*April05_5 4/7/05 6:09 PM Page 1 STUDENTTRAVELER.COM APRIL/MAY2005 A WHOLE LOTTA WAT The ultimate temple tour of Cambodia ENGLISH BOOT CAMP Getting a teaching job in Italy —and keeping it. Crashing at the Airport • Estonian Ice Cricket • Paris by Night • The Best Parties in Europe *April05_5 4/7/05 6:10 PM Page 2 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:10 PM Page 3 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:10 PM Page 4 "The TEFL International Certificate Courses are among the best of their kind; excellent trainers, teaching modern methodologies, with input from some of the brightest minds in ESL. I highly recommend TEFL International." *April05_5 4/7/05 6:10 PM Page 5 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:11 PM Page 6 CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS 10 CAMBIO: GETTING CARDED: A survey of student discount cards that offer everything from cheap flights to (gulp!) legal aid. 12 BUNK: CRASHING AT THE AIRPORT: Kate Dorrell discovers the cost of her ultra-cheap intra-European flight has an unusual "tax"-- spending the night in London's airport. 14 GRUB: DINING IN THE DARK: Christina Couch goes “Dans le Noir” in search of the City of Lights’ dimmest, tastiest prix fixe. 30 SCOOP: PUT YOUR FEST FOOT FORWARD: Summertime is party time in Europe, with festivals both hip (world music in Budapest) and wacky (a Spanish tomato war). 34 PLAY: BATTING IN THE BALTIC: What do you do when your national cricket team is ranked last in the world? Invite the world to a tournament at home—on the ice. 38 OUR3CENTS: PROOF OF LIFE: CCing Mom on your monthly mass e-mail is so 1998. Check out these new and retro ways to keep the folks up-to-date on your vital signs. FEATURE CAMBODIA, WAT 18 TO WAT TO WAT On the ultimate temple tour of a tragic king- dom, MATT GROSS ponders the big issues: life, death, government corruption, auto-genocide, the futility of monumental architecture, and the toilet-flushing origin of mankind. TEACHING ABROAD SPECIAL BOOT CAMPin Italy and start 26 Think you can just show up teaching English? Well, actually, you can. But JESSICA JOHNSON knows that making a living requires more than a native speaker’s knowl- edge of phrasal verbs—it takes patience, a taste for tax law, and a little bit of cunning. 28 TEACHING ABROAD DIRECTORY Cover: 100-Wat smile, Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Photo: Daniel Walsh. This page: New perspectives on Angkor Wat. Photo: Matt Gross *April05_5 4/7/05 6:11 PM Page 7 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:11 PM Page 8 [redeye] ulture shock is a messy thing. Stepping into a C land where the language is an aural flood of confusion, the customs don’t make the slightest Volume 8, Number 5 PUBLISHER sense, and clearly you dress differently than every- Eric Tiettmeyer one else. EDITOR Photo: Couretsty of Jeff Booth That’s exactly how I felt coming back to the United Jeff Booth States. EDITOR-AT-LARGE Matt Gross After nearly two years in Europe, my pants are tailor cut, I’m shocked at the size of cars and parking lots, ART DIRECTOR and American accents sound terribly mealy- Bonnie Yoon mouthed. But when I open my mouth to speak, ADVERTISING DIRECTOR trust me, I sound just like you. Because, despite a Richard Steel bad command of Italian now and a preference for real espresso over anything at Charbucks, traveling The perspective of an outsider in my hometown is disconcerting Account Executive abroad has only confirmed to me my red-blooded and liberating. I feel terribly different than most, but, that’s ok, Jen Taggart American-ness. But please don’t confuse that with because my experiences abroad have made me a bit different. Web Master flag-waving nationalism. This just also serves to highlight the similarities though, where Mindy LaBarge I’m deeply rooted to American culture: wide-open wild spaces, Returning to the States has upset me with my new late-night diners, finding fresh edamame at the local grocery Distribution perspective, and made other aspects (no place else store, and fresh Moroccan couscous on the corner restaurant, Campus Connect, Inc. on Earth is as wonderfully diverse) comfortable and and cheap live music in dim bars packed full. INTERNS welcoming. That’s what travel is supposed to go – Melissa Berlant give one new glasses to see both the exotic and the So when you go abroad, expect to have your expectations Gretelle Daffon familiar in fresh light. That light can be a bit harsh turned upside down and be thrown for a cultural loop. Then Stephanie Benas and glaring at times. Like whenever I have to walk come home, and be ready for it all over again. But if you get into a Walmart. But the same critical eye I had for CONTRIBUTORS into the global twists, it’s a hell of a fun roller coast ride. Andy Barr, Angus Bell, Christina corrupt Italian politics and quaint Swiss villages I’m Couch, Ian Dorant, Kate Dorrell, turning back on the country I’m from. Upside down and in another country, Art Gimbel, Matt Goulding, Matt Gross, Jessica N. Johnson, Amanda Kendle, Geo D. Oliver, David Wootton PUBLICATION INFORMATION Student Traveler is published [contributors’ bios] five times a year and distributed on 1,375 college campuses. 140,000 circulation. ADDITIONAL COPIES Study Abroad advisers, e-mail email@example.com for additional copies. EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS firstname.lastname@example.org Opinions within are those of the contributors. Student Traveler does not endorse any of the Last fall, MATT GROSS quit his job in New York to go traveling around Southeast Asia for three months. As far as we products or services within, and know, he’s still there, and still writing unusual songs (“A Whole Lotta Wat,” page 18). cannot be held responsible for individual travelers’ choices. ANGUS BELL is a whiskey-swilling, kilt-wearing Scotsman who spends his life pursuing misfortune for the sake of a Advertising inquiries can good story (“Batting the Baltics,” page 34). At present, he is attempting to build a career as a media whore, minus the be made to: cocaine (angusjjbell.com). 714 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 701 Los Angeles, CA 90015 KATE DORRELL is an Australian freelance writer based in London. With a passion for traveling and snowboarding, she Tel (800) 552-7157 goes to great lengths to do both, including overnighting in airports (“Crashing at the Airport,” page 12). She has lived Fax (213) 747-8614 email@example.com in the U.S., Canada, and Ireland. StudentTraveler.com 8 www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com *April05_5 4/7/05 6:11 PM Page 9 ADVERTORIAL *April05_5 4/7/05 6:11 PM Page 10 [cambio] [cambio: INFORMATION EXCHANGE] GETTING CARDED QUESTION: DO STUDENT ID CARDS REALLY SAVE YOU CASH WHEN TRAVELING? ANSWER: DAMN STRAIGHT! by ERIC TIETTMEYER etting a credit card is on just G about every college freshman’s to-do list, somewhere between buying textbooks and plotting a room- mate’s demise. But in the last several years, increasing numbers of students are also opting for travel discount cards that offer everything from cheaper plane tickets to health insurance. The International Student Identity Card (myisic.com), issued by STA Travel, may be the most popular. For just $22 per calendar year, the ISIC offers more than 32,000 discounts—$3 off the Louvre!— and fabulous deals on plane tickets: One Los Angeles–to–Sydney flight was $700 with a student fare, $900 with- out. More importantly, the ISIC includes travel insurance underwritten by Travel Guard: $100-per-day sickness and hos- pital benefit and $250,000 emergency evacuation. The ISE card is similar to the ISIC—$22 per year, discount airfare, limited med- ical insurance—but it guarantees that every establishment, from bookstores to opera houses, in the 100-country data- base on its Website (isecard.com) will grant a discount. And for those times of high stress—lost passports, missed flights, assorted legal difficulties—ISE offers a toll-free 24-hour hotline with operators who speak 24 languages. Though it offers few discounts at stores and tourist sites, Hostelling International (HIUSA.org) offers addi- tional hookups in terms of accommoda- tions, phone calls, and travel insurance. For $28, the card gives you member benefits to the HI network of 4,000 hos- tels worldwide: an average of 10 per- cent off the room. The HIUSA card dou- bles as an ekit phone card, with interna- tional rates of up to 85 percent off. 10 www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com *April05_5 4/7/05 6:11 PM Page 11 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:11 PM Page 12 [BUNK] CRASHING AT THE AIRPORT by KATE DORRELL E NEW TWIST LONDON'S NIGHTLIFE TAKES ON A WHOL S AT THE AIRPORT WHEN YOU'RE SPENDING THE WEE HOUR ONDON IS A HUB FOR BUDGET AIRLINES. Ryan Air, L Easy Jet, Whizz Air and others lure budget travelers with flights for as little as one English pound. That’s about the price of a Big Mac. They do it by cutting out the extras like meals, reserved seating and baggage allowance. They fly from runways so on the fringe they can hardly be called London air- ports. And they takeoff at absurd hours. I like to boast to my friends back home in the States that, from London, I can be anywhere in Europe within a few hours. Well, it’s true that it’s only a 90-minute flight to the French Alps, but my flight does- n’t leave for seven hours and I’m already en route. London’s Stansted airport is too far to drive to, and besides, friends with cars are a rarity in London, where the tube service will take you everywhere in half the time. But, London’s rail services begin too late for me to make my 6.25am flight. I’m on the 11.00pm Stansted Express – the second-to-last train for the night. The train is packed full of people and suitcases for the 45-minute journey to the airport – a good amount of time to reflect on the fact that getting to the airport often costs about as much as your flight - £26 return. My plan is to find a soft padded bench to spend the night on, and then find my travel companions, whom I have not met before. I responded to an ad for snowboarders on a travel website, posted by an Australian guy called Daniel. I’m slightly dubious about him because he writes all his emails in capital letters, but my desire to go snowboarding won out over my fear of PEOPLE WHO WRITE IN CAPITALS. But there’s no empty seat to be found: Stansted is buzzing. It’s as though I’ve arrived at the shopping mall on a Saturday morning, only the shops are closed, and the people are pushing trolleys around, or setting up sleeping bags, or sitting around staring into space, or read- ing The Da Vinci Code (or if they’ve already read that, Angels and flat metal surface, of about enough day. That will most certainly send me Demons). space to fit a man. In fact, almost the to sleep, I think, rustling about exact size of the elderly man perched through my bag looking for it. The I grab a trolley, as my bag and snowboard are heavy. I walk the entire there, tucked into his sleeping bag, curled-up man to my right looks my length of the airport looking for a seat, suppressing any guilt that breathing heavily in my direction. Old way, disapproving of the loud zipper arises from disturbing those stretched out on sleeping bags with the and young alike are sacrificing sleep and noises. But Treasure Island only makes loud rumble of my trolley. To compensate, I tiptoe and hold my breath. comfort to save a buck. me want to take my own adventure around the airport: I need to be physi- Floor space is precious; bodies and sleeping bags are everywhere. I Surrounded by desperate and exhausted cally tired. I ask the old lady if she‘ll eventually find a seat, and wedge myself between a middle-aged man budget travelers, I prop my feet on my bag keep an eye on my bags for five min- and an elderly woman. The man is curled awkwardly between the for security, close my eyes and bow my utes, so that Louis Robert Stevenson Photos: Geo D. Oliver armrests of his seat, his head leaning forward onto his bag, which is head. However, I’m too busy doubting that and I can go get a coffee. I feel I have in turn propped up by his trolley. The woman is reading, but I can’t I’ll get any rest in such distracting and again breached the Code of Airport recognise her book—it’s not a Dan Brown. uncomfortable conditions, that I don’t. Etiquette: no moving about, no open- ing and closing bags, and no talking to The row of seats back onto another row facing the opposite direction. I’ve brought Treasure Island with me, strangers trying to sleep. There is a gap between the seat rows that is joined at the top by a determined to finish reading it this holi- 12 www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com *April05_5 4/7/05 6:11 PM Page 13 There are two 24-hour cafés in the terminal. I’m not hungry, but I buy a cappuccino and a sand- wich. It’s midnight - only six hours and 45 min- utes to go. I dawdle back past the sleeping bod- ies to my seat. There’s no need to hurry. The curled-up man flicks his head up, grunts and curls back into position, his feet precariously close to my space. I struggle along with Treasure Island, trying not to think about other things, when my phone rings. Evil looks fly from every direction. Another breach of the Code. “Hello?” I whisper. It’s Daniel. He is in the café with Adam, the third snowboarder. I gather together my luggage, causing more unrest from those around me. ‘Can’t you just settle?’ their annoyed expressions ask. “ IT'S ONLY A 90-MINUTE FLIGHT TO THE FRENCH ALPS, BUT MY FLIGHT DOESN'T LEAVE FOR I tiptoe back to the café, as the trolley scrapes and wobbles along. There are two men staring at me in the café. I’m excited because they look very continental: sipping lattes with their legs SEVEN HOURS AND I'M ALREADY EN ROUTE. ” crossed, and wearing polo-neck sweaters. Just as I’m preparing for a week of espresso drinking and intellectual discussion, they turn their eyes away from me. I stop mid-stride, feeling embar- rassed for blatantly staring so over-enthusiasti- cally at them. There are no other two-men combos at the café. I call Daniel. He is at the other café. Two 24-hour cafes in this small airport. You would almost mis- take it for day, except for the eerie fluorescent lighting. Time has no meaning in Stansted, except in relation to when your flight taxis away. They spot me easily, from the noise of my trolley and the sight of my red snowboard bag. After quick introductions, we decide to sleep. We can LOWDOWN get to know each other later. It’s 1a.m. AIRPORT SLEEPING ETIQUETTE We find a spot next to a check-in counter. I RULE1 If you want to be at the top of the hierarchy of sleepers, arrive early to reserve prime space. arrange my snowboard clothes into a soft bed and wrap my towel around some clothes to make RULE2 Save space for others at your own risk of passer-by’s muttering in your direction. a pillow. I use my duffel coat as a quilt. It’s sur- prisingly comfortable, and despite the motorised RULE3 Be aware that trolleys are in fact incredibly noisy and for essential use only. floor sweeper humming past every half hour, I RULE4 Talking is to be avoided, but in emergencies you many speak in a hushed whisper. sleep solidly until I am awoken by a repetitive, high-pitched voice asking: “Have you got your RULE5 Do not approach anyone. It is like entering their home. passport? Did you pack your own bags? Any sharp items?” RULE6 Switch your cell phone to silent. RULE7 Do not at any time, breach basic human rights by placing any part of your body over the Soon, I’m on my flight to Lyon, already feeling jet- imaginary half way mark between you and your neighbour. lagged. I will no doubt tell my friends back home how I live just 90 minutes from the French Alps. RULE8 If your neighbour is in breach of Rule 7, promptly assert your authoritare with a sharp They don’t need to know that you could techni- elbow movement. cally make it to Tokyo in same time it takes me to RULE9 If you have read The Da Vinci Code, do not discuss the plot ruining it for everyone else. get anywhere in Europe on a shoestring. RULE10 Do not set an alarm. It has already been arranged that you will be woken by the sounds of airport staff arriving. www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com 13 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:11 PM Page 14 [GRUB] DINING IN THE DARK IN THE CITY OF LIGHTS by CHRISTINA COUCH GO TOGETHER, BUT "NICE RESTAURANTS " AND "BUDGET TRAVEL" DON'T USUALLY ROUS TRAVEL" DO. "UNIQUE EXPERIENCE" AND "ADVENTU UAL RESTAURANT CLOSE YOUR EYES AN D SPLURGE A BIT IN PARIS' MOST UNUS ’M SEATED COMFORTABLY IN which gives you a choice between four appetizers, the dull side of our knives, we dropped food on I DANS LE NOIR, one of the scores of restaurants littering the Centre Pompidou side of Paris’ fourth arrondissement. Across from me, I can hear my dinner companions’ empty fork scratch his plate. I can feel the woman beside me four entrees, and four desserts (33 Euros for three courses, 27 for two) or the Menu Surprise which, just like it sounds, is a complete gastronomic sur- prise (33 Euros for the full meal, 25 for two rounds). We placed our orders, three of the four of us opting for the Menu Surprise, and waited by the floor, we dropped food on the table, we dropped food on each other. At no point in my adult life have I ever felt so unex- pectedly dependent for the most simplistic of needs. How can I pour a glass of water without giggle like a six year old with a secret. I have no the door until our dinner guide straightened us spilling? Where is the meat actually located on this idea what I’ve ordered and when it arrives, the into single-file, hand-holding lines, and led us plate? Are my eyes open or closed? Are other peo- texture and smell stick out in my mind more than through curtains to our table. ple even here or is this just someone’s TV set in the the actual taste of the food. In Paris, this is just background? Why do I feel so alone? Can you like dining in any other place, except for one small The experience of suddenly walking into a place imagine life like this? These questions are the over- difference. We’re eating in complete, liquid pitch that is darker than anything you’ve ever seen riding mission of Dans Le Noir and the silliness, the darkness, literally dans le noir, in the black. Dans before is jarring in and of itself. The experience of helplessness, the quiet contemplation are all as Le Noir is Paris’ social and culinary experiment: a spending a two and a half hour meal immersed in much a part of your meal as the dishes themselves. restaurant designed to emulate the dining experi- what I would imagine a space void feels like is ter- ence of the blind, manned entirely by a blind wait- rifying, disorienting, exotic, and tranquil all at the Dans Le Noir isn’t just a restaurant, it’s an experi- staff. Here, cell phones, watches, lighters, and same time. Our dinner party summed it up well, ential lesson using food as a medium. Dishes anything else that can produce light is checked at “It’s not so much dark as it is just nothing.” Being came and went, phantom people passed by, life the door and patrons experience a two to three without the ability to visually judge or be judged somewhere out in the shapeless black continued course meal without the benefit of knowing gives way to a sort of childish liberation where without our awareness as to who or what was con- where, and in some cases, what, they’re eating. you can freely make faces at your dinnermates or ducting it. We fumbled through dessert and we Welcome to one of the most surreal educational scratch yourself anywhere you choose without listened with newfound appreciation as our blind experiences Europe has to offer. anyone being the wiser. We giggled at people escort gracefully guided dishes back to the who dropped their utensils. We announced in kitchen, then shuffled us out of the restaurant. Dans Le Noir is divided into three parts, a lit overcompensatingly loud voices that we were We stood in the dimly lit antechamber, letting our bar/lobby where overpriced cocktails are bought, flicking each other off. We talked about the seedy eyes slowly get used to the light once again. dinner orders are placed, and patrons catch a last deeds that could be going on in the restaurant fleeting glimpse of their company before entry, a that very moment. For a split second, the restau- lit lounge occasionally hosting a guest speaker rant felt like a clandestine tree house only we LOWDOWN and featuring all too metaphoric photos of people knew the password for, that is, until food arrived. Dans Le Noir is located at 51 Rue Quincampoix covering their eyes (so much for French subtlety), and can be reached online at www.danslenoir.fr and the 60-seater restaurant, the likes of which Armed with little more than our fingertips, we for more information. For reservations, call patrons never actually see. The menu also comes shoveled empty forks into our mouths time after 011.33.1.42.77.98.04 at least three days before in one of two varieties, the visible Menu au Choix time after time, we tried in vain to cut meat with your visit. 14 www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com *April05_5 4/7/05 6:11 PM Page 15 The vibrancy of AsiA. The romance of Europe. The mystery of LAtin AmericA. The history of EGyPT, AfricA and the Middle EAst. Take your pick. *April05_5 4/7/05 6:12 PM Page 16 16 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:12 PM Page 17 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:12 PM Page 18 www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com *April05_5 4/7/05 6:12 PM Page 19 T “THEY KILLED THE BUDDHA!” JULIE The next morning, while I was oversleeping, er reason: With the exception of a few overeager EXCLAIMED IN AMAZEMENT. Painted on the unidentified men threw grenades into the demon- motorbike-taxi drivers, Cambodians are seriously temple wall above her was the scene of the stration, killing 20 people and injuring more than sweet people, so devoted to Buddhism that they Enlightened One’s death at the hands of his fol- 100. The opposition politician leading the demon- refuse to work in slaughterhouses (local Cham lowers, who’d served him tainted meat for dinner. stration, Sam Rainsy, accused the prime minister, Muslims take those jobs). A tour guide will invite “But why did they feed him pork in the first place?” Hun Sen, of being behind the attack. To this day, you to dinner at his wooden house, where he lives Hun Sen remains in power, the two suspects have with something like 43 family members—is he a No answer was forthcoming, but really, none was never been tried, and in February Sam Rainsy was machete-wielding maniac? Could he kill the needed. We were ten tourists of a half-dozen stripped of his parliamentary immunity and forced Buddha? Could I? nationalities visiting the first of many, many to flee the country. Cambodian politics, indeed. wats—traditional Cambodian Buddhist temples— WAT’S FOR DINNER on a two-week guided trek from the capital, This was, unfortunately, nothing new for the coun- Phnom Penh, to the Khmer spiritual heartland of try. Almost eight years later, on this trip (courtesy of Cambodians, however, aren’t the only ones who Siem Reap, and around and back again, with a the generous folks at Intrepid Travel), I visited Toul face death daily: The trees here are hungry, and handful of stops in between. Sleng, a former high school in Phnom Penh that ancient temples are on the menu. Our second wat from 1976 to 1979 the Khmer Rouge turned into a stop was outside Kampong Thom, at a ninth-centu- This was to be a journey into centuries past, into detention, torture, interrogation, and execution site ry—pre-Angkorian is the official term, I believe— carved sandstone demons and arcane Theravada for people they suspected—imagined is the better complex of temples that, no longer in use, is sink- Buddhist rituals, in which we would confront the term, or maybe pretended—were political criminals. ing into the forest. The ancient pools used for royal historical, religious, and psychological origins of The bare metal mattresses remain in the torture baths are nothing more than leaf-lined pits in the the Khmer people, and perhaps come to, if not chambers, as do the irons used to clamp prisoners’ earth, and the roofs of the brick temples collapsed understand, then at least begin to grasp the roots of the auto-genocidal fever that swept Cambodia in the mid-1970s, courtesy of the Khmer Rouge. But, more often than not, we found ourselves at places like Wat Nokor, outside Kampong Cham, whose thick, 12th-century sandstone walls sur- rounded a still-functioning temple adorned with bright pastel scenes of the Buddha’s life. The Buddha leaving home. The Buddha fasting. The Buddha beneath the shade of a naga, or snake spirit. The Buddha reaching enlightenment. The Buddha being served a meal of bacon, ham hocks, and chitlins, then dying. Of course, as we would learn over the fortnight, death—and its attendant suddenness and unpre- dictability—is perhaps the only constant in this country of 13 million, smack between Vietnam and Thailand in Southeast Asia. We would witness traffic accidents, hear Khmer Rouge horror stories, gaze upon skulls and mass graves on display at former killing fields, and examine bas relief fres- CAMBODIANS ARE SERIOUSLY SWEET coes of ancient wars at Angkor Wat. And we—or maybe it was just me—would be left to ponder how any of the famously happy and relaxed Cambodians still manage to wake up at five in the “ PEOPLE, BUT, COULD MY TOUR GUIDE KILL THE morning and try to grow rice. WAT WAS I THINKING? BUDDHA? COULD I? legs, as do hundreds of photographs of the con- demned, from hardened cadres to confused peas- ” centuries ago. Spong trees wrap themselves around the structures, digging their soft, wormlike roots This was not my first trip to Cambodia. In March ants to smiling, gleeful children, unaware of their into the stone and slowly wrenching it apart, year Photos: Matt Gross, Bonnie Yoon 1997, when I was living in Ho Chi Minh City, fates. In all, some 20,000 people were killed here; by year, millimeter by millimeter. Vietnam, I popped into Phnom Penh to check out just 7 survived, and those by sheer luck. the city’s first international film festival. The night This slow-motion demolition is, however, a beauti- I arrived, I spotted a flier at a bar announcing a This mass killing perplexed me not so much for its ful sight: Mother Nature locked in battle with the demonstration in favor of an independent judici- scale—by some estimates, 2 million people died of works of Man. As I walked around the temples, ary, planned for the next morning. A good intro- starvation, disease, overwork, and murder during trailed by a battalion of children selling kramas, duction to Cambodian politics, I thought. the Khmer Rouge’s four-year reign—but for anoth- the tartan scarves worn by everyone in countryside www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com 19 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:12 PM Page 20 “ CAMBODIANS, HOWEVER, AREN’T THE ONLY ONES WHO FACE DEATH DAILY: THE TREES HERE ARE HUNGRY, AND ANCIENT TEMPLES ARE ON THE MENU. ” Cambodia, I never knew whether to feel heartened and Indians and Americans climbing its steep maybe an elephant, too. In any case, presto! or dismayed by the implications. Nature really sandstone steps and snapping pictures of the tee- World is born! seems to be winning, and though Man’s putting tering towers and sweating as they amble across up a good fight, it’s certain he will lose. a vast network of wats that once served as the This faith came via Indian traders around 86 B.C., empire’s capital city. but Youssa didn’t have a good explanation for Perhaps that’s just karma at work. Cambodia’s what Khmers believed before that, or why, once temples were erected over a period of several Yet somehow, it all still feels lost, as if, like they’d adopted Hinduism, it took them another hundred years by what was essentially slave Mouhot, you’ve just stumbled upon one of the 700 years to start building monumental temples. labor: thousands, if not millions, of peasants greatest buildings on Earth, and no one else Still, Youssa’s words definitely made certain ordered by their god-kings to build monuments knows. This is partly because the complex is just aspects of Angkor Wat a little more comprehensi- to the Khmer Empire’s greatness. It was a classic so alien. At least it was to this Westerner, ble: like the statues of 100 gods and 100 demons case of the rich riding the poor to glory, and as unschooled in Hinduism and Buddhism, which churning the sea of milk with a big snake, or the history has demonstrated again and again, that together form the ideological backbone of Angkor lotus shape of Angkor Wat itself, which appears to only leads to eventual ruin. (Or maybe it’s just Wat. Luckily, our Intrepid guide, “Three Eyes” rise each morning from the lake in a real-life recre- that all reigns ultimately end.) The spong- Youssa, schooled us: ation of the creation myth. enshrouded temple I climbed up was once some despot’s triumph, which only begs the question: In the beginning, there was nothing, but Lord No words, however, were needed when Youssa led Whither the White House? Vishnu wanted a world, so he asked 100 gods and us to the Bayon, whose 49 lofty, four-sided spires 100 devils to engage in a tug-of-war with a ser- feature the smiling face of King Jayavarman VII, Photo: Courtesy of Intrepid Travel But these buildings remain centuries after they pent from the bottom of the sea of milk. The ensu- who commissioned much of the temple complex. were abandoned to the jungle by their creators, so ing battle churned the milk so violently that the Each side of each spire faces a cardinal direction perhaps it’s not all folly. Angkor Wat, the grand- level of the liquid began to fall, revealing the land. and features a different smile, which Youssa pappy of Cambodian wats, lay buried in trees and sort of like a toilet flushing. Or maybe it was that proudly demonstrated for us: the smile of compas- creepers for 500 years before Henri Mouhot, a a gigantic turtle rose from the deep, bearing the sion, of kindness, of equality, and of sympathy. French explorer, “discovered” it in 1863. Now it’s earth on its back. Or maybe it was that a lotus The trick, he told us, is in the eyes. Do they look visited by more than a million tourists a year, flower rose from the deep and opened up to con- down? Up? Straight across? Are the lids wide open Japanese and French and Koreans and Chinese tain an aspara, a traditional Khmer dancer. And or slightly lowered? 20 www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com *April05_5 4/7/05 6:12 PM Page 21 the world e. pe ctiv ers nt p H TEA C ISH dif fere ENGL AD e ma ...fro ABROrtificat eC TEFL am Progr g teachin Grads ntries in 3 5+ cou Midwest Teacher Training Madison, Wisconsin Program Offered by WESLI www.mttp.com 800/765-8577 Photo: Courtesy of Intrepid Travel *April05_5 4/7/05 6:12 PM Page 22 ON BUSES AND BOATS THROUGHOUT THE TRIP, I KEPT BUSY BY WRITING A SONG ABOUT CAMBODIA. TRY TO IMAGINE A METH-ADDLED ARLO GUTHRIE ON BROADWAY, AND YOU’LL HAVE SOME IDEA HOW THIS IS SUPPOSED TO SOUND: “Whole Lotta Wat” And they got Pol Pot— You can fly Aeroflot And every little schoolgirl sports Got a whole lotta wat a Nokia cell phone Well, I know this li’l country that Well, the temples are enormous, And they got Pol Pot Banteay Srey is cut from pink borders on Siam, the biggest one they call Angkor Got a whole lotta wat sandstone Got a lot of li’l cities, like Siem But it was sacked back in 1431, And they got Pol Pot And expats in bikinis call Reap and Kampong Cham when the Thai king launched his war Sihanoukville home They grow a little rice there, Then the jungles took over, and Now back in 1975, Cambodia So eat your curried noodles and pound their fish into a paste the empire was lost wasn’t doin’ well drink a Côtes du Rhone They eat it ev’ry day there: Want Till the French hit the scene, The Khmer Rouge, they took And finish it off with an ice some? Have a taste! said, “We’re the new boss” control, made the place a living hell cream cone They got pepper, gems, and tim- They dug up the trees and cut In black pj’s and liar’s smiles, But don’t forget your life on ber, checkered scarves and red down the vines while the world held its breath Earth is just a short-term loan snow, too Imported their Peugeots, their They laid land mines and And the dirt beneath your san- All their dancers are quite lim- villas, their wines chopped off heads and worked dals is mixed with blood and bone… ber, but that fish paste tastes like But forced labor, however, and a everyone to death poo— lack of free will On one cupful of rice per day, And Cam-bo-di-a has one Sure pissed off the people, who Cambodia slowly starved resource that never will run dry But Cam-bo-di-a has one were ready to kill And Pol Pot’s cronies destroyed And it ain’t land mines, it ain’t resource that never will run dry Till crazy Prince Sihanouk bro- their patrimony, and stole statues fish paste, it ain’t spiders deep-fried— And it ain’t land mines, it ain’t kered a deal that their ancestors carved prahok, it ain’t street kids who cry— Got Paris to give up and say: “Do Till one fine day, Vietnam came [spoken] And whadda they got? whatever you feel” a-knocking, [spoken] Whadda they got? And chased Pol Pot till his knees Got a whole lotta wat They— got— a— whole lotta wat [spoken] Fifty years later, whadda they were, uh… a-knocking And it sure is hot And it sure is hot. they got? [pause] Got a whole lotta wat Got a whole lotta wat They— got— a— whole lotta wat And a history pretty fraught At the toilets you squat And it sure is hot [spoken] Well, then a whole lot more Got a whole lotta wat Got a whole lotta wat Got a whole lotta wat crazy shit happened, but I’m, uh, sav- And no Pol Pot People often get shot Tie your krama in a knot ing that for another song. Yeah. Got a whole lotta wat Got a whole lotta wat Got a whole lotta wat No more Pol Pot And they got Kampot Eat a pizza topped with pot To—day— Got a whole lotta wat Got a whole lotta wat Got a whole lotta wat And they got Kampot And they got Pol Pot And some naked tots The god-king beams down from Got a whole lotta wat Got a whole lotta wat Got a whole lotta wat the spires of Bayon And it sure. Is. Hot. Photo: Matt Gross 22 www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com *April05_5 4/7/05 6:13 PM Page 23 I had a question: Pol Pot, the architect of the Khmer Rouge atrocities, was checked the schedule that Intrepid had given us, hoping for clues to emerge famous for his smile—which one was it? from the runic Xerox: Why did the French disassemble Phnom Bakheng back in the twenties? Or was that not Phnom Bakheng but another temple, maybe “Kindness,” Youssa said. the Baphuon? Why were there no bas-relief carvings of small children offer- ing to sell the Khmer army “cold drink, cold drink”? WAT A DAY FOR A DAYDREAM But then, somewhere toward the end of all this, sometime after we visited the Men being beheaded. Men being eaten by lions and crocodiles. Men being Landmine Museum but before we decamped from Angkor Wat and headed stabbed, flayed, eaten. Armies having at each other with feral abandon. south for the beach town of Sihanoukville, we wound up at Banteay Samré. Welcome to the ground floor of the Bayon, whose bas reliefs record the I don’t know when it was built, or by whom, or whether it’s Hindu or purely many wars of the Khmer people in detail that would please any Fangoria Buddhist. I do know, however, that it was almost entirely empty of people. No subscriber. French package tourists, no Aussie sophomores. Only two or three children with nothing to sell. Yet for all their horrors, the carvings are hypnotic, rewarding anyone with the slightest historical curiosity with dense sociological detail. The armies of The temple was big and square, and was once filled with water, turning the many nations are represented by their facial features and garb: the long- rooms and corridors into little stone islands. Now, however, it was simply an eared Khmers, the Chinese with their topknots, the beskirted Vietnamese island of peace, a place to sit and forget the killings that have wracked this Chams. The frescoes show people cooking, eating, gambling, smoking, danc- land for millenia. And sit I did, in a far-off corner of Banteay Samré, until the ing, sleeping, buying, selling, dying, living. You could pore over these images sun began to set, the mosquitoes came out, and I heard our tour leader faint- for months, or years, trying to understand the subtle symbolism and piece ly call out my name, wondering where I’d gone. together the narrative. LOWDOWN Or you could give in, as many of us did, to wat fatigue. Three days at Angkor, INTREPID TRAVEL's "Heart of Cambodia" trip leaves from Phnom Penh three days in the 90-degree heat, three days of immersion in a culture that and covers the country in 15 days. might as well have been Martian—three straight days of Angkor Wat, and we were tired. Exhausted. Confused by the place names and ancient eras and COSTS run US$870 (plus a local payment of US$200). the bizarre mashup of religions. Was Banteay Srei pre-Angkor, or post-? Did we just visit the terrace of the leper king, or the terrace of elephants? We Intrepidtravel.com www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com 23 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:13 PM Page 24 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:13 PM Page 25 LOOKING FOR Writers Illustrators Photographers firstname.lastname@example.org YOU’LL FIT RIGHT IN! OPEN ENROLLMENT! Travel and Study! Have the educational experience of a lifetime. UC Berkeley offers a diverse assortment of programs in exciting places. Travel study at its best is available through UC Berkeley Summer Travel Study Programs. ENROLL NOW! To learn more, go to the International Programs Office, 2481 Hearst Avenue. Call 510-643-3364 or email email@example.com Barbados * Barcelona * Berlin * Brazil * Cambodia * China * Florence * Laos * London * Mexico * Myanmar * The Netherlands and Belgium * Paris * Switzerland * Taipei * Thailand *April05_5 4/7/05 6:13 PM Page 26 YOU TALKIN’ TO ME? ITALY ARE THE CLEVER WAY TO GET CONVERSATIONAL ENGLISH LESSONS IN ON TRAVEL. by JESSICA N. JOHNSON CASH, AND TIME TO BLOW THAT STASH Cristina was one of my favorite English students. paying student and friend can be easily blurred. We were about the same age. She had a great The economics of teaching English in Italy aren’t THE BENEFIT OF ENGLISH THEFT sense of style. She was always showing up for only the Euro exchange rate; it’s how you balance The second option is to contract with one of the class in some combination of motorcycle boots, a friendships, schedules, payment, travel, and a half dozen English instruction centers operating crochet sweater, chandelier earrings, and a funky wineglass and textbook at the same time. throughout Padova. These franchises, which scarf that on her looked fabulous, but on me, like include Wall Street, CEPU, and the Oxford School the floor of my closet threw up. Unlike most LIVE TO TEACH OR TEACH TO LIVE? of English, have sprouted up all across Italy and Italian women, she left her hometown, and moved The easiest job to snag when traveling or living Europe. They provide private conversation classes to Padova to pursue a career in publishing. We abroad is teaching English. While actual certified, for executives and professionals seeking to were both relatively new to town, far from friends experienced teachers will cringe at this notion, in improve their ability to speak English. The major and family, and during our hour-long conversation many places around the globe we are qualified sim- benefit of working for these schools is that you classes, we bonded over the people and places we ply by virtue of being native English speakers, given don’t have to do any marketing or lesson prepara- missed from our respective homes. how great the demand is. Present day Italy is no tion. You set your schedule with them, show up, exception. The Italian economy is in a precarious students will be waiting (and if they cancel, you We always met on Thursday afternoons during her position right now as they too watch their manufac- still get paid), and lead students through an afternoon pausa. One day, we decided to meet an turing jobs scamper away to Romania, and China. already set curriculum. hour earlier, have lunch together first outside the Further compounding the situation is a drying up office, and then return for class. On my bike, on of research funding at the university level, precipi- They’re also a great place to get your feet wet. I my way to meet her, I practiced in my head how I tating a considerable brain drain of the country’s taught English as a Second Language (ESL) before, would politely refuse if she offered to pay for my top scientists, engineers, and researchers, all look- but it’s not like I spend my free time endlessly sandwich, how I would tell her that we were meet- ing for positions overseas, and all looking to ruminating on the difference between the past ing as friends and therefore we should split the improve their English speaking abilities. perfect and present continuous tenses. Working for cost of lunch. It wasn’t an issue. We ordered at the a language center enabled me to raid their mate- bar, paid for our respective sandwiches and spritz, It’s difficult to get started. Initially, one has to rials and relearn how to distinguish between and then found a table. We always spoke in decide where to teach, and in Padova, like in countable and uncountable nouns (strawberries, Italian, when not actively engaged in an English many mid-sized Italian cities, there are three basic eggs vs. bread, pasta, for the uninitiated). lesson, and I continued chatting away in my, clum- options: international schools, instruction centers, sy but nonetheless can-get-my-point-across Italian and going solo. Padova is home to two private The principal drawback is that you earn between as we sat down. English instruction primary schools, Villa Grimani €12-14 per hour, which is then taxed at 20%, so and the English International School of Padova. your take home is approximately €9-10. Also, She turned to me and said, “You speak Italian, Both schools serve children ages 2-10, and the these schools need to ask for official working and I speak English for practicing.” International School also includes a middle and papers, “in teoria” anyway. When I worked at one high school. of the Oxford schools in town, they never asked I felt a subtle shift of mood. It may sound selfish, but I didn’t want to spend the next hour listening On the plus side, these schools will take care of to her piece together the words she needed to securing working papers, including the all-impor- LOWDOWN form a rudimentary sentence. I didn’t want to cor- tant codice fiscale and permesso di soggiorno (fis- MONTHLY BREAKDOWN OF COSTS rect her mistakes, and modify my speaking, using cal code and work permit), essential for working simple words and tenses to make sure she under- legally in Italy. They also help find housing for RENT: €350-450 stood. I wanted to have an actual conversation, new teachers. The money is decent, approximate- UTILITIES: €50-70 (sometime separate, some- gossip, relax, and then start teaching. I didn’t ly €1,195 a month, certainly enough to live on in times included in rent) want a watery two hour session that was neither a modest fashion, with enough left over for week- totally one, hanging out, nor the other, working. end excursions, eating out, and some occasional DSL: €35-65 retail therapy. While certainly helpful, it is not Teaching English in Italy can be an ideal way to necessary to know Italian. CELL PHONE (required Italian accessory): €50 earn enough money to live on—and by live on, I mean rent an apartment, eat, and buy shoes, and But it’s a real job! Who moves to Italy to arrive at GREAT FOOD & FINE WINES: €150-200 at the same time, maintain enough flexibility to 8 am every morning? As with most real jobs, it travel and partake in Italy’s endless artistic, epi- means you have to actually show up five days a LIVING LA DOLCE VITA (or, sweet life, for you curean, and recreational diversions. Even so, it week, severely cutting into travel time. Remember, English learners) IN ITALY: PRICELESS (shame- less appropriation of corporate slogan, but true) takes patience to get started, and the line between working can really get in the way of not working. 26 www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com *April05_5 4/7/05 6:13 PM Page 27 PRIVATE ENGLISH LESSONS AND CONVERSATION We are American born, native English speakers, with teaching experience. If you are looking to improve or mas- ter English we can help! Give us a call to schedule a lesson. Madrelingua Inglese/Americano, Insegnanti esperti. Lezioni per tutti i livelli. Preparazione TOEFL, traduzioni, conversazioni. ---------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------- English Lessons English Lessons English Lessons English Lessons English Lessons English Lessons English Lessons English Lessons English Lessons English Lessons English Lessons English Lessons English Lessons English Lessons English Lessons English Lessons English Lessons Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: Ask for Jessica: 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 347-555-5555 me for working papers, which was helpful, since I table. Each student is operating at a different doctors have to learn English to present papers at didn’t have any, and they paid me in cash each level, and I plan each lesson accordingly. I use the international conferences. I recommend putting week. A friend of mine works for a local multicul- Headway textbooks, which are available at some effort into your sign. Most signs are plain, tural language school and they did ask him for his Feltrinelli, the local international bookstore, with simply listing basic contact information. I decided codice fiscale. He also didn’t have one. They my beginner and intermediate students. With my to play up that I was offering American English, decided they needed a teacher more than they advanced students, I gauge their interests during and by using clipart featuring Americana such as needed to obey the law of the land. the first class, and then select a newspaper or Marilyn, Elvis, a baseball player, the Hollywood magazine article, which I think they will like. I sign, and the Statue of Liberty, I created a simple These schools also provide a convenient introduc- build our hour-long class around reading the arti- but eye catching flyer to hang up around town. tion to future private students. The furbo, or more cle, which enables them to practice their pronun- Also the longer you stay in one place, the more clever, students are there to audition private ciation, discussion, and a short writing assign- students will find you. After establishing an easy- instructors, who they can then hire for private ment on a theme related to the day’s topic. going rapport with my local fruttivendolo, she classes. By removing the middleman, students pay asked me to come by once a week to tutor her half what the schools demand, and teachers can Beginner students are more difficult to work with, daughter who is preparing for her college double their salary. As there is a revolving door of and here I feel that it is essential to have both entrance exams. both students and teachers, I didn’t feel too guilty knowledge of their native language and the when I departed with a handful of students in tow. mechanics of teaching ESL. Otherwise, you’re AND THE STUDENT BECOMES THE MASTER doing them a disservice, and they will pick up on Going from the security of a 9-5 job to the struc- GOING INTO PRIVATE PRACTICE it fairly quickly and move on. Many universities tured schedule provided by the English learning Which brings us to what I believe is the optimal offer introductory Teaching English as a Foreign centers to freelance freedom can be a risky option; building a steady stream of private stu- Language (TEFL) courses. Check out the course endeavor, but the payoffs are well worth it. I now dents. The going rate is €18.50 an hour, tax free, offerings at TEFLInternational.com, TEFL.com, and have the extra cash and flexibility to afford to live students typically come to you, talk for an hour, TEFLworldwideprague.com. There are hundreds of (rent, food, shoes) and travel. It also doesn’t take pay, and leave. You can schedule classes Tuesday on-line courses and location-specific courses long for students to meld into actual friends, lead- through Thursday, leaving four glorious responsi- offered everywhere from Rome to Bali that offer ing to invitations to grab a beer and watch a foot- bility-free days for travel and exploring, thereby TEFL certification for $295 to $1,500. ball match at the local pub, after hours so to ensuring the best of both worlds, making enough speak., Also, in exchange for mastering the intrica- to support yourself, but working just enough so Private lessons require patience. Students do not cies associated with phrasal verbs and the infini- that it doesn’t actually feel like work. materialize overnight. You need to make signs, tive of purpose, my students enthusiastically post them in the international bookstore, cafes, teach me how to appreciate the rhythms of life in I set up shop in my miniscule one-bedroom apart- and local shops. The bulletin boards at the local the Veneto. That’s a lesson you can’t get for only ment, and we sit around my cleared off kitchen hospital are another good bet since all Italian 18.50 euro an hour! www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com 27 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:13 PM Page 28 TEACHING ABROAD DIRECTORY teaching programs TEFL Certificate Course with practice teaching. Alliance Abroad offers a range of teach, work, study in Peru, Mexico, China, India, Cook Islands, Romania, EFL Career Workshops, job placement assistance, and volunteer abroad programs. Work in a British pub, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Tanzania and Ghana. Volunteers personalized resume editing. Graduates have teach English in Spain or China, volunteer in a Costa pay tax-deductible program fees (from $1,350 to found positions in over 40 countries! Offered by Rican national forest and more! For details go to $2,595). Student and internet-user discounts. For an accredited ESL institution. Call (800)765-8577 www.allianceabroad.com or call 866-6ABROAD details call 800-487-1074 or go to www.globalvolun- or visit www.mttp.com CIEE. Recent graduates make wonderful teachers of teers.org Oxford House. Learn to teach English. Four week English (and culture). Share in the daily life of young i-to-i, the UK’s largest teaching of English as a foreign TEFL courses in Prague, Barcelona and Madrid for Chinese people and gain insights into thisdynamic language training organization, offers high quality, $1250. Excellent job prospects worldwide, inter- society. Receive a local salary and free furnished interactive training designed for travelers and those nationally recognized. Trinity College TESOL accommodations. Teach in English and learn from your without the time, inclination or finances to take a full- Certificate. For details go to www.oxfordtefl.com students. For details go to www.ciee.org/teach or call time course. 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For details email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.worldteach.org *April05_5 4/7/05 6:13 PM Page 29 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:13 PM Page 30 [SCOOP] PUT YOUR FEST FOOT FORWARD by MATT GOULDING & JEFF BOOTH T MEANS ONE THING: SUMMER IS COMING, AND IN EUROPE THA EBRATING, BE IT WORLD MUSIC IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE WHATEVER’S WORTH CEL R TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST OF THE FESTS. OR FOOD FIGHTS. HERE ARE FOUR OF OU SAN FERMÍN AND THE RUNNING OF THE BULLS SPAIN Eighty years after Hemingway immortalized the weeklong celebration of Pamplona’s patron saint in The Sun Also Rises, the stampede of enraged 1,300-pound bulls still occupies an exalt- ed spot on the risk-lists of adrenaline junkies the world over. Each July, the northern Spanish town swells to twice its size with foreigners and paisanos seeking days filled with bullfights, flamenco dancing, fireworks, and three of the most heart-wrenching minutes of their lives: the release of the bulls and the ensuing chase through the streets. Come to Pamplona, and sleep on the hill behind the sangria vendor if you must, but when Mother Nature throws the light switch on, exposing isolated scenes of drunken depravity throughout the city, it’s time to lace up the shoes or take cover behind the gates. ST TIP: Right after the daddy bulls have run, take a seat in the Plaza de Toros to watch a ring full of momentary matadors get abused by their spirited offspring. WHEN: July 6 to 14. WHERE: Pamplona, Spain. HOW MUCH: Free. MORE INFO: sanfermin.com. HUNGARY SZIGET FESTIVAL Geneva may have the United Nations, but Budapest has the united nations of music: Sziget, the largest music festival in Europe. Every summer for 13 years, Photos: Art Gimbel, Jeff Booth, David Wootton, Courtesy of Edinburgh Festival Fringe dozens of acts from all over the world—from headlin- ers like Franz Ferdinand to Malian funk, Norwegian hardcore, French trance, Yiddish hip-hop, and even American ska—converge on Òbuda Island, in the middle of the Danube, to kick out the jams. Despite the hundreds of thousands of music fans, Sziget still retains a laidback atmosphere that’s inimical to sell- outs. And don’t worry about any language barriers with most of the world jamming together—the beats are international. ST TIP: Camping is free on the island for everyone, but show up on the 9th to make sure you stake out a space far from the main tent – or you’ll never get any sleep. WHEN: August 10 to 17, 2005. WHERE: Budapest, Hungary. HOW MUCH: Weeklong tickets, which include camping permits, are only €100. One-day tickets are about €15. MORE INFO: sziget.hu. 30 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:13 PM Page 31 LA TOMATINA SPAIN Myriad explanations exist for the origin of this massive tomato battle: a peace- SCOTLAND ful parade gone amok, an impulsive EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL response to a novice horn player, an old woman’s reaction to the rising price This eclectic offshoot of the annual Edinburgh International Festival began in 1947 when of produce. No one seems to care any- a group of acting companies, snubbed by the “high-art” event, sought out a less-preten- more—the important thing is that every tious alternative to display their talents. Augusts in the Scottish capital are now dominat- year on the last Wednesday of August, ed by the Fringe and the thousands who flock to the world’s largest performing-arts fes- Buñol, a sleepy Spanish village of tival. 9,000, plays host to the world’s largest food fight. More than 1,500 daily shows offer spectators a chance to take in a healthy balance of Shakespeare, stand-up comedy, and Tibetan yak-milk gargling. Venues range from classy It begins like any good Spanish street show halls to back-alley pubs thick with the smell of malt whiskey and deep-fried Mars party should: with a giant leg of cured bars, a truly egalitarian event for the culturally deprived. ham dangling from a greased pole. Once the pole is scaled and the porcine treat ST TIP: Pick up the daily Scotsman for reliable reviews, and keep an eye out for two-for- removed, the officials relinquish one specials. WHEN: August 7 to 29, 2005 (begins the first Sunday of every August). 125,000 kilos of tomatoes to the raven- WHERE: Edinburgh, Scotland. HOW MUCH: Tickets from £5. MORE INFO: edfringe.com. ous crowd. What follows is a war of apoc- alyptic dimensions: a solid hour of toma- to-hucking in which no one is safe from the pulpy projectiles. In the dwindling moments of the fight, the battleground looks like an orgy sponsored by Prego. ST TIP: Book Valencia accommoda- tions early [HOW EARLY?], and bring a change of clothes. WHEN: August 29, 2005. WHERE: Buñol, Spain, a 30-minute bus ride from Valencia. HOW MUCH: Free. MORE INFO: lahoya.net/tomatina. PLANNING ON BEING IN EUROPE FOR THE SUMMER but can’t make it to any of these events? No worries. Check out whatsonwhen.com for a detailed list of summer festivals across Europe. www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com 31 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:14 PM Page 32 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:14 PM Page 33 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:14 PM Page 34 [PLAY] BATTING IN THE BALTIC by ANGUS J. J. BELL NIA A SCOTSMAN PLAYS ICE CRICKET IN ESTO LL THE SPORTS IN THE WORLD— A FOOTBALL, BASEBALL, BASKET- BALL, ARCHERY—share one univer- sal, unbreakable rule: Nudity will always attract the loudest cheers. Even in Estonia, even in sub-zero conditions, and even when the game is cricket. In fact, in Estonian in a world-record-breaking 128 countries, eventu- ally coming to a stop in Estonia when he was offered a bank job. During his trip, he was forced to mortgage his house, and was arrested at At 12 in the vast Jeti Hall, we began play against Estonia’s first entry (we’d already lost one game to an English pub side). We were a mixed bag of Antipodean and British strangers, drawn togeth- ice cricket, streaking is mandatory. Moscow airport for breaking a window and set- er by a common love of international cricket. Our ting off the sprinkler system. (He’d been teaching lineup included two London money-laundering Estonia has been playing cricket since 1998, when cricket to Georgian refugees near the toilets.) analysts, a Sydney D.J., a South African Muslim, an Indian restaurant owner and an Estonian back When I spoke to him before the tournament, he a New Zealand electrician, and myself, the kilted from holidaying in Australia formed a club on a didn’t seem concerned about his side’s ranking. In Scotsman. Giant concrete walkways and rusting horse track in Tallinn. Today, they run two grounds fact, they’re the team that loves to lose. “We’re girders criss-crossed over the ice pitch, while (one of which has three trees in the middle), and happy being the worst international team in the Donna Summer blasted from the stereo. Behind the team includes players from Zimbabwe, South world,” he said. “It’s a great marketing tool. When the plastic barrier, waiting teams swigged French Africa, Australia, the UK, Finland, and the we’ve won, it’s been embarrassing. We just want cognac and Russian sparkling white wine, Netherlands as well as six native Estonians. to give touring sides a good run, let them win, and preparing to take to the sauna. Photos: Lonely Planet Images\TKTKTK , Angus J.J. Bell, Andy Barr hope they enjoy it enough to come back.” At the end of January, I traveled to medieval Being short and bearded, with little Courvoisier Tallinn—a UNESCO World Heritage site, the booze Slavophile Julian Tall, 33, was one of the archi- coursing through their veins, the Balts seemed at cruise, casino, and stag capital of the Baltics, and tects of this tournament. He runs Baltic a considerable advantage in the field. They wore the actual capital of Estonia—for the world’s first Adventures, a London-based travel company on white and came prepared with spikes. For us gig- international six-a-side cricket tournament on ice. whose team I was playing, that specializes in gling batsmen, it was like running on oiled glass, Four teams from the UK flew in by budget carrier unusual activities, like rally karting in the snow and it was not long before our opening pair col- to do battle against the locals (the Estonians split and Kalashnikov practice. On the eve of the lided with the wickets, the wicketkeeper, and the their side in two). No one, however, had any clue games, he told me, “The matches will be held on umpire. Which, in case you’re not familiar with how to play on ice. an ice rink in a former Soviet missile factory, which the rules of cricket, is bad. Each wobble and you’d have been shot for prowling round fifteen Home Alone–esque flip throughout our innings Estonia’s captain is Jason Barry, a half-English, years ago. The pitch has been marked and we’ve prompted ooohs! from bemused, gold-toothed half-French marketing whiz. His brother is a yeti had hockey players scuff the outfield to give bet- Russian onlookers, keen to check out a new sport. hunter in the Himalayas. After watching ter grip. Play is always ongoing, and we’ve got Holding back the manly tears, we fought our way Groundhog Day, he set off in 1996 to play cricket bicycle helmets for anybody who wants.” to a commanding innings total of 93. 34 www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com *April05_5 4/7/05 6:14 PM Page 35 “ OPENING THE BOWLING IN SCARF, GLOVES, KILT, AND SPORRAN WAS NO EASY TASK. THE BALL WAS PLASTIC AND WRAPPED IN DUCT TAPE, AND THE BATSMAN WAS WEARING ONE LEG GUARD AND A WOOLLY HAT. ” There was no chance of us making the final, but as we jogged back onto the pitch for the second half of our Estonian clash, there was a fierce determina- tion in our team. Opening the bowling in scarf, gloves, kilt, and sporran was no easy task. The LOWDOWN ball was plastic and wrapped in duct tape, and the batsman was wearing one FANCY PLAYING CRICKET AGAINST ESTONIA, OR DOING SOMETHING leg guard and a woolly hat. The Baltic openers came out fighting. They UNUSUAL IN THE BALTICS? Visit www.balticadventures.co.uk. thrashed our bowling and ran like a team that had, well, practiced. We hurled ourselves across the surface to save runs. By the end of the day, I would have FOR A THOROUGH EXPLANATION OF THIS GREAT GAME, CHECK OUT: had three kneecaps on each leg, but the temperature kept the swelling down. www.cs.purdue.edu/homes/hosking/cricket/explanation.htm. The Estonians were like a good English village Sunday team. As their innings TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ESTONIAN CRICKET, SEE www.cricket.ee progressed, our lack of pace and knack for getting balls to roll along the ground caused them problems. Finally, they succumbed. Having bowled them OR TO FIND OUT ABOUT CRICKET IN THE US, try usaca.org. out for 70, us Baltic Adventurers proved that we could compete on an inter- national level. Estonia’s second entry had more success in Group 2. They won a game, which recruit. “Send over the Scottish team to play on this surface and we’ll make surprised them most of all. Estonia’s chairman, biologist Kristjan Kogerman, them mincemeat, or haggis.” took more wickets than his total for the last five years, but it was not enough to put a home team in the final. Luckily, this meant they had a great vantage It can be a lonely place at the bottom of the cricket table. Archrivals Latvia point from which to watch a New Zealander, clad only in trainers, dash across (41st, just behind Mozambique) turned down the opportunity to play on ice— the pitch during the finals. the concept was too obscure for their puritan cricketing ideals. This summer the Netherlands (14th) will be challenging the Estonians outdoors. “What’s Estonia’s cricketers hope the success of their inaugural ice sixes will attract the plan?” I asked captain Jason Barry. more teams who sorely miss playing during the long winter months. A second tournament was held in March, again in the missile factory; the Kelletino “We’ll take them out drinking till seven, then play will start promptly at Warriors, from St. Albans, beat out a side from Cambridge University to take eleven,” he said. “I’ll toss with a small coin, which their captain won’t see… the silver trophy. Now there are even talks of an ice World Cup. “Australia has and we’ll still lose.” A win against the Dutch would propel Estonia up the fast, bouncy pitches. We have ice,” said Chris Lautre, Estonia’s Zimbabwean rankings, and save them from touring Sierra Leone. www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com 35 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:14 PM Page 36 36 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:14 PM Page 37 GLOBAL PAID INTERN - YMCA GUEST ROOMS... SHIPS in Italy, Save on the room. Spend on the Town. Spain, France, Costa Rica, Thailand, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Egypt and more! Email info@international- experience.org for more information on OIIE’s paid internships! TEFL International. Earn while you travel! Internationally recognised English teach- ing certificate offered in Thailand, Italy, Spain and China. Guaranteed jobs world- wide. Affiliated with various universities. For more details www.teflintl.com or email@example.com. Adventure Center is your source for grass- roots style travel expe- West Side YMCA Vanderbilt YMCA riences at very affordable prices. 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For details call (206) 726-1498, email info@center- Fax:(416)977-2809 forstudyabroad.com or go to www.center- forstudyabroad.com email@example.com Oasis Overland’s adventure expedi- www.neill-wycik.com tions throughout Africa and South America are designed for travellers seeking a holiday experience which is a bit different and sometimes unpredictable, for free- www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com 37 spirited adventurers who enjoy travelling through areas where things don’t always go according to plan! *April05_5 4/7/05 6:14 PM Page 38 [OUR3CENTS] PROOF OF LIFE ABOUT YOU: THE FOLKS BACK HOME ARE WORRIED by AMANDA KENDLE HY? BUT DON’T JUST CC KIDNAPED? MUGGED? EATING HEALT RY THESE THREE WAYS TO THEM ON YOUR NEXT MASS E-MAIL—T AND KICKING. LET MOM KNOW YOU’RE STILL ALIVE THE RED-PHONE DISTRICT IN LONDON WASH AND WATCH IN STRASBOURG London’s an irritatingly famous city. Even those who’ve never suffered through a Heathrow pass- It’s the drab part of the traveling life that port control queue think they know all about it. doesn’t usually make it into the maga- Call home and while you try to talk about the zines or the chat rooms: the sad fact that FROM LIECHTENSTEIN WITH LOVE important stuff, like your amazing discovery of sometime you have to do your laundry. the first Greek-slash-Japanese fusion café in You’ll get clean clothes and happier bunk When did you last send a postcard? Email and the prolifer- funky Covent Garden, all you’ll hear will be “Did mates, and prevent Mom from worrying ation of Internet cafes have largely put a stop to the ol’ post- you see the Tower Bridge? Ride in a double-deck- for at least a couple of days, if you email card trade. But lots of people still like to get something col- er yet? Been to check out Buckingham Palace?” ahead to let her know when you’ll be vis- orful, ragged around the edges, and inked up in the mailbox. iting the Happy Wash Laundromat in What better place to make them happy than from than a Perhaps the ultimate stereotypical London expe- Strasbourg, northern France. Whether ridiculously small country whose biggest draw is actually rience would be to arrange tea and scones with with the good intention of keeping people stamps. Liechtenstein in fact uses both the postage stamps the Queen and her corgis, but a worthwhile sec- in touch, or merely the voyeuristic pleas- and the ones in your passport to attract visitors. ond choice is to call and explain how much more ure of watching the dirty stuff go in and there is to London—from one of their landmark the clean bits come out, the proprietors Nestled cozily between Switzerland and Austria and rating red telephone booths. Cleverly combine your have set up a webcam which broadcasts just a page or two of a passing mention in most guidebooks, sightseeing activities with keeping in touch. live the goings-on in front of the washing it’s a country with an area not quite as large as Washington They’re easily spotted by the instantly recogniza- machines. The Internet eye captures DC and a population of just 33,000. Pretty easy for a traveler ble color—London phone box red—and their gen- everything from mixed loads, stains from to run out of things to do here, especially if the weather’s not tly curved top edges above the royal crown and Oktoberfest, some laundry lovin’ (those conducive to hiking. But the draw to say you were in the 6th quaint “TELEPHONE” lettering. A scheme to French!), and backpacker messages. smallest country in the world, with the funkiest name, Photos: Ian Dorant, Courtesty of Liechtenstein Toursim replace them all with fancy modern jobs a few deserves a postcard home. Spend 1.80 Swiss francs (yes, Swiss years back met with howls of protest, so you can Spend an afternoon in Alsace-Lorraine’s francs--Liechtenstein is too tiny to warrant its own currency) still find them in many parts of London, especial- pretty capital making good use of the on the latest sought-after-by-stamp-geeks postage stamp to ly the tourist drag. Keep a handful of coins at washing machines with the most multilin- send a postcard of the grinning Liechtenstein royals to the the ready and follow the polite British instruc- gual instructions you’ll ever find. While U.S. You can also pay a couple of francs to get a Liechtenstein tions. You’ll be helping to keep the experience you’re doing your whites, Mom can tune stamp in your passport—depressingly rare in these practically alive for your future fellow travelers, too; recent into happywash.com and you can wave, borderless days of the European Union. If you’re going to send stats show that at least a third of these famous write messages in liquid soap on your t- the folks at home that long-promised postcard just once dur- telephone booths are running at a loss, because shirts, and prove you’re not only alive and ing your trip--and let’s face it, usually you remember at the air- so many people are making connections with probably illness-free, but that at least port before the flight home—then at least mail it from an their cell phones instead. So jump inside a box, once during your trip, your clothes have obscure nation like Liechtenstein and give them something dial Mum at home, and keep everyone happy. seen soap and water. conversation-worthy to put on the fridge. IN THE NEXT ISSUE (COMING IN AUGUST): The Student Traveler Annual Guide! Your resource book on how to travel, work, study, volunteer, teach, and become a polyglot abroad -- all in style. 38 www.STUDENTTRAVELER.com Photos: Ian Dorant, Courtesty of Liechtenstein Toursim *April05_5 4/7/05 6:14 PM Page 39 *April05_5 4/7/05 6:14 PM Page 40 Want to immerse yourself in a meaningful, cultural journey? From one week to six months, i-to-i offers the most extensive choices of humanitarian and preservation projects worldwide. Volunteer in places where you can roll up your sleeves, expand your mind, share your heart, impact a community, and create life-long memories. For information and a free brochure call 1-800-985-4864 or visit www.i-to-i.com.