Sometimes I sit at home alone in my room (well, often times I sit home alone and at 22 it’s coincidentally in my dorm room. I know, I know, I probably should graduate at some point) and feel especially unmotivated. In the depths of my laziness I’ve found it easiest to turn to a pint of Stella Artois for entertainment. However, my bank account is cold and naked and my liver is as close to as not working as it can get. These circumstances have forced me to make the responsible decision of doing something productive with my life and let me tell you, the result was not nearly as frightening as I had expected. In the past couple of weeks I’ve been embarrassingly lazy in my blog posts but do not believe my lack of posts reflects my lack of London experience because I’ve been a busy little bee. I would recount you with my hourly adventures for the past month but you don’t want to hear it and I don’t particularly care to write it so instead I’ll go with a couple of the most recent notable events.
I’ll begin with The Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival which I attended last night. I saw the Argentinian film “Plan B” at the Vue in Leicester Square. To say that the movie completely soared past my expectations would be a sore understatement. Actually, to be fair, I really had no expectations since I sort of blindly signed up for the movie and went in oblivious to the plot of the film. This is how I tend to do things because I’m really too lazy consider any other way. Anyway, this touching film was about a man named Bruno, a desperate fellow who would do anything to get back together with his ex-girlfiend Laura. Despite them not being a proper couple an the face that Laura has a boyfriend, Bruno and Laura are still sleeping together and during one pillow talk session she tells Bruno about her current boyfriend’s past experience with a man. Her boyfriend, Pablo, confesses to Laura that he has been with a man and that by doing so didn’t mean he was gay but instead reaffirms his heterosexuality. Upon hearing this, Bruno, who is skeptical of Pablo’s past homosexual experience, thinks of a plan that involves him befriending Pablo with the intentions of exposing his homosexuality to Laura. I won’t spoil the ending but I’ll have you know but as the finishing credits rolled I was left in tears (those of you who know me are probably not surprised. Whatever.). When the film was over there was a question and answer session with the director, producers and cinematographer who provided insight into the motive and creative process behind the movie. From the beginning walk in on the red carpet (yeah, that’s right, I walked in on the red carpet but I’m surprised I wasn’t ransacked by security seeing as how the combination of my grungy green jacket and nappy hair gave off the “I’m a homeless person” look) to the end, the entire experience was one to remember. I’m now prowling around looking for more movies to see before the festival is over.
The next most notable event was my trip to Belgium over the weekend. At 5:30 a.m. on Saturday our journey began as we took a bus to Dover to catch the ferry to France. After an hour-and-a half-long ferry ride on uncooperative waters I landed in Calais, France feeling sufficiently nauseous and generally hateful toward the world. We then hopped on a bus for a hour-long bus ride to Oostend after which I was beyond ready to have a generous helping of Belgian beer. We had a quick dinner (I had cod in a mustard sauce with mashed potatoes that tasted so delicious that it temporarily distracted me from the fact that the waiter was a total moron) and then headed off to the beer festival. My parents took me to Oktoberfest as a young child (they fed me beer through a bottle) and because of this I found that the festival did not really live up to the high expectations set by the Oktoberfest. While it wasn’t what I expected, I certainly took advantage of the delicious cherry beer among others and in my book that makes everything worth it.
On Sunday we headed off to Brugge, Belgium. The city was absolutely beautiful and the waffles and fries were to die for, however, I found that many of the owners of stores did not seem too keen with us Americans. The proof was in the customer service experience which generally began with “What do you want?” and ended with them hurling whatever it was I ordered in my general direction. How anyone could be so unhappy in a land full of such fabulous food and beer is beyond me. Nevertheless, on Sunday I happily returned to London and opened up a Stella to reward myself for going out and conquering the world. I smiled and thought, maybe if people in Brugge drank more Stella than they would be happy just like me.