|The Obelisco is one of Buenos Aires’s defining monuments. (Robert E. Klein/Associated Press)|
Americans abroad on their perfect days
For college students about to experience a semester abroad, returning students who have taken our World Class survey (see end of story) share their ideas of a perfect day.
I would then head back to my homestay to take a little nap; nights in Buenos Aires don’t end until 6 a.m. At around 10 I would meet up with friends in the Microcentro and eat dinner at Asia de Cuba, where specialties include mango alligator. At around midnight there is a belly dancing show, and then the restaurant turns into a packed club, which keeps the energy drinks pouring to keep us all up dancing until morning.
MICHELLE CATAGNUS Northeastern University
Throughout my day, I’ve been moving along the bank of the Thames and need only cross over the Jubilee Bridge and duck underneath to catch “La Cage Aux Folles’’ at the Playhouse Theater. Since I’m already in the area, clubbing in Piccadilly Circus might nicely round out the day.
ELIZABETH KANE Wellesley College
At Porte de Vanves, on Boulevard Brune, the fruit sellers at the market love to try out their English, and are willing to let you try some of their more exotic fare: the kaki (the Japanese name for persimmon) and cactus fruit (from Tunisia). A shopping trip would not be complete without a stop at my local boulangerie, for a baguette and a hello to the owner, Chantal.
The Cité des Fleurs, prominently featured in the Juliette Binoche movie “Caché,’’ is a treat for the eyes and nose (unless you have allergies). The little plot of houses is covered with vines of all types, and the architecture is quaint but not cutesy, city architecture through a country lens.
I would end my afternoon at a poetry slam at a cafe near the Montparnasse Cemetery. French rhymes are a pleasure to the foreigner’s ear, their flow and emphasis being better built for the structure than English.
After taking the Night Bus home, I would arrive back at the apartment and watch some “Nouveau Star,’’ the hilarious French version of “American Idol,’’ complete with contortioned gymnasts and a bald Quebecois capable of playing the spoons on his head.
RACHEL POLAN Boston University
I’d stay at the beach or go lawn bowling, a popular Australian pastime, at the nearby Coogee Bowling Club. Then I’d head back to the city and have sundowner drinks at the Opera Bar by Circular Quay, the main harbor. From there you can look at both of Sydney’s famed landmarks simultaneously, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Finally, I would take the ferry out to Manly Beach, a cute surfer beach town that’s only 30 minutes by ferry. I’d then party either at the Shore Club in Manly or at the Cargo Bar back in Sydney.
SOPHIE-CLAIRE HOELLER Boston University
A quick hop on the public transportation system (combis: an assortment of privately owned vans that act as the city’s bus system) would take me from Altomar to Polvos Azules, Lima’s official black-market shopping mall, to buy some cheap clothes and electronics. Procuring lunch is quite easy in Lima, with restaurants ranging from McDonald’s-like Pardo’s Chicken to hundreds of Chinese houses and the fancy pizzerias of Parque Kennedy. A quiet cafe/ice-creamery in Miraflores, 4d, is where I would meet friends and enjoy triple-layer sandwiches and gelato.
I would spend the rest of the day going to small markets in el Centro (the center of town) and eating cherimoyas. To top off the day, the best bar in town is arguably Bierhaus; the German name should not confuse the real Latin flavor of the bar-discoteca of this Barranco establishment.
MANASI RAVEENDRAN Boston University
Once in the village of Huangcun, our group unpacked in our hotel, a courtyard residence with handcrafted woodwork, the Zhong Xian Di home. We had the honor of learning about village life, hearing a man play the erhu, and dining in homes of families.
While in Anhui, I would hike the famous mountain Huangshan, known for its picturesque clouds, or the Daoist mountain Qiyun. I hiked Qiyun and it was an amazing experience. Temples and shrines are scattered across the mountain, and a town along the way boasts shops and restaurants. There are breathtaking views at the top of the mountain. At the foot of Qiyun, there are rivers famous for their rafts. I would board a traditional raft and enjoy the misty river.
That would be my ideal day in China. A relaxed day in the Chinese countryside, enjoying the natural scenery of the mountains and the warmth and hospitality of Huangcun.
TRACY ALEXANDER Northeastern University
After meandering through streets lined with trendy boutiques, the afternoon is spent lounging by the lake in Parque del Retiro, an urban oasis filled with Madrileños sun-tanning while taking afternoon siestas. Lunch consists of thinly sliced pieces of Serrano ham sandwiched between two pieces of crusty bread (called a bocadillo) and an ice-cold cerveza.
After a few hours of people watching (Retiro attracts a liberal crowd), the day winds down at Lateral, a trendy tapas eatery that has several locations scattered throughout Madrid. A pitcher of fruity sangria, plate of albondigas (meatballs), and serving of patatas bravas (spicy potatoes) are sure to satisfy the hungriest of travelers.
The perfect day in Madrid ends at Kapital, a seven-story nightclub that epitomizes the city’s famous night life. After dancing until 6 a.m., a plate of deep fried churros is the perfect late-night snack.
MICHAEL POLARK Boston College
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