letter nineteen and book six

my dearest,

this is a first, combining the last letter of may and the introduction post for our june book, but, well, time has not been on my side the last few days and it seems like the next days aren’t going to be any different. with the 2nd semester (and with that my first year here at toni (de la merde bizarre, je te dis!)) coming to its end, there are deadlines that need to be met, projects that need to be finalized and stacks of paper that need to be unstacked and organized. so much to organize! fun things, too. train connections and flight connections and campsites and city trip ideas and so on. but add that to uni and work and suddenly there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. like finish far from the madding crowd.

we haven’t finished, but that’s alright. it’s our project and we can bend the rules and you know what? i’m really truly looking forward to finishing the book when you’re here and finding out what to make with the ewe’s cheese and watching the rest of the movie (more sword action? cheekbones? mustaches? a lot more kind-faced gabriel i hope (who says there aren’t any abs or pecs beneath those clothes anyway?).), together at last. yay!

before i get going on the introduction of our newest pick, let me rewind for a moment and tell you about the weekend, because although it was primarily made up of working and studying, it also involved a half-birthday barbecue and a visit from sophia and tanika. so, half-birthday, is that really a thing? well, it totally was last friday, when the zurich squad and i headed to the chäferbärg forest to get some barbecuing and celebrating done. origin of the whole shebang was julia’s and my wish to celebrate our birthdays in the great outdoors, not having ever been able to thus far because we were both born in winter. the others kindly obliged to accompany us, while we generously extended the celebration to also include all of their missed half-birthdays. it turned out to be exactly what i had imagined celebrating a birthday in summer would be like, with a fire to roast the veggies and halloumi, the obligatory schlangenbrot and the chocolate bananas for dessert.

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and then on saturday evening lovely sophia and tanika took the train to zurich for a wee visit, which we spent eating the most delicious oriental food, drinking the pinkest wine i have ever seen, having a mini dance-off in the supermarket while choosing ice cream and watching a midnight movie that didn’t really blow our minds. on sunday we only had time to grab a quick breakfast before they already had to return to basel, leaving me with my stacks and piles.

but enough of piles, moving swiftly along! june is almost here and with it, a new book! from what i’ve read it seems like we have a pretty intense month ahead of us, literature-wise. a dystopian novel, the handmaid’s tale by margaret atwood sounds like a very powerful book. telling the story of offred, a handmaid in the republic of gilead, the totalitarian and theocratic state that has replaced the usa, it “offers a strongly feminist vision of dystopia”. written in 1985, it deals with the topic of women’s rights and a world in which woman’s rights are reversed. not only are women not allowed to vote, they are also denied the right to read or write. completely subjugated by men, they are forced to return to “traditional values”. as a handmaid with absolutely no power and the task of bearing children for elite couples that have difficulties conceiving children of their own, offred’s freedom is practically non-existant, her possibilities restricted, her every move watched by the eyes, gilead’s secret police force.

now if that doesn’t get you excited, i don’t know what would…

missing you and looking forward to seeing you very, very soon!

yours,

rahel

p.s. the playlists: gioia’s & rahel’s

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