Musings of Well-Travelled Women

By: EDINAH MASANGA

Melissa Febos (not pictured), in her book Whip Smart: A Memoir, said, ‘New York is a miracle.’

“Back and forth from Brooklyn to Manhattan. New York at night, from its bridges, is a miracle. When I first came to the city, it took all my fantasies and set them on fire, turned them into flickering constellations of light. Then it did the same with my history. As a dark speck of energy hurtling over the water toward that galaxy, I felt myself disappear. Relative to the image of infinity I was nothing, a clump of quantum matter skidding through the ether. It was as good as any drug.”

 Ayn Rand agrees in her own way and relays the architectural beauty of New York as enough to please the eye and satisfy the soul. 

“I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline. Particularly when one can’t see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible.” – The Fountainhead,

“I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance,” adds Nora Ephron in Heartburn.

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‘New York is a miracle’ – Melissa Febos

Shirley Kimmayong, a well-traveled communications executive said Hong Kong is a vibrant melting pot.

“It is also where I feel like home because of the many Filipinos around. A place where noodles abound and cooked in different ways and where I learned how to use chopsticks.”

While Canada, she continues, does not only welcome you with words but also with actions.

“A lady stopped and offered to drive us to where we were staying on the campus grounds but before that, she brought us to her house, toured us around and donated a luggage to my friend. It is also a place where you can see the meeting of the old and new, through the buildings that you see around.”

In the winter of 2016, Shirley took a trip to Sweden: “Stockholm brought to life what I only read before in novels. The buildings, the palaces, the weather and where I literally experienced nosebleed. “Nosebleed” is what we say in a joking manner when we are speaking English with foreigners. Our nose is not really bleeding but we are just acting we’re having one because of the pressure of speaking in English which is not our first language. I experienced it this time because of the very cold weather.”

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Hong Kong from a ferry. Photo: Shirley Kimmayong

Chantelle Chikaka adds that what fascinates her about Sweden “are the glassy lakes in winter and its snow-fluffy trees which look like they could hug you, and the coffee aroma in each and every cafe that you enter is a gift that keeps on giving.”

“In the morning when I draw my curtains in opposite directions to reveal an aesthetic white coated beauty, I always stop to take a long and deep breath. The Swedish northern countryside is beautiful.”

Thelma Chikwanha, a journalist, thinks Paris is also magical: “It’s such a great city with many historical monuments. I also love the shopping malls. They are nothing short of the proverbial Alice in Wonderland for shopaholics and lovers of things.”

“Oh and of course the most important thing is that it’s so cosmopolitan. This is one place where you’ll find people from all over the world, and every race, tribe, and creed.”

According to Thelma, the French are also very polite and helpful.

“If ever you cannot find your way, they will go out of their way to direct you. But overall it’s a very expensive place to live.”

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A bird’s eye view of Dubai.

Faith Joubert, a Zimbabwean who emigrated to Dubai, said: “Life in Dubai is ever exciting with a lot of things to expect every now and then. It is easier to travel to Dubai; all you need is a visit/tourist visa that takes around 3 days max to be processed; air ticket and voila you are on your way to Dubai.”

“However, settling in a new country comes with its perks like weather, food, culture & way of life. Their culture is quite conservative. Local women dress in nice long robes popularly known as the abaya, while men wear kandura, long robes as well.”

“There are a lot of malls to visit and a lot of exciting things to see, like the desert safari, tour of the Emirates, miracle garden, Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world) IMG (world largest indoor) and a whole lot more. The food is always international, there are a variety of restaurants that sell a lot of different cuisines.”

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