Yes, it is already time for the second Abroad magazine of this academic year and it is better than ever! Of course, this issue will provide you with information about the best things to do, see, eat and drink in Utrecht, and will give you an inside in some of the greatest Dutch holidays that are coming up next month. But we decided that it was time to get to know our fellow ESN’ers a bit better as well (gossip?!), not to forget that we tricked ESN’er Marco Mancino as our covergirl for this winter issue. Yes, you got to see that!
For the newly arrived ESN’ers that are wondering what awesome magazine I am talking about: Abroad magazine is the quarterly magazine of ESN Utrecht, published by the Journalism committee (yes us, the writers of the blog!). Together we put all our inspiration and enthusiasm into articles that provide you with all the information and fun stories needed to make the very best of your stay here in Utrecht. Registered ESN members receive the magazine in their mailboxes (so make sure ESN has your most recent address), but this time the people that join the introduction of the second semester will receive it in their goodie bag as well. Not registered yet, or not joining the introduction? Don’t worry! Just come by the office, join the coffee hour on Thursday (15:00-16:00) for example, and you’ll find a bunch of magazines there as well!
As noted above, this time we decided to do something special for the winter issue. At the ESN Charity Auction we auctioned the possibility to become our new cover girl. And the lucky bastard became no one less than Marco Mancino of the Activities Committee (or was he tricked into it?..) Anyhow.. he agreed, and see him shining on the cover! To hear a bit more about this modeling experience and to find out his opinion about some interesting subjects of the magazine, we did a little interview with him.
So Marco, how does it feel to be on the cover of our magazine, being seen by hundreds of people in full winter/Christmas outfit?
“Wow” I still haven’t realized yet, but better than expected I would say. I feel confident, and I’m already there now you know. You had to choose between a lot of pictures, but I would have chosen this one as well.
What did you think when you found out that you were going to be our new “cover girl”?
The first thing I thought was “No way! No way, I’m not going to do it!” But then I kind of liked the idea of this Christmas thing. The idea with the Christmas outfit, the Christmas tree, that atmosphere, I really liked that. And of course it is a bit late now, but it is also a nice way to say Merry Christmas. And in this way I was the person to say Merry Christmas to everyone.
How did you experience the shoot?
Well, I enjoyed to be in the light, to be kind of in the center of the attention. I was feeling confident, because there were friends around, so that was nice. And of course it felt like a funny thing to do, I didn’t think it was that serious. It was fun.
Would you ever consider doing something like this again?
Well, I think, with a nice idea I would like to do it again. It wasn’t traumatic. Like I told you, it was also fun. So if it’s something funny, I’ll do it again for sure.
We heard some ‘interesting’ things about your dating techniques (page 14): never kissing on a first date, but being honest enough to tell girls they’ve gained weight.. Would you like to clarify something here?
Let’s say that I’m a pretty traditional guy. So, of course I like to have fun with somebody, but I’m also a traditional guy. And in the Netherlands, kissing is kind of normal. It happens pretty fast. It is totally different in Italy. In Italy when you kiss somebody, that’s already a kind of big step. Not like she becomes your girlfriend already, but you’re going there. But here, a lot of times you’re drunk, having fun, and when it happens, it happens. So, I was still thinking a bit the Italian way, you know, the traditional way, and I was meeting a really nice girl, and I was kissing her. So I thought “wow, okay that’s almost done” you know. “Let’s ask her out”. But she was like: “Uh no..” So then I decided: on the first date, I’ll never kiss a girl here, because I want to go for the second time, and then it will mean something more.
And yes, about that gaining weight.. Well, let’s say I’m a really direct person as well, and if I notice something, I usually just say it. I don’t know, I should be more careful that way indeed. But I see honesty as the first base for, yeah, any kind of relationship. So I’m pretty honest with everybody actually. Even in bad things sometimes..
As valentine’s day is coming up, do you already have something in mind?
Well, let’s say I’m thinking about plans.. If I’m going to do something, I think I’ll do it Italian style. Because of course, in love talking.. I think we can teach you Dutch way more. So I like this kind of Italian DNA we have. But I’m also noticing that I’m losing it a little bit, because you have to deal of course with the country you’re in. But I think it’s not nice, so I don’t want to lose it. So therefore, if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it the Italian way. I don’t know, there’s of course also someone else that has to say yes..
What is for you the most typical Dutch habit?
One of the things that is starting to piss me off a bit, is that usually, also with really good friends, if you want to do something spontaneous It’s never going to happen. Also if you’re just like “hey, let’s go out tonight”, they’re like “no, I’m sorry, I didn’t plan to do something tonight”. And then I’m like “so what, you didn’t plan something, so you just plan it now”. “What the f*ck man, just go out”. With my close friends I’m also spontaneous, and I like to text them just one hour before: “hey do you do anything? Let’s go out”, and they are like: “oh I’m not doing anything, I’ll come”. While with my other friends it’s more like “I can do next week somewhere”. And this way you hang out way more with the people that just say “yes” immediately. And with the people that say “next week”, I’m more like “f*ck it, I don’t even know what I’m doing tomorrow”.
Something I really like here in the Netherlands, is that I see that people are usually really open in any kind of situation, and any kind of people, and in anything really. I really like that, because I come from a country that’s not really that open minded. Therefore, here I totally feel freedom. Freedom in the way of just live and let everyone else live. I like that a lot!
Can you name one thing that’s still on your Utrecht bucket list?
Oef, wow that’s a hard question you know. Well, I don’t really have a bucket list actually, because I like to do things spontaneously as I already said. But if I have to name one thing I’d like to do in Utrecht.. Okay, I know it sounds really weird.. I’m not really religious, but there’s a church which I really, really, really like here in Utrecht: the St Willibrord church. It’s a really nice Spanish church. It’s all red and Christian, and I think it’s a really pretty church. And the first time I came inside to visit, I was just like “wow, this church is amazing”. Therefore, If I want to say something I would still like to do in Utrecht, and maybe one day I’ll do: if I will marry there, I’ll be happy.
Well if that isn’t a sweet way to end the interview.. Let’s all wish for him he’ll be able to make this bucket list wish come true! (Maybe with his mysterious valentine?)
Interested in more Utrecht bucket list ideas, wondering what celebrating Valentine’s day Dutch style really looks like, or looking forward to reading more facts about your fellow ESN’ers? Watch your mailbox, because the magazines are on their way!
By Melodie Zöllner