Category Archives: Random Thought

Quelqu’un m’a dit que…

…tu m’aimes encore…

I hope you out there still enjoy your time at this blog, for despite my inconsistent posts and lack of focus, I still love Where is Ashley? and all of you for your support (however tiny in number you are!).

The title of this post is also the name of a song that I love love LOVE because – Carla Bruni and her beloved Sarkozy aside – it brings me back to the distinct (though seemingly insignificant) moment when I heard this song for the first time. Within my first week in Switzerland, I found myself in the car of a girl I had just met and, only 10 minutes prior, had helped move into the student residence. But at that moment, we were on a mission. Three girls and one boy from different sides of the globe all stuffed in a car driving through darkness with no directions. The goal and eventual destination: IKEA, in a nearby town. When this song came up on the driver’s iPod nano, everyone except me seemed to know the words. The driver crooned in bliss, the girl beside me sang along between smiles and giggles, and the boy seemed to know how to laugh and sing simultaneously. Although I liked the song, I could do nothing more than smile, listen and crack up every so often at the rest of the car’s antics.

More than half a year later, this song still reminds me of that night. In fact, this song will remind me of my life in Switzerland long after I’ve forgotten the details. I love the brain’s ability to connect moments in time with our different senses. Although the ominous ‘they’ say that one’s sense of smell makes the strongest connections to events and even memories (just about everyone can recall a parent, grandparent or other close relative and still remember their scent of perfume, cologne or even shampoo), I feel that songs and other auditory stimuli are much stronger at eliciting a specific memory of an event. What about you? What always brings back memories for you?

In a roundabout way, hearing this song in passing also reminded me about my commitment to this project and my own intellectual development. This has been a busy month at school, and it won’t let up until early or mid-May. Despite a notebook scribbled with ideas and post outlines as well as a line-up of photos ready to upload, I’ve put aside this blog (and other personal projects/hobbies) for several weeks while burying my head in International Studies coursework.

However, the balance in life must return to equilibrium, and regular posts (at least once a week!) shall resume soon. With all the traveling I did over spring break (without even leaving the state!), make sure to keep your eyes peeled for my next installment of “One Reason I Love.” Thanks to you for your patience and support. Quelqu’un doit vous dire que je vous aime encore!

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In One Place

Despite the fact that within the past 5 years, I have only lived in a handful of places and have (save for this past fall semester) remained at one university, I feel as though I’ve been living out of a suitcase for practically the whole time. OK, part of that stems from the fact that it has taken me up to 2 months to unpack a single bag. However, splitting my life (and my myriad of what I’m starting to realize as way-too-many-unnecessary-belongings) between two temporary places in two different states for my whole college career has often left me wondering where I consider home. While I’ve spent the majority of time in one city, up until my return from Lausanne, I was living in a campus dorm, the epitome of a house that’s not a home. I never stayed longer than a span of three months before packing a suitcase and going to my parent’s place the next state over. Once there, I wouldn’t remain for more than a couple months before hauling back to university.

Compound that with the fact that neither place is where I grew up, that mid-sized town being 3,000 miles away in New England, and you’ve got one housed-yet-homeless girl. Thus, I always felt distanced from the actual walls and bed that kept me warm and sheltered. My old bedroom back home has relics of my young life rendered almost meaningless with time, but nothing new adorns it, except maybe another box of stuff I didn’t feel like taking back to California. I always meant to spruce up my dismal, tiny space in the dorms, but I was lucky if a Post-it made it on the walls let alone the hundreds of photos I wanted to put up. Keep reading…

The Facts About Bottled Water

Yesterday’s snowboarding trip to Verbier was amazing and at times tiring. But what bothered me the most? A tiny bottle of water (think 2 dL) at the lift lodge for 5 francs! Since I was thoroughly dehydrated and without other options – other than drinking from the bathroom sink while others look on in disgust – I begrudgingly handed the cashier a 5-franc coin while kicking myself for leaving my own full Klean Kanteen back at my friend’s chalet.

Then, today I stumbled upon this little kick in the shin. I knew bottled water is terribly un-green and a waste of resources, but that hasn’t stopped me in the past from consuming flats of bottled water every month back home. This thorough infographic via Online Education is a humbling reminder to find a better alternative (aka TAP WATER!). I’m happy to drink the tasty stuff that comes out of Swiss faucets, but unfortunately the tap back in sunny Southern California has never been my cup of tea (although I do use it to make all my cups of tea). Will I have to get over it and stop being a big baby??

Sure looks that way when you see how devastating of an effect bottled water has on the environment and the sheer amount of un-biodegradable volume it contributes to landfills. As much as I know drinking tap is significantly better on several counts, this is one post-travel goal I’m not looking forward to. I know I know, blame my picky palate of water…of all things to be picky about, right? Still, at least it’s another way to save money AND the beautiful environment, so I’ll just have to muster up all my will to not cave in and buy that flat of 24 bottles of water on my next trip to Ralph’s. Yes, even if it’s on sale for $2 with a Ralph’s card.