"It's not the power of the curse ... it's the power you give the curse".

Did CELI 3 today. Started late as expected. We started at 09:30 and I left at 3 pm. How was it? Well, there's always that possibility that I was going to fail. I had tried my best on the writing part, I think I did okay but I can be so wrong and with the minus marks, things can really go downhill. The essay parts were quite different from the previous years that in the end I decided to write less in hope that I would make less mistake that way. I already knew I made some spelling error. The listening parts were confusing, I may have gotten everything wrong. Again the minus marks may kill me. However the most devastating part was the oral part. Was it nervousness? I don't know. I just don't speak Italian "don't" is really the correct word and tense to use. I was pretty sad. I was even more sad because Maria was there and so I felt rather bad and embarrassed. I hope she didn't feel disappointed especially since she has helped me a lot. I hope Antonella and her were kind enough to let me pass the oral part I really couldn't say much, now it's really in God's hands.

Come to think of it and to put things into perspective, I first took English lessons when I was 9 and I stopped taking proper lessons when I was 17, even though there were still lessons in school. So that was about 8-9 years of learning English. Then there were also movies and songs which helped me get more infused with English and yet I still failed Qualifying English Test (QET) in NUS. I wasn't bummed out because mostly everyone failed as well. Not a good attitude by the way, just because everyone else fail doesn't mean it is good for you to fail as well. When I saw some of my early posts in this blog, I also felt that my English was rather poor. So the moral of the story is, it takes a long time to master a language and it really helps if you can practice it a lot. Me and my Italian, well it's been 2 and half years of lessons. I've never been to Italy. The only time I speak Italian is in class and me speaking my opinion and thoughts in proper sentences are actually pretty rare as well. So as much as I tried to drill myself with Andrea Bocelli, Neri Per Caso, and Jovanotti, and the rest for the past month, well they could only do so much. So when I see it that way, it is rather a tall order to take an exam which really test your proficiency of the language. So me attempting to do it and getting some of the things right and understanding the comprehensions are actually quite an achievement in itself. I really hope I don't fail. I hope God let me pass but I guess if I fail, well 3 months from now we'll find out, hopefully I will be strong enough to accept it. After the test, I sent an sms to Starfish, just like last year, in hope that it will bring me good luck.

So yeah, that's today and yes I do take Italian classes. Every Saturday, that's what I mean when I wrote Saturday engagements. I kinda wanted to hide this fact about me. I try to hide certain personal things in this blog, however since now many people know that I am taking Italian classes, there's pretty much nothing to hide anymore. CELI is an Italian test from Università per Stranieri di Perugia (a university for foreigners in Perugia). Last year I took CELI 2 and I passed. Today I took CELI 3. There's 5 levels in CELI, so if I pass level 3, I suppose I am somewhat in the middle. Okay, enough about that.

So today after the test, I did a bit of an errand and then decided to go watch a movie to destress. Went to Cathay Cineleisure and I went to watch Penelope. Was a bit late for it and I blame it on the 2 girls in front of me who idiotically giggled their way in getting their tickets and a less than 1 minute process took forever for them to complete. I tried my best to be patient and calm. Sigh. Anyway, I love Penelope a lot though the story was pretty ordinary, a simple straight forward fairy tale story. By the way the title of this post is a quote from the movie. I wanted some easy-to-watch movie and this movie was perfect. I wonder why it wasn't advertised much and is only shown at Cathay cinemas. I found James McAvoy in this movie to be very very charming and handsome. I really fell for him, my kind of guy. Of all the movies I saw him in, this is really the one in which I found him to be very sweetly attractive. He kinda reminded me of Ryan Gosling actually. I found all the other actors were amazing as well, kinda couldn't remember their names but really everyone acted really well and each of their characters really added something to the screen. They were really great. So I suppose if you want some light entertainment and you are a girl, do watch this. I suppose guys will just roll their eyes on this kind of movie.

So this week had been okay. I had been somewhat focused on studying so in a way it's kind of a relieved that it's all over. The past 2 nights the head was rather consumed with today, so I guess tonight I could sleep better. Last Friday I had some fun. Attended Ms. Sab's Stop Motion training and did a short movie with the peeps whom many I don't know their names. I have to say that one, I have no artistic flair that my contribution in the mermaid that me, Lois, and la Gioia made was the rocks and seaweeds and a pearl. Things which pretty much were round. Some people just have the talent, like Lois. Two, I don't really have much patience and one really need that in doing stop motion. During the process, I kinda hoped that we could just quickly finish the whole thing. Overall, the group did a good job and we actually had a story going on. Tried to play with Monkey Jam again just now and Windows Movie Maker and so I managed to add a few things in the final version. Tried uploading the video using blogger, let's see if it works. Okay, take care peeps!



:) eKa @ 9:23:00 PM • 0 comments

Of Wedding and Friends

Went to Nyile's wedding today. Left Saturday's engagement half way to be there. Luckily the church was pretty much just next door. Of all the weddings that I've been in my adult life, this was perhaps one in which I was seriously kinda excitedly happy for the groom. I don't know why, maybe his happiness spread. He was in such glee when he was walking down the aisle, grinning widely. Maybe also because I was reminded of the Kent Ridge days that we spent and it felt really good to see that he got his happiness, that he managed to successfully cross 1 major task in his life to do list. He was quite emotional at the wedding. I think he was in tears in many of the high points. Kinda funny in a cute way for me because for as long as I know him he's more like the joker type. His wife on the other hand looked pretty strong throughout it all. I suppose that's what one look in a marriage or relationship, one who can balance you. I am sure they will have their moments in which one would be stronger for the other. Again, I have to say, I'm really happy for Nyile.

With Vivy not being around, I kinda didn't have anyone to hang out with at the wedding. Not that I didn't know anyone there. There were many NUS friends of mine. Somehow perhaps since we don't really keep in touch and people pretty much lead their own different life, it's kinda weird to connect. Somehow people were with some other friends. Back in NUS days, I would perhaps hang out with Felis for example, but apparently now she is with David. Another cute thing for me. I know the 2 separately and never in my mind thought they would be together. So God really has His way. By the way, Felis said that she had difficulty recognizing me when I came. Ah, another person who told me this. Okay, I suppose I do change when I dress up, though I didn't really dress up much today (didn't wear a skirt). Anyway during the wedding I sat in the same row with Copper, who sat next to a girl whom I thought was his girlfriend. Apparently no, he's still as single as I saw him last So in the end, I kinda just hung out with the guys, him including, and Niko, Donikon, and Boom2.

Boom2 is same old same old. Niko was very friendly. We didn't really interact much back in Block A but we talked quite a lot today. He's actually married now. To an Indonesian girl, a friend from primary school. Isn't that cute? Another funny thing how things work out. I'd always thought that he would be the first one of us who would turn to Singapore citizenship and marry a Singaporean, but God has other plans. Donikon is attached and works for an Italian company doing cool stuff. He works in a ship of the shore of Taiwan. Lucky that he's on his break now, that he could attend this wedding. So what they do is, they put pipe under the sea so that gas could flow from one Taiwan city to another. I think it's cool and his working place is cool too, but I am sure that the novelty for me will perhaps die down in 1-2 weeks. As he said, you could only see the ocean and all the crews are guys. No girls there. But the whole thing is cool, don't you think? All these times when we talk about Italian, we always talk about how laid back they are, how they don't seem to take thing seriously and move in a relaxed way, but they really can be a brainy bunch. Ferrari is another example of their awesomeness. So that's the wedding story.

Movies these week were: Kung Fu Panda on Tuesday with NanSee and Sex and the City yesterday with NanSee and la Gioia. Kung Fu Panda was pretty nice. Love the animation and the scenes. Love how cute Po is. He is Jack Black and Jack Black is Po. I think Po is really made for Jack Black. Story wise, it was okay for me. Other than Po, I thought the Shifu was pretty cool as well. Basically it's because he came in a small size and yet so awesome in his kung fu. I think Dustin Hoffman also did a good job in voicing his frustration as the Shifu with Po being selected as the dragon warrior. Overall, it was pretty good. Sex and the City, I really love. I think it was nicely done and I was quite entertained. Yes the movie had many cliche but it would be silly to hope that Sex and the City will give you enlightenment on life questions. For me the movie was not all about love, I find that it was more about friendship and as always (as it had always been) about ladies being strong, independent, and putting their happiness first. Selfish as it may sound, but this series is never one who tell you that you should pin your happiness on that prince charming. As Samantha declared in this movie, her happiness come from a relationship with herself and she putting her first before everything else. I was kinda sad that her relationship didn't last but it was really true to her character in the series. Overall, I love the movie. I'm never the girlie girl but my girlie side seriously came out watching this movie. I love the clothes, shoes, and I do want to have that big closet as well. If only ... if only it's possible.

This week has been okay I think. CELI schedule is out. It will start early, darn it! My preparation is still not good enough or done for that matter. I really need to work harder. Sigh. Ah I almost forget. Ayu has given birth to a baby boy. From the initial picture I saw, he was pretty cute. I thought the name was cool, though I couldn't remember the full name. Only the first name, which is Gibran. I think it was from the poet Kahlil Gibran, I don't know if I am right though. I wonder what they are going to call him in short, Gibby? This week I had a chance to have lunch with MarChe and Lois. Got to know MarChe more. Reason for me writing this unimportant stuff is because I wanted to quote what he said during lunch. He said, "It's easy to go into a relationship, but it's so much more difficult to get out". True, I suppose. Though I've never had experience in that. Let me leave you now with a piece of narrative.

...
I chose the seat by the window. I've always thought the view was awesome and somewhat I wonder what it would be like to sit with him and see the view. It was perhaps not the most beautiful view ever, but it reminded me of my old room where I used to like to sit down by the window at dusk and see the blue sky that never failed to mesmerize me. I brought him dinner. We sat down, looked at each other. There were some silence and we just stared at each other. Perhaps it's been awhile since we last did this that words did not come easily. We passed the how are you, how's life thing. I asked coyly about his love life. Why did I do that? Partly I think because I want to know and perhaps also because I am addicted to pain. Stupid reasoning, I know. I really don't know why I want to hurt myself. I think he hesitated. Maybe he had some brain in there not to hurt me but in the end he relented. That is after he said, "Beg me". "Fine", I said, "Tell me about the girl ... please". So he told me. It wasn't a good ending for him. In a way perhaps I should be happy. But there were details that stirred my inside. He said, "I actually like her" and that made me quite sad.

That story and his need to vent out his feeling led to some stories of his past. Stories which kinda irked me. There and then, I thought, boy, you and me are seriously so different. I don't think we could be together ever because I don't think I can get over this thing about you. How I could have fallen for you was incomprehensible. As we finished our dinner, I told him that the talk was good. It was healthy and enlightening for me. I suppose this sentence and the look in my face (whatever it was) made him rather conscious. We took the long walk to the bus stop. At one junction he said he wasn't being serious about some of the things he said, about his revelation of his lifestyle. In my head I thought dude, why do you have to do this. If you want us to be friends, why do you still care with what I think of you. It's not like you are trying to impress me or anything. I told him, "Why do you need to hide this? I know many thing about you. This doesn't not really surprise me much. I just don't get you. After all this time, why do you still care with what I think?". I would have thought me sticking up to him all this time proves that I have been there regardless of his stupidity and antics. I guess he never really sees me, the wonderful me.

I suppose I fell for the different him. He who wanted to be someone else. I knew a different side of him, a side which made me happy. However he should be a person that he wants to be, a person that he can be happy and comfortable with and unfortunately it's not someone who I could understand or actually accept. I even have difficulty now thinking how I can be friends with a person like this. I guess the answer is, we are just not going to be that close of a friend.

If this is not the definition of "not meant to be", I don't know what is.
...

In Indonesian now.
...
Aku memilih tempat duduk dekat jendela. Aku selalu berpikir pemandangannya indah and aku selalu berpikir bagaimana rasanya untuk duduk bersamanya dan menikmati pemandangan itu. Bukan pemandangan yang paling indah di dunia, tetapi pemandangan ini mengingatkanku akan kamarku yang dulu di mana aku sangat suka duduk di tepi jendela saat matahari mulai terbenam dan melihat birunya langit yang selalu membuatku kagum akan Tuhan. Aku bawakan dia makan malam kita. Kita duduk, memandang satu sama lain. Ada saat-saat hening di mana kita hanya melihat satu sama lain. Mungkin sudah lama sejak kita terakhir makan bersama, sehingga kata-kata tidak datang dengan mudah. Basa-basi pun lewat, bagaimana kabarmu, bagaimana hidup. Aku bertanya dengan segala keingin-tahuan tentang kehidupan cintanya. Mengapa aku lakukan itu? Mungkin karena aku sangat ingin tahu, mungkin juga karena aku ingin rasa sakit itu. Alasan yang bodoh, aku tahu. Aku tak tahu kenapa aku ingin menyakiti diriku. Aku rasa awalnya dia ragu. Mungkin otaknya berkata jangan sakiti dirinya, tetapi akhirnya dia menyerah, setelah dia berkata, "Ayo, mohon dulu!". "Baiklah", kataku, "Cerita tentang cewek kamu ... ayo". Lalu mulailah ceritanya. Bukan kisah yang indah untuknya. Seharusnya aku senang, tetapi ada bagian dari ceritanya yang menusuk hati. Dia berkata, "Aku sebenarnya benar-benar suka dia" dan itu membuatku cukup sedih.

Ceritanya dan keinginannya untuk mencurahkan rasa hatinya membawa kita ke cerita tentang masa lampaunya. Cerita yang membuatku sangat kecewa dan sedikit kesal. Saat itu aku berpikir, 'nak, kamu dan aku sangat berbeda sekali. Aku rasa kita tak mungkin bersama karena aku rasa aku tidak akan bisa membiarkan ini tentangmu lewat. Bagaimana aku pernah jatuh hati kepadamu sangatlah sukar untuk dimengerti. Kita pun selesai makan, dan aku bilang ke dia kalau obrolan ini bagus, menyehatkan dan sangat membuka mata untukku. Aku rasa kalimat ini dan ekspresi mukaku (apapun ekspresi mukaku saat itu) membuat dia tersadar. Kita lalu berjalan cukup jauh ke halte bis. Saat di persimpangan, dia berkata dia tidak serius tentang beberapa hal yang dia katakan tentang hidupnya. Dalam kepalaku, aku berpikir, 'nak kenapa kamu harus berkata seperti ini. Kalau kamu ingin kita berteman, kenapa kamu peduli dengan apa yang aku pikirkan tentangmu. Kamu kan tidak berusaha untuk membuatku kagum tentangmu. Aku bilang kepadanya, "Kenapa kamu berasa kamu harus menutupi ini? Aku sudah tahu banyak tentangmu. Ini tidak terlalu mengagetkan. Aku suka nggak ngerti kamu. Setelah banyak hal, kenapa kamu masih peduli dengan apa yang aku pikir?". Aku pikir, selama ini aku berdiri di sampingnya sudah merupakan bukti bahwa aku selalu ada untuknya meski dia suka bodoh dan aneh. Aku rasa, dia tak pernah benar-benar melihat aku, aku yang luar biasa baik ini.

Aku rasa, aku jatuh hati kepada dia yang berbeda. Dia yang saat itu ingin menjadi seseorang yang berbeda. Aku tahu sisi dia yang lain, sisi yang membuatku tersenyum bahagia. Tetapi dia harus menjadi orang yang bisa membuat dia bahagia, dia harus senang menjadi dirinya sendiri. Sayangnya, itu bukanlah orang yang bisa aku mengerti atau mungkin terima. Aku bahkan mempunyai kesulitan melihat bagaimana kita bisa menjadi teman sekarang. Aku rasa jawabannya adalah kita tak akan menjadi teman yang dekat sekali.

Kalo ini bukan definisi, "nggak jodoh", aku nggak tahu lagi deh.
...
'nak = anak

Decided that if I ever write a book, I will write the English and Indonesian version myself. Though my Indonesian is perhaps not so awesome anymore, with many spelling errors and weird sentences.

:) eKa @ 10:15:00 PM • 0 comments

The Not Adventurous Life ... of Mine

Today I had one of those rare occasions when I actually got to sit down and have a bit of conversation with Jenny. I kinda can remember that first Saturday when I sat down in my current room thinking of the big change I made, consoling myself that I would be okay and if things didn't turn out well, well we would just take it from there. There were many reasoning I gave to my head. One of those was that God let me meet Jenny so that I could learn something from her. She then and still is for me now, an independent strong woman and for me who believe truly in being able to make it and stand on my own, she's quite an inspiration. I may disagree strongly on her many opinions but there are many parts of her which is pretty awesome for me. Have my many years with her change me? Sadly the answer is not really. Sigh.

So today when I was having my lunch, she sat down and we talked about this and that. She was having her kimchi and offered me some. I said no thank you, I'm not adventurous in food, as a matter of fact I'm not adventurous in everything in life. A point which I know bothers her much. So she said out loud what I feel is perhaps my greatest failure in life currently. The failure of me living my life. Here I am, perhaps in the best situation of my life ever. I have no responsibility in life, I have some money, and here I am. Here should be written in bold and capitalized. The question is, what the heck are you doing here Eka? There's that life that the 10-year old you was dreaming and here I am tied to Monday. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. That's what I do actually, sigh and mope.

Okay, let's talk about my non-adventurous life this week. The week started with nothing much to do but it took a crazy turn these 2 days. As I said, I am tied to Monday. Hopefully things will go well. It's H-16 to CELI and that kinda scares me. 2 weeks to go and I'm counting on luck basically. I'm cutting it pretty close. I'm trying to strategize my way into it but I don't really have much strength to play on. I begin to wonder why I'm doing this and now I keep on telling myself if miraculously I survive this, I should not go for CELI 4.

Today was another first session of my Saturday engagement. We got Maria now. I kinda want Arianna because she had kindly helped me in the past few weeks and she's always been so kind and encouraging. So I kinda want the same support in the days to CELI but Maria herself is also nice and kinda nice to have her back. Though I did feel rather discouraged today. She wanted us to speak well and correctly and my God how I can't even make my sentences well. I should think more before I speak and perhaps just speak slower so that I could get my sentences right. On my way home I saw Sabrina's Emma and my God, she's so cute, molto carina! I haven't been around babies much since I've been here and I love how cute they can be. Emma was so adorable. I waved at her and she started laughing and reaching out her hand. In that instance, I fell in love with her! If only I can play with babies more. Love them!

So that's today. On Wednesday, I went to the opening of the Italian Film Festival with la Gioia, Starfish, and Ernie (not from Sesame Street as Starfish pointed out). Luca kindly gave me 2 extra tickets and I gave them to Starfish. Why Starfish? It's one of those thing that the brain just popped. So he brought Ernie. The movie was La Stella che non c'è. The English translation is The Missing Star. My translated version will be The star that's not there. The movie was actually half Chinese, half Italian. I kinda wondered which one was better, my Italian or Chinese. The story was not so satisfying for me. Story development for me wasn't done well. It told the story of this Italian engineer who made his way to China and tried hard to locate a factory which bought some machines from his old factory in Italy because the machine had some faulty parts and he wanted to tell them how to fix it. In China he befriended his translator who had baggages of her own. I found the 2 actors were quite good. However story wise, they just had a lot of empty parts for me. Why did the Italian try so hard to find the factory? He didn't mind going to the rural remote China just to find the factory where he didn't speak the language. For me that's the most annoying part. The "why"? Others also felt many empty parts in the movie, why did in the end the Italian cry when he was in the boat and what happened next to him and the Chinese girl? I guess all this open ending is up to the audiences to interpret the ending that they want. Overall, not necessarily bad but not one of the best Italian movies I've watched. The peeps I went with wasn't interested with the reception after, so I didn't go Carl called me when I was walking back. Aah, apparently she was there too. Too bad that we didn't get to meet. So that was Wednesday.

I actually bought a CD that Wednesday. Sergio Mendes - Encanto. I loved his Timeless album so much. Encanto is not bad. A bit less Black Eyed Peas compared to Timeless though Will.I.Am still co-produced it. I wasn't really blown away as when I heard Timeless for the first time but I kinda like the whole more Brazilian feel into it. One morning when I was hearing it in the bus, I was kinda feeling Rio De Janeiro in the bus and was wishing I could just go there and enjoy the beaches and atmosphere. Was feeling and imagining how that city is such a fun party place. Strange though that the Brazilian that I know of is not really that party crazy Brazilian as you may imagine. I suppose he is in some ways but perhaps as what happen to many people who have lived in many parts of the world, that many parts of the world get into you and change you a bit. So this Brazilian that I know of, is straight talking like an American and loves beer like Homer or perhaps to be more correct, the beer crazy Germans who influence him. The only trace of him being Brazilian is actually none. Seeing him, you can't really tell. His name, as many people pointed out, it sounded French. Either way, though I find him intimidating sometime, deep down he's a nice person Digressing here. Back to Encanto. It's a nice album. Not really a mainstream taste but I love it still. My favourite song so far is Lugar Comum but perhaps I am bias. They collaborated with Jovanotti in this song and I kinda like how the Italian lyric goes. I do have to say, hearing this album I am slightly tempted to learn Portuguese. There are 2 version of my favourite Águas de Março. One was in English, the other was in French but I still love the version with Elis Regina the most.

Allora, so that's really my non-adventurous boring life for you peeps. I can still write long for nothing. I kinda want to sleep early today, but I will be having some milk first. Take care peeps. To Vivy, if you are reading this. I am bloody envious. Excelling in your studies really get you far in life, literally. Sigh. Night peeps!

:) eKa @ 11:40:00 PM • 0 comments

That Friends Forever, Forever Friends

So I went to Esther's wedding yesterday. Arrived later than what the invitation stated because one knows that Chinese wedding will always start late. Saw Esther as I arrived and the smart her recognized me straight away. I was kinda happy to see her. Saw Shervin at the reception, I suppose she was kinda stunned to see me, but she recognized me nonetheless, or perhaps she only realized it was me after I gave Esther a hug. Lukas, Esther's brother, was there as well and he was like, "This is Eka? Eka Buntoro?". I wonder if I really changed a lot. He brought me to the table that I was sharing with them and Elina and Wawa. Saw Elina and Wawa sitting at the table, and I waved and yet no response from them. Finally Wawa registered it was me, in her defense she didn't wear her glasses when she saw me, but it was Elina who took quite some time to realize it's me even after I was standing right in front of her. She was just staring at me. Seriously, I wonder if I am so different now. I wonder if it's because of the girlie outfit or if I really have changed. I kinda can still recognize them all, I wonder why it's so surprising for them to see me now.

Anyway, it was amazing to see them coming all the way for their friend's wedding. I thought it's just me and my girls who managed to keep such a bond, apparently they too. All those Friends Forever, Forever Friends do survive these 10 years. I miss my best friends at home and how I miss talking to them. How I am so thankful that I can still have them as friends even after all these years. When I talked to these girls last night, I didn't really connect much with them. At one point, I wondered if all these times away from home kinda made me a bit not as Indonesian as them. But I always can talk to Dewi, Marlisa, and Emilia well. Perhaps we are just more in the same frequency with each other, and I was never really in the same frequency with them, hence we were never close friends back in school. Of course we got updates on each other lives and I even heard a bit of gossip

Talking to them and seeing the footage from what happened earlier in the wedding's day, I feel that Shervin is such a nice person and friend. She said something that made me feel kinda happy, she said something like she was glad to see me still able to be expressive and not as emotionless as the Singaporeans. That really made me smile and grin from the inside I was never one who think much on the perception that Singaporeans are not expressive and that they provide bad service. Perhaps since I've been here long, I've grown accustomed to how things works and become acceptance to many things. But they had some not-so-nice encounters, like being scolded by a taxi driver and an auntie in a food court. Of course we do not know what the context of the situation was but they really didn't find that Singaporeans are a friendly bunch They are of course stating their opinions as tourists. Somehow hearing them make me wonder if the many surveys and newspaper articles about these issues are true, which also reminded me back in my Uni days when me and my Indonesian friends felt that some Singaporeans just don't like foreigners. Fortunately these days I think the Singaporeans that I encounter, most of them are nicer than not

Anyway, so that's about it. Called my mom just now to share stories. I miss her. Then I called my cousin, Marlisa, but she wasn't around. Her mom answered and my auntie was so cute and rather nutty. She asked me to talk to her granddaughter, Mikaela, who is perhaps around 6 months old. I guess my auntie just loves to see her reaction. I wonder how cute she is now. I miss home. But I cannot deny the fact that I am neither here nor there, sigh.

:) eKa @ 8:28:00 PM • 0 comments

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