reading me. me, that Brighton is a wonderful town) On the
I turn it off and as I move to kiss her neck she I say, “You are the first woman I have slept with As she reads I hide out in the kitchen, on the motorway, returning just after dinner, our car was t-
pulls my head down to it. in twenty-one months.” I say “You are the first pretext of needing to wash my hands. I do. I sit. boned by a red Alfa Romeo; maybe it was a Peugeot,
She wants to hear again that I plan to use a con- woman I have picked up at a bar. At home I never I could, I think, move to Cambridge and establish but definitely not by a car you’d see at home, and it
dom, and I tell her of course, that I’ve promised my would have believed I could do that.” myself there. She could not prevent me from arriving was red. My head was thrown through the side-win-
mother. “Am I your first in Paris?” Perhaps she does not and once I’m there she would not refuse to see me. dow and I’d gotten a small vertical scar on my hand
I climb over her and gingerly, we begin. want to emphasize the anonymity of our rendezvous. Taking a gamble like that would be romantic and from shielding my face. In the hospital I met a nurs-
Before too long she says “I’m feeling tense.” Neither do I, really. fearless in a way I’d always wished to be. On the ing student whom I was convinced was an angel, or
I tell her I know just the thing to help. I say “Yes, my first in Paris. My first in Europe, other hand it is an idiotic notion and of course I at least the love of my life. Of course this illusion
“A guy was at the shrink’s office,” I say. “He my first any place off the east coast of the U.S.” would never do it. I hear her feet. was helped by the fact that I was in shock and that
my head was fastened in place. I was feeling simulta-
neously queasy and smitten. And immediately after
I’d asked her to release my head, as she was looking
for something, I coated her very shapely bottom with
thick brown vomit.
On Alison’s hand:
She was on holiday with her family in an
Australian nature reserve. She reached out towards
what turned out to be a vicious wombat. It left two
little punctures and all day her family pressed on as
she struggled to keep up, fainting at every opportuni-
We sit together, very probably for the last time –
though we had resolved to become Facebook friends
– without the will to make-believe otherwise.
Each of us had revealed only fragments of our
respective personalities and in the process each of us
had made a rather durable impression on the other.
So over time which nuances would recede? How
would the story’s thrust change with each re-telling in
each of our minds? Would months or years broaden
my shoulders or make her hair blonder? Would
decades turn our bottle of Muscat back into cham-
She needs to sleep before her train so I walk with
her into a bright Parisian 7:40 AM. Again she is very
lovely and the walk from my building to hers is short.
“Beautiful having known you, and if you’re ever
in Cambridge.” I keep standing there. With time it
does not become easier to leave. But I do, and as I’m
going I see no sign that she is lingering by the door to
watch me, as I would likely have done had she been
dropping me off. It matters little.
In the coming weeks someone would shatter the
window where I’d kissed her on Rue Claude Bernard
and I would make faint pursuits of other women
(what else would one do with a month in Paris?), but
that morning, back in the clothes I’d been wearing
the day before, I skip French class to wander, con-
fused and bleary-eyed, in the direction of the
Tokyo Through the Lens of a Purikura Machine
By Leah Hashinger
I was first exposed to the world of sticker pictures in seventh grade when my mom and I were buying
rubber stamps at a local arts and crafts store. Staring at us from the front of the shop was a large photo
booth displaying graphics of boys and girls floating on rainbows and dancing in front of the stars. The
woman explained to me that the intimidating device had just arrived that day. I was the first person to use
it, and on that day in front of the blue screen I grew a halo and became an angel in sticker form.
Nearly ten years later I was reacquainted with the art of sticker picture taking. After a long day of
wandering the storefront-lined streets of the boisterous Tokyo neighborhood of Harajuku, a Japanese
friend of mine led me down a tiny staircase in the hopes of commemorating our afternoon together by
taking purikura (the Japanese word for sticker pictures). In an effort to humor her I agreed, but I couldn’t
help but think no one over the age of fourteen would seriously pay to have their face on a sticker. As we
neared the bottom of the staircase I began to hear the noises from within the shop. Laughter and strange
music resounded from beneath us. Upon entering the alternate universe where Japanese schoolgirls were
digitally lodged in a hamburger bun, I realized that the sticker pictures I had once so proudly donned on
my notebooks and the walls of my room were a pathetic thing of the past. I had entered a new era in the
sticker picture revolution as I engaged in an alternate world only to be confined by the restraints of one’s
After my initial Japanese purikura experience, I immediately became hooked. Every time I went out
with friends and spotted a purikura studio we stopped and went in. The more people we could fit in a
booth the better. Some booths had bars to climb on and handles to hang from. Some machines were
pretty and pink and would turn you into a princess, while others would put your face on the body of a cat
or inside of a toilet. One time I went to a studio with my friend so she could take scandalous sticker pic-
tures to send to her boyfriend for Valentines Day. In the middle of her photo shoot a crying Japanese girl
barged into the booth because she had lost her wallet. Needless to say, we never returned to that particu-
I took purikura to remember special occasions such as the day my friend and I biked all around
Tokyo and when I went to Sapporo to visit the Japanese girl who lived with me my Junior year of high
school. I took purikura drunk. I took purikura sober. The novelty of it never wore off.
Upon leaving Tokyo I carefully packed all of my sheets of pictures in a Ziploc bag, not knowing what
I would do with them. With the exception of the sticker pictures on my laptop and cell phone, they stay
hidden away in a little brown envelope lost among jumbled papers within my desk drawer. It seems silly
to have taken so many pictures that are left unseen and tucked away, but I suppose I am saving each pic-
ture for an occasion worthy of peeling the sticker from its secure backing, never to be reconnected to the
E-mail from Thailand LOVE
By Katie Shaw 4 out of 8 days of being temporarily ordained as a Burmese monk.
Week 1: By Emile Sorger
Eat because it has been three days.
A huge advantage to life in Bangkok is my host family’s house. I really didn’t
want to be in Bangkok, I wanted to be in the country. But now that I am here, I am
determined to make the best of it and have a good time, with a positive attitude 9/27/07, Sleep with the warmth of a heart and burn like
And, well, I kinda like the craziness of it. Their house is like a sanctuary. Once Karma waves undulate. the sun.
News radio update.
you have entered the gate, you almost leave behind the wild streets and life of
Bangkok. It’s relatively quiet and the pollution isn’t that bad here, though I am Love those who you love.
sure it’s always present in the air. My family lives in this nice, big house right Dharma talk debate. Be as you are.
in the center of Bangkok. Their property is about the size of the gym at my high Precepts…Masturbate. The Buddha loves those who kill.
school back home, a little bigger though. The whole place is surrounded by a tall
thick fence, and they have this beautiful big lawn, a garden and a basketball Philosophy to explicate. Save all beings.
court (my host brother loves basketball). If I have time in the evenings I’ll play 4 more days to wait. Train your mind.
A drop of sweat
b-ball or run many laps around the property. I really need to continue exercising;
it is so vital to my health and well-being here. I have my own room and bathroom Train your mind.
in the house. I am grateful for the privacy, but it’s not that big of a deal to tingling on the left cheek. See nature. WISDOM.
me; I wouldn’t mind sharing. My room and the maids’ rooms are downstairs and my Take a deep breath.
host family’s bedrooms are upstairs. I still haven’t even seen the second floor of
the house yet. Tiny squares of light. 12/24/07
A palm tree and a rice field. Oh my Oh my
The cloudy sky.
I have only spent about eight days with my host family and we are still getting
to know each other. They have been very helpful, kind and accepting of me for this where am I
first week. I haven’t seen too much of the eldest daughter or of the son, they are moving moving
ALWAYS studying, or at the tutor’s, or on the computer( you all thought I spent a 10/16/07 on a track
lot of time doing homework… wow, I do nothing compared to these kids). Working
hard at school and doing tons of HW is the norm here for most of the Thai kids. My dreams were cheery while I slept so many lengths
For the first week, I have spent most of my time at school and with my host par- last night in my new bed. to go to
I slept in an hour, being with myself
ents and my youngest host sister. She is so kind and accepting. She is always
calling me “pii saaow”, which means “big sister” in Thai. She helps me a lot with and then to come back .
learning Thai and is always by my side when we are out in Bangkok, showing me the and the pillow beneath my head.
“Thai way” and making sure I don’t get run over by a taxi. I have spent this first I lay there after getting up after
week adjusting and finding my feet here and at school. I have also had some time
in the evenings to write, read, paint, and work on learning Thai and the Thai 5:30, when I had to pee.
alphabet. Anyways, my host family has been so nice, generous and helpful. The only Watching my mind as it wandered off
to a world that was imaginary.
downside is that they are very busy and I don’t get
to spend that much time with them. I really do hope
we have a great year together and I don’t cause My imagination, though it was strange,
them too much trouble... was also, in a way, real.
Miss you all, My perceptions past formed stories new,
Katie of how I would later feel.
Now the world is full of light,
my mind is full of forms,
not knowing what to make of them.
I act and I perform.
My mind, in a cloud.
The moon, in the starlight sky.
My pen, in my hand.
Shiver because the night is cold. Photo credit: Sierra Polisar
Walking While Eating
By Erin Hartz
Arriving in Granville for the first time made me left down under. I haven’t made Granville out to
feel as if I had entered another world. When I seem very pleasant, but don’t get me wrong, I really
imagined Australia I thought of golden beaches, love the place. There was a sort of intrigue there
kangaroos, and Steve Irwin. I’m not so naïve as to that the QVB couldn’t offer. Granville was raw, it
believe that those three things composed the entire was real, and it provided some insight into the deli-
country’s culture. However, the western suburbs of cate position of Australian culture.
Sydney are certainly nothing like what I had imag-
ined the city to be like. It is a place I never would I think much of the insight I gathered was
have visited had I not been interning there. through the food I encountered. Australia is full
of street food. Every few feet one can find a kebab
Granville was the next district removed from the shop or Aussie bakery. There was no seating at
most western district of the city, Parramatta (an these places, just a glass case, a counter, and clus-
aborigine place literally meaning “where the eels lay ters of people standing on the sidewalk not even
down”). The hour and a half journey to get there attempting to have dainty eating habits. It was fast,
was a combination of a thrilling bus ride and walk cheap, and delicious. While interning I tasted a
up hill. Although still considered part of the huge array of food that I had never heard of
greater Sydney area, it felt like I had literally entered before. I delighted in yogurt wraps: bubbly warm
another country. My first experiences of Granville flat breads filled with savory yogurt, mint leaves,
were the adventures of my exceedingly long lunch olives, tomatoes, and spices. I had the best falafel
break. Wandering was my favorite way to explore; of my life, made from a family recipe going back
it made me feel like a real Australian and in the end generations in Lebanon. Salad rolls filled with
made me forget I had another home on the other cilantro and sauce, candies made from pistachios
side of the world. and rose water, hilal meat on sticks, date sodas;
these are just a few of the many culinary adventures
Small corner grocery stores with names in Arabic, I experienced.
a strange curiosity shop full of Virgin Mary lawn
ornaments with a Persian man holding a cigarette, My favorite place in Granville was the corner
prickly rock melons in markets, sparsely filled pawn sweets shoppe: a long room covered in faux mar-
shops; these were what surrounded the round ble, lined by thick columns, full of glass cases dis-
about outside my office. They were not things one playing massive silver pedestals filled with familiar
would see in the city center among the tourists sweets like baklava, and less familiar treats like a
flocking to the Circular Quay and Darling Harbour. pan of marshmallow fluff, honey, nuts, and dried
And there were no waves to catch, kangaroos, or fruit. It was about more than just eating the food;
bogan bloaks. There were just sweet Lebanese it was about why the food was there.
women with thick eyeliner and big-headed
Lebanese men with rattails and bleach blonde Take a typical corner store: there would be a
skunk stripes on their heads who hissed at you sweet bread covered in pink frosting next to a meat
when you walked past. Granville, in fact, was pie, next to the rotating kebab wheel, next to a
almost entirely inhabited by Lebanese immigrants. refrigerator filled with passion fruit soda. Fusion,
With a sub-culture similar to some in America, one this was Australia in a nutshell. Back in the day,
would have to look out for big-rimmed small cars Aussie (pronounced aw-zee by the way) cowboys
blaring techno when crossing the street. I had to would hollow out bread, fill it with honey, and heat
make sure to look right because they drive on the it on a stick over a fire. The sweet treat was called
damper and instilled a love of sugared breads into was from there. He looked as American as they
the culture. Meat pies are like potpies and are come and I couldn’t help but wonder what it must
closely linked to Australia’s British past. Kebabs are have been like for him when he first arrived. But
probably the most popular street food in all of Oz he loved Australia; he loved everything about it and
and are a result of the large Lebanese/ Persian pres- never wanted to leave. Once I was helping with a
ence within Sydney. Passion fruit…well, that’s just community outreach program for at-risk youth
everywhere! It is the flavor of choice for sodas, when a young girl asked me over lunch why I was-
donuts, and yogurt. Australia shares a parallel devel- n’t married. I told her I was only 20. She was 14
opment to that of America. It is a relatively new and engaged to a young man in Iraq. It was not an
country full of a variety of immigrants who haven’t arranged marriage; this was what she wanted. She
melded into one distinct culture. followed by asking me what natio’ (nationality) I
was. I realized I didn’t know how to answer her.
My experience of food was like watching a stew
cook; all the ingredients are there now and the fla- It was 30 Celsius and I was beginning to perspire
vors are beginning to come together. I don’t know a little on my face as I climbed the hill to my bus
if I even would have been conscience of the sym- stop for the last time. I was holding a bag of red
bolic nature of this food had it not been for my glucose lollies I had bought as a reward from the
experiences of the culture in Granville. candy store. A lemon the size of a grapefruit
weighed down my bag. It was Thanksgiving (not in
My journeys around the western suburbs were not America because it was 16 hours behind) and I
just impersonal relationships with food. The people couldn’t find cranberries anywhere. An hour after
I met defined my experience; the individuals I grew boarding my bus I would stop off at Woolie’s and
to know and love defined it. But I am not refer- buy raspberries, thinking I could make raspberry
ring to these people right now. It was the random sauce. Little did I know how miserably I would fail.
individuals who I talked to, perhaps no more than a I said goodbye to Granville and took in my sur-
few words to; the people outside the office, outside roundings one last time. When I told people where
the restaurant I worked for, outside the classes I I interned they wondered how I felt safe walking
took, and outside the apartment complex I lived in around the neighborhood. The western suburbs
where my closet friends resided. felt about five times safer than my hometown in
West Virginia. I realized I had experienced a part
I had countless memorable interactions, all of of Sydney that most Australians never experience
which I still cling to, hoping to keep Australia in the themselves. I felt very lucky.
present instead of letting it fall into the past.
Fay ran her family’s grocery store, asking me
about America while I bought figs and stared at
shimmering gold hookahs. I remember telling her I
would see her next week when I knew I would be
leaving and never see her again. I don’t know why I
did that. The woman who ran the falafel shop
talked about her son who was an aspiring filmmak-
er. I gave her the business card for where I
interned (the organization worked with rising artists
of all mediums). I was in a sandwich shoppe where
the clerk was a man from Akron, Ohio who had
permanently relocated to Granville because his wife
Excerpt from “The Yellow Bricks”
By Marissa Walker
Staff and Contributors
Volume 1, Issue 1, Spring 2008 Volume 1, Issue 1, Spring 2008
Katie Shaw: Thailand
Editor-in-Chief Emile Sorger: India
Emily Hope Dobkin, ‘08
Jenny Frome: Spain
Photo Editor Andy Madison: France
Ben Droz, ‘09
Leah Hashinger: Japan
Bianca Merbaum, ‘08 Marissa Walker: Australia
Erin Hartz: Australia
Sarah Kendall, ‘08 Aviva Bergman: Africa
Simone Martell ‘08 Izak Marker: Denmark
Production Team Kelly Hugger: England
Samantha Joustra, ‘11
Kate Steinhart, ‘11 Adrien Thormann: France
Sarah Bryant, ‘08 Emily Berkowitz: Greece
Kate McCulloch, ‘09
Lindsay Hunt, ‘08 Ali Philippides: Greece
Sebastian North: Spain
“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.”
Emily Hope Dobkin, ‘08 Billie Weiss: Italy
Cover Art Carly Golden: Italy
Kaityln Orr ‘10 Jess Lovens: Italy
- Henry David Thoreau
Faculty Advisor Rachel Morgan: Spain
Ailish Hopper Meisner Claire Cote: Greece
Questons? Comments? Concerns? Submissions? Sara Beck: Vietnam
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sierra Polisar: Vietnam
Contributing Writers and Henning Jacob: Germany
Photographers Emily Adams: England
Amy LeBailly: England
Anna Lapera: Gautamala
Karl Koch IV: England
Devin Myles: Haiti
Samantha Joustra: France
Patrick Offenheiser: Peru
Cleo Zancope: France
Anna Tonelli: Senegal
Joe Sklover: China
Rebecca Schwartz: South Africa
Danielle Horetsky: England
Katie Callahan: England
Rachel Honig: South Africa
Jillian Schweitzer: Czech Republic
Fraley Coles: Costa Rica
Erin Strepy: Spain
Sylvan Klein: Honduras
Rebecca Peller: Ireland