The Wall and beyond
Posted: September 11, 2013 Filed under: @Home, Language Learning, Trips | Tags: Amsterdam, exchange student, host family, roger waters, the wall, travel
A couple of times already Harald and I have said to each other that we should not forget that Zoé’s 18, but also “only” 18. She’s seen quite some stuff already in her short life, as you can imagine especially during her trips to Senegal. She’s familiar with discussing topics like war, famine, civil rights and seems to have thought well about her opinions on such issues. She’s also a very sensitive person, she feels how other people feel, she can get upset over a song because she can imagine the story told was sad or unfair. She is so grown up, but also such a child still.
Not only when it comes to having to do homework 😉 but also when we’re looking at planning your day, being realistic about how many activities will fit in a week and stuff like that can we tell Zoé’s “puppy syndrome” is still in full swing. We could have a scientific conversation about the adolescent brain, but we won’t 😉 . Sometimes her behaviour is touching and sometimes it’s pretty funny even.
As host parents we obviously want to share our home and interests. So one thing we love to share is the music we listen to. In the car on one of our trips about two weeks ago we talked about all of our music tastes and in particular about Pink Floyd and Roger Waters. Zoé told us her father also likes to listen to Pink Floyd, but she doesn’t know their music that well. We thought it would be nice to “educate” her a bit and had her sit through The Wall part 1 on the way to our appointment and The Wall part 2 on our way back home. Very uplifting and fun, don’t you think? 🙂
Still, even though Zoé was quite emotional and touched by the album, it didn’t scare her and she wanted to learn more about the stories behind it, the man who’d created the album, other songs written by him. We talked about it a lot and told her we had two tickets for The Wall concert in Amsterdam on Sunday the 9th of September. Harald and I had already discussed trying to get a ticket for Zoé too and when she turned out to be so enthusiastic, we decided to go for it. Although it was on such short notice, we were lucky to get another ticket, so we were very excited.
I’ll be honest with you tho. The way we got to know Zoé these past couple of weeks, I was a little scared to take her to The Wall. The album itself had touched her so much and I know from going to the show before how the visual effects of it can be very overwhelming. What if she came back utterly miserable and depressed?!
However, the biggest realisation of Zoé’s young age actually hit me during the show. I literally thought “Oh my, she’s 18 right? Right. Okay good. Wait, is this good?!”. I had totally forgotten about the sexually explicit images that are projected on the wall during the show. They’re all part of the story and partly known footage from the movie The Wall, but I was actually a little shocked that I hadn’t thought about this beforehand. We had talked about so many things concerning the show, the uniforms the musicians would wear at some parts, the nazi-like scenes, what they meant in this context and all other kinds of details. In the end I don’t think the sexual images shocked Zoé that much and fortunately it’s not like she’s a prude or anything. She even explained a French spoken part of footage that we hadn’t understood until she did. It wasn’t pretty either 😛 .
All in all this concert and the time we spent talking about it was a wonderful experience for all of us. For Zoé perhaps as a way to appreciate a project like The Wall even though the subject can be sad or overwhelming and for us as “new parents” to deal with a young person on the brink of adulthood (besides enjoying the show for the third time this tour :)). I hope we didn’t damage Zoé too much. She’s let us known several times that she really appreciates us for bringing her along so we’ll take her word on that 😉 .