End of termly exams. I watched PHOTO (Phantom of the Opera) for the second time, read a lot of books, and stayed up late every night to finish the term papers all due at the end of the month (oh, the abject cruelty and caprice of providence).
Studied for Finals.
Finals happened. Five-day break when I started planning a holiday camp for our school's Student Council. Received back my marks. End of school.
For those of you who have been reading this blog for a long long time, you might know that I occasionally mention an international academic tournament (this is my second year participating). I went to USA for the competition in November, and the tournament was at Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut)... AND THEN WE SPENT 3 MORE DAYS IN NEW YORK CITY.
- I watched PHOTO for the 3rd time, but the first time at Broadway.
- I visited MOMA, the Met, Top of the Rock, Liberty Island, Ellis Island etc.
- On 19 November, I watched a Romeo & Juliet Broadway play--
- And thereafter, I met Orlando Bloom and procured his autograph at approximately 9.30pm.
He signed on my playbill.
I wrote a really long and emotional note on Facebook about the NYC trip after I landed back in Singapore and the last part neatly covers my feelings about the entire experience:
"One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years."
Part of me is going to stay in NYC till I go back again. Because De Niro was right. There’s no place like New York. It’s the most exciting city in the world now. That’s the way it is. That’s it.
In December, I finally went to the holiday camp for Student Council which I had been faithfully planning with my friends since October.
And then, I went on a cruise named Superstar Virgo. It was huge and there were 10 restaurants, a cinema, a theatre, an arcade, a casino, a bunch of karaoke rooms, jacuzzis, two swimming pools and God knows what. It was a floating luxury resort which stopped at two island-ports and I got tanned, wore a straw hat and took loads of photos.
More than fifty percent of the time on the cruise was spent on eating since the restaurants were free of charge (it was covered in the ticket for the cruise) and were high-class buffets and à la carte dining. I even ate escargot (snails).
And what happened? I gained weight. Expectedly so.
The cruise holiday ended on 12 December. When I finally got back home and began lounging in my room with an unfamiliar sense of idleness, soon realizing with sudden alacrity that for the first time in don't-know-how-many-months I was free with no deadlines, I knew it was time to blog.
So here I am.
Books vs. Real-Life
I think the reason why I thought of the term "love-hate relationship" was because there was this odd balance between books and my life.
The thing to do, like I vaguely recall from the film Stuck in Love (which is awesome by the way and has both Lily Collins AND Logan Lerman; and it talks about how when writers fall in love, things are made beautiful and complicated) is to live, to get out there. Because books come from people. And even when imagination allows us to empathize with people whose experiences we had never experienced before, to walk the streets of a foreign town and have a beggar perform poetry at the traffic light junction transforms me as a reader.
A books and stationery festival featuring leading publishers and distributors from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. It is a one-stop venue for a comprehensive range of the best and latest publications, together with stationery, electronic peripherals and educational aids. -- From the official press release.
I'm catching up on all my reading, and I went on an Edelweiss downloading spree. The current books on my Reader are all so good, and I'm trying (and failing) to follow according to the chronological order of their release dates-- but one or two keep waving their hands at me and saying "Read me first!". Gosh. I have no discipline.