In this digital age, older doesn't mean wiser. My mother seemed to think of something else when I said it during a dinner conversation. I wanted to go on a holiday, on my own, on the other side of the Atlantic. This would top my long list of autumn resolution. My journey must begin in London. This would be number two on my list. The Shard was the third. Mom advised me to look for a job, but I haven't made up my mind. I admired architectural ingenuity, which prompted me to cross the sea (and look up at the Shard). I studied literature and history. I couldn't think of a better place than London.
I was done with the bus tour an hour ago. I met Mathilde, who would come to London during this time of the year. She preferred it over Paris, such that she considered the British capital as her second home. She lost count of the number of times that she traveled to England, but she wanted it a different experience this time around. She visited Brighton last week, where she loved the seaside. I told her about the film starring Richard Attenborough, who played the young criminal stalking the southern community. She read (and studied) "Brighton Rock" last year. (In other words, she seemed impressed about it. I haven't read the novel, though.)
Mathilde was saddened over Brexit, where she feared that British students might be excluded from the Erasmus program. They wouldn't figure out what they would be missing, she added. Curiosity prompted me to ask her if she was part of the program. She studied in Munich many years ago. Studying abroad won't be part of my list, but I was having second thoughts about it. Mathilde's experience was anything but uneventful, which may be equally memorable as Oktoberfest. She had no idea about East German Cinema until she attended a retrospective of Frank Beyer's works. ("Jacob the Liar", which starred Robin Williams, was a remake of this quiet film.) As for German-speaking authors, she couldn't forget Robert Schneider's fatal tale of a village lad who refused to sleep. It didn't enter my mind if I have plans for a German holiday, but Mathilde guaranteed that I would like it.
Cutting-edge projects from recent years
After I told Mathilde about my penchant for blockbuster buildings, she asked me which ones could inspire the (American) passersby. Parrish Art Museum, which was located in Water Mill, became an instant favorite. There was nothing audacious about the horizontal melds, but it looked striking amidst the barns and the woods. Perhaps I was lucky to see it during dusk. (The bright sun may have lost its luster.) I visited Toronto last spring, where my cousin took me to Absolute World. I was looking at a pair of gigantic, eye-catching mugs. Mathilde was bemused by my description, but I rather not resort to pompous words. I haven't been to Perot Museum, another must-see in North America.
Our journey would end there, as she didn't fancy a literary tour. She had enough of it (at the moment). I was beginning to enjoy my holiday, and I reckoned that we might see each other later. Dusk was setting in. The sky would turn red and yellow. The London Eye became prominent, but my eyes were fixed on Big Ben. It stood out in these modern times.