I selected Poland on a whim because the people seemed nice and genuine, like the plucky European underdogs. I didn't speak Polish. I didn't have any Polish family members, and I did not have a long-distance Polish lover.
In all likelihood, Grandpa Wade didn’t think of Italy as his homeland while he moved towards Rome from the coast and liberated the city with the American Army. Wearing the uniform of the American Army, he probably didn’t think of going home until he was on a ship heading west across the Atlantic after the end of the war.
Paranoia hits in the queue of the Wilde Renate, a tumbling down town house, unmarked aside from the line of people gagging to get in. "How easy is it to get in here?" I ask the Germans behind me as two guys ahead of us are inexplicably turned away.
But take a step closer to the men under those wigs, salesmen armed with red plastic binders and smartphones, welcoming you to Vienna with breath rolling in cigarette stench, touting the latest “authentic” musical rip-off, and the illusion quickly fades: welcome to Vienna.
I questioned whether or not we were in a movie, in which I wondered whether the festival was real, whether Pont-à-Celles was real, whether we were real, whether the day had slipped from one dimension of time and space to another without our realizing it
They were all immaculately dressed in H’mong traditional garb, and the intricate pattens on their shirts and pants and the bright colors that flowed across their limbs seemed to move of their own accord in the darkness.
Le Pin had about ten jeunes between the ages of fourteen and twenty who all gathered at la place—which was nothing more than a bench under a roof—to smoke cigarettes, play cards, and talk. And the first time I met them was overwhelming
Now, the hotel is a hipsters’ paradise, with cool, light interiors and a do-as-you-please vibe. We felt as if we had stepped into a hip playground for grown-ups, where real life was but a distant memory.
The hotel sits on a lava field at the foot of a volcano and is surrounded by hot springs, which gives it the appearance of being an alien structure that is seemingly growing out of its moon-like surroundings.
You don't even need to go on a walking safari to see game—at Mfuwe Lodge, I saw a leopard, a pride of lions, and an elephant, who pulled at the branches of the tree next to my chalet at night, shaking the roof.