Anna’s #basic guide to travel

 

I always say that I regularly go bankrupt on aeroplane tickets. I just really love to travel (here is where I shamelessly refer back to my travel guides for Rome and London). A couple of years back I heard someone make it their New Year’s resolution that they wanted to travel to at least five places every year. The idea of that appealed to me enough that I decided to copy that resolution. I kept it, too. Continue reading “Anna’s #basic guide to travel”

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Review: The Danish Girl

Warning: Spoilers.

Few movies have touched me like The Danish Girl. With the ability to weave a Hammershoi kind of look into this Denmark-based story, the movie sheds a light on love, freedom and identity. The Danish Girl tells the story of the Danish painters couple Einar (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda (Alicia Vikander) Wegener in the 1920’s. While Einar is praised for his landscapes, Gerda has trouble breaking through with her portraits. That is, until she has Einar pose for one of her paintings, which involves him wearing a dress. With her husband as her muse, Gerda finds her true artistic eye and takes over the art world with her portraits of Einar’s alter ego Lili. This wakes up a different side of Einar and he realises that he has never been a man, but a woman trapped in a man’s body and now has to figure out how both their lives will continue. The Danish Girl is based on the true story of one of the first transgender persons to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Continue reading “Review: The Danish Girl”

These Are a Few of My Favourite Words

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,
brown paper packages tied up with strings.
These are a few of my favorite things.

 In life, it is the little things that make your day. Like Julie Andrews sang, these favourite things, the blue sky, the smell of freshly brewed coffee or the sound of crunching paper can make you feel just that little bit better. But what about words? As a language student, I have an innate love of words. To me, words are so much more than just a means of communication. In fact, according to Laurent Binet communication is only one of the seven functions of language. Words can be beautiful, not only in meaning but also in sound; they can evoke emotions through their mere phonetics. I often find poems and lyrics not only beautiful because of their meaning, but also because of the sheer sound of their pronunciation. In that way words seem to resemble music, which has the same inexplicable ability to touch on basis of sound instead of the (arbitrary) meaning we tie to it. Recently I rewatched one of my favourite films, Donny Darko, and my attention was immediately drawn to a conversation about language: “This famous linguist once said that of all the phrases in the English language, of all the endless combinations of words in all of history, that Cellar Door is the most beautiful.” The term cellar door is not beautiful because of its semantics in this case, but because its phonetics. One could maybe say that cellar door is aesthetic. This made me wonder, what are my favourite words? It turns out I have many, some because of their sound and some of their meaning. Continue reading “These Are a Few of My Favourite Words”

Braingasms Vs. Orgasms: Sex and the Intimacy of ASMR

 

Humans are sensitive beings. Our senses can lead us to all kinds of experiences. When we travel we tend to buy perfume because we link smells to memories, certain colours and shapes can bring up traumatic experiences and somehow no one can really resist putting their hands in those big burlap sacks of dried lentils or kidney beans because it gives off an indescribable sensation of satisfaction and relaxation. Especially sound can create pleasurable experiences. We all have that favourite song that gives us goosebumps every single time we hear those first few notes. But not only songs can provoke these feelings, sounds can too. I’m not only talking about whale songs and rainforest sounds, some people can have a powerful response to certain types of ordinary, everyday sounds like clicking a pen. The feeling that these kinds of sounds provoke is called ASMR: Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Continue reading “Braingasms Vs. Orgasms: Sex and the Intimacy of ASMR”

Pebbles

 

New Year’s resolutions. Some people hate them, while others seem to swear by them. Of course, there is the strong argument that resolutions hold absolutely no direct link to New Year’s day. One could resolve to do good deeds or abstain from bad habits any day of the year. But I do get why we do these resolutions at New Year’s. I think that after the indulgent month of December, people feel the need to cleanse themselves; not only of the excessive amount of chocolate they ate (yes, I’m looking at myself here), but of a whole year of ups and downs. Especially regarding this particular year, where it seems that drama was even more abundant than usual. Continue reading “Pebbles”

Christmas in London

anna-1Temperatures are dropping, spirits are lifting and I can’t think of a better way to start the advent. Two days we had. Two days to make the best of this little spontaneous getaway, to escape the exam pressure and socialite expectations. I had dragged my housemate with me when I saw tickets for the price of a moderately sized book. He hadn’t had a choice, he had never been and I couldn’t wait to go again – to go home, one would almost say. And now we’re here, in the middle of London, at breakfast in the Phoenix hostel. With tea, toast, and no solid plan whatsoever. We would walk wherever we could, take the tube every once in a while and see where the city would take us. Excited to go and explore, we finished our breakfast, put on our coats and walked into the cold. Facing the brisk British air.

Continue reading “Christmas in London”

On Selfishness

 

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness. This year I started doing more and more things that I love, and sometimes that meant disappointing someone else in favour of disappointing myself. Sometimes people thought that was selfish. It made me think: what does it really mean to be selfish?

Continue reading “On Selfishness”