Playlists are Important

Because every single playlist I've created chronicled a somewhat important moment in my life and every song I chose to go into a playlist was there for a reason. So I regret every playlist I've ever deleted because I thought I didn't need it anymore. I want to know the context in which I listened to that Andy Grammer song I remembered yesterday. But I can't. Because that playlist doesn't exist anymore. Why did I remember that Andy Grammer song after so many years? Because I felt an emotion that I felt some years ago when I first added it to a playlist that now no longer exists. Why was Tracy Chapman's Fast Car the first song on a playlist I once made and what made me choose the songs that followed? Why was José González's Heartbeats so important to me and why do I know every single word of Dj Sbu and Zahara's Lengoma even though it's in Xhosa? Why did I listen to Mi Casa's These Streets almost every morning on my way to classes in 2012/2013 and why did it make me so happy?

I don't know the answers to these questions because I no longer have evidence of the context in which I listened to them. I don't even know the point of this rant. Perhaps I just rediscovered my love for listening to music and I realized how much it means to me. Or I just overthink silly things like why I really liked certain songs.



Thinking things can get really annoying. Especially if you're like me and you replay every cringeworthy situation in your head until you feel like crawling into a hole and burying yourself with dirt with hopes of one day blossoming into a flower...maybe. It's like needing to scratch your head but you can't because you need both hands to carry really heavy bags. And so you must suffer that discomfort until you can drop the bags and scratch your head. The point is, it sucks.


And so I hum. I hum until my thoughts get drowned by the sound of my humming. But then you get tired of humming and the thoughts come up again and so you hum louder and I guess you repeat until you pass out from exhaustion or something.

Puccini and Mendelssohn: A Night’s Tale

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I am listening to Puccini's La Bohème because I am getting myself in the mood for a concert I my attending with my friend. We are going to see a choir perform Puccini and Mendelssohn. It is my first time going to this sort of event and I want to know what to expect.

I like Puccini. I feel transported. This is perhaps why I end up going to the venue an hour early. I only realize my mistake when I call my friend and she tells me she is at home and hungry.

'Mais, c'est pas grave', I say to myself. First, because I can't find a satisfying translation of this phrase in English and second, because it really was fine. I would just go to Uni Dufour and work on some French sentences. And so I do, listening to La Bohème as I make my way there. 

Uni Dufour

I had finally found a place to sit and had started to work on my sentences when a woman I now know to be homeless and her dog approached me.

“Do you know how to use these to access the Internet?” she asked, pointing to the stationed computers.

“No, I’m sorry. I don’t.”

“Do you know where I can access the Internet here?”

I shook my head. I didn’t.

“Do you think you could do a search for me on your computer?”

“Yes, sure.”

“Please check if the showers at the station are still open… and the prices.”

“Gare Cornavin?”


After what seemed like an eternity on the train station’s website, we established that the showers were open and we didn’t know the prices. She offered her thanks, asked for the time and we said our goodbyes. I didn't know the station had showers.

It was finally time for the concert. Puccini in my ears, I made my way to the venue. I happen to come across the shower lady and her dog and so I did the smile you do to acknowledge someone you have previously had a brief encounter with.

Perhaps this was a mistake because she called out to me. I had my earphones in and could barely make out her words. I thought she had another question.

“Linda?” she asked.

I shook my head. “No, sorry.”

“Ah I’m sorry, I thought you were my old friend Linda.”

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Victoria Hall

I waited outside for my friend but she was already inside. We talked for a while. I showed her my illustrations.

During the concert, I spent most of my time looking at the nervous trumpet player anxiously waiting for his turn. He wore a jacket that was a bit too tight. I felt bad for him because of how anxious he was.

The music was okay. I didn’t feel transported or anything. When I thought I was going to fall asleep, there was a noise. I thought nothing of it at first. Maybe something had fallen. Then the music stopped. What I thought was a thing was a human being. I was now fully awake.

No matter how far I strained my neck, our free student seats would not let me see what had happened.

So with my friend, I begin to speculate: she thinks it was a heart attack or a stroke but I choose to be optimistic and continue to believe that he has fallen. I don’t know why we both continue to imagine it was a ‘he’ as we never saw the person.

The music continues. We think the man (or woman) has finally received some medical attention. We are not sure.

I start to feel guilty as my thoughts flow with the rhythm of the music. I had spent the whole concert imagining something dramatic happening (like someone falling from the top just as the music reached a crescendo) but not someone having a heart attack or a stroke.

My thoughts end just as the music does. I clap with the others.



After spending the coldest day of my life in Bratislava, it was a relief to be welcomed into a moderately cold rainy evening in Prague. I was 17 the first time I identified the Czech Republic on a map. Before I had started learning French and found myself in Geneva, Prague was where I had wanted to spend my compulsory year abroad. Why Prague? There was no real reason. Well, none that I can think of now. I probably liked the name just like I liked the way Manchester sounded and decided to spend a year there.

Making decisions is not one of my strong suits but on this rainy evening in Prague, I knew that it was where I wanted to be. Not only because of my penchant for nostalgia but also because I was glad to be away from cold Slovakia.

Prague was exactly what I imagined it to be. Its beauty did not surprise me because I had once spent hours looking at pictures of the city, planning my life as an exchange student there. I felt some regret as I passed by Charles University with my friend. I mentioned how prettier it was than our university building back in Geneva and that perhaps I should have come here instead. She replied that we would never have met if I had chosen Prague. I tried to find some solace in that reply, keeping it at the back of my mind anytime I saw something that made me regret my decision not to choose Prague.

When I wasn’t full of longing, I took pictures. I took pictures of this place that I like so much for reasons I can’t fully explain.