For someone who loves a combination of city life and natural beauty, Munich is perhaps the perfect place. But that wasn’t the impression Lina Berova first had of the city. Having moved aged 14 with her family to the town of Doebeln in Saxony, she visited Munich in 1998 to see her grandparents, who were already living there. She found it dark, cold and unfriendly…
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Milk delivery vans driving by in the early mornings. The thud of newspapers being flung across the fence. The roar of school buses thundering past. Elderly people chanting stotras (hymns of praise) on their morning walks, or with transistors pressed to their ears. Not to mention the speakers blaring out loud music during the many religious festivals. Silence and solitude are rare commodities in India – there’s always someone round the corner, and there’s always hundreds of sounds filling the air.Read More
Coffee, style, history, fare bella figura, fine dining and excellent wine, art on every corner, winding shady streets, palaces and fountains. Beauty everywhere you look, and above all, light. There’s a moment, just before sunset, when the light in Rome becomes golden. More than a mere sunset, the air itself takes on a different hue, and bathes everything it touches in shades ranging from pearl to amber.
The first thing that hits you is the colour. There’s just so much of it about. Just imagine: one day you wake up and suddenly realise your house or business would look better in lime green and shocking pink. Well, there’s nothing stopping you. Meanwhile in this kaleidoscopic town, the kerbs are painted yellow, red, green and blue to denote different parking zones. It’s quite a shock if you’ve just arrived from grey Brittany in the northwest of France, where your parents had an alpaca farm. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…Read More
Sofia is full of unexpected surprises. Today’s city of 1.68 million people was but a small town of 11,000 when Bulgaria became independent in 1878, after 500 years of Ottoman rule, and the presence of a colossal quartet of Orthodox church, Catholic cathedral, mosque and synagogue in the centre bears silent witness to its colourful history as a crossroads of cultures, with a reputation for tolerance.
Two owls strike up a conversation on either side of the house – an altogether gentler sound than the honking of Canada geese flying overhead as they prepare to land in a nearby lake. In the distance there’s the faint buzz of a neighbour’s chainsaw, while the rumbling of a passing truck or train is carried by the wind from far below. But mostly, you hear the sound of the wind itself, whispering in the trees, but at times whipped up into a howling frenzy, accompanied by a chorus of yipping coyotes. Otherwise, all is absolute silence.
It’s early morning. You wake up to the smell of newly baked bread, and the cries of peddlers hawking their merchandise. Living right on the edge of the official economy, they ply the streets on foot or by bike, laden with bags or wooden boxes containing anything that’s worth selling. “Fresh garlic and onion!”, “Clothespegs, brooms and mops!”, “Bleach!” and “Mattress Mender” are among the most common cries.
The weekly "Thinking Out Loud" virtual powwow is brought to you by Andrew Morris for ProZ.com, every Thursday at 3pm CEST (1pm GMT). Morris moderates ProZ.com Facebook group is a French to English translator, Translation Mastermind founder, and has a language agency with 40+ direct clients.Read More
Now, and during the Covid-19 pandemic, CafeTran is available in its unlimited version to all ProZ.com paying members, regardless of membership level.
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