SHA: Hongqiao Airport.

Maybe I should start blogging about airports. Haha. Yes okay I know I’m weird.

Anyway. So I often leave Shanghai on the single Dragonair flight that leaves Hongqiao Airport at lunch time daily. It’s usually one of the large planes (although also usually one of the older planes), and though the airport is old and had nothing in it, it was a pretty punctual flight (unlike at Pudong), and since there are less flights coming into and out of this airport, there are also less people, which makes passport control, security checks etc faster.

As of the end of March, however, the Cathay Dragon (formerly Dragonair… sigh) check in counters moved from Terminal 1 to Terminal 1A. Essentially, it just moved from one side of the building to the other. But after checking in (still paper boarding passes, no mobile boarding passes yet), going through passport control and security checks, you walk into a newly revamped area, with lots of USB plugs and (China) plugs, and even a Wagas cafe! I was so happy to get my juice fix (spinach, kale, avocado, pear, apple) and a croissant, as I hadn’t had lunch yet. And then – I know this might be a bit weird – before boarding, I went to the ladies, and while there were only five cubicles, each one was incredibly traveller friendly – there was extra space to wheel in your carry on luggage, a hook for tote or handbag (or backpack), a little tray thing for your phone, and there was a flat top behind the toilet to place any shopping you’d done. That’s a winning toilet :D

So yes. The old airport in the city is now my preferred airport in Shanghai haha. Can’t wait to go back to that amazing city soon!!

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G.E.M.: G-Force.

Watched on a CX flight from HKG to PVG. May 2017.

First of all, I like GEM. I know she gets a lot of bad press, but damn that girl is talented, and no matter how much shit you write about her, she has an incredible voice, and she knows her music, and she writes good songs. Not to mention how damn hard she works.

Anyway. I always knew she got bad press, but I really didn’t realise how bad until this film. I mean, I know that a film like this is edited to show it from her side, it’s probably biased towards her, but you know what, the few times I’ve met her, she seems like a genuinely nice person, and so for fucks sakes, just leave her alone.

Sigh. I don’t know whether a film like this will do any good for her. I mean, people who hate her will continue to, and say that this is just propaganda to help her cause… I don’t know. I hope she gets through it somehow… Good luck to her.

Rise of the Sufferfests.

Watched on a CX flight from HKG to PVG. May 2017.

Okay. So I expected this to be pretty funny even though I don’t understand why people put themselves through all that torture – I don’t even understand marathons, let along marathons with obstacles… like what. Anyway. Scott Keneally is hilarious. He’s an investigative journalist, and he writes about all the fun things haha. I seriously want to go and find all his articles so I can read them haha.

Keneally manages to interview a bunch of really awesome people – for example, Mr. Mouse, the founder of the Tough Guy course, who probably started the whole obstacle race trend; Amelia Boone, champion of several obstacle races, and a legal consultant at Apple (!!!); authors Nicholas Carr & Tim Ferriss (amongst many others); Will Dean, CEO of Tough Mudder; etcetc… the list goes on.

About two thirds of the way into the film, Keneally talks about how the film came about, and it made me laugh a lot when he said he was just naive. As in, he had no understanding of how difficult it would be, and therefore he just decided to do it. Hahahaha. I feel his pain.

Anyway. One of the best quotes in the film is the following:
“What used to define you is how well you could swing your broad sword in battle is now how well you can, you know, move a mouse or… work your tablet…” — Hunter McIntyre

HAHAHA. SO TRUE. Awesome film. Everyone should watch this!!!

 

The Music of Strangers.

Watched on CX flight from Singapore to Hong Kong. April 2017.

I did not know that Yo Yo Ma had put together an incredibly beautiful collective of musicians called The Silk Road Ensemble… I really wish I had known earlier, I would have liked very much to watch them live on stage. Anyway.

The documentary follows several of the musicians in the Ensemble, including an amazing Chinese pipa player, a beautiful Spanish bagpipe player (and singer!), an incredibly talented Iranian kamancheh player, a breathtaking Syrian clarinet player, and of course, the wonderful Yo Yo Ma. Their stories are varied, and tragic, and brave, and heartbreaking, but beautiful. They exemplify how music brings people together – although the film also touched on how the Silk Road Ensemble apparently got some flack for blurring the lines that some think traditional music should stay behind.

Loved this <3.

The Secret Island.

by Enid Blyton.

One of my favouritest stories, ever. How I longed for a secret island that I could run away to, where I could live in a Willow House, on a beautiful island on a lake in beautiful England. I miss England.

Anyway! This book was out of print for so many years, I never thought I’d be able to buy it again. But thank God it got reprinted, so I immediately bought it (thank God for Amazon, because sadly, bookstores in Hong Kong would never stock an old old book such as this) and I re-read once every couple of months.

Now that I’m properly adult, I’ve discovered a couple of discrepancies in the story, and I also have more questions about how the four kids functioned on the island, but still, it’s a fantastic story of survival :D Still love it. Yup.

Stardust.

Netflix is just…. sucking up all my time bwahahha.

I first “met” Charlie Cox (and Henry Cavill, actually) in this wonderful little film. It was Michelle Pfeiffer’s comeback role, it had also been a long time since I’d seen Claire Danes, and Robert De Niro played a gay pirate. I mean… what else can you ask for? Oh! And it’s adapted from a Neil Gaiman book. OH! AND! The song at the very end, when the credits are playing? TAKE THAT <3

This was the first film I watched with Matthew Vaughn as director. I knew him as a producer (and also as Claudia Schiffer’s husband) (only because she was my favourite 90s supermodel – her and Bridget Hall) of films like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels… but I never realised he directed too. And with zero exception, I have liked every single one of the films that he’s directed since Stardust. (If you want the list, it’s Stardust then Kick-Ass – which was KICK ASS – then X-Men First Class, then Kingsman: The Secret Service. I mean come on. What a list!!!)

Anyhoo. I’d read the Neil Gaiman book so long ago, I remembered it was a fairy tale for adults, but I didn’t really remember the details of the story. So I watched this film – funnily enough, it was the last film I watched with the ex before we went our separate ways… he didn’t want to see it, but he ended up loving it… I think he took the girl he was cheating on me with to see it afterwards hahaha ahem moving on – at Pacific Place (I still remember, ten years on!) and I stinking loved it. And then I went home and re-read the book, and the book is still better. The story is better (changes were made to fit the big screen) in the book, less Hollywoody you know, but still. The film is great! And I’ve been a big Charlie Cox fan ever since. And now he’s bloody Daredevil <3

So yeah. I love that Stardust is on Netflix. I think I might have to rewatch it more than a few times :D Bwahaha… And also, just because I can… here’s the song <3

Paycheck.

So… this is one of those films that nobody in my social circle liked, but which I quite enjoyed back in the day. But watching it today, I was like… wow. Yeah. It really wasn’t that great. Kinda like So Close

Anyway. Paycheck was directed by John Woo, starring Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman, and is based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. I really want to read the short story. The story is great, the film’s execution is… a bit off. I don’t know. I can’t pinpoint what is wrong with it.

But the most interesting thing for me, is that when rewatching this film, I FINALLY realised where I know Rowan (Olivia Pope’s dad) from!! From Paycheck!!!!!

Anyhoo. I still love action films, and this is sort of an action film, and the premise is great… I just wish I liked it now as much as I did before… Maybe sometimes rewatching films isn’t such a great idea…