Friday, July 10, 2015
Toute La Lumière Que Nous Ne Pouvons Voir
Hello peeps. How is it going? I haven't been writing since there's nothing remotely interesting happened in my life. Not that there are interesting things to share now that I am writing, but again practice in writing is important for me. So here are some things that happened.
□ The title of this post is the french title of the book All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr which I finished readind this week. I don't think I told you guys that I was reading this. Chose this because I was confused on what to read next after Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day
and since this won this year Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, I thought let's keep the streak going. I've been reading Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winners since 2013 and I think I love this the most. It took a while to get used to the book. It tells the story of a blind French girl and a German boy during WWII. The chapters alternate between their beginning in 1934 to when they finally met in 1944. They go back and forth, starting from the last few days before the boy and the girl met in 1944 to their beginning in 1934 and then the earlier chapters catch up to the 1944 event. Each chapter contains short pages again alternately telling the story of the girl and the boy. I really think I have some sort of OCD slightly higher than normal people, that the first time this structure was disturbed by introducing the point of view of other people, I was quite annoyed. It took some time to get used to it. I always get nervous when stories are not told in a linear straightforward manner, so at the beginning I wasn't quite sure about this, but I do have to admire the construction of this book. It makes me think of David Mitchell whose books I have only read 2 (Cloud Atlas, number9dream
). In those books too, I admire how he structured the chapters and books. So anyways, I love All the Light We Cannot See
, that is until something bad happened towards the end. It so happened that I read that before I went to sleep and it made me pretty pissed that I was thinking, damn, if I could I would really just stop reading here and then. I guess it's pretty childish to want everything to have a happy ending. In reality, tragedy strikes. It's just a book, but for me it was really upsetting. My brain get so absorbed in every book I read that very often I feel perhaps way too much for the characters. There were many moments I get so touched with an event in the books that I had shed a tear, like in this one too. Another thing I found very silly of me was that at the cover of the book, it's written that it's about a French girl and a German boy and with the book being structured telling the story from their points of view, it's like it's set in my brain that they're soulmate, gonna fall in love, etc. Now that I think about it, even if things have gone well for them, it's not necessarily true that they're gonna fall in love and live happily ever after, maybe they're just destined to be good friends. One interesting thing about this book is the fact that when we think about the NAZI time, we never think about the Germans being the ones we should sympathize with. This is the first book I read in which I gain insight about how awful it was for ordinary Germans too. The German boy had a younger sister who at a really young age was already questioning the NAZI ideology and the boy was drafted because like every other boy, he eventually would have too. The sister was raped by some Russians coming to Germany when the NAZI was defeated, so there were moments too in the war where ordinary Germans suffered, people who may have disagreed with what's going on but didn't have a choice in the matter. It might be easy to say they always had a choice, but when the choice to do the right thing pretty much cost them their life, well it's not so easy to judge. The story ends in present days, at the year 2014. There was a chapter in 1974 when the German boy's sister went to France and she was quite concerned about how people would receive her being that she's a German. The scars of the war stay and linger forever for these survivors. It's a really good book, do read it peeps. Of all the Pulitzer winner books that I have read so far, I have to say that their details are pretty amazing, perhaps this is one key of winning the prize.
□ I am now reading The Martian
by Andy Weir. I hope I can finish it before the movie comes out. It's kinda interesting reading this book because this is like the first science fiction book I read and it's very interesting. The main character is an astronaut getting stranded in Mars. In the movie, Matt Damon will be playing him. From the trailer that I watched, he looked so dire, but from what I read so far in the book, the main character seemed to be quite positive despite of the many issues he's facing. I think I wouldn't fare as great as him or be able to snap out of the depression as fast as him. I guess that's why one important training in becoming an astronaut is the mental preparation.
□ Last weekend I had quite a medical scare. Something was wrong with me internally. It has happened before but last weekend it was 100 times worse. I was seriously freaking out and that included freaking out about having to go to a doctor and accept the diagnosis which in my mind would involve some major treatment. I got all sad because I was alone and I really wanted someone to accompany me to the doctor, but I had no one. One of the reason I also hesitated about seeing the doctor is because the nearest doctor to me now is a guy and I was feeling uncomfortable in telling him what's going on and dreaded having to be inspected by him, especially if the inspection was anything like I had before, but then on Sunday evening I was getting a headache which is actually not unusual and I was feeling worse. Either I got freaked out to the point that I became logical or I just got logical on my own, I decided I should just go see Dr. Edmund and get medicated as soon as possible. Delaying the visit to the doctor, any doctor, could mean really bad things for me. Dr. Edmund is this very soft spoken doctor. Confession: my first instinct with soft spoken people is not that of trust and delight. I think it has something to do with how it's not in my gene. If I see my family, we're just more of the loud fast talking people, so soft spoken people make me impatient. This time around though, the visit to Dr. Edmund, I think I start to like him a bit. When I first had to go to him, he just made me miss my old doctor. My old doctor was this older lady who can be very strict and will be telling you off like a mother would. Dr. Edmund was so different, once he offered me sleeping pills to help me sleep when I told him I always couldn't sleep well. When I told this to my old doctor, she told me to stop being stressed out and just relax myself. I declined Dr. Edmund's offer for the sleeping pills by the way, because I wasn't ready to rely on drugs yet. So anyway last Sunday after talking to him, I asked him if he was going to give me a certain drug which I got when this last happened to me. I didn't want that drug because it made me uncomfortable. He asked if I was sure and in the end agreed with my request. I couldn't imagine this happening with my old doctor, she would hear none of it. Dr. Edmund is nice that way. So I got my drugs and this week, it's been a very worrying week. I was thinking it's like one big lie, on the outside I look fine, but on the inside internally something is very wrong in my body and the drugs did seem to help but there's something else not happening and I began to wonder if me rejecting the drug and having to take higher dosage on the other drug cause me some harm to my body. Every day this week I was hoping for something good and when it didn't happen, I became more worried. Today finally it seems that things are doing well. I still have to finish my medication and watch myself so that I don't somehow trigger the illness back. It was seriously really really scary last weekend, really scary. By the way, Dr. Edmund offered me the sick letter and it's twice now that I rejected his offer. I wish I didn't have to but I just had things to do, the timing is just not right. When I think about this, my mind goes back to the time the word "detached" was used on me and I get really upset all over again :(
□ On a nicer news, I just want to say that I love some of the aunties that sell my food. They're in different places, selling different things. They know me because I am so predictable and they are nice. They're happy when they see me or tell me they haven't seen me in a long time when I haven't been around. This week one auntie in the Korean place gave my order ahead of the queue because she knows that's what I always order and today the soup auntie gave me a discount just because I asked for less rice. I'm okay about paying the full price, but she just wanted to be nice to me. I also sometime get discount when I get my Saturday lunch (if I'm not eating out) and I'm served by this particular auntie. She always has a big smile for me when she sees me, just seems to be glad that I come again and if she's handling the cashier, she gives me some discount and that always makes me smile :) So when I sometime always complain (sometime and always there, what a contradiction) about things in Singapore, well there are these people who do make me feel good about people in Singapore :P
□ Japanese class tomorrow *sigh* I feel like I'm struggling. I'm so at a disadvantage compared to the other classmates because they speak and write Chinese and I don't and pretty much I'm lacking all the Kanji knowledge that I should be having by now. I guess I haven't been trying. By trying I mean studying it every day. Seriously come on, doing that would mean using the time I use to relax and watch stuff (yes, pretty much using up my lazy time). One time I got so demoralized that the thought came if I should just quit. I don't want to quit just because things are difficult, but I'm not having the slightest bit of fun here and it's just so much work just to keep up with the homework. Knowing me, I would just continue on even though I feel so unhappy and so burdened. As once written before, things would just be less painful for me if I can just quit, but damn it I just don't.
Well that's about it peeps. As said earlier, there's nothing interesting here. Hope your days are gloriously wonderful!
:) eKa @ 10:59:00 PM •