Tuesday, February 02, 2016
Hey guys, how is it going? The holiday is coming, that is if you're Chinese. Chinese New Year is next week. I'm going off this Friday. Hopefully it'll be all great back home. I'm looking forward to eat. Just in case I get lazy when I come back and don't write anything, I reckon I will just write now so the month of February has at least 1 post. I used to write a lot here, but these days I think I'm averaging 1 post a month. They can be long posts but I still think they're not of great substance and deep thoughts. Anyways, here we go.
I finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini. The first novel of his that I read was The Kite Runner
. I even watched the movie. I remembered it was good, but for the life of me I couldn't remember the story much. I had to go to Wikipedia to read the summary. It's sad that I couldn't remember and it's even sadder knowing that there would be many books like that for me. The stories will be like some distant memories and I wouldn't be able to recall what happened in them. Anyways, A Thousand Splendid Suns
is good as well. Unlike The Kite Runner
where the story is centered on the life of 2 boys, A Thousand Splendid Suns
is around 2 ladies. I learnt quite a few things about Afghanistan history reading this book and it's sad reading the suffering that Afghans like the ones told in this story have endured throughout the decades. The life under Taliban rule was definitely frustrating especially if you're a woman. I couldn't imagine living in such a life and I do feel lucky that fate gives me a different life and yes I do know that I complain a lot about it. The story has a lot of sadness in it that I was pretty devastated reading it. There were child marriages, domestic abuse, deaths, deceits. It was so so sad throughout. While one can perhaps say the ending is hopeful, I was just still sad up 'til the end. It is still a well written book and Khaled Hosseini is a good writer, but I think I need some time before I go read his other book.
I have also finished watching Empress Ki
, the Korean drama, and the ending was just horrible. Some weeks back I was telling a few people that I had to confess I've been watching Korean drama. I used the word confess because for me getting addicted to Korean drama is just something that needs to be buried deep in the closet. The two people were laughing hearing me and one of them was even saying shame on me :D She proceeded to say that Korean and Japanese dramas tend to have bad ending. She was saying there was a time she watched a Japanese drama on TV. Every week she watched it, cried with it as these dramas tend to make us do, and then when it reached the end the ending just showed the guy and girl just walk off together without holding hands, are they together or not together. For her that disappointment was enough to stop her from watching these Asian drama. She also said Indonesian dramas (aka. sinetron
) always have good predictable ending, everyone lives happily ever after and the Hollywood ones are a mix. I can think of How I Met Your Mother
as a disappointment. So anyway I was telling them yes, I was preparing myself for a bad ending because if you read my previous post (why would you), the first episode was from a scene in the future timeline and it was already bad. However I didn't expect it to be so awful. I even had to google reactions of people. There were a few who wrote long posts about how bad it is. Made me think of how they had plenty of time to be writing these long posts, but there's also me who spent time reading them :P This drama was originally shown like 2 years ago in Korea, so I am so so late in my ranting, but let me just talk about it here awhile. The ending really really bothers me → still in present tense.
is a fictionalized story of real life people. I get that they have to stick with the history a bit, but since there are unknown parts to the history and they already created a lot of fiction, I don't understand why they can't make the ending happier a bit. At the crux, it's a story about a girl between 2 kings. One king was noble throughout the end. Unfortunately he didn't have a lot of power especially since his country was part of a bigger kingdom being hold by this immature childish king who fell in love with the girl. The noble king and the girl actually fell in love first but as luck would have it, they were separated and the girl decided to exact revenge by getting into the palace and ended up as the empress of the rich king, breaking the noble king's heart and all of us who logically think that she should be with this noble, wise, brave, loyal, selfless, handsome king! The first half of the drama was great actually, but in the second half it just went downhill towards the end. It even had plot that reminded me of an Indonesian drama which made me think, seriously you guys are going down this road?!? It's not a good sign to be thought in the same vein of an Indonesian drama (side note: I seriously still cannot fathom how Indonesian drama can still get made and make money when many people have said it's of low quality). Anyway the ending was just the worst. You thought with so many misery, they would give some happiness to the suffering people, but they're not Hollywood, they stab our hearts and then twist the knife. I began to think if there's a cultural reason behind some of the things or a translation issue in the subtitle. Was it hard to explain the nuances of a Korean intention in English or is there some sort of Korean moral value that we don't understand. When the weak childish king was going to kill the good king, it was made as if he's doing the noble thing when he's doing that. Even the good king was like accepting and understanding that it's the right thing to do. Am I supposed to believe that was an act of wisdom instead of a selfish decision? Then when a really bad person who literally had done every bad things that bring so much suffering to the empress was about to be stoned to death by the people, the empress shed tears saying that circumstances made him what he was. In another world, he would be a good father in a family. Wait what?!? Are you making excuses for bad behavior? Look around you lady, you're surrounded with people who experienced hardship and they chose to do the right thing no matter what it caused them. People can choose to be good in the face of evil. It was just another let down for me. Again I don't know if this different point of view is because of a cultural thing. The worst thing was perhaps when the empress was professing love to this weak king. Here I wonder if the subtitle wasn't able to describe the nuance well. Is it love because she truly cared for the king or is it love love? If it's love, then I don't get it. It's a bit of a mismatch. For someone who put duty and honor throughout the story, how do you love someone who's so weak physically and mentally and incapable of truly carrying out his duty and responsibility as a king. The one slightly good moment was when the king was confronted by the traitor who was really close to him. This traitor began to list down how immature, childish, cowardice, and incapable this king was which was all true. In Hollywood there would be a kind of redemption story like how a worthless character could finally rise to the top, but I don't think this king really did. So when this traitor was listing out his many flaw, I thought good at least there's someone speaking on behalf of us, frustrated viewers, and yet it was cut short when the king killed him *sigh* Yes there are stories with happy endings and there are those with sad endings and sad ones also need to be told. However there's a way to make sad ending good, not bad, for example the ending of Breaking Bad
was sad, but it's good. I was okay with it. It's not easy but it's possible. This one after 51 episodes, in which I was trying to be hopeful after every bad things that happened, I just felt so let down when there's not a tiny bit of happiness to be found at the end. It was just too cruel. I wonder what the point was in telling this story. In the Wikipedia entry for the empress, it's written that what happened to the empress in her later life was unknown. I don't understand why the writers of this drama couldn't just use this information and write some happy ending for her and the nice king.
Well, that's a pretty long rant about a Korean drama and I do sound like I have too much free time in my hand. Anyways because I've been disappointed and troubled with that drama and reading A Thousand Splendid Suns
, I decided to read something lighter this time around. Decided to read The Dressmaker
by Rosalie Ham. I have to embarrassingly admit that I have a bit of difficulty reading this because I found there were many words that I didn't understand, for example: haberdashery
and today it took me awhile to figure out what toot
means. I'm thinking if it's because it's written in "Australian" that there are just terms I don't understand. The writer is actually quite detailed in describing things, like the town, but it's just hard for me to picture how things are, so so far while I am very interested with the lives of these people, it hasn't been smooth reading. I look forward to watch the movie when I finish reading this book.
On other news which I perhaps shouldn't be writing, but let's get the word count up. A few days ago someone I haven't been in touched for many years texted me. I thought oh how nice, he was asking how I was and so on. That was in the morning. In the afternoon this person said that he might need my help with something. Last week, he did ask me for help which I didn't give. As I refused him, I did think if I would get a bad karma from this. It was just too big of a thing to ask and also this person hasn't been in my life for many years, I wasn't invited in the happy events of his life, we're not friends enough for me to really make an effort to lend a hand. I told la Gioia about it and she was surprised, since she said it's like a different story in Facebook, his life looks so rosy there. That made me feel thankful of our lives, yes perhaps we're ordinary and plain, but we didn't have to keep up appearances. We're not faking it to the world. Some people perhaps just can't let it go, they always have to appear on top to people and they're not shy about boasting their successes. One time when I was having lunch, a guy I knew spotted me and came to sit at my table. I asked him how he's been doing and he told me he just came back from round the world. He actually just came back from South America, not actually travelling the world, but he felt the need to open with that. A statement that made me said wow, what else could you say right, and also because I know that's what he's expecting to hear. It's like there are people who always need their success and happiness be validated by other people, it's like it can only be real if people know about it and acknowledge it. All the likes in Facebook or Instagram or what have you. It's just so wrong. It made me depressed when I saw all these happy people and I guess it does me good to be off Facebook. Does it make me feel better that below the surface this "friend" of mine is in a deep shit? Not really because I wonder how he ends up in this situation. How did someone so promising fall down hard? Was he never of substance? Is he always about the surface? It feels kinda tragic for me. I hope there's a redemption story for him. Down the road hopefully he could really genuinely rise up.
Well that's it for now peeps. Hope you have a great holiday ahead. Hope the monkey year is kind to us :)
:) eKa @ 4:10:00 PM •