London

Why are there no blockbusters?

Usually I go gung ho when it comes to flights and movies. Since I started flying more regularly, I’ve managed to watch roughly 4-5 films a flight which is decent given an average of 2 hours per movie and a 12 hour flight. One of the things about Emirates that I love is that the entertainment system is live once you board. There’s no need to wait until the flight has taken off or worry about it shutting off during lay-overs. For some reason though, perhaps due to my general tiredness after a taxing school year, the selection of movies available weren’t that appealing.

Admittedly, I’d already watched Skyfall the night before, but there seemed to be a general lack of big movies. Jack the Giant Slayer was always a bit bland in my view, nothing too good can result from a heavily digital film that originates from a child’s tale. I suspect that there were quite a few movies designed to be released for the summer period which unsurprisingly weren’t yet available on flights yet. A lot of this year’s Oscar films were available though, although I never did get time to watch Argo. To be fair, the Hobbit was available, but seeing as I hadn’t seen the earlier ones, it seemed a bit silly to watch the mammoth of a movie.
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Norway: Part 1

After many goodbyes and farewells at the formal conclusion of my high-school life, I promptly set-off for Norway, where I spent about two weeks. I, along with a group of above a dozen other AC students managed to land at Oslo Gardermoen airport despite a lost passport, two lengthy full-security bag checks and a lot of running from one place to another. After a (relatively) short train journey and a car ride, we arrived at Jacob’s (Norwegian co-year of mine) where we were more than happy to crash after a few sleepless nights signing yearbooks, or sleeping at Heathrow as was the case for a few first years.

The next two days were surprisingly lazy, consisting of a bunch of games in Jacob’s garden as we enjoyed the Norwegian sun, a lot of brilliant food and a trip to the beach somewhere along the way. I don’t know what got the better of me, but I somehow found myself atop a 10 meter diving platform, committing myself to launching off it. It’s probably relevant to note that I’ve never dived off anything taller than 3 meters and even then, (some 5 years back?) emerged with a sore back. 10 meters is a long way, but the scariest thing is the 3-4 seconds before you hit the water. It was enough time for me to wonder what exactly I was doing before I plunged into the water; or in the case of Oli (my Welsh roommate), to scream f*** 4 times. Let’s just say I probably won’t be diving anytime soon =D

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March Break 2011: Part 1

While wondering what to do during my March break, I stumbled upon the ‘2nd Biennial War Crimes Conference’ which was to be held in London from 3-6 March. It ended up being a happy coincidence with the conferencing happening during my March break such that I only needed to miss one day of school and would still have a few days to finish up any bits of work. With all that planning out of the way, it was goodbye to Atlantic College for a few days and off to London for the War Crimes Conference of 2011.
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HK to UK: The Transition

Change is never an easy thing. And I’m not referring to that in a political sense as is normal on this blog, but rather on a more personal level. Going from somewhere safe and sound to somewhere foreign and unknown is a difficult step to make, especially when you are doing it alone. I had anticipated this to some extent, but it never really hit me until my plane had actually left Hong Kong when I thought to myself ‘This is it. I’m actually leaving. I’m actually on my own. No mom to go to. No friends to rely on. Just me against the world.’

Of course, that moment didn’t come until well after midnight. Although we boarded the plane at the Hong Kong International Airport on time, we got delayed for over an hour due to ‘busy Chinese airspace’. We couldn’t do much about it. After all, we’d already gotten on the plane. It wasn’t until 1:32 when we finally took off from the North Runway and I realized as I looked over lantau and disneyland that I was leaving, gone, my life never to be the same again.

Many strange things happened along the way. As we were inching across the tarmac and overtaken by about 10 planes, I saw a row of private jets parked a little way off from the terminal. None seemed particularly special except all of them had their own staircase to the entrance. It wasn’t until I came to the last one that I saw something familiar. Red and blue stripes and a load of stars. Written on the side of that private jet was ‘United States of America’.
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