Saturday, 26 January 2019

WEEKLY RECAP | Busy Streets & Lots To Eat


The Intro Part

As promised in last week’s posts, I have tried to watch/read some new things this week, so I am not just talking about Gilmore Girls and Harry Potter. I have travelled to a new country, one I have wanted to visit for oh so long now, and met up with someone along the way). 

The Travel Part

The hostel in Pai was fun and social, but it wasn’t very private or clean. After getting back from Pai I spent a fairly chill few days in Chiang Mai. I chose to stay in a Poshtel, yes, that’s a thing. I had a curtain at my bed so I could block everyone out, although unfortunately it wasn’t enough to block the very loud snores coming from the other beds, and the bathrooms were modern and clean.

Then I flew to Hanoi and, here’s where things get really fancy, I stayed in an Air BnB. I forgot what having a whole room/bathroom/kitchen to myself was like. Absolute bliss. Made even better by the fact that my boyfriend came out to visit me this week, yay! Fast forward to 3am the first night and a bloody rooster started crowing non-stop until about 10am and I suddenly fell out of love with the place. Every single night, I barely slept!

Hanoi is best described as organised chaos. The traffic is an absolute nightmare, crossing the road is a life or death situation. But it’s also more liberating and laid back. Two people bumped into each other on their mopeds and they just laughed and moved on. If that was in England, insurance companies would be involved.  Although truth be told, I much prefer the England roads. 

We booked a street food tour in Hanoi to learn about some Vietnamese dishes, I had no clue about any beforehand. The tour was so much fun and I will be writing up about that in more detail in a separate post soon.


The Reading Part

I am about halfway through ‘With Or Without You’ by Shari Low. The author says she was inspired to write this when she and her husband almost broke up but stayed together. The story starts on the countdown to New Year’s Eve in 1999. Liv and her partner have agreed to break up in the new year but in the last few seconds they both hesitate. The story then breaks into two, the first half of the books follows what happens to them if they go through with the decision, while the second half is what happens to them if they decide to stay together instead. I love stories like that, I am a big fan of the 1998 classic Sliding Doors. 

When I was younger, I would read as many books as possible and dream of being able to write one when I was all grown up. I always thought that was a pipe dream and not something I could ever seriously do. But lately when I am on Twitter l seem to see at least one person tweeting about publishing a book, so maybe it’s not too far-fetched after all. First things first, I have to learn how to write. Just a small setback, I know. This week I’ve been searching the internet for articles on how to improve my writing skills. I found a couple of good ones and I can’t for the life of me find them right now, but when I do I will link them here. One of them suggested writing 1,000 words every day for a year, so I’ve decided to take on that challenge. 

The Media Part

Everybody’s been talking and tweeting about this documentary this week, so I felt like I had to watch it too. I am talking of course about the Netflix Documentary on the Fyre festival – ‘The Greatest Party That Never Happened’. If you haven’t head of this yet, Fyre festival was supposed to happen in April 2017. Billy McFarland and Ja Rule attempted to put on a festival like no other before, hiring out the top supermodel influencers to publicise the event. However, due to a complete lack of knowledge on how to orchestrate something as complex as a music festival and some selfish and poor judgement, the reality was far from the promise. Luxury villas were replaced with hurricane tents, delicious cooked meals by top chefs with cheese sandwiches, you get the idea. The part that really struck at the heart of the many viewers is the locals who didn’t end up getting paid for all of the non-stop work and labour they did in the weeks leading up to the festival. Maryann Rolle’s story certainly brought tears to my eyes. Towards the end of the documentary she mournfully opens up about how she had to use $50,000 of her own savings to pay the staff who worked in her restaurant for the festival. A GoFundMe page has already been set up and surpassed its target within days of the documentary premiering, and another is in the works to be set up for the other workers who went without pay. 

The new series of ‘Grace & Frankie’ is back on Netflix, hurrah! I binge watched the first four series in a matter of days, so I was extremely happy when I saw this pop up on my recommended watching. I’m already halfway through the series and loving it. It’s so easy watching and funny, I highly recommend. 

I also watched the Netflix documentary ‘Feminists: What Were They Thinking?’, an interesting look back at the second wave of feminism throughout the 60s/70s. It features Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin (from Grace & Frankie), as well as many other inspiring women. I find it fascinating to look back at how the world treated women just a few decades ago, and also sad to realise how little has changed since then. 

The Pop Culture/News Part

Who knew that the 7-day break from taking the contraceptive pill was down to the Pope and not an actual medical necessity? Although it is no big surprise that a man had a say in what women do with their bodies without caring about the side effects. I still get pissed off just thinking about the time a man thrust an anti-abortion poster into my hands while I was walking through town, the nerve. The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) confessed this week that there is no benefit to taking the break, a practice that came about when a catholic gynaecologist working on the pill, John Rock, wanted to make it appear more natural and thus more appealing to the Pope. That was half a century ago. All this time there has been no need for all of the women taking the pill to bleed every month. You can just keep taking it every day. The FSRH have added that it’s fine for women to try it, but as with all contraception, it might not suit everyone.

Gina Martin has finally been successful in her amazing campaign to make upskirting illegal. I initially heard about her campaign on the Guilty Feminist podcast some time during last year and have been loosely following ever since. If you’re not familiar with the case, it began when someone took an upskirt photo of Gina and when she reached out to the authorities, she discovered there was no law against it. Not settling for this Gina has been working tirelessly over the last 18 months to change that. Her achievement is amazing and inspiring. Of course since it was announced some twitter trolls have sent her nasty messages, because isn’t the internet a lovely place?

The Conclusion Part

The past week has been a bit of a blur for me, full of transport and street food. I’m really enjoying writing these recaps, it’s a good way to reflect. I hope you enjoy reading them as well! What have you been doing/listening to/watching over the past 7 days?

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