The Saturday Miscellany: How to max out a city break; Oscars applause; Henry Dimbleby's fridge; Ides of March

 

How to: Max out a city break

By Ben Ross

You've squeezed on to the no-frills flight, endured the hour-long transfer and checked into your surprisingly characterful boutique hotel. Now what?

Get up early. Sure, you're here to have fun and recharge your batteries, but all the cultural stuff you promised your mum you'd do is best ticked off well before 11am, when the selfie-taking tourist hordes will arrive, complete with umbrellas.

Never, ever, eat on the main square. The goulash may look attractive on that laminated menu, but it'll be twice as tasty a couple of side-streets away – and half the price.

Look up from your guidebook occasionally. Forming your own opinions and making the odd mistake is part of what travel is about. (Cue hilarious anecdote about how you got lost for three hours on the public transport system.)

Ben Ross is Travel Editor of The Independent

Rotating column: Applause by Pavlov

By Jane Campbell

That Matthew McConaughey won the Best Actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club came as no surprise.

When has a nominee whose role includes a scene in which he is roundly applauded ever lost out*? Think of Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman, Geoffrey Rush in Shine, Colin Firth in The King's Speech – all beneficiaries of this insidious cinematic trope.

Therein, all those on screen rise up to clap the courage/bravery/ resilience of the main character, plucky surmounter of long odds. Where the cynical film-goer sees lazy storytelling and shameless manipulation, the Academy sees a man in need of a gold statuette.

There's little hope of this disappearing. The best we can hope for is an expanded ratings system: WARNING contains nudity, drug references and internal applause.

"A brain surgeon's life is never boring and can be profoundly rewarding but it comes at a price. You will inevitably make mistakes and you must learn to live with the occasionally awful consequences. You must learn to be objective about what you see."

From 'Do No harm: stories of life, death and brain surgery' by Henry Marsh (£16.99, Orion)

Instant Ethics

By Ellen E Jones

Dear Ellen

Q. I've moved to a crap town, can I lie to my friends about how good it is, so they join me?

A. Yes. Don't you know Rome wasn't built in a day? Romulus and Remus had to tell loads of lies about the good schools in the River Tiber catchment area. This is the noble lie upon which great civilisations are built.

@MsEllenEJones

Four play: Unwary on the Ides of March*

1. Julius Caesar

2. Joseph Bazalgette, Engineer

3. HP Lovecraft, author

4. Bud Freeman, musician

*those who met their end on 15 march

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    ICE ICT: Lead Business Consultant

    £39,000: ICE ICT: Specific and detailed knowledge and experience of travel sys...

    Day In a Page

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map