diumenge, 28 de febrer de 2016

Re-reading Harry Potter as an adult (part I)

In 2014, a good friend of mine got married and another good friend of mine started living on her own. Both of them inadvertently introduced me to Pinterest, a site where people post their DIY-tutorials, make-up and hairstyling tips, delicious-looking recipes... and Harry Potter.

Seriously, the boy who lived started popping up out of the blue as I was looking for ideas to make my hair look like less of a mess and my make-up less lazy (I only kind of succeeded, in case you're interested). So do BBC's Sherlock and many other fandoms if you procrastinate for too long and scroll too much down the site, but my point is that Harry Potter is somewhat inescapable.

Because of the constant exposure, a sudden urge to re-read the books and re-watch all the films grew inside of me (the later slightly reduced because the films are on TV pretty often on different channels). So in summer of 2015, on a very hot afternoon, I decided that being a grown-ass 27 year-old is not good enough an excuse not to give in to nostalgia and revisit your late childhood heroes.

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

There once was a boy named Harry who was destined to be known by every child in the world. I love discovering Hogwarts in the first book, the whole magical world, realizing my muggle-ness, wishing I'd got my admission letter at age 11. 

Upon a second reading, I started noticing many little details that I hadn't paid attention to the first time. I tend to be more forgiving of Harry's tendency to be a Gary-Stu in this book because it targets an obviously younger audience than the last volumes in the series. This makes it the more "childish" of the seven, yet it manages to be really enjoyable for adults too. Hermione is the boss witch, btw.



2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Growing up, I found it really hard to read this book and declared it my least favorite, and it remains so for a simple reason: in my opinion, it repeats the same formula as the first book but the element of surprise is not so strong. It's not as bad as I remembered it, but it's not as great as it could have been.



3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

This one is one of my favorites. I love how everything is tied together, I love the characters (except Snape, despite knowing his backstory. Seriously, he's a complete asshole in this book), I love the mystery, I love the humour, I want more on the Marauders. 



4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Ah, the one that I forgot that I had liked because I wasn't a huge fan of the movie. But the book lets the characters grow, and the build-up is so well done, and all the details, the background information about the wizarding world, new schools, and shit starts to get serious!

Which seems like a good point to take a break. To be continued (and ended) in part II, after I finish re-reading books 5 to 7.


dilluns, 15 de febrer de 2016

[Peripècies austríaques] 21. Hola, em dic Mar i em perdo per Viena

En general tinc bon sentit de l'orientació, però de tant en tant, quan sóc a un lloc nou, la intuïció em falla. O, pitjor encara, a vegades em miro la ruta que he de seguir al Google Maps però, com que vaig de sobrada per la vida, no me'ls imprimeixo, em refio de la memòria (o, com a molt, d'anotacions del tipus "al carrer tal, girar") i, és clar, em perdo... I la meva religió em prohibeix demanar ajuda si no és un cas desesperat.

És per això que el primer cop que vaig decidir anar a peu fins al meu objectiu per estalviar-me el bitllet del tramvia, vaig acabar pagant perquè una mica més i arribo a l'altra punta de Viena. Resulta que la planificació urbanística de la capital austríaca tendeix a la circularitat (com la meva zona pèlvica, guaita!) i, sempre que pot, evita les quadrícules del tipus Pla Cerdà. I jo, que sóc una Nena Pija de l'Eixample, estic acostumada a pensar que, si un carrer fa baixada, deu anar cap al sud. Don't judge me...


A més, a Àustria tenen el bonic costum de canviar el nom als carrers a mig carrer. És una mica el que també passa al barri barceloní de Gràcia, per on també em perdo sovint (amb la diferència que, en aquest cas, busco un carrer que faci baixada fins que arribo a l'Eixample i allà ja em sé trobar). El meu punt de referència, de moment, és el metro, el mapa del qual em conec força bé. 

Però seria interessant que comencés a aprendre'm els noms dels carrers i les rutes a peu perquè em vaig fer un compte de CityBike, una mena de Bicing que té les bicicletes en bon estat. La inscripció em va costar 1€ i la primera hora de trajecte és gratis. El que jo no recordava, de quan hi havia estat fent el guiri, és que Viena té moltes pujades i baixades, així que, entre la bici i que visc en un quart sense ascensor, se m'estan posant unes cames... Si a això hi afegim els passejos involuntaris cada cop que em perdo, m'estic estalviant una pasta en gimnasos!

Ben aviat (o d'aquí a tres mesos, qui sap), més peripècies.


P.D.: Abans que ho pregunteu: sí, fa fred, especialment quan fa vent (que en sol fer molt). Però podria ser pitjor, no és el microclima salzburguès de la boira perpètua.

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