Wednesday is the day of Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People once again. Today we get the chance to learn more about Marina, a creative radio presenter.
Good Morning Marina and welcome on Barefoot in Luxembourg, glad to have you on board for this episode.
Can you introduce you briefly: Who are you? What are you doing here?
Hi! So, I was born and raised in London, I then moved to Shanghai for a job opportunity when I graduated University. I spent 3 years living as an expat there, where I met my now fiance who is Luxembourgish. Since then, we’ve both moved to Luxembourg and I work as a freelance journalist and radio presenter for ARA City Radio.
Can you tell Barefoot in Luxembourg readers a bit more about your work at the radio?
One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about radio is the connection that you make with people. There’s no preconceived notion of who or what someone is, because you cannot see the other person. When people text or call into my show, I get so excited, it’s like we’re connecting over the airwaves! Another aspect of my job which I really enjoy is my podcast series called How I Got Here, where I interview successful people in Luxembourg about their stories.
What are the three things you are enjoying most this project?
Probably the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. From the start, I had stated that success is defined so differently for everyone so I’ve interviewed people from Grammy award winner Gast Waltzing to a lovely girl named Silla who has grown up as an orphan in Tanzania.
When we record the podcasts, I’m alone with them in the recording studio. It’s very intimate and also very real. It’s a genuine conversation. As we start to talk the interviewees start to relax and before you know it we are going into topics which they perhaps wouldn’t have thought they would be sharing! The most interesting part is that I get to make the connection between all these successful people. What is it that has made them all successful? Is it something that they all have or has it been different things that led them all to success? That’s what drives my work.
Coming back to your Luxembourg background, you told us already you have been here for a bit more than one year. What is your most beloved place in the city?
There’s a second-hand bookshop next to the Bourglinster castle. It’s one of my favorite hidden gems. They still charge books by weight, it’s the perfect Sunday afternoon activity!
What is your favorite restaurant in Luxembourg?
The food here in Luxembourg is so delicious, it’s really quite hard to choose just one!! Toit pour toi if there’s a nice occasion. But I must tell you a funny story about my favorite restaurant. When I first came to Luxembourg, my fiance had been abroad for over 15 years so he didn’t know many restaurants. So he kept taking me to Brideler Stuff every Sunday. I used to complain every week, it was so dated and the average age of the customers was around 75. But now, when I’ve had a long week and I need to relax, I think to go there. Somehow the combination of the chalet style decor and the traditional Luxembourgish food has become my kind of ‘comfort’ too.
What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?
I like catching up with friends over a few glasses of wine at Barrels.
What do you like about Luxembourg life?
I think it pushes you. It’s less developed than London so there’s a lot of opportunity to create many things and to really innovate. There are so many opportunities to explore things that you enjoy and discover new people too. It’s small enough that you can spread the word quickly and big enough that you will have many people interested. In other words, it requires you to step outside of yourself and what you know to go and discover. If you come to Luxembourg and complain that it is boring, I think that says more about you than the country.
What do you miss here and you would like to change or improve?
I must say, I miss decent customer service. That’s something that I would love to see improve over the next few years. We like to connect with people when we buy something from their shop, otherwise I would have stayed at home and shopped online. I hope we can recognize this and do something about it. I love to support local businesses and physical stores but we need them to provide us with the advantage that online retailers can’t, that’s physical customer service.
What is the best place you visited in a range of 200 km from the city and that you would suggest for a daily trip?
I really enjoyed visiting the lake in the North of the country, in the summer. It’s a beautiful place to escape to.
What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?
You can follow Marina on a regular basis on Radio Ara podcasts.