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.
I don’t know much about Hungary, except that I used to mispronounce it as a child. From yet another amble through Exclusive Books (you can hardly walk through a mall in South Africa without coming across a branch), I found Magda Szabó’s The Door.
In almost 30 years of reading, I have read and loved the work of George Orwell, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Zadie Smith, Angela Carter, Virginia Woolf, H.G. Wells, J.K Rowling, Jeremy Clarkson, Ben Elton, Enid Blyton, Daphne du Maurier, Nick Hornby, Leslie Charteris, and William Thackeray. This long list of English authors is hardly comprehensive.
I could wax lyrical about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie all day. She is one of my favourite writers; but as I have not explored the work of many other Nigerian authors, I decided to choose someone else for my reading challenge.