The Silent Musings of a Foreigner in Europe

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Why All-inclusive Holidays are the best

An Ode to All-inclusive Holidays


They will tell you it’s uncultured but they will not tell you how good it feels to get served exotic foods and drinks.

They will tell you it’s lazy but they will not mention how absolutely thrilling it is to have someone take care of and entertain the little ones as you delve into your summer reads and sip a blissful cocktail.


 They will tell you it’s gluttonous but they will not tell you how absolutely delicious it is to eat local cuisines whose names you can barely pronounce.


 They will tell you it’s boring but they will not tell you how much fun it is to dine, swim and guess the nationalities of your stiletto wearing fellow hotel guests.


 They will tell you it’s not eye-opening but they will not tell you of the lady in a tight mini-skirt with her long fake eye-lashes conversing enthusiastically with the three older women wearing hijabs day in day out.


 They will tell you it’s monotonous but they will not tell you of the teenage girl thumping her dusty boots behind her seemingly exasperated parents.


 They will say you are not curious but they will not mention the Arabic words on the foggy hill opposite your hotel whose meaning you finally learnt on your third day.


 They will say it’s not educational but they will not mention that you now know that Spasibo means thank you in Russian and Salaam Aleikum is how you greet in Arabic.


 They will say it’s sloppy but they will not mention the impeccably dressed men and women who sweep past you into restaurants every evening.


 They will say you are not supporting the locals but they will not mention the pricey body scrub and foot massage that seem natural here.


 They will say all sorts of things but they will not mention how good it feels to grab delicious cocktails and the lemonades from the beach bar without thinking of how much they cost.


 They will tell you it’s a horrible way to spend your holiday but they will not mention that it’s really,really the only true way.

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Eurovision song contest 2019

Watching Eurovision song contest and other catastrophes

So this past weekend, the Eurovision song contest took place. In case you are like most people and are wondering what the hell that is, you are not alone. Outside of Europe, I mean crazy Europe,I am sure no one knows what it is or the joys of watching it.

I have been watching Eurovison song contest for as long as i have lived in Europe. The reason is not because of the quality of music but rather the drama that tends to accompany it.

There is something primal and distinctly unpretentious about the show. A passive aggressive performance where countries get to show their friends and neighbors what they really think of them. Scandinavians give their fellow Scandinavians maximum points. Great Britain mostly gets close to zero points and somehow everyone manages to look like they are having a time of their life.

I chuckle at how this would play out in Africa. Tanzania would relish the chance to give corrupt slimy Kenyans zero points. And I have no doubt that South Africa with all its strict visa rules and haughtiness would be crushed to smitherens and thrown out in the sea.

As a non European, I will always have gaps about my understanding of this continent. Eurovision somehow gives a simplified glimpse into what Europeans think about each other. Those who deliver a shitty performance can still count on their neighbors to throw a point or two their way. What they can not count on is for their friends and neighbors to deliver them the title. Because the really astonishing thing about Eurovision song contest, is the fact that the continent always somehow manages to agree on one winner. This most tribalistic partisan contest, somehow always comes up with one performance which the whole continent from Arzerbeijan to Finland agree should wear the crown.

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