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UMGEZOGEN

I am back from a very hectic year of finishing my degree! Highlights were dissertation meltdowns surrounded by empty Marks & Spencer packaging, routinely wandering home from the library in a daze at 2am after being shocked awake by the closing announcements, and turning to Spanish Masterchef as a last-ditch effort to study for finals (only to find that it’s actually a quality program which I highly recommend everyone get into right this minute). None of this resulted in too many blog-worthy travel photos. But of course, leaving Glasgow was disastrously sad and I wish I could do my entire degree over again!

Luckily I didn’t have too much time to wallow before moving to Leipzig to be a teaching assistant for the next year! I found out about my placement in June and arranged everything so last-minute that I didn’t have time to apply for a visa from home. And so now I am a jet-lagged mess running around Leipzig trying to scramble an application together by the time classes start in two and a half weeks. It has its moments, like those when I stopped and took these photos of some of Leipzig’s stunning architecture, sunsets and the view from my amazing new flat. It also has its other moments, like that time I woke up at 7:30 and hoofed it 40 minutes up to the city center’s Bürgeramt to be first in line to register my address, only to find that Bürgeramts don’t open until 1pm on Thursdays (civil servants sleep in during the week?! In Germany?!). Or that time I found myself wandering alone through abandoned parking lots and highway underpasses in the blazing sun to find a bus home from Ikea with a giant blue bag of impulse purchases (both larger and heavier than myself). Or that time I could never pay for anything ever because I can’t get a German bank card until I register at the elusive Bürgeramt, so I continue to hold up lines everywhere fumbling for change (and getting well acquainted with the German death stare). I am so looking forward to the mishaps this year has to bring!

Morven: Captain Taylor’s Coffee House, Edinburgh, 2/28/12.

Real Estate gig, The Arches, Glasgow, 2/18/12

Cuimhnich air na daoine o’n d’thainig thu.

Remember the men from whom you are sprung.

GAELIC PROVERB

NOC W KRAKOWIE

Wandering home from a festival in the Mały Rynek, Kraków, last September. 

CZERWONE GITARY - HISTORIA JEDNEJ

Finals are upon me and trolling through Youtube’s archives of 1960s Polish music is my favorite, if least effective, way to study for my language exams. Czerwone Gitary are one of the most famous rock bands in Poland’s history - I understand four words per song, but I’ve always been a big believer in the osmosis method of language learning.

En aquel preciso momento el hombre se dijo:
Qué no daría yo por la dicha
de estar a tu lado en Islandia
bajo el gran día inmóvil
y de compartir el ahora
como se comparte la música
o el sabor de la fruta.
En aquel preciso momento
el hombre estaba junto a ella en Islandia.

Jorge Luis Borges: Nostalgia del presente

ANTWERPEN

A first set of photos from my trip to Belgium and Germany last month. Once again, as much as I loathe packing under 10 kilos for an 8 day trip, I have to thank the Ryan Air gods for dropping a £6 flight to Brussels into my lap the day I found out I had no exams during the entire month of December. Sabrina, my infinitely talented and adventurous German friend (who’s been on this blog before from the days when she lived in Glasgow with me) is studying for her MBA in Antwerp, so Emilie and I visited for her birthday. I can’t explain why, but ever since my friend Matt and I came here on a whim during our organic farming-themed Eurotrip a few years ago, I have been bona fide obsessed with Antwerp. (A similar infatuation with Ann Demeulemeester, and still unfulfilled life mission to own a pair of her lace-up boots, dates back to around the same time.) We visited the Fashion Museum (currently showing the OUTRAGEOUS work of another of the Antwerp Six, Walter van Beirendonck), saw the opening of the Christmas market, ate bucketfuls of frites, and went to the same pub every night with Sabrina’s new international student crowd. This was my fourth time in Antwerp, a city which continually amazes me with unique cafés and shops, quirky locals, vibrance on every corner and of course its renowned STYLE. One day I will live here, bike everywhere, have a closet filled with Antwerp boutique treasures, and of course eat out at one of a thousand beautiful restaurants with my plentiful bank account. Photos of Berlin coming soon…

Quando me surpreendo ao fundo do espelho assusto-me. Mal posso acreditar que tenho limites, que sou recortada e definida. Sinto-me espalhada no ar, pensando dentro das criaturas, vivendo nas coisas além de mim mesma.

Clarice Lispector, Perto do Coração Selvagem

The Cure - A Letter To Elise

It must be the weather - Glasgow is famous for sending its undergraduates on massive binges of The Cure and online shopping. Or so I assume. My mornings right now are mostly dedicated to ’90s music, fashion blogs and our dazzling new cafetiere - which, strangely enough, is one of the things I missed most about my life here.

You gotta have style. It helps you get down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it you’re nobody.

Diana Vreeland via AnOther. I love this quote - I feel it justifies my dry cleaning bill post-dressing up for class every day to beat the 35° & rainy October weather. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel will be a fantastic coffee table book! …once we actually buy a coffee table.

MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON

If I’ve disappeared for the past few months…it’s because I left Lisbon a bit earlier than expected to jump into an internship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Summer came and left so quickly that my life in Boston already feels like a dream - the cockroach-infested apartment around the corner from Fenway Park, weekly outdoor dinners in Cambridge, window shopping on Newbury Street, Deerfield reunions left and right - and of course my daily life at the Museum. I interned in the Teen Programs department and spent most of the summer planning, supervising and mentoring the summer cycle of the Teen Arts Council. This program is absolutely fantastic and I hope it will be replicated at museums around the U.S. - twelve teens per cycle come to the MFA from underserved areas of Boston to learn about possible careers and to increase the youth presence at the Museum. Working in Teen Programs is an adventure - on Tuesday you’re hiking in the middle of the woods in Dover, on Wednesday you’re on a behind-the-scenes tour with a curator from the Fashion & Textiles Department gaping at a shelf of Renaissance-era shoes, on Thursday you’re teaching a Public Speaking workshop (and then enjoying the teens’ extemporaneous speeches on a topic of their choice, i.e. “Things I Like About Girls”).

The greatest part about working at the Museum was meeting dozens and dozens of people who are truly passionate about their jobs. While setting up and attending workshops for the Teen Arts Council, I met with educators, security guards, HR staff, curators, engineers, volunteer guides, all the way up to the Director, Malcolm Rogers - all of whom were friendly, knowledgeable, and willing to share their stories and spaces with me. Whether here or elsewhere, I hope I will always work in an environment where people are as passionate, interesting and open as they are at the Museum.

If you’re ever in Boston, you cannot miss the MFA and its new contemporary wing! I’m so disappointed that I’d left by the time the Linde Family Wing opened, and the Degas and the Nude exhibition opens this week, but hopefully a trip back to Boston is in the very near future. I spent one of the best summers of my life here and I’ll always look forward to the next visit. Until then…new photos of Poland and Glasgow are coming soon!

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

[Photos taken by me. 1-4: from the Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass summer exhibit; 5: The Rape of the Sabine Women by Pablo Picasso; 6: my favorite space - the Buddhist Temple Room; 7: La petite danseuse de quatorze ans [Little fourteen-year-old dancer] by Edgar Degas; 8: the Koch Gallery; 9: D’où Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous [Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?] by Paul Gauguin; 10: Troubled Queen by Jackson Pollock.

CHE CAMILLE, VALENTINE’S DAY

This roll of Holga film came with me all the way from Glasgow to L.A. to Lisbon wrapped in a selection of my black clothes for safekeeping, yet somehow I only got around to developing it last week. The photos are from the gorgeous Che Camille Valentine’s Day Fashion Show last year & make me nostalgic for Glasgow!

ČESKÉ JÍDLO

I miss many things about being on vacation in Prague, chiefly running around the hotel playing Eloise with my best friend, but when I look back at the photos, unsurprisingly, what stands out is THE FOOD. I don’t consider any trip complete without 4-6 pieces of cake per day, because who knows when my metabolism will die out on me!? We also had to take advantage of Prague’s incredible vegetarian cuisine…we hardly ever paid more than $10 for a meal for the best healthy food I’ve had all year in gorgeous restaurants! If you ever go to Prague, treehugger or not, you absolutely must try Lehka Hlava (Clear Head) Restaurant in the Old Town. In some rooms you feel like you’re in a spaceship, others feel like your childhood dream treehouse. We had to go twice in our five-day trip because the menu was neverending and we liked eating dinner on light-up tables. Much preferable to the lentil variations yours truly has been frying up for the past three days due to a severe case of negative bank account…TAKE ME BACK!

BOOKED

I just finished booking my spring break and I’m counting down the days! Andrea is coming here to Lisbon for my birthday, then we’re flying together back to Maastricht, where she’s studying abroad, then Sabrina and I are going to Antwerp, Brussels and finally Geneva to visit Emilie. I leave two weeks from today!

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