The Trans Mongolian train in the morning sun on the top of the world in Mongolia
a day like this
a day my thoughts
all wander off
a day my brain
just wants to be
back on that train
My break from the theatre has been long enough, I can’t just not go to the theatre because I don’t want to lose my memories of the Vertical Hour, so I went tonight. Unplanned, impulsive – business as usual.
Over London flying high on my way to Nighy York (really)
Let’s see what’s in here: a mouse, a Mars bar, old and young, Daniel Craig, Hot Fuzz, Love Actually, coconutophobes, dreams and delicious Scots. And OK, he’s in there too.
I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street
I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.
Moscow, 27th February 2007 – Yaroslawsky station
And then you are standing there and think : What could be the train to Beijing?
This wasn’t the most fun day of the trip, but I think I’ve found my train, thanks to someone writing Beijing/Peking in Cyrillic on a piece of paper. Now that I am here in the evening, the evening trains are actually displayed on the time table, they weren’t earlier today, which caused some of the panic.
(Can you guess which train I am supposed to take from the names on the this time table?)
Good words from screen writing Guru Richard Curtis.
I thought 6 days and nights on a train, think about the huge amount of time I will have to write. Well I did write a bit here and there, but not the stuff I was supposed to. How could I, I was sharing my compartment with an Englishman remember. My train adventure made me miss 3 writing classes and this Monday, which is less than 48 hours from now, I need to deliver a completely finished script (for a 10 minute short film) and an essay. So guess what my weekend looks like.
Looking back, with my eyes closed, I have had 3 major inspirational influences in my life, which means that inside my head you can find 3 fairly large chunks of information from all three of them.
Steffen Brandt‘s lyrics guided me through life in Denmark and they became the basis of my Danish vocabulary. His philosophy about life – seize the day – live your life before it’s over – live your dreams – has definitely had its effect on my life as well. I think it is safe to say that however sad it was to leave him and his music behind in Denmark he more or less pushed me to London as I could see I had to live my dreams. I still listen to their music often but there now is a distance to the language which no longer feels that natural anymore.
Not surprisingly Bill Nighy is the second one, still very much present. If Steffen Brandt pushed me too London, he was metaphorically standing at the other side of the water pulling me over. If my Danish consists of quotes from TV-2 songs, my English is filled with all possible quotes from films he has been in. He made me realize how cool Brits really were, how I loved the English language, he gave acting a whole new meaning and became the force to get me to give screen writing a go in the first place. Not bad.
The third one however goes quite a bit longer back.
Mockba, 26 February 2007
My hotel is located in one of Moscow’s suburbs in the South East. It’s cheap and it takes about 20 minutes by metro to the Red Square and Leninski. Absolutely doable especially because the Metro station is about 50 meters from my hotel. I had done some research on the Moscow metro up front (which is recommended I’d say) and knew how their ticket system worked. You can buy 1, 5 or 10 trip tickets, and since I knew I was going to use the metro quite a bit, I showed the woman behind the window my 2 hands, telling her I wanted a 10 trip card. That went fine, and being used to using my Oyster card in London using the Moscow card wasn’t that different.
Back to my hotel – located this far from the centre, this also means that this is a non tourist area, and chances to find people speaking English are zero. Even the people working at the reception of the hotel don’t speak any English at all.
It’s an area that gives a good impression of authentic Russian city life so to speak. There are loads of small shops and stalls in the area selling drinks, food, magazines, newspapers, snacks, meat, bread, soap, well you name it, they sell it. With a bit of goodwill and pointing at things I manage to buy things like chocolate, Pringles and Coca Cola (hey I am on holiday). There is also a tiny (and I mean tiny) DVD shop on the same block.
Surely a normal person with a well functioning head wouldn’t begin to consider doing this with a Russian vocabulary as large as, well, one word. That was what I was thinking.
But I wasn’t a normal person.
And so, I stepped inside.
(Written: New York, 33rd St – Picture: New York, 5th Ave)
While I drink my Milky Way tea in the Starbucks right beside the Empire State Building (and let’s be honest there are worse places to drink your tea – behind your computer screen at work just to name one) I read (or rather greedily indulge) my new book:
Sold out in Waterstones London, but Barnes & Noble in New York luckily had it. And even if you have no intention of becoming a screen writer, if you love romantic comedies this book is like chocolate cake with cream and a little red cherry on top.
While reading – a girl sits down at a table next to me.
it’s the hardest thing to do. Not because I don’t like London or the place I live, but because I really get depressed after holidays like these! The after holiday dip is hitting me like a rock every time, and it kills all my inspiration to write.
I had a good flight, I again had 3 seats to sleep on, I had Casino Royale and the newest Rocky film on my screen and it went fairly fast. I am at home, I will try to conquer my list of unanswered e-mails as soon as possible and apart from that I don’t really know what to do with myself at the moment. I miss New York. Clearly.
I have browsed in my stack of photo’s, they are OK, not all great but OK, and the first one is up. I have 2 more posts from New York (100% Bill free I promise) which I will drop somewhere this week.
What does the picture above say you wonder? I have absolutely no idea, your guess is as good as mine.
She walked all the way from the market on Union Square (14th) until the edges of Central Park that day. It felt good, and because New York was melting for her with lots of sunshine it gave her a feeling of spring. Both on the outside of her body, it was nice to be able to drop the gloves, but also inside her mind. It felt like after a long dark winter, she was slowly waking up again. The sun on her face, the sounds of the city it felt good.
Written in the plane from Beijing to London:
OK, OK I don’t get it, people who think flying is a drag. I am sitting here with a cup of tea, the Milky Way (that has been ages ago!), a KitKat and a piece of chocolate cake, laughing my ears off watching the brilliant Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada on the screen in front of me. Tell me – what’s not to like about flying?
Beijing is again a complete different world. The people are very very friendly, and here I feel safe walking around in the city with my camera. I have been in the Forbidden City and saw the Lama temple (including their 15 meter high Buddha statue) and it was both beautiful. Even the supermarkets are interesting. It is impossible to press all those impressions into one single post on this blog, so I guess you have to be a bit patient it will come later, with the pictures.
I am in China! Wooohooo!
Moscow was harsh in many ways, and I didn’t feel too sorry to leave it. I found my train, woohoo! for that and thanks so much for all the crossed fingers – it helped!, and I will write more about all my up front worries later. But I entered my 4 persons compartment in the train and sat down. 2 minutes later my train roommate came in, also here I was prepared for the worst. After a tough time in Moscow I ended up sharing my cabin with only one person, so lots of space, which was great.
And how I love Ithika and A simple twist of fate, because this person, are you ready, was as English as an Englishman could be (and hearing him speak was like music in my ears after days of struggle Russian), and the very first morning I woke up after my first night on the train and he-served-me-tea-in-bed. Tea in bed ladies and gentlemen, and not just any tea, it was bloody Yorkshire tea!