Saturday, September 13, 2014
Non Important Life Update
Hello guys! How is it going? I haven't been writing because there's nothing interesting to write about. Like its predecessor, this post is most probably not gonna be interesting either. However writing exercise is important, at least for me. So today I'm not gonna be that lazy. Let's start with my 6th book this year which I finished reading this week, The Orphan Master's Son
Adam Johnson. The novel won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and I chose it because Oshie was gushing about it. It is a really good book, though I am not as taken by it as Oshie who said he's haunted by it after finishing it. It tells a story of the life of a guy in North Korea. There are only 2 chapters in the book and it started to get really interesting for me in chapter 2 which I thought was beautifully structured as well. The story in this chapter was told forward by 3 different sources, one of it was from the loud speakers which apparently exist everywhere in North Korea to transmit propaganda and announcement. I wonder if these loud speakers really exist and people really mustn't get rid of it. Anyway, I thought the story from these loud speakers was told in flashback but towards the end we found out it's happening at the same time as the other 2 sources and it was a nice surprise for me. It is very strange of me to find a structure of a book to be as amusing as the story. I don't know, I like clever stuff? Anyway the way the author wrote about life in North Korea is really remarkable that I wonder how much of it is really true. I know the Japanese kidnapping are true, the atrocious labor camps are true though perhaps the methods are different than what mentioned in the book, but there are things that I wonder if they really exist like the autopilot machine and the state giving replacement family member. The author did manage to visit North Korea when he was writing the book, but obviously he only saw what's being presented to him, but it's enough for him to note that life in Pyongyang is perhaps much much different than the rest of North Korea. I never thought of that. So it's always good when a book opened your perspective and made you learn new things. Another surprising discovery for me was that the pride Kimilsungia orchid is actually originally from Indonesia. Anyway the ending of the book was sad for me. It's strange that as the story progresses you know how the ending would be with the clues you are given, you don't know how, but you know the way it will end and yet you still feel sad when it's finally written down and you reach those pages :( It's really a curious thing to see how long North Korea can stay the way it is.
So right now I am reading Le Petit Nicolas
by René Goscinny and Jean-Jacques Sempé. It's a french book. Got it when I suddenly remembered that Kinokuniya has a french section. It's a children book, it consists of short stories with a bit of illustration. I actually know Le Petit Nicolas
before this book because I watched its cartoon (which is beautifully made) in YouTube when I was preparing for DELF B2 and that's the reason I got this book. So far obviously I don't know many words, but I am able to understand the story. In fact I'm quite surprised that I'm able to read it with less problem than I anticipated. I don't use a dictionary reading this because it will just take a long time, but when I remember words that I didn't know, I do look for them in the dictionary once I finish a story. The stories are about the little boy Nicholas and his friends and the kinda trouble they get into. Pretty cute.
Next Saturday would be my last Japanese class in this term. We're completing 10 weeks. Pretty fast and a struggle it has been. We had our last hiragana dictation today and surprisingly I didn't make any mistake. I didn't do any mistake in all the dictation tests and it surprised me because I thought I would eventually flounder, but hey I made it. I have signed up for the next term. This whole experience has been a demoralizing one with me often feeling frustrated, but the usual me could not just give up. It seems we're learning katakana in the next term. I wonder how my brain gonna handle it. I couldn't even read properly in hiragana that I had to google about the possibility of having dyslexia in Japanese. Perhaps it's me not getting used to it that I am reading like a child who is stumbling in every syllable. It's frustrating because I didn't recall being this way when I was young learning how to read. I confirmed this with my mom, the young me saw a word and just read it without having to struggle sounding the syllable to read the word in its entirety and so this new experience of being so incapable is hard for me to reconcile with.
That's pretty much my life so far. Gonna go home next month for a few days, finger crossed I'll have interesting stories then. Hope you're having a more glorious time in your side of the world :)
:) eKa @ 7:17:00 PM •