Manchester’s Northern Quarter is without a doubt my favorite area of the city. Conveniently situated a stone’s throw away from Picadilly Gardens and Market Street, it is my absolute go-to when it comes to coffee, food, drinks and people-watching. The beauty of Northern Quarter is that it has something for your every wish and mood. From Scandinavian-inspired minimalistic temples of coffee like Takk to quirky, romantic tearooms like Sugar Junction and to my all-time favorite Chapter One Books to which today’s post is dedicated.
Μια φορά και έναν καιρό ήταν ένα κορίτσι που έβγαινε ραντεβού με ένα αγόρι. Ένα αγόρι που της φερόταν όμορφα, την έραινε με κοπλιμέντα, της έστελνε μια δυο και τρεις φορές τη μέρα, έδειχνε ουσιαστικό ενθουσιασμό με οποιαδήποτε βλακεία και αν του αράδιαζε (βαθμός ενθουσιασμού γαλανομάτικο χάσκι που περιμένει τον ιδιοκτήτη του να γυρίσει από τη δουλειά) και γέλαγε με όλα της τα αστεία – τα καλά, τα ειρωνικά, τα κρύα και όλα αυτά που πήγαιναν άπατα λόγω πολιτισμικών διαφορών.
About two weeks ago I read an article written by Scaachi Koul, who compiled a list of all the things that could have happened if she didn’t take out her phone out right that moment. Among other things she listed “Someone will post a photo of a brunch sandwich—like, a really great brunch sandwich, one with bacon and avocado—and I won’t get to comment, “omg where.”” and “I will make eye contact with someone”, satirising our generation’s over-attachment to mobile devices.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl with enviable Rapunzel-esque hair sitting by her window, up in the highest tower of her castle, waiting for Prince Charming to come by on his white horse. Fast forward five hundred years and a girl is staring anxiously at the phone, waiting for the cute guy who asked for her number last night to call. Twenty-ish (?) years later and I am sitting in front of my computer; I can’t help noticing that he’s also online on Facebook and wonder why he’s not writing to me already. Would another half hour online –screw early morning classes- help him register my presence online and motivate him to actually send me a message? We are after all the generation that grew up with the Paulo Coelho fallacy: “When you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
Last week I picked up Erich Segal’s Love Story at the university’s library and spontaneously decided to include it in my 52 in 52 Reading Challenge for 2016. Yes, you read correctly, I intend to read 52 books in 52 weeks!
The introduction, written by Segal’s daughter, as well as the Goodreads review described it as ‘one of the most adored novels of our time, this is the book that defined a generation—a story of uncompromising devotion, of life as it really is . . . and love that changes everything.’
Well… It was a nice, light, uncomplicated read. Nothing more than that.
The book tells the story of two college students, Oiver, a half macho half sensible jock from a wealthy family on his way to a Harvard degree and a career in law, and Jenny, a sharp-tongued, working-class music student. They meet, fall in love, overcome the socioeconomic differences of their upbringings (or at least try) and get married after college graduation. I’m not going to spoil the end, but it is a ‘love conquers (almost) everything’.
Instead I’m going to focus on what has become one of the most famous lines from the book. If not the most famous, since it was even featured on the cover of the edition that I read.
A friend of mine (who hopefully will not come after me in case she reads this post) recently went on a date with a guy. They met through mutual friends – Christmas holidays: connecting people. According to her assessment of the date, it went pretty well. Even though they were two relatively different people with regard to lifestyle and interests, they seemed to get along; no lengthy uncomfortable silences.