We are back with apologies for the radio silence! Those of you who are also studying will understand the immutable feeling that the year ends in April and begins in October. And hopefully you will also understand the life-consuming amount of work associated with writing a dissertation. So this is a new beginning for a new year. We both wrote dissertations in International Relations in spring and graduated in June. Anna has moved to Munich to begin an internship and Kasia is staying in St Andrews for an additional year to do a Masters degree.
This summer we were lucky enough to travel to Istanbul, Australia and Poland and we’d like to share with you some things that inspired us on our travels and tell you about our plans for the year to come.
We travelled through Istanbul in early June and were impressed with the range of green-initiatives in such an otherwise hectic, fast-pace megacity (almost 15 million citizens in total!). Though Istanbul still has a way to go in terms of recycling and other initiatives we take for granted in the UK and Germany, other areas intrinsic to Turkish culture also happened to be sustainable in their approach to consumption as well. For example, the first Saturday we arrived we visited a Kurdish vegetable market, in which people from all different backgrounds and walks of life went to buy good, seasonal, local food in bulk for incredibly cheap prices. At a quarter of the price compared to groceries in your average chain supermarket, people flocked from all over the city. Aside from groceries there were also countless independent tailors, cobblers, designers and antique stores.
It can seem difficult to find any redeeming sustainable qualities in major cities like Istanbul, but access to affordable local produce is a simple concept that is surprisingly hard to find in much of the developed world.
We hope your summer (or winter for those south of the equator) has been as good as ours, and we look forward to the posts to come this year
Anna & Kasia