"Indonesia is the country where everything is possible"

The title of this post comes from the book The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. The weird me thinks it's quite like fate how a book comes to be chosen and read by me. When I go to Kinokuniya, I try to see as much as I can and read a bit to get a feel of the book. It actually makes it really hard to settle on a book. So when a book is finally chosen and read and the book has something inside it that makes me feel good about having the chance to "get to know it", I often feel it's like fate. This book and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern feel like one of those fateful encounters, simply because Indonesia is mentioned in it. While The Night Circus perhaps only has 1 line about Indonesia when it's describing the wayang shadow puppet, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, a story about exactly what the title says touches Indonesia quite a lot and in fact the story ends in Indonesia. Our current president, Yudhoyono, was even mentioned in the last page of the book. Side note: I hope hope HOPE there will be a movie based on The Night Circus soon. Disney should really get on to do this. Back to The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, it's such a wonderful book. I happened to watch Forest Gump this week and the movie made me feel that the book is pretty similar in style with the movie. I'm not alone to feel that because one of the one liner reviews (that book always has to boost sale) for this book said, "Swedish black comic novel that reads like a road trip with Forest Gump at the wheel". The book goes back and forth between what happened to the old Swedish man after he decided to leave the old folks home to telling his life story from when he was a kid to ultimately reaching his old age. The author took a liberal approach in putting this old man in some of the important events in history. It's all very amusing. The line for the title of this post was something that the old man said when he managed to bribe officials in Bali to get his plane cleared for landing. It's funny, true, and sad at the same time. It's true because by giving the "right incentive" to the right people, things can get done more efficiently in Indonesia than perhaps in the most efficient country you know. It's sad because by keeping on doing this, the people are giving chance for corruption to flourish in Indonesia :( Anyways, if you happen to want to read a book, I do recommend this book for you :)

Maybe it's me, but whenever I read a story, I just automatically picture the scenes like if it's going to be depicted in a movie. This would be one interesting movie. However, I think many of the parts will be cut because if not it will make one long movie. So I started to think if a tv series would be better, but I'm not sure if it's gonna work. Anyway, it took me just over a month to finish this book and last week I've chosen a new book. This time around, I didn't get quite a feel from the books I browsed in Kinokuniya and in the end I decided to just get a classic which I feel is essential to read and know, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Also because the book's cover is simple and nice. It's black with a small bird and also because it's under 10 bucks. Yes, I am cheap. I didn't know that the author is actually a woman. Now it kinda makes sense why the Beckhams named their baby girl Harper. Yes, some of the information stored in my brain are junk. Anyway, I haven't gotten far with the book, only a few pages in, but I think it's gonna be good. Already it has managed to get me grinning with this line, "Jem and I found our father satisfactory: he played with us, read to us, and treated us with detachment." :D It's not a very thick book and though we have just a little over than 2 months left in this year, I think I should be able to finish it. It would be the 4th book this year. It's below the goal of 5 books a year, but since last year I read more, then I guess I should be alright? I'm just making excuses for myself :|

On other news, started Italian class today. Kinda have to do it now since it's the last class of the year. I had been so lazy to put the plan into action. Well if I can make excuses, the last few terms I checked, there wasn't any advanced classes on Saturday morning. Right now I'm in advanced 2, the highest class there is. It's lower than I would like to, but perhaps it's the right class for me. The segretaria (= secretary) was telling me I should take a placement test since my last class was 5 years ago. Wow they actually have the records and check it! When we're communicating about me taking the class, I just got the impression that they don't have a lot of confidence that I can get by in this class. When I told them that I don't want to take the placement test and would like to just try this class, they told me to review the lessons from my old books. I was pretty lazy to dig them (though in the end I did), so I tried to do CELI 3 past year papers. I thought I didn't do so bad considering that my last class was 5 years ago. Going through the exams, I realize that I have lost perhaps pretty much of my writing skill and I have to admit that I was too lazy to even try. The reading comprehension and the listening part weren't a total disaster though. I'm not sure if the preparation for DELF B2 still conditions my brain to handle exams. In comparison, I have to say that CELI 3 is a more difficult challenge compared to DELF B2 exam. In CELI 3, there are 3 articles to understand, 3 writings to be written, another grammar components which is difficult even when I was studying Italian intensively, and then you have the standard listening and speaking. On top of that, they have minus point for wrong answer. That and the so so many parts really test your mental to keep it altogether.

Anyway, I was quite nervous about today's class. Not sure how I can manage getting up early after living it like a lazy bum throughout the year and I was nervous about the classmates. If they're good, then it'll be hard for me, but then I have a feeling that they may not be as good as they should be, just like how me and my friends were when we were in advanced. I have to say they're okay. First of all, I'm quite surprised that there are many of them. Normally the higher the level goes, the less the students are. Today there were 7 in the class including me. Some didn't come. They all know each other and I am the odd one out without any friend to do correction and that made me miss my Italian classmates :'( One of the classmate, Andreas, was pretty nice this morning. We were the first to arrive and he was very friendly, introducing himself in english :) That put me at ease. I know we should be using the language we are learning, but often time those kinda people are such a put off. Anyway, they all seem to be pretty good, but it was okay. I wasn't intimidated. I feel today's class didn't go bad for me. Our teacher is still in vacation so we had Anna Maria for today. She remembers me :) perhaps forgets my name but remembers my face. During break, she told me that my Italian is still good considering that I haven't been taking classes for so long. However, after the break I made mistakes during exercises, so maybe she spoke too soon. That's the thing, I didn't get all the answers correct today and that's a bit sad. We had 2 listening exercises. All felt okay. I didn't feel like a tornado just passed by and smacked me in the face, but still on the second listening part I didn't get all the answers correct. The classmates said the book we're using is a bit difficult. They had gone through 3 chapters, which I am planning to pour over this week. The topic in Chapter 4 is rather annoying, the ever difficult congiuntivo, and it's the imperfetto one! Aarrrggghh!!! Congiuntivo makes me hate subjonctif in french and darn it congiuntivo is actually really important in Italian :( It's a real torture. I seriously have a lot of work to do. I realize I've forgotten most of the conjugation and not just the Italian, but the french too :'( I'm actually planning to pick up a new language next year. Based on experience it takes 3 years to complete all the classes from beginner to advanced. So if I start next year, I figure by 35, I'll know 5 languages and it seems like a cool goal to have. However, maybe the time should better be used to strengthen my Italian and French so that I can really speak well rather than just getting by :( Also because I haven't chosen the 5th language yet. I do think to finally concede and learn chinese as my dad would like me to do and as he informed my mother to tell me when she texted me just now :| You would think it's easy peasy to find a place to learn Chinese in Singapore, but I haven't found any place I am comfortable with and actually, to be honest, I am more intrigued with Arabic.

Moving on, after class, I met with la Gioia for the all important catch up. She found her next step and she's moving on to the next chapter of her life. Her leaving the place where I spent 6 long years and was very formative in my life feels like that chapter in my life is finally closed for real. You see, it's like she's the last connection to that place. With her moving on, I'll get no story, no gossip, so it's like a different entity that I don't know of. Everything will change and everyone has to move, we can only hope that the movement is forward. So anyway, we watched Prisoners today. I didn't have any intention to watch this movie, because I wasn't interested in the theme and story, but there aren't many nice movies this week and since I really don't want to accompany her to watch Insidious 2, I guess at the very least I can compromise with Prisoners. It wasn't a bad movie. I didn't understand one part which I thought was important. I actually cowered and covered my eyes during that part. Paul Dano of course excels being weird and creepy. Overall, I didn't enjoy it much. Then we had dinner, at Tim Ho Wan! Didn't know la Gioia was into dim sum. There was a queue, but it wasn't bad for us. Around 10-15 minutes or so. Was surprised that the menu was pretty short and yet we still managed to order too much. Some I love, some not so much. I have to say, the queue forming outside, the speed your food arrive, and the small place kinda pressurize you to just eat quickly and that's not a good ambience for me. Glad that I finally tried it though :)

So that is life so far. Hope your life is much better. Bonne nuit / buonanotte / night night / malam :)

:) eKa @ 9:53:00 PM •

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