Thursday, December 12, 2013
The story is complex; it spans three generations, beginning in 1922, when Cal's grandparents left Smyrna for the United States during the Great Fire. Lefty and Desdemona were third cousins, but at the same time, they were also siblings. Due to the circumstances of immigration at that time, they figured out that the best way for both of them to survive was to get married and pretend that they were husband and wife. This union produced the second generation, which featured cousins marrying. And finally, these married cousins produced Cal, who has 5-alpha-reductase deficiency. The novel tracks how this gene came into being, hence, the story begins in 1922, all told in a series of flashbacks (where the "present" is set in Berlin, where Cal is part of the diplomatic corps). Eventually, the history unravels until it reaches the present time, where Cal is now an adult. The novel has many layers, and is told using the frame narrative.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
During my stay in Georgia, I ate plenty of Georgian food. It was perhaps one of the most interesting cuisines, to the point that when I went back to Berlin, I searched for Georgian restaurants (fortunately, we have two). I have to thank the geography for this: because Georgia is surrounded by mountain ranges, the cuisine of the people inhabiting this area became very unique, as outside influences are hard to come by. And so I decided to make good use of my situation and try Georgian cuisine. One of the most enjoyable ways of doing this is by doing a homestay with a local family. I did this several times, when I was in the rural areas of the country.
Sunday, December 08, 2013
It's been a while since I have been to the theatre. The last time I watched a play was last winter, when I saw Big Love by Charles L. Mee. This time, I went back to the English Theatre Berlin to watch White Rabbit Red Rabbit, by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour.
Friday, December 06, 2013
Perhaps one of the highlights of my trip to Georgia was visiting the town of Stepantsminda, which is more known as Kazbegi. This small town is located near the end of the Georgian Military Highway, linking Tbilisi with Russia. Hence, it is very close to the Russian border, right in the midst of the mountains that make up the Greater Caucasus. And together with that, Gergeti Trinity Church. This is perhaps one of the most spectacular views I have seen in this trip. And yes, the weather was quite cooperative, so my hiking boots had a workout.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
A couple of weeks ago, I had a very amazing experience with the kitchen. See, since 2011 I have been a part of Yelp! and it just has helped me discover many interesting places in many different cities I have been living in, as well as visited. I first encountered Yelp in Buffalo, in 2011, when I realized that I only had one year left in the city and I still haven't figured out what are the nice things to do there. So I went online, and found the website, and got to know the various people who are active in it. After a few months, I became an Elite. And being an Elite gives you perks!