Where Paths Meet

What's meant to be a travel diary but instead ended up as a documentation of my poor uni life

Category: Uncategorized

Verbier

It feels weird to be writing about the past weekend because even though it’s already passed, I feel like I’m still holding onto it, not wanting to let go. It was a great weekend – we saw amazing views of majestic mountains coated in white snow, ate so much chocolate and cheese that my stomach is still recovering and of course just returned to our crazy selves when we’re around each other. The thing is that the higher you go, the harder you fall. Saying goodbye was one of the hardest things to do. I wanted to wrap Bianca up in my arms and just bring her back to Geneva to stay with me, and I didn’t want Vicky to go back to Copenhagen. I feel like there are days that you feel grown up and in control, and there are others where you just want to curl up in a ball and cry and be that little girl who just really misses home.

But despite my emotional turbulence, I can’t even begin to describe how amazing this past weekend has been. We saw the most amazing mountains which just took our breath away. The scenery was honestly one of the most surreal things I have ever seen in my life. We also looked completely crazy in these huge Santa suits that Manon’s mum (Bianca’s host mum) had bought for us as a part of the Père Noël weekend where the cable cars were free if you were dressed up in a Santa Claus suit. The snow was also super soft, so soft that if you weren’t carefully, your leg might be completely swallowed by the ground.

Of course, going up the mountains was a definite highlight, but every moment spent with Bianca and Vicky was so much fun – trying raclette for the first time and gulfing down the cheese before it solidified; drinking tea and talking into the late of the night; walking around the village and taking photos and walking back carefully, trying not to slip and drop the cake we bought for Manon’s brother’s birthday.

It was fun. So incredibly fun. But until next time, take care girls.

 

 

Movie reviews: A week at the cinemas

I’ve been working at the cinema for almost two months now and have yet to see a single movie. Even though I get two free movie tickets a day. This is my last week at work and I’m about to catch up on all those movies that I’ve missed.

 

Wednesday: Despicable Me 3

Initial thoughts: Can’t stop laughing

There is no plot. It makes no sense. But it is definitely laugh-your-socks-off funny. This third instalment of Despicable Me has everything that you love about the first two movies – a crazy but sweet Gru, the nonsensical minions, and of course, the unicorn obsessed Agnes. The story focuses on Gru finding his twin brother and together they attempt to steal a diamond off Balthazar Bratt. Even though the humour is simple, I found myself uncontrollably laughing on so many occasions.

Would I recommend: If you want to feel like a child again, then this is the movie for you.

 

Thursday: Wonder Woman

Initial thoughts: What a badass

This superhero movie completely flipped my view of the genre and personally for me, it was the best of its kind. There was so much hype about the significance of having a female lead in a superhero movie and it was worth the hype. Diana, who is Wonder Woman, not only has the powers to defeat evil but you see her struggle to understand humanity – that there are perhaps no strictly good or bad people. Set in the context of World War I, this is a movie that is not purely fictional but touches on the question of humanity in war. The fight scenes were also choreographed beautifully – you leave the cinema feeling empowered and strong. Of course, who could forget the importance of a good romance, and who better to play the part of the male interest than Chris Pine, bringing me back to the days of Lord Devereaux in Princess Diaries 2.

Would I recommend: It is a must-see film and the first of its kind. This superhero movie will put all the others to shame.

 

Saturday: Una

Initial thoughts: So messed up

You can completely tell that this is one of those independent films because of its large number of silences, minimal dialogue and disjointed timeline. It truly succeeds in making the audience feel uncomfortable, and that’s the extent of it. Una is about a woman who was sexually abused by her older neighbour when she was thirteen before he was put in jail. Fifteen years later, she finds him again, after he has made a fresh start in life with a new identity, and confronts him about what happened many years ago.

There is no satisfying resolution or even much progression into the story, but instead is a deep analysis of the psychological workings of both main characters. At times you are convinced that the predator is the victim and the victim is perhaps as dangerous and volatile as the predator, before being brought back to the reality that both characters are equally messed up as the other.

Would I recommend: If you can take a bit of heavy content and are intrigued by the psychology behind an issue such as paedophilia, this movie is an interesting but not exactly enjoyable watch.

 

Monday: Kedi

Initial thoughts: A heart-warming watch

The first documentary that I have ever seen at the cinemas, Kedi is a film about the cats that roam freely among the streets of Istanbul. The filmmakers focus on the stories of several cats and the people they interact with – revealing the deep connection that humans can have with animals. The most interesting part is when describing the personalities of the cats. There are some that are well-mannered and others that behave more like a jealous ‘psychopath’. The humans they interact with also have different reasons for feeding and looking after those cats. Some have grown accustomed to the cat coming around and asking for food, for others it is a type of therapy. Each person has their own story and perhaps it shows just as much about humans as it does about the cats themselves.

Would I recommend: Great for if you want a relaxed and enjoyable watch with a million cute kittens flooding the screen.

 

Tuesday: Monsieur Chocolat

Initial thoughts: An Omar Sy masterpiece

The French actor shines again in this upcoming French film about a black clown as he faces the struggles of friendship, fame and most importantly racism in 20th century France. It is a tragic story about the realities of discrimination performed beautifully in a biographic style from his beginnings in the circus to his final death. George Footit, the white clown who enlists Chocolat to be a part of this duo, is likewise a complex character and while his personal life remains rather mysterious, you see his frustrations towards his wild and exuberant partner when he requires a dedication which will lead them to greater fame and fortune.

Would I recommend: Wonderfully performed, joyous yet tragic, Monsieur Chocolat is a great piece of cinema.

New goals

I haven’t written a post lately. Since the end of semester break, I think. So approximately six weeks.

What’s the reason? I’ve been busy.

Everyone’s been busy.

True.

I feel like people feel this sense of productiveness when they’re stressed and an almost sickening satisfaction when they push themselves to new limits – work harder, work faster. This physical and mental toll is almost evidence that hey, I have given it my all – I’m constantly pushing myself to be better. It’s almost like we associate a lack of sleep and jam-packed schedules as a sign that we are accomplishing things, and there is almost a sense of achievement in being so productive. At least of me, I get a kind of high from that feeling when I have my day all planned out by the hour – go to class for an hour, then study for this exam, go to that group meeting, after that go to boxing, don’t forget to fill in these forms, reply to these emails. And the list goes on.

Living by myself also means I have the freedom to sleep when I want, eat when I want – there are no parents around to make sure that I am looking after myself properly. I will stay up until 3am editing a group assignment, I will work until 10pm without having dinner and find myself with no food at college. It’s almost sickening to think that this makes me feel like I’m making the most of my time when really I’m just pushing myself to exhaustion.

And why do I do this?

Because I want to be perfect. Because I have all these goals which are impossible to reach. And because I feel a need to prove to someone out there that I deserve what I have today even though I did nothing to earn it. I will work three shifts a week during my exam week, even though I am overloaded with study, because I’m determined to save up money and pay for my trip to Europe myself. I am working so hard to do well in my Chinese exams so that it might increase my chances of getting a scholarship for exchange next semester. Saying all this, I know my parents can pay for it and are willing to pay for it, but there is a part of me that wants to do it myself. To prove that I can do it myself. To prove to others that i’m not some spoilt brat.

I have told myself many times throughout high school not to be defined by my achievements. When I first got into the selective school in Brisbane, I was for the first time in my life just an average student. I was no longer the child genius that I was at my local primary school, and I had to accept that I wasn’t the best. But slowly, even though I didn’t expect to be at the top of the class, I gradually worked my way up. So by my final year of high school I was receiving academic awards at the awards ceremony and I left high school with very good grades.

But I ended up choosing to study an arts degree. With Mum being thoroughly disappointed in my decision, I felt like for the first time I was in control of my life. I thought that with this decision to let go of keeping up with appearances, I would put less pressure on myself. But what I found instead was that I controlled my stress even worse especially without my parents by my side to support me when I was having another one of my mental breakdowns. Instead, living at college and studying arts, I was classed as the stereotypical daddy’s girl whose parents pay for everything and had such an easy life studying arts. People didn’t understand why I was paying so much for college, they didn’t understand that I was scared and didn’t think I could live by myself just yet. When I was stressed about exams, my concerns didn’t seem legitimate to my friends who were studying engineering or medicine – I had no right to complain when they had so much bigger workloads than me.

I can’t believe I am writing this right now. You may not know but I have this massive exam tomorrow that I have been stressing for weeks about. And it’s 11:30pm and I should either by studying or asleep. But the reason why I am writing this is that I am sick of being consumed by stress every time I have an assignment, an exam, a deadline, something else that needs to be done and I feel like I won’t be able to do it perfectly, and I feel incapable of doing it well. And I’m so sick of crying about problems that, in the greater scheme of things, won’t be problems in a week’s time, in a month’s time or a year’s time.

Anyway, so here’s me making myself accountable for this resolution I have set myself. Because I am going to try to be okay with not being perfect, to not care what others think of me, to look after myself better because at the end of the day I’m the one who has to live with myself.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén