Flatmate Friday: Alex
This is the first of an exciting new series of blog posts featuring my lovely and (mostly) willing housemates (at least the ones that didn’t escape quickly enough when I asked “who wants to do a super cool thing on my blog?”)
Please forgive my slightly erratic interview style. I had a blast chatting to Alex but I have never done this before so I’m sort of learning on the job how to turn interesting conversations into worthwhile blog posts! I have abridged some of the conversation, but everything is taken straight from the interview and not paraphrased.
SIDE NOTE: It’s Saturday. I know. So shoot me. I’m a student; unless deadlines are flagged up on my moodle calender they mean literally nothing to me. I have been wearing a blanket-sarong since Wednesday because I am too lazy to wear trousers. Which is the reason that I didn’t do Alex’s interview on time. Although Alex actually frequently wears a yellow blanket-sarong so she probably would have been cool with it. END SIDE NOTE.
New York, Travel and Aggressive Cuddling with Alex
I went to hang out with Alex in her room and tried to sound like a professional interviewer while snuggling in her blanket, admiring her fox gloves and discussing the length of our limbs. (For anyone who is interested: Alex has gorgeous long legs and my legs are almost exactly as long as my arms. Hooray genetics.)
We laughed a lot and I also learnt a bit more about Alex’s actually very interesting life.
PV: Okay, first off – you are Alex
A: [Laughs] Yes, Hi, I’m Alex Weston, and I’m awesome.
PV: Okay, so just a few getting-to-know you questions… What is your favourite song?
A: I’ve honestly been writing so many papers I’ve been listening to the Mass Effect and the Skyrim soundtrack, and I’ve been listening to a lot of LORDE lately.
(check out Alex’s favourite LORDE song on YouTube)
PV: Do you mind me using, on my blog, a picture I found of you riding a small bicycle?
A: Of course not! [laughs] It’s one of my favourite pictures of all time. I was with my cousin in San Francisco… he has two children and we went down to the wharf. We had a bicycle because his son didn’t want to walk, and when he got off me and my brother took turns!
PV: So, tell us who you are, and what you’re doing in London on our fine soil
A: Well, I’m Alex, I guess I’m kinda a Vagabondy American, [laughs], I haven’t really lived in one place for the last four and a half years, and I’m in London studying abroad and having an awesome time with amazing people.
PV: Awesome! So, what do you study?
A: I study media studies with a concentration on digital and electronic media…
PV: So, what is that?
A: Honestly, it’s super complicated to explain. Actually, it’s not super complicated, that’s a total lie, it’s basically a mixture of watching movies, reading and critiquing literature, and creating things, whether that’s websites or adorable comic strips.
PV: Sweet, so are you doing this with a view to a specific career or do you just like it?
A: I don’t even know. I went into High School thinking I was gonna be a doctor for like, ever, and then I started doing Theatre, and then I started not wanting to be a doctor after Biology and, other things. I don’t even know – I thought of doing Law or Psychology, and then I was like ‘you know what, I like the media way too much’ and I almost didn’t do it because I had a really bad experience with a crazy art teacher in my last two years of high school who was just evil and made me never want to do Art again. But now I’m like ‘Art is good, and beautiful and there are many ways of doing art without actually being screamed at by a crazy Belgian woman’
PV: There are literally several ways of doing Art without being screamed at by a crazy Belgian woman.
A: It was sort of motivational… she was like; [squeaking maniacally…], it was sort of like dating a crazy person.
That was not in the states, this was in Geneva.
PV: So you spent your adolescence in Geneva, and then you went back to America, and now your family live in Abu Dhabi?
A: Hence the vagabond! [laughs]
PV: Right, and I find this really interesting, because you’re obviously forming friendships within that time, and that means that you have a lot of friends, and also that you have a lot of friends that you don’t get to see all the time.
A: Honestly, you get kinda used to it, when I was first moving to Switzerland I was like ‘I can’t believe that my parents are making me do this… you’re making me leave my friends in, basically, the most important part of my life’. At that point I was fifteen, and ‘angsty’, [laughs] but then I went to Switzerland and I just met some really amazing people and I had a completely different experience than I had in New York. I think that wherever you go, you meet new people and you cultivate new connections, and it doesn’t really matter who you leave behind because when you see each other again it’s like you never left.
PV: Did you gain a lot from living in Switzerland?
A: It definitely changed my outlook on life to a certain extent, it changed a lot of who I am and I think it made me a better person in a way, going through a lot of adversity definitely made me grow up quickly. Moving to a different country and being thrown into a language I didn’t understand and a culture that was completely foreign to me was kinda amazing and something that I think I would definitely want my kids to do, even though it was hard to leave, and I remember it being hard to leave. I always say now, whenever I have an experience that I love it’s because it’s somewhere that I went, or something that I did, travelling somewhere or meeting someone new. Sitting around in one place, or on your Facebook all the time is not fun, I want more.
PV: So is that why you came to London?
A: Honestly, I was kind of getting sick of living in Los Angeles, I love it but it’s such an insulated community, and I love all my friends so much and a lot of them have graduated, and I was cognisant of that when I was applying to study abroad. It’s like having a work transfer, but with an already built-in friend group, because they put you with people who are nice and young and awesome.
PV: Yay! I adore London…
A: Dude, this city is wonderful
PV: …and, you spent a lot of time here when you were younger…
A: I really like London, it’s definitely one of my favourite cities, it’s been in my top three cities since I was seven or eight. New York is always going to be number one in my heart, but I think London is definitely number two…. that’s really cheesy!
PV: No, I feel the same! New York is my second favourite city, and when I went to New York, I was like New York, f**king fantastic, but… if we were to compare them, the reason London is still top…
A: oh, controversy!
PV: Number one: New York subway is so confusing and I could not work it out. Number two: everyone in New York looks really fancy and they make me feel bad!
A: Dude, I feel the same about London, I walk around and I’m like ’everyone looks so pretty and I’m in my running leggings and sweatshirt and everyone’s wearing Zara…’ [laughs]
PV: Oh, and number three, there is food on every corner and everyone is still skinny!
A: that’s probably due to the amount of gyms. If you look up onto the second floor… there’s usually a gym up there.
PV: So what would you say are the big differences, or why does New York have the edge for you?
A: Honestly, it’s mostly because I grew up there, and even when I’m walking down, I don’t know, eighty-seventh street, I’m like ‘ah, trash day’, [sniffs] ‘Garbage!’. I know it’s totally gross, every time we drive into the city from JFK, I always roll down the windows and breathe in like ‘mm, Pollution’, but there’s a very specific smell, the pollution in New York is different
PV: So, it smells…
A: [laughs] I feel like New York has more vibrancy, especially at night, the buildings are more colourful and also bigger. It feels like, you know, it’s Gotham. You stand there and you look up and there’s literally just massive buildings above you and you feel like you are both on top of the world and being crushed by it. It’s hard to quantify why it’s awesome, but it just is, it’s one of those facts of life.
Just to finish, can we quickly discuss Brandy Melville and Agressive Cuddling?
PV: Brandy Melville is basically a one-size-fits-all clothes shop. All the clothes are the size of a…
A: a small child?
PV: a skinny girl.
A: I don’t know, honestly, I’ve definitely been in that position where I go to a shop and I’m like ‘oh, that’s a really cute dress’ and then ‘oh, it goes up to my waist’
PV: It’s a t-shirt!
A: It’s a t-shirt! [Laughs] I think that’s a very specific kind of couture, which caters to a classic expectation of something, and they create their brand image around that. I don’t know, it’s probably evil in all honestly.
PV: Probably true… Aggressive Cuddling?
A: [laughs] How did that even come up?
At this point Alex and I somehow got onto a pretty boring conversation about our opinions on leaving our windows open at night, and then we ironically procrastinated our interview by talking about how much we procrastinate…
A: what was the question? Aggressive cuddling? I don’t know, I don’t always aggressively cuddle but when I do, it’s beautiful. Sometimes I just get the urge to…[creepy voice] cuddle with people and sometimes they don’t want to cuddle with me but I make them cuddle me.
I hope you found Alex as interesting and adorable as I do, I’m hoping to eventually feature all of my lovely flatmates so stay tuned!