A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Hello Leideners I hope you are enjoying the Sun. It’s nice to be sweaty for a change. Well I haven’t written for a while now partly because the past month has been quite intense. Thankfully I met all deadlines and now feel lighter(only for a bit of course).
Given my routine I don’t normally go out, though that is not to say that I do not enjoy socializing. But last week I made a conscious decision to not spend my Friday evening working. I didn’t just want to stay in watching movies but had no idea what else was on offer.
One would think that in the age of Facebook it can’t be too hard to keep up but in fact the over dose of information often leaves interesting news buried amongst all those notifications. Anyway, somehow I noticed that ‘Contrast Leiden’, a body for international students run by Christian students in Leiden, were hosting a Chinese meal night and about 30 people were attending. That many people sounded great especially since all I wanted to do was have a nice relaxing chat. In the end it turned out to be much more than that. The evening consisted of a full course Chinese meal what with a variety of soup, salad and fried rice. It wasn’t just an exhibition, it was truly a treatment to lift spirits and repair tired muscles. These were the powerpuff girls behind the scenes:
The dinner also gave us a chance to make conversations and make new friends – always a bonus. It also set the mood for what was to follow – games. This was Chinese night, so everything was themed that way. Soon after the meal we played a little quiz about Chinese culture, language and dare I say peculiarities. I don’t thing any of us non-Chinese left the room with pride but we sure had fun. Here is my pick of questions for you to try (leave your answers as comments if you like!):
Later we had a go at learning and writing Chinese. This was most certainly a highlight. I had only heard how difficult it is to learn Chinese as compared to say European languages and I could see exactly why. It takes a while to get used to the letters but in the end I managed to paint this:
It reads ‘Love every man’. I would have put ‘woman’ instead but the cheat sheet that we had was missing the feminine equivalent :P.
In the end I left just before midnight and hit the bed for a well deserved sleep. Contrast are very active in Leiden and if you are interested here is their facebook page:
Must watch movie #8
The Family Man
Am I a family man? Don’t know. But Nicholas Cage doesn’t know any better at the start of this 2000 film. He plays a smart and wealthy investment banker who is at the peak of his profession. On Christmas eve his ex-girlfriend (from 13 years ago) leaves him a message requesting a call back. But he chooses to ignore her as he is busy preparing for an upcoming acquisition. On his way home he prevents a robbery by negotiating with the robber and then gives him advice to make a better life. But in arrogance he also drops in the line, ‘I have everything in my life what more could I need’. As the robber leaves he laughingly says, ‘remember you brought this on yourself’. The next morning Jack wakes up to a child and a dog jumping on his bed, and he is next to his ex! He is essentially in an alternate reality/ a glimpse of what life could have been like had the two remained together. Here he lives a modest life with no Ferraris or doorman to serve him. Watch how this transforms him. Sorry if I spoilt any of the fun but trust me this is a delight to watch. There are some hilarious moments in here involving a baby 😛 It has a ‘A Christmas Carol’ like feeling with some heartwarming scenes and score.