Mon 22 September 2014

Travel Agency deBuren

This summer, the deBuren colleagues presented their favorite citybooks destinations on facebook. Check out the tips of Travel Agency deBuren and let the citybooks stories take you on a trip around the world.


© christian binderBucharest, the little Paris of Eastern Europe, is a fascinating city in which the Belle Époque, the communism of yore and the contemporary hyper capitalism are waiting to greet you. The traffic there is aggressive, the ice-cold țuică and palinca are delicious and in the best restaurants you can listen to 90s house music and watch today’s football. In her citybook, Ester Naomi Perquin wrote one of my favourite stories about this many-sided city: a one-person travel pack in which beautiful and sad conjectures, extraordinary encounters and freakish tales alternate in turn, one after the other.’
- Read and listen to Bucharest - A One-Person Travel Pack, the citybook chosen by Wilem Bongers-Dek (deputy director).

© sander buyck‘Tanning salons, hairdressers and fitness centres all as subconscious desires for the Californian lifestyle… Thomas Gunzig realises something as he wanders the derelict streets of Charleroi on his citybook stay: you can understand a place by the businesses that thrive there. Like an exotic outsider, he observes the city and her weathered inhabitants. Little by little, his reserve softens and his disdain melts into endearment for this museum of human misery.’
- Read and listen to The Reservation, the citybook chosen by Ann Venneman (communication).

© Lea Titz‘A beautiful story about a Jewish woman and her memories of the war. Here, the city plays a modest background role, and those are the citybooks I prefer. In that way, the writer leaves the city completely to the reader’s imagination. Does the place end up looking like you expected? Maybe. Or maybe not?’
- Read and listen to Marcin Wronski's Postcards from Chartres, the citybook chosen by Ronald Giebel (office manager).

© Lea TitzPreviously, the city of Graz set the stage for the beautiful novella of the same name by Bart Moeyaert, but for deBuren the as-yet-too-unknown writer Simone Lenaerts travelled to this curious, Austrian university city. In a bold and confident style, Lenaerts shares the ins and outs of her stay at the foot of the Alps. Magnificent stories.’
- Read and listen to A Scrap of Time, the citybook chosen by Jenny Quermia (business manager).

© amran malik hakimThe shortstory that Annelies Verbeke wrote in Jakarta spoke to me. The key(words) to my heart: laugh / angel /confused /adoption / discovery / harmony / 'korupsi' / colour / food / goodbye massage / courage / ...
- Read and Listen to Angels in Jakarta, the citybook chosen by Miet Vanhassel (website & communicatie).


© Maciej Rukasz‘I would love to take you with me to Lublin. I’ve never been there, but I have – listening to Arnon Grunberg’s citybook – wandered through it in my thoughts. In this absurdist story, the 24-year old guide Danuta Kalinowska pens a letter to the city’s government bemoaning the terrible trials she had to endure during the two weeks’ residency of the mediocre Dutch writer Arnon Grunberg.’
- Read and listen to A Reported Offence, the citybook chosen by Debbie Marbus (programming).


© Frosina Stojkovska ‘With One Hundred and Forty Kilos of Love I’ll whisk you off to Skopje, the colourful and strange city where Alexander the Great and Mother Theresa are both figured in statue. Saskia de Coster wrote her citybook in response to her stay in the capital of the FYRM (Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia). It’s a bizarre story full of colourful characters – including a noisy American spy – that perfectly suits this wild city full of conflicts. Skopje, a high-spirited city in transition.’
- Read and listen to A Hundred and Forty Kilos of Love, the citybook chosen by Dorian van der Brempt (managing director).


© Stefan Bartlett-Möhl‘’Do you like Stellenbosch? / I said: it’s noticeably quiet, / I sleep sound as a log at night.’ In subtle, deceptively simple words, Arjen Duinker magically reveals the South African city in a set of six poems. What is his place in Stellenbosch? He meets people, walks about and thinks of Delft. He is astonished by a language that he does and doesn’t quite understand at once, and by the great contrasts between people with and without money, two completely different worlds right next to each other, and decides ‘maybe I need a favourite street corner, / maybe it’s a getting used to you.’’
- Read and listen to Parrots and Other Birds, the citybook chosen by Marianne Hommersom (production & communication citybooks).


© kakha kakhiani‘Strolling through the Georgian capital Tbilisi, you bump into countless expressions of a rich historical and cultural past. From centuries-old churches and city palaces to massive Stalinist constructions; souvenirs from the time when Georgia was a part of the Soviet Union. A Song for Tbilisi, the citybook by Georgian writer Lasha Bugadze, takes place in the communist era. It’s 1983 and the Central Committee is organising a competition: who can write the best official song for Tbilisi? Listen to or read this exciting story starring an adulterous composer, a loose-lipped priest and a KGB agent with hidden talents.’
- Read and listen to A Song for Tbilisi, the citybook chosen by Xander Stroo (programming).

© andrea galiazzo

‘See Venice and die, that’s what my father always says. Headstrong as he is, he refuses to admit that he might be mistaken about which city the idiom names. But in part of what he says he’s right. Venice is a must-see, a stunning location bursting with contrasts: the ever-diminishing, aging group of Italians that still lives there alongside a deluge of tourists that constantly washes over the city; a small constellation of islands – joined by bridges – among which you can get lost for days; a place with tradition and history, but also a place of crude commercialism. And this city of innumerable alleyways and squares becomes a sunken city when the water rises: the acqua alta. In the citybook As Venice is Now, Rebekka de Wit whisks us away on wet feet through her Venice. Photographer Andrea Galiazzo was also wading around in Venice and for citybooks put together 24 carefully balanced still-lives made up of objects that accidentally found their way into the water and were left behind in the streets following the floods.’
- Read and listen to As Venice is Now, the citybook chosen by Mathieu Buyse (programming).


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