When I arrived in Belgium for my Fulbright grant a few weeks before winter 2021 I was, about as literally as possible, a fish out of water. Upon getting my bearings and meeting locals I began to receive a common question: why did you choose Belgium? To this I had come up with a pithy […]
I have celiac disease, which means I have a gluten allergy. If I eat food that contains gluten, I get sick. Moving to Vienna, Austria and spending extended lengths of time in Sweden for my Fulbright research means I have spent a lot of time staring at the shelves in supermarkets, trying to figure out […]
Overture: American words, European thoughts “You enter a kind of altered, out of body state. I can’t explain it, probably no one can. You’ll get it after a few months. Good luck”. So said a friend and Fulbright alum to Asia in the 2010s after an impromptu pre-departure dis-orientation last summer as we hugged and […]
Having grown up on a dwarf planet in the solar system of the United States’ cultural imperialism, my frame of reference is replete with American products, phenomena, and even phrases. While the orbital elements of U.S. hegemony – politics, news, and entertainment – have thus shaped how I look at the world, life in my native country, the Netherlands, only exposed me to reflections and derivatives of life in the American center of gravity.