Correspondents' Corner - April 25
London — When people travel abroad, they often want to try local cuisines. While England is known for certain dishes, including fish and chips and shepherd’s pie, the London area also has an assortment of ethnic options. In addition to foreign foods, McDonald’s golden arches can be spotted on practically every street corner. There are other chains in the city, including Domino’s, KFC and even Krispy Kreme. This doughnut establishment, founded in North Carolina, is a warm reminder of home. If only London had Cookout, I would never need to return. Needless to say, one can eat a variety of foods while in London, both native and ethnic.
Right now is also peak cherry blossom season, and people have traveled from all over the country and other Asian nations to see them here in Yokohama. The temples are beautiful, and so is the way of life.
People are very contemplative and quiet. If we stop for a second to take in the surrounding sounds, we don’t hear anything except nature. The people are so gentle and respectful of the peace. It's difficult to be with American study abroad students because we are so loud all the time.
San Jose — Costa Rica is a nation with an old democratic tradition and no standing army for the past six decades. Internal stability has prevailed over much of the past 175 years. National characteristics of success and safety seem to give the people I see a kind of pride for their uniqueness. As a byproduct, the massive cultural transplant of poor Nicaraguans immigrating to Costa Rica embroils this national passion, but also a stern hostility toward what is labeled an invasion. I have begun to notice a type of racism lesser known in the United States, one of culture rather than color. I expected many unknowns, but racism was not on my list.