August 14, 2019 – How to Take Public Transport from Jerusalem to Bethlehem: A Traveler’s Guide (OOTD #547)

After a brief intermission featuring the World Holocaust Museum, it was back to research on the West Bank border graffiti.

After devoting my first full day in Israel-Palestine to taking a comprehensive tour with a Palestinian guide, all I had left in mind to do with the remainder of my time was go back on my own and have a closer look at the artwork. Easy, right?

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More like easier said than done. It shouldn’t have been as surprising to me as it was, but it’s rather difficult to travel between Israel and Palestine. It must have something to do with how the two regions don’t get along with each other (and haven’t for years), and how Palestinians are prevented by law from entering Israel and Israelis are prevented by law from entering Palestine. Just a wild guess.

As a foreigner, you are free to visit both — in fact, you’re even free to visit the Gaza Strip, though you probably shouldn’t unless you’re a specialized humanitarian aid worker. But just because you are free to visit the areas, doesn’t mean it’s a stress-free experience. In fact, for me, it actually was rather stressful because for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how best to get from Jerusalem (on the Israel side) to Bethlehem (on the Palestine side) via public transport.

This guide ended up being rather useful for me, but as it turns out, it was a little over a year old and difficult to follow at points. I’ve decided to compile my own little guide below:

How to take public transport from Jerusalem to Bethlehem: A Traveler’s Guide (2019) 

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take some time out of your trip to Jerusalem to visit its neighboring city, Bethlehem. Lots of solo travelers visiting Israel miss out on visiting Palestine because of how difficult it is to get there without a tour guide to help you. Good on you for deciding to broaden your horizons and check out a part of Israel-Palestine that many don’t want you to see.

Though the two cities are right next to each other, they’re divided along political boundaries (and with a physical barrier called the West Bank border) that make taking public transport between them rather complicated. Whether you’re going to see the Banksy hotel or the Church of the Nativity, you can use this guide to get from Jerusalem city center to Bethlehem.

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Note: when traveling between Israel and Palestine, always remember to carry your passport with you! You will need it to cross any checkpoints. Additionally, you never know when you’re going to be stopped by a police officer or soldier and asked to show your papers. The reality is that they use a lot of racial profiling to determine who to stop, so if you look definitively “foreign,” you may be less likely to be suspected of being a Palestinian trying to sneak into Israel (or vice versa), but it’s best to be safe! 

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  • From Jerusalem Old City, you’re going to want to head to Damascus Gate, the gate opposite Jaffa Gate, a common meeting point for tour groups. Just across the street from Damascus Gate, you’ll find the bus station for the Palestinian bus company, South Bus Company. South Bus Company is the only one that offers transport from Jerusalem into Bethlehem; the Jerusalem bus company, Egged, will get you near the border, but it cannot take you into Bethlehem. You can tell South Bus Company buses apart from Egged buses because South Bus Company buses are blue and white while Egged buses are green.
  • South Bus Company runs three routes from Damascus Gate:
    1. The 234, “Checkpoint 300” (formerly the 24) — this bus travels from Damascus Gate to Checkpoint 300 (sometimes also known as the Rachel’s Tomb crossing). It does not technically go into Bethlehem. The bus will drop you off outside of the Checkpoint 300 terminal, at which you will have to cross the border on your own. This is what I did, as the 231 was not running the day I tried to visit. It’s a little scary at first, but with your foreign passport, the soldiers will hopefully not give you a hard time. They’re less concerned about people trying to get in to Palestine as they’re concerned about people trying to get out.
      • This is a good route to take if you’re only interested in seeing the West Bank border graffiti or the Banksy Hotel. They are within a 10 minute walk of the Checkpoint 300 exit. Use Google Maps to navigate you to the Banksy Hotel, and from there, you should be very easily able to follow the perimeter of the wall to see the art.
      •  Checkpoint 300 can be very busy depending on what time of day you visit! Try to avoid morning and evenings of weekdays, as many Palestinians will be crossing to leave for work/return home from work at these times
      • After you exit Checkpoint 300 on the Bethlehem side is a great place to grab a taxi, if you want one.
    2. The 231, “Beit Jala” (formerly the 21) — this bus travels from Damascus Gate to Bethlehem City Center, near the Church of the Nativity. This bus route does not require you to deal with Checkpoint 300 on your own, but you will still have to wait for the police to check the papers of every passenger. Because of this, you may be held up for some time. This is the route I tried to take, but for whatever reason, it was not operating that day, and I had to take the 234 instead.
    3. The 232, “Beit Safafa” (formerly the 22) — this was the route on which I was able to find the least amount of information. I know that it begins at Damascus Gate like the other two, but I was not able to find where it actually terminates. From what I could gather, I believe this bus may go all the way into Hebron, but I am not certain.
      • If you have any information on the 232 route, let me know and I’ll add it to the guide!
  • Fare for one trip is 5 NIS, or approximately 1.42 USD. You can only pay in cash.
  • Here’s South Bus Company’s official website that you can see the latest info on. They only have their website in Hebrew and Arabic, so use Google Translate if you need English (or another language). The site shows you routes and the schedules.
    • Note that in Palestine and Israel, the working week is Sunday-Thursday. From sundown Friday to sunrise Sunday, Jews (so, Israelis in particular) observe Shabbat, meaning that public transport in Jerusalem is not widely available. As a result, on the schedule, you’ll see Sunday-Thursday, then Friday and Saturday schedules.
  • Be mindful of time if you’re traveling very far into Palestine. Within Bethlehem and the rest of the West Bank, there are more checkpoints beyond the initial checkpoint crossing, depending on whether you are technically in Palestinian or Israeli territory. Each checkpoint has certain hours of operation, so you do not want to get caught on the wrong side of a checkpoint after it has closed!
    • Checkpoint 300, the main checkpoint for crossing between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, is supposedly open 24/7. However, I have also heard that Palestinians will queue for hours in early morning in order to ensure that they can get to work on time in the morning, so just because a checkpoint is permanently staffed, does not mean that processing will be efficient at all hours of the day!
  • To return to Jerusalem at the end of your travels, simply catch the bus again from where you got off. You will need to pay another 5 NIS fare. You can either ride the bus all the way back to Damascus Gate in Jerusalem or signal the bus driver (usually a wire to pull or button to press) that you want to get off at any of the stops in Bethlehem or Jerusalem along the way.

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Let me know if you have any particular questions or if there’s anything you think I need to elaborate on further! This is all just based on my experience over the summer; no guarantee of course that things will be the same when you visit. If you have any information to add based on your travels, please leave a comment!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my trip to Israel-Palestine this summer. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Top: TJ Maxx

Trousers: J.Crew

August 12, 2019 – The Writing on the Wall (OOTD #545)

Here we are: the actual reason for my trip to Israel-Palestine!

I didn’t really discuss this in my blogs from last spring, but I spent a sizable chunk of time before spring break writing a grant proposal to go to Jerusalem to do some research. It was a long shot — I never thought I’d actually get the money to go, and I mostly considered it an experiment with the grant-writing process (which I had only done once before, to go to Vichy for a week-long language intensive in French) that would be useful practice for later.

The plan to go to Israel-Palestine stemmed from the time I’ve spent over the last two years working with the Madrasa Discourses project, for the conciliation of traditional Islamic thought with modernity in India and Pakistan. The idea first came from a friend that I made while in Doha with an MD conference. She was the one who originally proposed turning our experiences with Madrasa Discourses and interreligious dialogue into an independent project, and so I owe it to her for inspiring me to actually go through with the whole undertaking.IMG_5062.jpeg

Though she ultimately couldn’t go, which was a huge factor in determining my level of comfort going to a politically tense area like Jerusalem, I still decided to do it. You don’t get a grant from your university to do research every day — especially when the research takes you to a country and a culture you’ve experienced been before.

There have been many famous walls throughout history – the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, the of Northern Ireland Peace Lines – and now a new barrier wall has joined their ranks.

This barrier wall is the West Bank barrier, which separates the Muslim-dominant Palestine from the Jewish-dominant Israel. Described by Israelis as a “security fence” (geder-ha-hafrada) and by Palestinians as an “apartheid wall” (jidar al-fasl al-‘unsuri), the barrier has been a subject of controversy ever since its construction began in 2002. Out of controversy and political unrest, however, can spring one of the most passionate and creative forms of self-expression: art.

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Much like what was seen in Berlin and Belfast, artists in Jerusalem have transformed the concrete that separates Israel and Palestine into a canvas for political discussion. On either side of these walls, activists, professional artists, and civilians have used graffiti as a way to express opinions about the situation in Israel-Palestine and the barrier’s existence.

During the course of my one-week journey to Israel-Palestine, I studied this political graffiti on the West Bank border wall, focusing specifically on the area around Bethlehem. My goal was to discover some of the artistic themes on the wall and how those reflected local sentiment about the ongoing Israel- Palestine conflict. More specifically, I wanted to study how the opposing narratives of the border wall as a “security fence,” as it is referred to by many Israelis, or as an “apartheid wall,” as it is referred to by many Palestinians, were evident in the wall’s artwork.

If you’re not familiar with the situation in Israel-Palestine surrounding the border wall, here’s a little context: the border was initially constructed by Israel to protect against extremist Palestinian bombings, and to many Israelis, it has done its job well. In 2004, approval of the wall for Jewish-Israelis was at 78%, with many arguing that it had caused the shift from nearly-weekly bombings in 2003 to only three attacks in 2004. IMG_5087.jpeg

However, though the barrier primarily follows the Green Line (a 1948 armistice border acknowledged by the UN), it swerves east several kilometers to incorporate certain Israeli settlements. To many Palestinians, this is nothing short of occupation and land grab. The wall cuts off many Palestinian citrus and olive farmers from their land, making it difficult or impossible for them to harvest their crops because of the new security checkpoints. Crossing the checkpoints from Palestine-controlled Bethlehem to get into Israel-controlled Jerusalem also poses many problems for Palestinians; people begin queuing hours in advance on weekday mornings so that they can get to their jobs in Jerusalem. Many simply bypass the checkpoints and cross the border illegally every morning instead — something Israeli employers easily take advantage of by refusing to pay “illegal” Palestinians for labor they have already completed.

With this background in mind, I began my preliminary research by taking a graffiti tour with a Palestinian guide. This initial tour was crucial, as he was able to point out key pieces of art (such as those by famous English graffiti artist Banksy) and direct me to other wall-related graffiti that was in the area but not necessarily on the wall itself. I came back at a later date to actually scrutinize individual pieces and photograph the wall itself; this first day was just to get my bearings with the help of a local. With this as my main goal for the day, I was able to relax a little and just enjoy learning.

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Due to the constantly changing nature of graffiti, some of the pieces that I had seen online when I had been doing research for my grant proposal had been completely removed or covered by new pieces of graffiti. For example, one, which had previously depicted President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu in a kiss, had been altered to remove their embrace. It may be interesting to go again in a year or so to see how the visible graffiti has changed — which pieces have been scrubbed away, or covered up by other graffiti, or had their message altered.

My guide also took me into Bethlehem to see a Palestinian refugee camp, where I got to talk to some locals (including an elderly man who rememberd when the Palestinians were orignally evicted from their homes in 1948 during what is known to Israelis as their War of Independence and known to Palestinians as The Nakba, meaning “the Catastrophe” in Arabic). Seeing the lives of Palestinians as they went about their days was honestly just as impactful as the graffiti. At one point, we had to cross into a piece of territory that was technically under the control of Israel. We, as foreigners, were allowed in but our Palestinian guide was stopped by IDF soldiers before he even got to the checkpoint.

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But it wasn’t all politics and gloom — we visited a part of Hebron, where we saw a glassblowing workshop. We also saw the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the (honestly, kind of tacky) Crusade-era church built to commemorate the supposed birthplace of Jesus. And we got lunch at a really lovely Palestinian cafe, which was still open despite the fact that it was a Muslim holiday and most places were closed.

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When I originally wrote this grant proposal, I had hoped to learn about both sides of the Israel-Palestine conflict through the artwork on the wall. As it turned out, there wasn’t much artwork on the Israeli side at all, nor was there much artwork on the Palestinian side that might be described as “pro-Israel.” I thought that this might be the case going in — graffiti often being used more as a vessel for protest rather than praise — so my trip helped to confirm my belief.

Because I actually visited Palestine/the West Bank, rather than just viewing images of the wall online, I actually got a sense of what life is like for the Palestinians who live behind the wall. Perhaps most apparent was the great wealth disparity that was immediately visible as soon as I crossed from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. They feel like worlds apart — one is relatively safe, modern, and comfortable, and the other looks more like what you’d imagine a war zone in the Middle East to be. The massive concrete wall, guard towers, and IDF soldiers watching you from above doesn’t help.  

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Do I recommend that you go to the wall itself? Personally, I feel a little conflicted about the concept of political tourism, because actual people’s lives aren’t something to be gawked at and photographed like animals at a zoo — however, it’s critical to educate yourself about the history and political context of the places you go, and one of the best ways to do that is simply to pay a visit to a contested area. Each city has one– it’s Freedom Square in Budapest, it’s the Opéra in Vichy.

As the quote goes, travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. Respect the people you encounter, don’t treat it like it’s another tourist destination for Instagram, and share what you see if it so moves you to consider a different perspective or narrative than you thought you knew.

If you ever get the chance to visit Israel-Palestine, I highly recommend popping over to the West Bank to get the Palestinian story. Whatever you decide, do as the graffiti says and don’t be a brick in this wall. IMG_5145

 

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my trip to Israel-Palestine this summer. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Top: Zara

Coat: Forever21

Trousers: Altar’d State

Sunday Musings – September 2019 Bullet Journal Spread (in October…)

Oof, it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted one of these. 

Look, I’ve been busy. I’ve been to seven different countries and three different continents in the time since I last posted a “Weekly Musings” or a bullet journal post. I finished my sophomore year, finished an internship in South Bend, finished an internship in Rome, finished a research trip to Israel-Palestine, and made it halfway through an internship in Washington DC.

And it’s not like you missed out on much in my bullet journaling. I did a spread from April, and it actually turned out quite nicely, but I haven’t done a spread since then. Maybe I’ll post the April one a little down the line — a sort-of bullet journal #throwbackthursday, perhaps?

These bullet journal spreads just take so much time! I love doing them, but I need to sit down and devote a solid five or six hours to getting everything drawn. The reality is, they’re never really done until the month is well-over. And sometimes they’re never fully-done — you may notice that my mood tracker was never filled in for several days towards the end of the month, for example.

That’s what I love though. Because I can’t draw everything at once, I have to work on it a little bit at a time, especially with the mood tracker doodles. It’s not a daily thing, but it certainly is an every-several-days-or-maybe-once-a-week thing. It gives me a way to keep up with my drawing, even if it’s only drawing simple line illustrations.

The only part that I really try to do all at once in one sitting is the month cover page (the part that says “September” with the big drawing of the Washington DC Metro map). The cover page sets the theme and color scheme for the rest of the pages, so I have to complete it first. Ideally, I’d have it done before the month actually begins.

Well, ideally, I would have posted this blog before the end of September, so you can tell where my ideals get me.

Regardless, I hope you enjoy looking at my bullet journal spread, even if the month it’s about has come and gone. I rather like how the Washington DC public transport theme played out, especially on the cover page. The color scheme isn’t as strong with this one (I tried to do like, a red-white-and-blue thing, but it was hard), and I ran out of Washington DC doodles for my mood tracker and I had to resort to random Americana imagery, but I’m still satisfied with the overall product.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Bullet Journal Supplies (with Amazon links)

Bullet journal: The Scribbles that Matter Pro, A5, 

Pens: Pilot Frixion 

Markers: Prismacolor Brush Tip  and Copic Brush Tip

 

Saturday Musings – March Bullet Journal Spread!

One of my favorite things about sharing my bullet journal spreads on this blog is that I don’t have to come up with a creative blog titles — I can just announce that I’m writing about my bullet journal spread and be done with it.

Anyway, this blog will be about my March spread. Please don’t pay attention to how this is being posted on March 30, also known as the second-to-last day of the month.

As I see it, though, people can still be inspired by my bullet journal drawings regardless of when in the month it is — it’s not like I’m a bullet journal influencer, so I don’t see any reason to post my spreads at any particular time. Besides, I’m new to bullet journaling myself, so I don’t see myself as anything worth copying at the moment. In fact, I’m still copying the layouts of some of my favorite artists, like AmandaRachLee.

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shhh, i know it’s not march anymore

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I’m kind-of surprised with myself for managing to keep up with bullet journaling for so long (that is, if you ignore the three-month hiatus I took from October-December where I basically didn’t write/draw anything at all). I really like it as a way to force myself to draw a little every day — since I’m not in art classes really anymore, it’s a great way to try to exercise my skills.

I honestly wish I had more time to devote to it, though — I sometimes find that I end up rushing through a design/spread because I know I have limited time each day realistically to work on my journal. I wish I could do elaborate, time-intensive, and detailed drawings each month, but they usually end up pretty simplistic.

And simplistic isn’t a bad thing! But a lot of my artwork in the past was very detail-oriented, and there’s nothing really I’m doing right now to practice that kind of artwork. It’s looking like I’ll have a month at home in between my various travels, so maybe that’s something I’ll work on then.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Bullet Journal Supplies (with Amazon links)

Bullet journal: The Scribbles that Matter Pro, A5, 

Pens: Pilot Frixion 

Markers: Prismacolor Brush Tip  and Copic Brush Tip

 

Tuesday Musings – February Bujo!

Hey look, I know I’m late — but at least this post is getting done before the end of the month.

Believe it or not, I actually finished the spread for this month at a decent time this month. I can’t tell you exactly when I finished the cover page, but it was toward the beginning of the month.

So why did it take me so long to share my designs on my blog? In truth, I just didn’t have a chance to do the photography. I also hadn’t finalized some fo the doodles for my calendar portion (like what you see under February 22 and 16, and I didn’t want to post pictures of my designs until I’d included those extra little drawings.

I like the spread I did for February, though I kind-of wish it were a little more representative of what February in South Bend is really like — that’s to say, while I like the flowers I drew, flowers aren’t exactly something I saw once this entire month. I saw a lot snow, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, snow is a little harder to draw, and not nearly as colorful.

And so I think the February spread represented more my hopes for what the month would be like, rather than my expectations. I mean, you’ll notice, I also included lots of Valentines Day-themed drawings, and it’s not like I actually did anything exciting for Valentines Day (more on that in the February 14 blog).

The winter is definitely wearing thin. At the time of writing this blog, it’s February 26, and I’m about a week and a half out from spring break. “Spring break” — that should imply that spring is around the corner, right? Not here. It’s still definitively winter here in beautiful Northern Indiana. I think it made it all the way up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit today — so basically, it was a scorcher.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Bullet Journal Supplies (with Amazon links)

Bullet journal: The Scribbles that Matter Pro, A5, 

Pens: Pilot Frixion 

Markers: Prismacolor Brush Tip

 

Saturday Musings – Bujo

Today, I realized something that should have been obvious — “bujo” stands for “bullet journaling.

I’ve been seeing the bujo tag on Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr for ages to represent images of visually appealing, artistic, and cutesy journal pages. I’ve also been seeing bullet journals all over — which ultimately influenced my decision to purchase one for myself and try to get into it. However, of all of my years of consciously knowing that “bujo” and “bullet journaling” were aesthetic journal trends, I never realized that they were the same thing. Bujo = BUllet JOurnal. Shouldn’t that have even obvious?

In other news, you’ll notice that I’ve brought my Saturday Musings series back! I haven’t done one of these posts since mid-September. I initially took a break because I just felt like I didn’t have any new inspiration for posts — they were getting repetitive, just shots of my coffee and my laptop over and over again. I started the series to give me a break and take the pressure off from the OOTD posts, and yet, I found that the Saturday Musings posts were just putting pressure on me to produce flatly-style pictures even when I had no new ideas.

But now that I’ve gotten into bullet journaling (sort-of — I did kind of fall behind in November and December), I have a new source of inspiration for what I can show off in these Saturday Musings posts. So I’m brining it back — but I’m taking the pressure off of myself to do a post like this every week, and to do them only on Saturdays. Now, these “musings” style posts will come whenever I feel the inspiration for them — be that on a Saturday or no.

Anyway, I finally got around to doing a January bullet journal spread, and so I thought I’d  share it with you today. With all of the traveling I did at the end of 2018/beginning of 2019, I thought this image of the globe would be fitting. But then, of course, after the traveling was all over, it was time to return to university, so I combined the travel imagery with some study inspiration in the form of books. I guess you could say the general theme for the January spread is studying through cultural immersion.

Or maybe there’s no overarching theme — just some aesthetically-pleasing doodles and colors combined into a calendar spread. Going with the theme of minimal commitment and pressure that I’m adopting with my blog, I’m also not putting strict definitions or rules about what my bullet journal has to be. It’ll be whatever it ends up being.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Bullet Journal Supplies (with Amazon links)

Bullet journal: The Scribbles that Matter Pro, A5, 

Pens: Pilot Frixion 

Markers: Prismacolor Brush Tip

Monday Musings + Coffee – Rebranding

This is it — Saturday Musings + Coffee is no more!

I’ve come to the conclusion that I just can’t be trusted to keep up with consistent slice-of-life flatlay posts. Believe it or not, I find flatlay photography much more difficult than fashion photography. For me, at least, it takes a lot more effort to hunt down enough cutesy “little things,” and then a good clean background (there are surprisingly few white tables at Notre Dame) for a flatlay post than the effort to put on a cute outfit and get someone to take a picture of it. I’m going to put on clothes anyway, so it doesn’t take much more to take some photos of the outfit, but I have to go out of my way to do flatlay pictures. Believe me, my life is never as well-organized or simplistic as these photos portray.

But don’t worry — I’m not getting rid of the Musings + Coffee lifestyle posts. I don’t think I can keep up with weekly Saturday posts, but I do want to continue the spirit of them. That’s why today’s post is called “Monday Musings” — because it’s Monday, and I’ve decided I don’t want to be restricted to an arbitrary weekly blog post system that revolves around one day. From now on, I’ll do Musings + Coffee posts when I feel like it, regardless of the day of the week.

What a novel concept.

Speaking of novel concepts, happy September! I can’t believe August is already over — this time last month, I was still living in Kentucky with my parents and going to work in Frankfort. Now I’m back in school, and life moves at a completely different pace and rhythm.

As for September’s bullet journal spread, I decided to focus it around Notre Dame fall football (with some Charlie Brown characters thrown in for added flavor), since we’ve got three home games this month. Honestly, the constant football is kind-of exhausting. Love thee Notre Dame and stuff, but I’ll be pretty relieved when I can finally have a Saturday to rest and just do homework.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Nepal Day One

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It took 27 hours of traveling including layovers, but finally, I’m here!

These photos were taken in the Chicago O’Hare terminal while I waited for my flight to Abu Dhabi — waiting which I probably shouldn’t have done.

See, I had a four hour layover in Chicago after I flew out from Lexington, and so I figured I would be able to sit there with my laptop for at least a little and do a bit of work. That’s actually where this blog was written and published.FullSizeRender.jpeg

So after two hours of sitting there in the domestic terminal, I figured I’d saunter over to the international one, which, judging by the signs I had seen, was just a short ride on the airport rails away. At this point, I had two hours before my flight departed, and I thought I had plenty of time.

Of course, things didn’t happen as planned — the rails were closed for some reason, which I didn’t realize until I had gone to two separate platforms at different locations in the airport and seen that they were closed. After asking around — with one person even telling me that the rails were open, which they clearly weren’t — I found a shuttle to take me to the international terminal.

That all took about 45 minutes, so as I rode the shuttle over to the international terminal, I was slightly worried, but not terribly so. That was, until I arrived at the international terminal and saw the queue to get through security.

I made it through, but not before worriedly calling my mother and questioning whether I’d be able to make it through in time. I’ve had experiences where it’s taken hours to get through a long security line, and I was afraid that that would happen to me again. Thankfully, by channeling my native Chinese pushing-through-lines skills, I was able to get through with about thirty minutes to spare.IMG_1116.jpeg

I was one of the last people to board the flight, and I missed out on any chance I might’ve had otherwise to get bumped up to business or first class, but I made it, and that’s what counts.

There’s more to this travel story, but I think I’ll leave it until I post the blog from that day. Until then, here’s what Google Translate just told me is “goodbye” in Nepali: अलविदा!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

 

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Bullet Journal Life

Oh no guys, I’m posting another Saturday Musings blog on a Sunday. What a terrible blogger am I.

This weekend sees me beginning my first bullet journal, which is arguably a terrible decision for the actual organization of my life. See, I’m terrible at devoting time to projects like this. I want them to turn out beautiful, as if I’d put hours and hours of my time in to it, but I’m unwilling to put the hours and hours into it, so I wind up with something where a few pages are done to perfection and the rest are half finished and neglected.

But I just couldn’t resist! I started watching AmandaRachLee’s bullet journal tutorials on YouTube, and I couldn’t stop myself after I saw her pretty pastel colors and simplistic designs. Plus, I figured I already spent a lot of time putting doodles into my planner and making that look cute, so why not put just a little more time into making a bullet journal look cute?

We’ll see how it turns out, I guess. I’ve finished my June spread, and I’m really happy with how it turned out! I used my Prismacolor alcohol-based markers, resulting in having to skip pages due to bleed through (“ghosting” as I’ve heard it called), but I didn’t really have anything better to use. My Prismacolors aren’t really being used for anything right now anyway, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I’ll keep you updated on my bullet journal adventures! I’m not sure I’d put much faith into me actually maintaining it, especially once school begins, but I wouldn’t count it out either. I like it so far, so hopefully my motivation remains!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Let’s Gogh

Shoutout to Google for always being there for me when I need some kind of dumb pun to title one of these blogs with.

Getting back into art again after having pretty much done none at all during the entirety of last semester hasn’t been quite as easy as I had hoped. I wouldn’t really say it’s been difficult, by any means, but there is a little bit of extra thinking I’ve had to do when I draw. How would I accurately portray that? How do I get these two lines to be symmetrical? That sort of thing.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m considering a minor in studio art, and I think I’m going to keep with that intention for now, assuming I do alright grades-wise in this drawing class I’m in now.

I guess my biggest complaint about the class I’m in now is that there’s very little creativity in the work we’re doing. It’s an introductory course, so we’re starting with the basics – still lives, color wheels, gesture sketches, the like. The thing is, I was doing still lives and color wheels and gesture sketches way back in early high school and middle school – which isn’t to say I don’t still have a lot to learn about how to draw accurately, but I feel like I’m in a place where I can do that without having to draw the same apple again five times.

In one of our most recent sketchbook assignments, we were tasked with using colored pencils to portray simple objects in unnatural colors, which I found to be a lot of fun in that it offered a chance for more creativity than usual. Hopefully, as the class goes on, we’ll have more opportunities like this.

In the mean time, I’m just going to do my best to stop working in the art building so late into the night that I fall asleep there and have to be woken up by the cleaning lady who comes in at 7AM. That happened once, and it was quite awkward.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!