2014_europe_01_airplane

As I a child I had only been on the plane three times. I suppose that could count as having flown frequently for a child, but in these days there are so many who have traveled from a young age that I doubt 3 is such a high number. The first time was before I had started elementary school to visit my grandparents in Korea. I still remember being given a small pin by a stewardess. It was a pin with wings, perhaps the logo of the airline. I was sorely disappointed to learn in future flights that they don’t always give you such pins. Apparently dentists were more generous in giving out small tokens or treats than airlines were. In any case, I eagerly sat in the window seat and wanted nothing more than to stare out the window for the entire flight. You don’t get to fly everyday after all! Of course, they don’t allow you to keep the windows open during international flights as it can be quite bright up there and many passengers wish to get some sleep!

My third flight around was the summer after having finished 5th grade. To my dismay, my parents had decided to move back to Korea. The morning of the flight I remember willing the trip to be canceled with all my might, but it did me little good. I was whisked onto a plane headed to Korea and my sole comfort was that the entertainment system included games such as Super Mario Bros. Once I reached Korea, I didn’t have a chance to set foot out of the country until high school. During Easter Break I went on trips to the Philippines and Thailand for volunteer service. These were rather short flights from Korea and as I was flying in a group I had no choice over whether I would sit in the aisle or window seat.

In college I started to fly more regularly as I went to a university in the US. This was when my preference changed from window seat to the aisle. As flight times from Korea to Seattle range from 9 to 11 hours,  I found myself wanting to get up and walk around the aisles every now and then. Windows have to stay shut during most of the flight anyway,so it was far nicer being able to get out of my seat and into the aisle without having to awkwardly climb over a stranger.

As I was always flying alone and usually arrived at the airport for my flight early, I never had any trouble getting aisle seating. This past month however, I traveled to Europe with my brother and was unable to get an aisle seat.  It wasn’t so bad though, as I was able to look out the window as we approached Heathrow airport in London. I should have taken a photo of how orderly the buildings were. It was a strikingly different view from the ones coming into ICN airport or SEATAC airport. Houses all neat in a row with small gardens in the back. It reminded me of Sim City where you can build rows and rows of the same houses to strike a uniform look. Still, I think once the novelty of the window seat wears off, the aisle seats are more preferable.

ed-sheeran

Ed Sheeran’s first album “+” has quickly become one of my staples for the past couple of months. Lately I’ve become rather obsessed with his voice and the two songs responsible for this are “Sing” and “I See Fire;” the more powerful of the two being “I See Fire.” If you’ve seen Hobbit 2: The Desolation of Smaug, this is the song that came out as the ending credits rolled out. The first 30 seconds of the song is incredibly soulful and rich, and it plays out in the rest of the song . If you check out the music video on youtube it starts at 40 seconds, and it’s absolutely amazing.

“Oh, misty eye of the mountain below
Keep careful watch of my brothers’ souls
And should the sky be filled with fire and smoke
Keep watching over Durin’s son”

The song has all the emotion underlying the Hobbit in the lyrics and has such a powerful message that it will shake you to the core. You can feel both bravery and loyalty…

“And if we should die tonight
Then we should all die together
Raise a glass of wine for the last time”

  …but you can also feel the pain, regret, and fear of losing a home, a country, brothers, friends, and people embodied in Ed Sheeran’s voice.

“And if the night is burning
I will cover my eyes
For if the dark returns then
My brothers will die”

The vibrations and the trills in both Ed Sheeran’s voice and guitar are perfection. Can you tell I’m absolutely in love with this song?

If “I See Fire” was love at first sight, “Sing” was a song that had to grow on me. When I first listened to the trailer that was posted on youtube, I had a rather mixed reaction about it. The way it starts out, deep and rich, reminded me of “I See Fire” and I was stoked at the idea of having another song by Ed Sheeran with that kind of depth to it.

“I want you to be mine, lady
To hold your body close”

Then the most unexpected thing happened 33 seconds into the song. He started singing high pitch. I remember thinking ‘oh no you didn’t. oh no..oh no no no no no no…don’t do this to me. why are you doing this to me?!’ I sat there for a bit wondering what to do with this completely different style of music. Once you listen to the rest you  realize you have a song that’s not the type of music you would normally expect from a singer-songwriter like Ed Sheeran or Jason Mraz. This is the sort of thing you normally hear if you’re listening to the latest pop music from billboards. Before I started to panic, I sat myself down and watched the Youtuber Q&A that had been posted with the trailer. I was relieved to hear that while he had gone and experimented with new styles in this upcoming album, there were still going to be songs in his original style.

Since then, I’ve reconciled myself with “Sing” and now rather enjoy the fact that I have an up-beat song by Ed Sheeran that I can crank up and dance around my room to. My favorite part is still the first 33 seconds of the song, but I’ve come to terms with the high pitched parts.

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