Category Archives: Travel

Wet Dreams

By Raph al Guul

They called it the ship of dreams, and it was. It really was. At least while it was above sea-level. And at night, when everyone was sleeping. To anyone who wasn’t too drunk to have any dreams. Daisy was neither sleeping nor drunk, no; she was currently shagging some dude she met two days ago, when she had a crazy fit and tried to fling herself off the back of said ship of dreams into the Atlantic ocean. His name was John or Jim, or something generic, and he had said some nice things to her that night. Daisy had low standards because no one ever said anything nice to her, so of course she immediately climbed back over the railing. Well, at least she tried, but she was one hell of a clumsy girl. John or Jim didn’t mind, though, because she was pretty hot. So he helped her fail her initial goal of finding the bottom of the ocean and immediately got accused of attempted rape afterwards by a bunch of people who thought that the prime directive of any rapist was to take off his shoes. After that misunderstanding was inadvertently cleared up, John or Jim – look, let s call him Frank for short – was left on the deck with two cigarettes (one of which he had been allowed to take, the other he just sort of took and no one said anything).

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Musings on Tourists and Travellers

By Janina Kauz

With the summer holidays drawing to a close, the thousands who have ventured abroad this year are slowly but surely returning to their domestic abodes. As always, the annual mass migration has triggered many sneering newspaper features on how irritating and embarrassing tourist are. Apart from minutely describing the misdeeds (apparently among these: being noisy, blocking the way, wearing shorts and sandals…) that mark a person as a tourist, the authors of said articles were even kind enough to supply their readership with tips on how to avoid the pitfall of being – god forbid- regarded oneself as a brassy tourist and instead assume the air of a sophisticated traveller. Indeed, a strong distinction seems to be made between travellers and tourists, not only in the media, but also in popular opinion. This got me thinking: What exactly is the difference between a tourist and a traveller? Initially, not being a native speaker of English, I put my confusion down to an incomplete understanding of the two terms. Seeking to swiftly remedy this deficiency, I consulted what I hoped would be an efficient arbiter: The Oxford English Dictionary. The search yielded the following two definitions: Continue reading

The Great Northeast #2 – Getting There

By Alan Mattli


Click here to read part one.

A lot of people will tell you that they are “not good fliers”, by which they mean: “I feel the same kind of reservation as everyone else when entering an airplane, which is perfectly natural, given that I am entrusting my life to a steel monstrosity that shouldn’t be able to fly. However, unlike most others, I don’t keep these feelings to myself”.

As for me, I’m not really sure whether I identify as such a person. Do I worry about flying? Of course I do. But since I essentially view life as one long chain of things trying to kill you until one of them finally succeeds, I feel it would be presumptuous to align myself with otherwise perfectly rational human beings who just lose their marbles twice a year when their respective families force them to fly to Ibiza. Suffice to say that, for all intents and purposes, I don’t hate flying. On a good day, I even find – much to my own surprise – that I am able to enjoy it.

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Wellies, Rain, Skyfall. Oh, and Orcas.

by Annina Melliger

In Switzerland I was told I would need “Wellies” for my trip to England. All my friends obsessed with the country said so. I didn’t listen, and now I wish I had.
My problem began with the name: What on earth is a Wellie? A mix of an Orca whale and Willy Wonka? Apparently not. Short for Wellington boots, the name comes from when the first Duke of Wellington donned such footwear, thus popularizing the accessory. Lacking such historically relevant and uber-exciting background knowledge, however, I could not guess that it meant a type of rubber boot to protect the wearer from bad weather. And in Plymouth, specifically, also from the sea. P1030424 Continue reading

Paths of a City

by Annina Melliger

Hard footsteps in the dead of morning, heard walking down the muted calico-like cobble-stoned streets. The clean, crisp air pricks our cheeks, drawing crimson blood to the surface. As the deepest, most saturated violet velvet of the vast heavens above barely begin to pale into an indigo hue, we look up at the stars and I see Orion’s bejeweled belt. The cool cobalt color of the sky reflects Continue reading

The Great Northeast #1 – The Planning

By Alan Mattli

NOTE: I sincerely apologise to Bill Bryson, whose style I am shamelessly ripping off.

There comes a time in every person’s life when they need to go somewhere “funny” for their holidays. At least I think so. Howard, whose name isn’t actually Howard but who insisted on a pseudonym, not for the sake of privacy but for the fun of having a pseudonym, certainly wanted to go somewhere “funny” that summer. We’d been talking about it for several weeks, so I wasn’t at all surprised when one night in May the phone rang and Howard was at the other end: “Helsinki is funny”, he said.

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Multilingual Text Analysis Explores the Basque Language

By Jeannette Roth

In June 2012 the students of the specialized Master programme Multilingual Text Analysis (MLTA) traveled to the Basque Country to explore the mutual influence of multilinguality and language technology. This workshop week is a part of the MLTA curriculum and makes for a nice change from everyday university life.

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