Friday, October 09, 2015
It's October Update
It's been day 3 now that we can see a blue sky in Singapore, even though it's light blue. For the past weeks, it's been mentioned all over the news that haze from Indonesia is invading its neighbouring countries. So 2 days ago when I saw the blue sky in the morning, I was like, well well there's a blue sky. It was almost like its presence requires some sort of celebration. It's funny I guess how you really don't think much about blue sky before, but then after weeks of being hazed, you truly appreciate it when it appears. I guess it's the same with every other things we take for granted. The melancholy me liken living with haze like being under a glass frosted dome. It's just gray all around. Whenever I could see a bit of cloud, I always think that the haze is not so bad, but usually we can't see a thing.
So when the blue sky finally came and I was all pensive in my morning bus ride, I thought how the blue sky is always there. Indeed it is. It's just the haze is clouding everything and then how I think it's like a metaphor for life. How sometime we feel so confused and gloomy and how like things are not going alright, but one day / eventually / for awhile the shroud of misery will finaly lift and you'll get your happiness, your blue sky. The question is of course if we could just endure it all and wait out long enough for the marvellous day to arrive. Even though those thoughts came to my head, it didn't really fully clear out the clouds in my heart, I was only slightly optimistic. Well we'll know by now that I am gravely pessimistic.
Anyways, let's talk about something else. Let's start with movies. Recently I watched The Intern
, which I thought was pretty nice. It's light and you can always find an angle to criticize it, but overall I like it. Then this week I watched The Martian
, whose book I had read some time ago. Going in, I know I was going to get annoyed with the differences the movie will obviously have with the book, but since the movie has good reviews, I was feeling optimistic. I wouldn't say the book as being perfect and I think that's the same with the movie. The one thing that annoyed me perhaps was the iron man maneuver and the save from Commander Lewis at the end of the movie. This move was shut down in the book because obviously it's silly but the movie used it anyway. Then it wasn't Commander Lewis who went and grabbed Watney, it was Beck, but I guess since Jessica Chastain is expensive, she should be doing some works. The more I think about it, the more things annoy me actually. I know some things have to be cut, but I think to keep the dire situation Watney situation is in, the part where he lost all communication when he was modifying his rover all the way to his long journey should be included. Maybe we can remove the sandstorm that affect his solar panels, but the part where the rover and him tumbled down the crater should be included. This would make a good contrast to show how positive Watney is. That's the one thing that I was nervous the most going to the movie actually, will Matt Damon be able to portray Watney as a positive and still funny guy throughout the ordeal. This part is kinda lacking, I think the funniest we saw him was in the beginning when he was talking to Martinez.
Writing that, I also realized that the Watney in the book is the Watney that choose to present himself a certain way through the log and the way I read it colour my impression of him. The movie shows him in another way, it shows him the way we as a the fourth wall see him and the him we see is the honest truth of how he was in that situation. The movie has things that I appreciate though. I couldn't really imagine the setting he has when he was communicating using hexadecimal, so it was good to see that in action. I also didn't imagine him being all so skinny at the end, so it was also nice to see that. Overall it was pretty nice even though the ending bothered me.
On books, I finished reading Laila Lalami's The Moor's Account
. So that makes it the 7th book of the year, we truly have exceeded our goal :) The Moor's Account
is good, but again the ending bothered me. I think the annoyance comes from me not being able to let go. The story tells of this Moroccan guy ended up selling himself to slavery to make sure his family would survive poverty. He ended up being sold to a Spanish who took him on an expedition to Florida. You need to imagine the kind of expedition Columbus did. So anyway the expedition for gold went so bad that the only survivor was him, his master, and 2 other Spanish. They were so miserable because they ended up as slaves with the different Indians they attached themselves into. Their luck turned for the better because one accidental healing of the Indians propelled them as healers. They were respected and lived a good life. One day though they managed to find Spanish civilization and our dear Moroccan life turned for the worse again. After 8 years roughing it with his master, he thought they're like brothers and he would be freed. However it's often the case that you're one thing when you're poor and miserable and you're another thing when you're rich. The master kept on delaying the drafting of the paper to set him free so the moroccan chose to lead an expedition of some Spanish across the Indian lands that he travelled in. He managed to fool them to thinking that he's dead and so with that he gained his freedom. The problem with this for me is that, all throughout his misery, he thought of going back to his city, his family, but at the end of the story, thought he gained his freedom, he's still in America. So that's kinda unsatisfying for me. Of course perhaps as like any slave, I would take being a free man anywhere in the world than being a slave in the one place I want to be. So after reading the book, I read that this story is based on a real life event. There was an expedition that went awry and there were these 4 survivors. However nothing is known about the slave who made it so the author wrote this story about him. Really well written with vivid details and truly deserving of Pulitzer Prize for Fiction nomination.
Today, I started on Romain Puértolas's L'Extraordinaire Voyage du Fakir qui Etait Resté Coincé Dans une Armoire Ikea (The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe)
. I bought the french version and today I was like, aaarrrgghhh, je ne comprends rien!!! (aaarrrgghhh, I don't understand anything!!!)
Okay I do understand bits and pieces but there's a lot of nuance that I missed :( I have yet to find a free digital english version of this book, so I don't know how wrong I am in understanding the whole thing. It is very sad knowing your french knowledge amounts to nothing. If you wonder why I bought the book, well I was in the french section in Kinokuniya just looking if there's any easy book I can buy. I saw this book and before I made my decision, there's a couple coming to the section and they were chatting. After Japanese class (which always drains my brain and soul), I really just wanted some peace and quiet and so I just grabbed the book and left. I really need the english version of this so that I can somewhat improve my french.
Okay that's the updates peeps. As always may your days be glorious. Ciao!
:) eKa @ 5:04:00 PM •