Week Nine Wrap-Up: Movies and Music Stash and Moments of Reflection

Compared with the last couple of weeks, I think this week’s recap is going to sound far less exciting. It wasn’t that it was a slow week, far from it actually, but I did more sitting down to hammer away at my papers than spelunking and adventuring. All in all, it was a rather stressful week, but there were still a number of highlights.

I went to see Spectre this week and it was the very first James Bond movie I’d ever seen. It was a decent movie but I’m not sure if it’s really my cup of tea. I also discovered the incredible deliciousness of sweet and salty popcorn. Back home, we just have…popcorn and you can choose to add butter but no such thing as sweet popcorn exists. I was a little excited about this novelty to say the least. My friend who came with me told me that they have sweet and salty popcorn back in Singapore too; I think I need to pitch this to movie concessions when I get back. We’re totally missing out.

The thing that really stands out for this movie-going occasion is that I finally went to the Odeon, which is, literally, a three-minute walk away from my accommodation. What’s also really special about it is that the theatre has been in Exeter since 1937; it survived the world wars and the Blitz, and to my knowledge, it’s the only theatre of that time in Exeter to have done so. The venue was different from the Odeon in Scotland that I poked my head into as well as the Cameo, and very different from the theatres I’m used to at home. It was smaller overall (although I’ve heard that there are different screen and room sizes in the theatre, another thing I’m not used to) but it was still a nice atmosphere. The seats seemed comfier too, but as always, I wished that they came with a little popcorn holder. I’m really surprised no one has acted much on that idea, but perhaps I’m the only person who thinks that popcorn holders are something of a necessity. Or maybe people just don’t eat popcorn much at the theatres nowadays.

I think a lot of the time, we get sucked into the mindset that if we’re in a place for a long time, we end up taking some things for granted. It’s sort of like when you live near a tourist-y landmark or some kind of attraction; you don’t really take the time to go out and see it even though it’s right there. You get stuck with the mentality of thinking that it will continue to always be there and there will always be a chance for you to go see it and you just keep pushing it off. Now that I’m really starting to feel the end of my exchange come up (there are only 4 more weeks of study!), I’m trying to get out of that rut and do all the things I keep thinking I can push off.

At this week’s concert band rehearsal, sweaters and polo shirts came in, so I am now a proud owner of an Exeter University Concert Band sweater. It’s quite spiffy I would say and for me, it’s a really nice memento of my time here and my concert band experience. Here, they call club uniforms and sweaters and such “stash.” I don’t mean to offend but I just think it’s the most bizarre thing. Stash. I don’t think I can ever call any piece of clothing I own, stash. Stash is either a verb or a noun in the sense that you have something of a hoard of something…but clothing isn’t stash. That’s one thing I don’t think I can really get behind. I guess at home, our equivalent of “stash” is “swag,” but frankly, I find that quite odd as well. So I’m just going to stick to the generic term of sweaters and shirts.

The latter half of last week, a number of tragedies struck that resonated with me a lot more, being in the UK than being at home. When I’m in Canada, there’s literally an entire ocean that separates me from a lot of the horror that goes on and somehow, that makes it seem less real for me. Here though, there’s only a channel that separates me from the events and everything about the disasters hits much closer to home, figuratively and literally. The attacks on Beirut, Baghdad, and Paris are awful and my heart goes out to everyone who has been affected in any kind of way. I don’t think I can say that I can truly comprehend their grief and trauma, but I hope they can find reconciliation and peace in some form once again.

On ne peut pas expliquer les raisons pour les tragédies comme celles-ci et j’admette que c’est difficile d’accepter toutes les conséquences qui les accompagnent. Cependant, j’espère que tout le monde peut faire face à ce désastre avec le courage et la solidité. De plus, j’espère que le monde, comme une coopérative, peut poursuivre un chemin où on ne doit pas être témoin des actes de terrorisme.

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