Monday, 9 August 2010

How About We NOT "leg it"?

I don't want to trudge through these last two weeks quickly, even though it seems to be creeping up all on its own. I've come to some amazing realizations, especially today, which I wrote about in another blog. (I wanted to keep it separate from study abroad experiences since this is my study abroad blog.) But I bring my little epiphanies up because I want to express how amazing this place is. It is doing so much good for me. I love that I am getting time away from people. I needed it.

I've become more independent instead of waiting around for people, be it at home or here. It's good, and I love it. This place just feels so right. Other places would make me homesick, but I have never gotten homesick here. Not once. I'm so in love with this place, I could stay here forever by myself... Yep. It's that good. I get so caught up in the beauty of it all that I forget to update more frequently!
To start off, I had a presentation due last Wednesday and so I spent last Monday and Tuesday working away on it. Most people in my class had partners, but I did it by myself so it took more time. I had to be more thorough and careful with it. Well, I was working so long that I hadn't eaten all day Monday and my friend Henry made me a full dinner! I was so surprised. I can't believe how I get so lucky running into such amazing and caring people. It was so delicious; I devoured it all pretty fast. Boy was I so very grateful... I felt terrible that he had made me an entire dinner but it definitely made me work harder and faster. That's the food you see up there, though.

Later that week, we went to the Battle Abbey. I love historical things, so this was a real treat. It is amazing to see ruins or the grounds on which so many people fought and died on. The open lands around the abbey and to see how people had to work with the land for battle just blows my mind. Like I said, if something or some place makes you wonder what it was like in that particular time period, that's how you know it's good. This place did just that. Every step I took had me in disbelief that I was actually there.

We walked not only saw how the battle progressed as we did a 40 minute walk around the abbey, but we saw other ruins and places where monks would go to. We also got to see other natural beauties like this little robin!
My friends and I just stood there for a long time sneaking up to it closely and observing it. To marvel at something you don't see every day in the states, who wouldn't stand there like idiots amused at a bird? It was so cute and calm. I think it liked attention because we got really close.

On Saturday, we all went to the Pride Parade down in Brighton. Brighton is considered the San Francisco of Europe. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It made me so happy to see people openly happy just like us holding hands. They showed a true fondness and not those preconceptions of sexually active, non-biologically failing junk that people argue. Love is love. That sums it up back home and here as well. We stayed for about an hour or two and then headed down to the LGBTQ carnival. It was just a 10 minute walk or so. There were rides, food, dance tents, and other LGBT stores with clothes, objects, pictures, and other non-LGBTQ related stands. My friends got me a drink (Coke and vodka) which at first tasted completely like just a coke. But half way down it started to taste nasty. Let's face it, I'm just not a fan of drinking period. I am officially done with having beer or any alcoholic beverage even though I only had a total of two drinks since being here. I just see no point in drinking, or drinking nasty things at that.

Well, after an hour or so, we wandered back to get some kebabs which were absolutely delicious. We also went to a cupcake shop since I was craving cupcakes. There was a neat and cute one that was suggested in the beginning of my study abroad session 1. I finally got to try it. It was heaven on earth. No lie. There were so many that I wanted to try but I tried these three angels. The chocolate chocolate cupcake (yes, two "chocolate" words in there). The lemon cupcake. And the blue vanilla cupcake. Oh so scrumptious. I almost went back there today to try a few more to make me feel better after a really disappointing day. I was already wandering in town to get my mind off things bothering me, anyway, but I resisted. Boy it was hard to resist walking over there. Those three little suckers cost 5.25 pounds!!

Oooh boy. Lastly, the very first picture above was how I ended my weekend: the Bolshoi Ballet's Don Quixote with Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev. They are were beyond phenomenal. In my opinion, Natalia surpasses even Paloma Herrera. There's just some amazing energy and charm that no other ballerina I've seen on youtube or TV program has. Paloma Herrera has an elegant and hint of charm in her Kitri, but Natalia takes it seven levels above that. I can't describe how easy and fun she makes it all look. Her jumps looks so effortless but it's as if the gods are giving her the power and lifting her with such force. Youtube videos just don't do her justice. Then there's Ivan. He complements Natalia perfectly. He has the most incredible jumps and turns I've ever seen from anyone. (Maybe not counting past danseurs, but probably of our time). He's like the new Nureyev, but who knows. They were a power house and so incredibly enchanting all throughout the performance. I could go on and on about how amazing this ballet was and how indescribably amazing Osipova and Vasiliev were. The in-steps were perfectly clear even through out all... chaines, chasse, developees, entrechat and entrechat six, etc. Everything was perfect. Even the epaulement had me in awe at how perfectly they were executed! I could keep talking about how I loved all the dryads and especially the cupid. How everything was completely faultless, but you will never know until you see it in person. :)

Although, I do have to mention during the Dream scene, one dancer's shoes came completely untied, which is so dangerous. I just gasped and couldn't believe it! But even still, it didn't detract from the soloists' variations. That's how amazing the Bolshoi in its entirety was.

Afterwards, Henry and I had some strawberries and ice cream together while watching some Whose Line Is It Anyway clips. Simple, yet fun night and a perfect way to end a perfect day. :)

That's all for now. Time to work on my final paper due next week!

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