Monday, August 1, 2011

British palace: Churchill's garden

    Several weeks ago, by professor’s recommend, I went to Blenheim Palace which is owed by Churchill family since long time ago.
    Palace is a huge British style palace stands there for almost a thousand years. I finally have a look of British style gardens which I learned from architecture class. The size of the palace is amazing. The entrance of the palace is an open-view meadow which leads to the main gate of halls. It’s a long way and guest can have lots of fun just look around. The architecture itself is not very surprising, but the room decoration fully shows how rich Churchill family is. There are lots of treasures and art works in every single room. There is a Churchill museum that introduces Churchill’s whole life. Churchill surprised me that he was born in a wealthy family but still studied really hard and practiced himself a lot. He is the hero of Britain because of his braveness and dignity. He is also a really outstanding speaker who obtains more than 20,000 vocal vocabularies, which is rare.

    Blenheim Palace maintains lots of theme parks and gardens including Rose Garden, Italian Garden and Secret Garden. Those garden and lakes form a big area of quit and separate place for royal families to avoid noise and crowds. Nowadays, the palace provides people a elegant area for leisure time walking.

Han's adventure to Edinburgh Part 2

The second day in Scotland I woke up early to enjoy my Scottish full breakfast and start my tour in that fabulous city. The first place to see is Edinburgh Castle. The castle is owned by Queen Elisabeth but no longer be used by her. It built in a highest point in the city so the ancient governor can overtaken the whole city and look for enemy. The castle experienced a lot of wars and finally survived and become the property of England. But it originally belongs to Scottish royal family. It seems that Scottish people struggled hundreds of years to defend their country from England. But actually nowadays, even Scotland is considered as part of UK. Scottish people still have really strong country belonging and consider Scotland as a country.
         The castle itself is incredible and really spectacular. It maintains the oldest church in England which was owned by Queen Mary back time. In the museum in the castle, people have the honor to have a look of the “treasure of Scotland”. In the old time when England and Scotland had war, England tried to grab those three treasures from Scotland to show the power. However, even Scotland was in disadvantage at that time, Scottish people still tried to defend it with their lives. They sent the treasures out from castle the night before they crashed by England army. The treasure didn’t send back to the castle until Scotland and England came out with peace.
    I was so lucky because in the three days I stayed in Scotland Queen Elisabeth was there and would give a speech at that afternoon. I went to the ceremony just to see the elegant British queen. Besides that, I’m interested in the costume witch Scottish army wear during the ceremony. They wore tall hat which pretty much the same but a little bit wilder than English policeman wear. The most special thing is they wear Scottish skirt and socks. That’s the first time I see man wear skirt. However, I didn’t feel they are sissy or weird, on the other hand, that’s their feature and they are proud of that.
    Moreover, I used to think there is no British food in this world because English people always eat Indian food, Italian food or Chinese food. But In Scotland, they have their own cuisine. Their food mostly made by lamp or beef. And they like to have a little bit whisky when eating.

   Time in Scotland passed by extremely quickly. I like this peace land and the harry atmosphere there. It like the Share in the lord of the rings.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Han's adventure to Edinburgh

    Before I came to England, I always get confused by Scotland, England, Greenland and Ireland or other land. I thought they are not much different since they are in the same country. I know so few things about them and the only impression about Scotland is from the movie Brave Heart. And since I was young back to that time, I only remember the endless meadow and loud Scottish warriors.
    After I came to England I still hardly hear anything about Scotland. Last weekend, I went to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, with other three friends. We took Rail from Oxford to Edinburgh and transfer by Birmingham. It's a six-hour trip but I didn't feel it was a long trip at all since the scenery beside train track is so beautiful and adorable I can never be tired of it.
Went out from the Edinburgh Train station, the first thing I saw was the fragrant and huge Medieval Cathedral. Its dark sharp top points to the sky straightly. When I was still in astonishment of that cathedral when walking, the entire city exhibited its historical and mystery appearance which gave me such a blast. Not only that huge cathedral, but also hundreds of fabulous medieval buildings spread out throughout every street in the city, which made me feel like I was walking in the medieval European street. But the city itself is not out-dated by maintaining those ancient architectures. Its modern shopping malls and smart-looking residents insert energy into this city.

Although I only went to one city in Scotland, I can feel the obvious difference between it and England. If we image England as a calm and authorized gentleman, Scotland can be a hosting and warmhearted famer. I can hear sprightly Scottish music almost everywhere I went. I dragged my luggage to the guest house I booked. It’s a cute flowery hotel owed by a nice Indian man who graduated from a royal college. That may be the reason he like to offer guests really fancy breakfast. After settled down, I looked forward to the tour the next day.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My relaxing weekend in Oxford.

It's a long weekend since we didn't have any plan in Friday.In Thursday afternoon, I went to London for Harry Potter Premiere. Since this is the last movie also the last premiere, there were a lot of fans waiting for days for this event. We went to London by bus and then transfer to tube. My first impression about London is horrible traffic. But it also gave us time to look around the city. Unlike Oxford, London has modern skyscrapers and classic old plaza standing together. It like the bigger size of Oxford, no matter in terms of city appearance or in terms of population.

I was really far from the stage in the premiere because there were so many people and guards tried to keep people stay as far from the main place as possible.We only saw Emma and some actors but missed Daniel and Rupert.

This weekend I didn't want to be so tired so I just stayed in Oxford and looked around the town. I went to Pitts River Museum today and St. Mary's Church. There was a Choral Evensong event in the church. Since I took the choir class last quarter and learned some church songs, I really want to experience the real church music performance. It was a gorgeous performance since those singers are really professional and they did really sing with their hearts. Compare to the music I learned in the class, the songs they sang are more like conversation with Jesus. With the special sounds of pipe organ, my mind became blank and pure in the choir's voice. Afterwards, by Chuck's reminder, I realized that there were some important people buried underneath the church. Check the ground, there were some irregular stones showed that body buried underneath. It's incredible and I feel really weird and unrealistic. But then think more about this fact, I feel scary on the other hand.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First impression of oxford

It's a little bit late to post my first blog in oxford, but I'm trying to adjust my time as British time here but still feel quite sleepy everyday.
My journey to oxford was totally not a good experience. My first flight's delaying influenced my whole trip. When I was walking around the town trying to get a taxi, I surprisingly found that there are a lot of foreigners in Oxford. And the taxi driver told me most of the students in Oxford are from other countries because only few British people can afford the expensive tuition. I like that people around world came to this small town just for its academic and history reasons. Then I finally found the EF Language school and get my living place for the next few days.
This is the house I live in. It's a cute British style old house with a small playground behind it.
The front door has a narrow hall which reminds me of the country houses I read from Jane Austen's novel.

Monday, May 16, 2011

attitude or reality- thinking about the second reading

I like reading stories and novels, especially reading those without pointlessly long and dull over detailed description. For the last reading assignment, I was a little bit confused because of the complicated story line. But I like the story itself for its dramatic. I like the writing style of Zadie Smith. It’s pretty sharp and clear which is not like other female authors’ words are excessively sentimental.

The story Mrs. Begum’s Son and the Private Tutor is a sad story which express not only the conflict between a mall social group and the main stream people but also the different attitude people face it. Magid, the main character, is absolutely a special kid. He is gifted in language anf has unique perspective toward world. But his life is totally controlled by other people. We can tell it from the title of the story: It said Mrs. Begum’s son instead of Magid because Magid’s live is mostly controlled by his mom. He can’t live like other kids and his talent can not be recognized because of his mother’s misunderstanding. (she thought he is good at science) Those factors already decided Magid can not be a great person even he is talented.

But I think the failed in Magid is not only because of his reason, it’s also about the society. Magid opinion is great but too ideal. In reality, people in the community experienced unfair and indignity. Although people all have a dream that the country can be as Magid said, but they all feel like the same way with Mark. This conflict finally caused the violence.

Although some part of the story still confused me, like why Magid became a ordinary student but failed to stay in the communist, I think this story is sharp enough to show us the huge gap between classes in UK.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hi! This is Han!

      Hey! My name is Han. I'm a international student in University of Washington. This is my freshman year in university. I am going to study abroad in Oxford University with Honor Oxford program this summer. It's really excited to go to England and stay there for a month. Can't wait!! :)