Every Christmas Eve’, my family would make pickled herring for what is meant to be the grandest meal of the year. Growing up, I had only a short list of things I wouldn’t eat, and herring was one of them. My argument was that herring is actually part of Norwegian cuisine, not German, and we should really be eating turkey. Clearly I’d watched one too many adaptations of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
During varsity English, one of our set works was The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by the Irish authour James Joyce. Unlike so many other students (including those who – unlike me – were majoring in English) I actually read the book, and I’m glad I did.
Scraping the sky at a lofty 450+ metres, the Petronas Towers may no longer be the tallest buildings in the world, but they remain an impressive feature of Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. Some of the action in the book for the Malaysian leg of my reading challenge takes place here.
Chocolates, knives, and Carl Jung. These typically come to mind when I think of Switzerland. Another inevitable conjuring is Heidi, the girl of the Alps whose story I’ve known since I was a young girl. I used to watch the animated TV series, and the theme song inevitably pops into my head (and gets stuck there) when I think of her.
Although I’m not particularly fond of Maltese poodles, they are the first thing that come to mind when thinking about Malta. And there are many claims that they do originate from this Mediterranean nation. Other than that, I know next to nothing about it.
As with so many other countries, the most I know about Lebanon is its food. While living in Cape Town I went to a market in Somerset West and happened upon a stall loaded with Lebanese food. It had everything from falafels and kuftas to fatayers and pita bread.
Another neighbour to South Africa, Mozambique is a destination I’ve long wanted to visit. With the promise of spicy prawns and peri peri chicken, washed down with R&R, its cuisine is half the reason.
That thin slice of land on the western coast of South America, Chile counts Pablo Neruda and Isabel Allende amongst its literary luminaries. In her writing, the latter dabbles in magic realism. My introduction to the genre came in high school when we watched the movie adaptation of the Mexican novel, Like Water for Chocolate.
Chinese stereotypes boil down to noodles and Kung Fu. The Chinese are decidedly great at both, and as I’m fond of all kinds of cuisine and martial arts, these are stereotypes well worth indulging in.
The list of books I’ve read so far for Around the World in Words.