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Saturday, 7 March 2015

On Kristen Stewart's acting

I think I now know Kristen Stewart's "style" of acting and her abilities.
Her critics often speak of her as the most obvious example of wooden acting, and have created memes like this:


And videos like this:


In 2010 and 2011, she got 2 nominations for worst actress at the Razzies, and got it the following year for her performances in Breaking Dawn- Part 2 and Snow White and the Huntsman
Her fans defend her, calling Kristen Stewart a talented actress and saying that it's unfair to judge her acting abilities based on Twilight alone. And now, they have a reason to believe themselves right- Kristen Stewart's performance in Clouds of Sils Maria has just made her the 1st American actress to win a César award (the French equivalent of the Oscars).
Besides Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, most of the 2 parts of Breaking Dawn, I've seen her in Snow White and the HuntsmanCold Creek Manor, a bit of On the Road and recently, Still Alice and Clouds of Sils Maria. And seen her in interviews. She might be better as Valentine in Clouds of Sils Maria than as Bella, but her Valentine is exactly the same as her Lydia in Still Alice, and the same as herself. Kristen Stewart can't be anything but herself. Always awkward and twitchy, as though uncomfortable before the screen. Always tilts her head. Side-swept, tousled hair. Slightly husky voice. Always languid. Always the hipster+ tomboy appearance. Always the I-don't-care look, the tough girl image. And never shows much emotion. Kristen Stewart does (relatively) well in Clouds of Sils Maria not because she has talent, but because she doesn't have to show much emotion on her face. To put it plainly, she's good for 1 kind of role, as I've just described, which means that she's not good at all. The problem is not that she plays herself- lots of actors do that, in fact most actors do that, only a few can transform themselves into very different characters like Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Jessica Chastain, etc.; the problem is that Kristen Stewart's face is stiff, inexpressive, inflexible, wooden, that she can only do a good job when her character is a kind of hipster or outsider who doesn't give a damn about anything. Joy, happiness, ecstasy, fear, grief, anger, disappointment, shock, sympathy, confusion, worry... she can express none- when she has to, she resorts to the usual pained expression, or mouth-breathing, or lips biting, or lips curling, and such. Katharine Hepburn often played tough, headstrong, independent characters, but always portrayed them with humanity and revealed a hidden vulnerability, another dimension to her characters, and though she had a definite persona on screen, was never completely the same in different films, whereas in Kristen Stewart's case, there's nothing beneath, and I see no difference whatsoever. 
Placed next to some other young actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Shailene Woodley, Emma Roberts..., Kristen Stewart's a rather weak actress. The only thing I acknowledge is that she can somehow be fascinating, in her own way (as long as I don't have to watch several films of hers in a row). And as a model, she is cool. That is all. 

KRISTEN STEWART BY HEDI SLIMANE
Kristen Stewart Wonderland Magazine 3
Kristen Stewart Wonderland Magazine 1
Kristen Stewart Wonderland Magazine 2
Kristen Stewart Wonderland Magazine 4
Kristen Stewart Wonderland Magazine 5

27 comments:

  1. I don't think she's a good actress, but ironically, that was what made her convincing in Twilight *(though I find the movie boring). I suspect Bella doesn't have much facial expression, isn't good at faking her feelings, which is why she's a loser and people lose interest in her after a while. Kristen Stewart has this quality, which makes her ideal for the role. So you could say that she acted well in that role, so well that everyone thought she was so bad.

    Though she is the sort of person who is probably only really good at one type of character role.

    To illustrate another example, people condemn David Rintoul's wooden acting in Pride and Prejudice (1980). But that is how Mr Darcy is. Because he is aloof and has little facial expression, it explains why people don't like him. Making Mr Darcy likeable is NOT good acting. Rintoul made him unlikeable, which is why he was suited for that role. And Rintoul I heard has had a successful career on the stage which means he is versatile.

    Antoher case would by Sylvestra Le Touzel's awkward acting as Fanny Price in Mansfield Park 1983. But the character is awkward, towards neurosis, which is why she doesn't fully fit in. Viewers condemn her for this, but she was only acting true to character, which is different from what viewers want. Le Touzel has also had a successful stage career.

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    1. No comment on David Rintoul and Sylvestra Le Touzel, because I haven't seen those performances.
      About Kristen Stewart as Bella, I suppose you could say she fits the role. But I cannot say she acts well there, because I don't see any acting. More like she's reciting the lines.
      I see your point about Bella being bad at faking feelings and thus being a loser, but Kristen makes me cringe in all those scenes with Edward or Jacob or both, where she doesn't have to be sociable and polite. All the mouth-breathing, aaaargh. There are also scenes when she's alone, if I remember correctly, and she doesn't have to try to be likeable either.
      Anyway, are you in Bath?

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    2. Kristen who? She remains a cipher to me. But it proves that in modern culture anyone for even the small reasons can be famous for a while.

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    3. Here is something else that may baffle you even more:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0
      After you watch the video, look at the number of views.

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    4. Pop culture and I are sworn enemies.

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    5. Ah! Old people..... Hahahhahaa.
      Well I don't get lots of things about pop culture either. I just wouldn't say that.

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  2. I was in Bath on Thursday and Friday. I guess you saw my pics on Tumblr? It turned out to be smaller and fresher than I thought, and less urban. And the city seems to be pretty Georgian. Except the Abbey. Unlike London, which is more eclectic and defies classification. (I think a lot of older buildings in London tend to be Victorianish, which doesn't really have a single distinctive style).

    Come over here and go to Bath :) Or the Lake District, if you prefer nature.

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    1. I saw the photos, yes. Lovely place it seems. Bath is the setting of Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, isn't it?
      You know what, I've travelled to several countries in Europe, but never to the UK. In fact I've never visited an English-speaking country. Like to, though.

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    2. Well, I suppose the UK doesn't really promote its sights well. If you ask me, the natural parts are underrated, and the famous things everyone goes to see are overrated. I was quite disappointed to find out that I'd missed one of the best sights in Bath as it hadn't been on the list of top 10 things to see and do in Bath. It was a Georgian country house amid beautiful parkland. But England doesn't really have entire cities of splendid architecture (unlike Italy). You have to travel a bit to see the really good things.

      Yes, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion are set in Bath. I was so surprised to find Bath quite peaceful, after what I read about it being crowded with tourists and pleasure-takers in the 19th century! Btw that reminds me. I really should put up the pictures I took of Bath Abbey.

      Sadly I haven't been able to travel as much as I should, but I've seen some nice places in the UK. If you ever drop by in London, give me a call (if you want to, that is). I'll be here till September.

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    3. Hahahhaa. 19th century.
      You should put up those pictures! Do that.
      How's the food though? I've heard awful things about English cuisine. This one didn't look that tasty to me: http://40.media.tumblr.com/1342d8b0cfa347ffd131ecb488ce5d98/tumblr_nkvhv85iwF1s6puxbo1_1280.jpg How was it?
      When travelling, I usually go to museums and go on the streets to see houses and people and daily life. Hate tours. But indeed I should see the country houses and natural parts in England when I'm there. Haven't been to the UK mostly because it requires a visa, and I'm too lazy. To other places in Europe I don't need that.
      What you said about Italian architecture reminds me of this:
      http://izquotes.com/quotes-pictures/quote-travelling-is-the-ruin-of-all-happiness-there-s-no-looking-at-a-building-here-after-seeing-italy-fanny-burney-304118.jpg
      But you're only in the UK till September? Pity, it doesn't seem like I'm going to visit the UK before then, though I certainly like to hang out with you. Do you think you'll get back to Europe sometime in the future?

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    4. English food generally sucks. Unless you're prepared to pay for it, and even so that isn't a guarantee for tastiness. This is why I usually go to the Indian takeaway: it's cheaper, and it's good. There are gourmet pubs, though, but be prepared to pay for it. That breakfast was not too bad. Not wonderful, but my English breakfasts have generally been good. As opposed to English lunches. I prefer English breakfasts to continental ones.
      I used to be a museum sort of person. Because I'm obsessed with the past. But holidays in England won't be fulfilling with just museums and strolling around, because chances are you will be disappointed. The country houses on the other hand are worth seeing. And the scenery is underrated. Plus country houses may double up as museums. (Incidentally do you prefer gardens or wild landscapes?) I'm not too fond of tours either.
      Haha, the UK is notoriously hostile to anyone who's not an EU citizen. I had to get all sorts of certificates to get my student visa. But once you get it, it is easier to travel to other parts of Europe.
      My housemate was showing me photos of Florence, and even the simple scenes are worth looking at.
      Unfortunately it is unlikely I'll be going back to Europe in the near future after I graduate, because my parents spent a great deal of money on my education and unlike some others I am not so rich.

      I'm not sure when my graduation is, but it's in autumn or winter. My visa expires in January. So I will be travelling around Europe around that time if all goes well. Nothing is definite yet, but I long to see Spain and Italy. If you are going to Europe around that time, perhaps we could meet up in another country.

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    5. Oh yeah. I've heard a lot about English food. Is Jamie Olivier popular there? He seems to be, in Norway.
      What about English breakfasts?
      I don't remember if you said you're a coffee person or a tea person.
      I understand that part about the visa. Getting a visa to the US is just as difficult, or even more. Not sure about your nationality, but mine may be a huge problem in this matter. Luckily I don't travel around with the Vietnamese passport.
      I prefer gardens and parks to wild landscapes. Back then when I was in Kristiansand, there was a place called Ravnedalen that was lovely, but it's still a park. Forests and mountains scare the hell out of me. In Germany there's a place called Würzburg Residence, now that is magnificent. Like Versailles. Put it this way, I'm more like an admirer of human genius and things created by humans than of nature. Flaubert's the same, I think.
      What about you?
      I haven't been to Florence. But Rome I've visited. The city itself is like a big museum. Plus the men, even waiters, are gorgeous.
      About you being unlikely to come back, since coming here I haven't travelled outside Europe so I get it.
      You should see Rome. It's wonderful. If you go to Germany, skip Berlin. Instead, go to the places along the Romantic Road, like Würzburg, Rothenburg, Heidenberg. Think carefully before you get to Spain. At least I was in Barcelona in summer- nice place, but not nice for a tourist. All the places for tourists were way too expensive, I would even say, overcharged. It's the economy, you see. They didn't treat tourists nicely either, and the métro system sucked, especially when it's hot, because the stations didn't have enough wind, and the air conditioning on the métro only made it worse.
      Paris is my favourite city. After that, Rome, Amsterdam and Prague. Amsterdam is pretty, and there are many cool museums, from the Rijk museum type to the sex museum, torture museum type. Prague I must visit again.
      Don't bother to visit Scandinavia. Or put it this way, we could meet up then, but Scandinavia is expensive and pretty boring. It's 1 of those places that don't deserve priority, so when your budget is limited, skip it. I'm not joking.
      Don't visit Brussels if you have visited Paris. If you have to choose between the 2, choose Paris. If you can handle the crowd, noises, chaos and bad smell, Paris is great in numerous ways. It really is. Though I don't know how it compares to London.

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    6. Jamie Oliver is like the King of Food here. He revolutionised school meals, apparently. On the more gourmet side is Heston Blumenthal, who has come up with concepts like egg and bacon ice-cream (!!!) and matching your food with suitable sound effects.
      As for breakfast. I don't think I've ever had a single crappy English breakfast. Even in unlikely places I've had quite decent breakfasts. Which reminds me of my time in Cornwall, where I had good and cheap food almost everyday. Not that the ingredients seem special, but somehow they make it good. You should have bacon and eggs (sausage too, if you like), butter and toast, tomato, hash brown, baked beans, mushrooms, and if you like, black pudding, which is made of pig's blood. More substantial than continental breakfasts.
      I'm more a tea person, though I like frappucinos. But always with lots of milk. And to be honest I take more bubble tea than real tea.
      Oh, what passports do you have? Unfortunately my country doesn't permit dual nationality so I am limited in this aspect. But recently the US decided to loosen visa restrictions on my nationality. I'd like to see New England, though I don't care for New York or California.
      Oh, I am more of a wild landscape person. I used to think I didn't care for nature (having seen gardens) until I went to the Lake District and was overwhelmed by the delicious landscapes. Which seems paradoxical, because I am into old buildings. In fact I was an old building person before I got into landscapes. But you're in luck. The UK has lots of fine country houses, and every country house I've been too has a good garden. The English are famous for their gardens. Parks are harder to find, but they are a treat, if you have the energy to explore them.
      I used to be frightened of wild landscapes too. The sheer magnitude and the prospect of getting lost (without battery in my phone!) used to terrify me. But I rather like feeling overwhelmed. You can check out some of my Lake District photos on Tumblr. I managed to climb the easiest hill (which was exhausting) but oh so grand. But as long as you are with someone dependable and energetic (and avoid the steeper isolated places) it should be OK.

      Let's say I admire human genius in old buildings, but I adore nature when I see lakes, streams, trees and mountains. My friend says there are two types of holidaygoers: beach people and mountain people. I am a mountain person and apparently in the minority (even though I've never climbed a mountain in my life). I would add a third class: city people. But city people can also be a subcategory of beach people and mountain people. Which would you say you are?
      Italian men are famous for being charming :) I think everyone would agree with that.
      What is the Romantic Road? You sound pretty independent in your travels. Everyone tells me that Barcelona is awesome. But not many people I know are into Germany. So how did you get around Europe without speaking all the languages there? I guess the English-speaking places overcharged you like crazy?
      Haha, I don't think I've seen a single nice photo of anyone's holiday in Scandinavia! The few photos I've seen on Facebook were pretty dull, to be honest. Though I've heard about Norwegian scenery and fjords, and seen beautiful paintings, but nobody I know seems to have been there on holiday.
      Well, if you ever come to Southeast Asia and drop by in Malaysia, give me a call. Go to Penang if you can. Avoid Kuala Lumpur (unless you are seriously into museums, which you can find in Penang.)

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    7. Guess I'll have to try English breakfast. I don't like bacon that much, though there was 1 time I ate it somewhere that was very good, in Germany perhaps. Do you like Jamie Oliver?
      Egg and bacon ice-cream? Sounds odd. Good? Black pudding made of pig's blood? Sounds awful, though Vietnamese cuisine has lots of things considered disgusting by others as well. Have you eaten balut?
      I'm a coffee person. But bubble tea is good, indeed.
      I don't have a national passport. Ha, now you're curious, aren't you?
      Why New England? Because of Emerson and Thoreau? Hawthorne? Benjamin Franklin? Louisa May Alcott? Emily Dickinson? etc. Cool place eh? The Northeast in general and New England in particular was also the place with strongest nativism. I've been reading about race and eugenics lately.
      Lakes, streams and trees are fine. In fact in Oslo I have 2 favourite trees (silly?). But mountains, no. If you like wild landscapes, you may enjoy Scandinavia, however. Mountains and rocks and fjords and stuff. Preikestolen. Northern lights. Other things are boring: museums have hardly anything interesting (at least 4 museums about boats and ships in Oslo, 1 of which you can see for 5 minutes), clothing stores lack style and colour, prices are too high, services are generally bad, etc.
      I'm not a mountain person. Not fond of beaches either. Humph. So I guess I'm a city person, though that shouldn't mean that I don't like going out of the city, visiting towns, villages, etc.
      You can read about the Romantic road here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romantic_Road
      I didn't like Germany at 1st- before, I had briefly visited Berlin, Koln, Hannover and Bonn, and liked Bonn- a small town (Beethoven's place). The Romantic Road changed how I felt about Germany, however. The architecture in Würzburg, Rothenburg and Heidenberg are lovely. Google them. I have photos but haven't uploaded them anywhere- will show you when I do. Also, Germany's Christmas stores are wonderful. You just walk in there and want to take everything, every single thing. Before my mind always associated Germany with something dry, dull, too scientific, too "straight", too solemn, with industry, philosophy, "heavy" literature, classical music (of course, the classical music is awesome, it's just that I imagine the new, the pop music being solemn and boring, for whatever reason). But these cities are not like that at all. They are what one calls "lovely", which I think most people don't think of when they think of Germany.

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    8. Barcelona is an interesting city. You can say that it has everything. Not too quiet, not too crowded: check. Mountains: check. Beaches: check. Culture, museums: check. Shopping: check. And Barcelona has Joan Miro and Gaudi. If you still want to visit Barcelona after all, visit the Gaudi buildings, particularly Sagrada Família, Casa Milà and Casa Batlló. Bring your student card, you'll get a discount. Everything there is too expensive. Maybe I'm just used to the system in Paris- the tickets don't cost much and if something's a bit more than usual, I feel that it's worth it.
      Going around Europe without speaking anything but English is fine. Even in Paris, where the natives are hostile to English speakers. Because the system (transport, instructions, roads) is pretty much the same around Europe. Bring me to South America or Africa or some other parts of Asia or even the US, I'll die. But anywhere in Europe, I'll do fine. English combined with body language and some guessing. What you have to do in Paris is that you don't address people in English. Not everyone reacts the same way, but usually they don't like it. So say a few words in French, mumble the places you're looking for, then if you're lucky, they'll start speaking English to you; if not, you will have to guess from their gestures. But they're not as horrible and rude as people often say.
      Sure, if I visit Malaysia, I'll contact you. I don't know anyone in Malaysia, though I have a friend in Singapore.

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  3. I don't know much about cooking shows. But I hear that Jamie Oliver is creative. Googled balut and was horrified to see the pictures. Never eaten such things in my life, and I hope I never have to.
    The Chinese-Malaysians have this dish which is chicken feet stewed in black vinegar and it looks vile. In Penang some people eat curry noodles with pig's blood which looks foul, but my parents love the stuff. Surprisingly black pudding isn't too bad, if it's well fried. Quite crispy and herby. Never tried anything by Heston Blumenthal. His restaurants are outrageously expensive, I've heard.
    Well New England is the home of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost, and I've seen pictures of the old buildings there, and heard about the forests.

    Well, beach, mountain and city people are kind of metaphors. But it is true that people who actually prefer beaches and people who prefer mountains tend to be different. Beach people, I've observed, like to relax on holiday. They don't see very much, take pictures of the sands with their friends, and portray the image of ease. You are more likely to see group pictures of them lazing around with drinks and partying. Mountain people on the other hand are more into natural views and walking. (Though my best friend, a mountain person who likes landscapes, gets tired very easily). Some of them can be very serious about their holiday. For some reason, even though beach holidays seem to involve less exploring, the mountain people I've met tend to be more introverted. You'd expect more introverted people to be less active.
    City people tend to be the most interesting to talk to, though. They tend to walk around, explore and observe the way people behave. They tend to know what fun things to do and see, and I think can appeal to most people. Beach people are too lazy and mountain people are too obsessed with scenery. Because beaches can be plain boring or lazy and natural scenery tends to be hard to access, city people are ideal.

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  4. There is nothing silly about having favourite trees! I have a favourite tree I used to climb. Now living in a city, tree-climbing is uncommon, but I tried it anyway because I’d read about it in books. Surprisingly after I tried it out, other children began to climb that tree too! I’m kinda proud of starting that trend :)

    You’ve got me interested in the Romantic Road. Yes, Germany’s famous for being scientific and systematic. But it’s curious that Germany and England, which are supposed to consist of “boring” people, started the Romantic movement, rather than France and Italy, which are typed as more expressive, passionate and emotional. Makes you wonder if their dull surroundings made these artists feel even more repressed, and so brought out the full swing of Romanticism in them.

    Thanks for the tips though. You seem to have been around a great deal. Most people just say “it was fun!” “it was beautiful!” and “Rome has many thieves” but don’t go into detail. Do you prefer travelling in small or large groups?

    I don’t know whether I’ll be in Penang anytime in the near future (I live further south), but you should be fine there because in Georgetown (the main city in Penang) English is widely spoken. It’s pretty touristy now, but you can still find good and cheap food and souvenirs, and the culture is still preserved. The place has lots of old temples and even a few old mansions. You should see the Blue House. Check out my pictures on Tumblr. There are free tour buses too. There are cultural festivals too, usually in summer I think, and funny graffiti. Good and affordable accommodation can be found, but the bed and breakfasts frequented by foreigners tend to be overpriced. They're pretty chic, though :) My best friend and I were thinking of going there some time, so if we're lucky, we might actually be there at the same time.

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    1. Right now I'm quite busy. Will reply to you when possible.

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    2. Jamie Oliver seems to be big in Norway too. His shows are all over TV and I see his face on products.
      Your reaction to balut is understandable. Hahahaha.
      In Vietnam we have this kind of blood pudding: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ti%E1%BA%BFt_canh
      I myself have never tasted it.
      I'm definitely not a beach person. I don't travel for ease and relaxation, and if meeting friends in the place, would ask them to go somewhere and do something rather than sit passively at some place. That would be a waste of time. So yeah, I suppose I'm quite serious about my holiday, though not that fond of natural scenery.
      There are people who "collect" cities like collecting stamps, in the sense that instead of spending 2 weeks in 1 city (which is my preference), they prefer to visit briefly over 10 cities, especially 10 cities in 10 different countries, spend a day or even less than a day in 1 place, go to the most well-known and recognisable attractions, take some photos and perhaps buy some souvenirs as proof, and go shopping. To them quantity matters more than quality- they go from 1 place to another and proudly tell others that they've been here and there and etc, but know nothing about anything of them. What do you call that kind of people?
      I prefer small groups. When you travel in large groups, you and others might have conflicting interests, and even if you don't, you lose lots of time waiting for others (lingering somewhere, going to the bathroom, taking photos, etc). I especially dislike tours. But travelling alone, entirely alone, isn't fun either. If there's something exciting, it's better to have someone nearby and share the excitement with, isn't it?
      It will take some time before I can travel to Malaysia. Southeast Asia and East Asia are too far away and tickets are, well, expensive- I would have to prioritise places at the top of my list, such as Japan. Since coming here I haven't been outside Europe, you see.
      Nice to hear about you having had a favourite tree and started a trend.
      You have a very interesting point about England, Germany and Romanticism. I've never thought of that. Interesting.
      I'm sorry that I haven't replied to your email. But a while ago I sent you another sketch, kind of a complement to the other one. You probably haven't written the sketch I suggested you writing?

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    3. Ugh, that blood dish makes my stomach crawl. The people you describe who visit many cities in a week - I think I've encountered quite a number of those. Often you will see many selfies of them on Facebook with a few pictures of the famous spot. And I can't help thinking, surely you can take selfies when you're at home? As you can see I use Facebook as a barometer for certain human behaviours. They will boast about how beautiful certain cities are, but when you ask them to describe they are at a loss for words. I know a wealthy and well-educated couple, who had been to boarding/international school, who were far better off than me and had travelled a great deal. Yet when I asked them about their holidays all they could talk about were the good hotels, the luxurious ease. They could not describe scenery or even old buildings. The woman will put more pictures of her and her boyfriend than of the surroundings. They have no eye for views. The boyfriend is an even bigger barbarian. And yet they will give themselves airs. And compare that with my best friend, less educated, ordinary middle class, and their definition less refined and cultured. But when she goes on holiday she appreciates views, and even the little things. Luxury and ease mean little to her. 2 weeks in one city! You must really know what to look for. Which city do you refer to by the way? I don't think I could holiday more than a week in a city, but I like to spend at least 2 days in one place. (You can see most of the nice parts of Bath in 2 days actually.)

      Prefer small groups too. I have a housemate who likes travelling alone though. She actually went up a mountain by herself! Apparently she had some bad experience travelling with people before, and now only goes on long trips by herself. I asked her whether she felt bored at times, and she said, "Do you mean lonely?" I said no, what I meant was let's say you want to point out a spectacular view to someone and there's no one there. She said true, the best is one person to share things with. I think I agree. Not more than 4 people anyway. But if the sort of things you like to see are not what your friends are into, it can be really annoying. Especially if you want to go alone somewhere for a few hours and they feel hurt you are leaving them. But they refuse to go to that place. But I notice there is a stigma against solo female travellers especially if you're Asian.

      I heard Hokkaido is beautiful, with nice gardens, farms and ice-creams. Though I heard Osaka is good for food. Tokyo is overrated. Seriously. And the food is expensive and sucks (unless you want to pay a lot).

      How long have you been in Norway? Are you an expat or did you migrate there?

      Thanks for the second sketch. Sorry I haven't written mine. I've been occupied with a assignments. I did attempt a few times to write something, but I suck at first-person narration and I didn't know how to approach it from a third person viewpoint truthfully. But in the last few weeks I've encountered some hilarious people, so if I am still stuck with Mr Clack I might try writing them instead. 4 of them are exceedingly smug men. I put my housemates in stitches by cracking jokes about them.

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    4. Well, yeah, it depends- small cities and towns like Würzburg, Bonn... or boring cities like Oslo, Stockholm... don't need 2 weeks, but I think big, fascinating cities like Paris, Barcelona, London, Rome, NYC, Tokyo, Kyoto... deserve 2 weeks at least. I've been to Paris 5 times (each time 1 or 2 weeks)- in the 2 latest trips (2014) I still had tons of new things to do and see, and many others I didn't have the chance, or the money, to visit.
      Museums, attractions, old buildings, cafes, operas, landscape... Go out on the streets, look at people, see their daily activities, eat their food... Once you know most of the important places in the city, you can find out about those that most others don't know about. So I think I'm quite familiar with Paris now, seeing it pretty much as another home. Hahahaha.
      Don't think I'll be there again any time soon though. And I was in Barcelona for less than a week- pity, didn't see everything I wanted to see. But then the tickets were expensive.
      As you're in England, have you been to Lyme Regis and Haworth? I'd like to visit Haworth. And Jane Austen's house museum in Chawton. I guess you didn't go to the Jane Austen centre in Bath?
      On youtube there are some videos called "Ask an Asian". So it seems that lots of people ask why Asians often travel in packs.
      Hokkaido looks beautiful, indeed. But if I go to Japan, I have to prioritise Tokyo and Kyoto. The greatest visual artists of Japan are in Tokyo, I must go to the art exhibitions and other museums, and of course there are lots of other cultural things I want to see. Pretty sure that I'll have to take out photos every night or every 2 nights to have room for others. So you have been to Tokyo then?
      I'm not an expatriate, and not an immigrant. I'm a refugee.
      Will wait for your sketches. Sound like fun.

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    5. I've never been to Lyme Regis, but surprisingly I have been to Haworth! Even took a few pictures (they're on Tumblr, but from 2013.) Nope, didn't go to the Jane Austen centre because my friend said it was overpriced and didn't sound interesting. And we were short of time. Anyway I've seen a number of Georgian houses so I didn't feel the loss. The best parts are the Roman baths, the Abbey, and if you have time, Dyrham Park. I went to one of the only 4 Palladian bridges in the world in this place called Prior Park. Prior doesn't seem as interesting as Dyrham (no time to visit the latter) but I got a few good shots of the bridge. They're on tumblr.

      Haven't been to Chawton. If you want to go to Haworth, the village itself can be explored in one day. Not very much to see - so I guess the Bronte sisters' imaginations magnified the place into something greater than it is. But if you like country walks, there is a hill only a few miles away (Possibly in Oxenhope), where you can see a waterfall. But you need strong sports shoes. There are lots of crumbly stone paths and the grass will slow you down, unless you stick to the main path. But the main path is boring. But I suspect the Haworth landscape will either bore or terrify you :P

      Hoping I get to go to Scotland for Easter (if my professor doesn't delay giving us the assignment.) Well, the stereotype about Asians travelling in packs does have some truth to it. Strangely enough, when I see Asian acquaintances on Facebook travelling to more interesting places, they tend to be in larger groups, but those who go as pairs tend to see less. I wonder why. Or it could be that more adventurous people tend to like larger groups.

      I have been to Tokyo for one day. I went to Disneyland. Wasn't aware of the exhibitions and museum scene there, but then I was in my teens and the guides may not have known the best places.

      I'm guessing you're pretty fluent in French? Excuse me for being curious, but if you're a refugee, how do you travel to different countries? If this blog is too public you can email me.

      I've actually written the sketches, but they read more like gossip than a proper story. Putting myself in their shoes was too hard, and honestly I didn't have much time. The thing is that I haven't personally seen other sides of certain people, even though I can guess at them. But for me to explore those sides, I cannot write about my own experiences. I'd have to put in a fictional character or incident to highlight those parts.

      Delete
    6. Send me link to pictures of the bridge!
      Lyme Regis doesn't look that interesting to me. Seems quiet. But I'm quite interested in the Cobbs, because of The French Lieutenant's Woman as much as Persuasion.
      I had those suspicions about Haworth. You did visit the Brontes' house, I suppose? The landscape may not necessarily terrify me. Haha. Depends. I generally wear sport shoes so it should be fine.
      Scotland looks beautiful. How do you like the Scottish accent? Haha.
      I don't think one can judge Tokyo after 1 day. Japan has many important visual artists, like Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami, Masashi Hattori, Tatsuo Miyajima, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Kimiko Yoshida, Inaba Tomohiro, Haroshi... so I'd like to go to the museums there.
      I don't speak French at all. Except a few words, which shouldn't count. Not sure about other kinds of refugees, but I'm a political refugee, and political refugees use travel documents instead of passports, which have certain disadvantages and certain advantages. 1 of the advantages here is that I can easily travel to other European countries, except the UK, without a visa- to travel with the Vietnamese national passport would be a lot more complicated, I've heard.
      I've read your email, but it is long so I have to postpone replying. Feel bad now- I haven't replied to the other one and you've sent me another, even longer. Hahaha. Oh well. Will do when I can find time though. I think 1 thing you can choose instead of the 1st-person or the 3rd-person is the free indirect speech. Jane Austen used it all the time. Virginia Woolf also did. In fact I used it in my 1st sketch.

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  5. http://thebriarfieldchronicles.tumblr.com/post/113027471352/prior-park-bath-part-2
    http://thebriarfieldchronicles.tumblr.com/post/113027539562/from-prior-park-bath-part-3
    http://thebriarfieldchronicles.tumblr.com/post/113027665437/prior-park-bath-part-4

    Of course I visited the Brontes' house! It would have been sacrilegious not to. Even took a few photos :P To be honest I didn't find the landscape terrifying, but that might have been because it was summer. And nothing like so grand as the Lake District. I didn't see much greenery or growth or trees up on that hill, but then it is quite elevated. I don't know how the Brontes loved the moors. I expected to, but perhaps it was the wrong time of the year or I really don't have a taste for moors.

    I quite like the accent of Scots living in England XD One of my lecturers speaks with a Scottish accent and he's always pleasant to listen to. I like the Edinburgh accent. Sounds more friendly than the generic English accent. But let's not talk about the Glaswegian accent XP Anyway I'm going to Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye, so expect to see pictures of old buildings and landscapes on tumblr.

    Well, when I went to Tokyo we had lots of time left and they had a hard time finding things for us to do apart from Disneyland. But I'm not an exhibition person really.

    Oh, it must suck being a political refugee. Incidentally how did you get to be in this position? Did you take part in student demonstrations or something? I don't hear much about the Vietnamese government, to be honest.

    I've experimented with free indirect speech. I'll see what I can do about Mr Clack - the man is so vile, it makes me cringe to even consider trying to think from his point of view. When I tell you what he has done you will see what I mean.

    ReplyDelete
  6. http://thebriarfieldchronicles.tumblr.com/post/113027471352/prior-park-bath-part-2
    http://thebriarfieldchronicles.tumblr.com/post/113027539562/from-prior-park-bath-part-3
    http://thebriarfieldchronicles.tumblr.com/post/113027665437/prior-park-bath-part-4

    Of course I visited the Brontes' house! It would have been sacrilegious not to. Even took a few photos :P To be honest I didn't find the landscape terrifying, but that might have been because it was summer. And nothing like so grand as the Lake District. I didn't see much greenery or growth or trees up on that hill, but then it is quite elevated. I don't know how the Brontes loved the moors. I expected to, but perhaps it was the wrong time of the year or I really don't have a taste for moors.

    I quite like the accent of Scots living in England XD One of my lecturers speaks with a Scottish accent and he's always pleasant to listen to. I like the Edinburgh accent. Sounds more friendly than the generic English accent. But let's not talk about the Glaswegian accent XP Anyway I'm going to Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye, so expect to see pictures of old buildings and landscapes on tumblr.

    Well, when I went to Tokyo we had lots of time left and they had a hard time finding things for us to do apart from Disneyland. But I'm not an exhibition person really.

    Oh, it must suck being a political refugee. Incidentally how did you get to be in this position? Did you take part in student demonstrations or something? I don't hear much about the Vietnamese government, to be honest.

    I've experimented with free indirect speech. I'll see what I can do about Mr Clack - the man is so vile, it makes me cringe to even consider trying to think from his point of view. When I tell you what he has done you will see what I mean.

    ReplyDelete
  7. http://thebriarfieldchronicles.tumblr.com/post/113027471352/prior-park-bath-part-2
    http://thebriarfieldchronicles.tumblr.com/post/113027539562/from-prior-park-bath-part-3
    http://thebriarfieldchronicles.tumblr.com/post/113027665437/prior-park-bath-part-4

    Of course I visited the Brontes' house! It would have been sacrilegious not to. Even took a few photos :P To be honest I didn't find the landscape terrifying, but that might have been because it was summer. And nothing like so grand as the Lake District. I didn't see much greenery or growth or trees up on that hill, but then it is quite elevated. I don't know how the Brontes loved the moors. I expected to, but perhaps it was the wrong time of the year or I really don't have a taste for moors.

    I quite like the accent of Scots living in England XD One of my lecturers speaks with a Scottish accent and he's always pleasant to listen to. I like the Edinburgh accent. Sounds more friendly than the generic English accent. But let's not talk about the Glaswegian accent XP Anyway I'm going to Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye, so expect to see pictures of old buildings and landscapes on tumblr.

    Well, when I went to Tokyo we had lots of time left and they had a hard time finding things for us to do apart from Disneyland. But I'm not an exhibition person really.

    Oh, it must suck being a political refugee. Incidentally how did you get to be in this position? Did you take part in student demonstrations or something? I don't hear much about the Vietnamese government, to be honest.

    I've experimented with free indirect speech. I'll see what I can do about Mr Clack - the man is so vile, it makes me cringe to even consider trying to think from his point of view. When I tell you what he has done you will see what I mean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice photos. Thank you. Ha, you don't have a taste for moors. That sounds kinda funny.
      Oh the Glaswegian accent is like Kelly Macdonald's, right? And Billy Boyd's? I'm not sure if I've heard the Edinburgh accent, but Billy Boyd's is cute. Doesn't sound good, but cute.
      I love Helena Bonham Carter's voice. And Tom Hiddleston's. Can listen to them all day.
      The Geordie accent is horrendous. When Cheryl Cole speaks it, it sounds a lot better because of her voice, but it still sounds like the Huế accent of English (Huế is in central Vietnam), which is very weird.
      Anyhow, enjoy your trip! I'm not going to travel any time soon, hmm....
      I think paintings in books and in the internet can never look the same as in real life (especially Renaissance paintings and impressionistic or expressionistic paintings), which is why I go to museums. Loved Van Gogh since I went to the museum in Amsterdam, not before that.
      Being a political refugee has its inconveniences- many, but also some advantages. But I'll talk about this some other time. What I can tell you now is that VN is an authoritarian country, a single-party state, governed by a communist party. No religious freedom, no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, no respect of human rights, etc. All of those things sound very abstract, I'm aware, so some day I'll be more specific on this blog. Just can't say when. But if you're curious now, you can search for VN on, say, Human Rights Watch.
      You make me even more excited about Mr Clack. Write it!

      Delete