Slice of Life 12 2 2017

The last days have been cold. Not cold cold, but pretty cold for Cardiff.

So I moved house. To somewhere closer to the coach station.

I am going to London in March. Let’s see what I can see there.

And work has been tough. I knew it would touch interoperatibility but I didn’t expect the intensiveness.

Changed Priorities

I used to have a page on the sidequests/non-work or family-related things that I want to do. But over the years many things I wrote there have become irrelevant, so I decided to take it off. As a substitute, now I keep a Some Lists page.

When in York

I remember when I was in York for New Year, I and my friends met an old Chinese (ethnicity) man. He thought we were from Malaysia. I immediately noticed that his accent was very Malayan peninsular with probably 10% Hong Kong/Cantonese part. He initially didn’t want to say where he was originally from, but later on he admitted that he is Cantonese who was born in Penang and grew up in Singapore, before moving to UK around the independence of Singapore (I don’t know if it was the independence from UK or the separation from Malaysia).

I don’t know how it feels like to become an overseas Chinese. My impression is that Chinese people are everywhere, you are all travellers who once reach your destinations you settle down there. Everywhere you go, it is quite likely to meet somebody who speaks a similar language, culture, and that same vision*. But that old man seemed to express that, loneliness, and remorse. Singapore was a new and underdeveloped country back then, so he decided to go to the UK. But he seemed to regret that as the rest of his family is still in Singapore. BTW he also quite fancied Lee Hsien Loong, repeatedly saying “The Singapore PM studied in Cambridge.” Something that I feel many Singaporeans friends don’t share perhaps haha.

*(A little side note: My people, the Javanese people, are rather at the other end of the spectrum to me: if I meet a random Javanese person on the street here, and that is already quite unlikely, I would guess 99% of the time that s/he is a student; and s/he will probably go back home after finishing her/his study. That, or a diplomat. But they will be in bigger cities probably. A tourist? Nah, who would think to go to Cardiff.)

Anyway he said that there is only a small Chinese community in York, so every year he travels to Manchester, about 1-2 hours away, to celebrate Chinese New Year. Manchester has probably one of the biggest Chinese communities in the UK and the celebration is much merrier there. He even compared to the Gregorian calendar new year celebration, which I agree with him is very humble: no fireworks, only people gathering in front of the York minster and the church bell ringing a few times. That’s it. Anyway he recommended us to go to Manchester on CNY as it would be much much bigger.

Well I don’t know how I should close this post. But I felt a little bit strange as my story is a little like him. Three weeks and a few hours before that I was still in Singapore, where I had stayed for more than 8 years.

(originally a Facebook post)

Seagulls

So I did it.

I probably should have written it earlier but anyways it has been about 1.5 months since I travelled to Cardiff. The trip took 1 whole day, and I needed to switch transportation modes a few times: taxi to Changi – air flight to Frankfurt – air flight to London – coach to Cardiff.

Well things have been interesting here. I need to adapt to the harsh(?) cold winter that I had never experienced. I need to cook for myself. And my BRP was late to the point that it raised some administration issues—but nonetheless almost everything is settled now.

Indonesians often complain that Singapore is boring because of its minuscule size. I did share that view. However during my 8 years of stay there, I found living in Singapore to be convenient. Too convenient actually. That I don’t need to cook, I can buy hot food almost everytime I want, even supermarkets and convenience stores near my apartment are open 24 hours, whereas here there are no food courts let alone hawker centres, food in restaurants are expensive, and the buses are not as frequent, not to mention the Brexit issue always sitting around the corner. So I am grateful for this experience. I quit my comfort zone to move here, and I look forward to seeing more interesting stuffs and continuing my career here while better taking care of myself.

The title is from the kind of birds I often see flying here. Those big white birds. Actually not sure what they are. Maybe seagulls, albatross, or something else? But their sound reminds me of that the squawks of seagulls in the psychedelic section in Echoes. It’s a nice sign that I am actually in the UK.

Film-film yang Kutonton pada Tahun 2016

Terlambat dirilis karena habis jalan-jalan, seperti tahun-tahun sebelumnya, inilah film-film yang kutonton pada tahun 2016. Lebih sedikit dari tahun kemarin, gara-gara kesibukan ngrevisi thesis, persiapan oral defence, dan nglamar kerja yang akhirnya sukses membawaku ke Barat™, tapi setidaknya gak banyak cheating lagi dengan nonton film-film pendek. 😛

  1. Marriage Story (1992). Ya tentang orang kawin.
  2. Our Times (2015). Gadis nerdy dan anak nakal aslinya naksir sama pemain basket dan cewek yang dekat sama si pemain basket, sebelum akhirnya mereka suka satu sama lain, dan kehidupan setelahnya.
  3. You Are the Apple of My Eye (2011). Segerombolan cowok SMA naksir sama cewek terpinter di kelas, dan kehidupan pasca lulus SMA.
  4. A Better Tomorrow II (1987). Mirip sama yang pertama, cuman beda karakter, Leslie main lebih banyak, dan Chow Yun Fat hidup lagi jadi karakter baru. Penasaran nonton gara-gara lagunya sih.
  5. Pain (1994). Pemuda pengangguran sado-masokis kecanduan menyakiti diri sendiri dan orang lain. Adegan penyiksaan.
  6. Mee Pok Man (1994). Seorang laki pendiam dan agak intellectually challenged™, sehari2 berjualan mee pok (fishball noodle, walaupun mee pok itu sendiri IMO jenis mienya sih) jatuh cinta sama seorang PSK, a little bit too much. Ending morbid.
  7. The Founding of a Republic (2009). Berdirinya PRC dari sisi CPC.
  8. How I Unleashed World War II (1970). Perjalanan epik komikal prajurit Polandia yang ketiduran dan nyasar-nyasar dari Polandia muter-muter sampai Nazi Austria, kapal Turki, Libanon, Italia, dst sampai balik lagi ke Polandia.
  9. Robotix (1985). Nostalgia masa kecil. Pertempuran robot-sadar di dunia post-apokaliptik.
  10. Star Trek: Beyond (2016). Kru Enterprise dijebak untuk mendarat di planet alien. OK, enjoyable, but not—you know—“world class”.
  11. Love Letter (1995). Seorang gadis terjebak pada kenangan almarhum tunangannya, dan berkorespondensi dengan teman SMP si almarhum. Baca juga review Ando [di sini].
  12. Ditto (2000). Berbincang-bincang dengan perempuan yang dulu naksir bapak, lewat radio rusak.
  13. Your Name (2016). Terlalu happy ending buat film Shinkai, tapi ya OKlah buat bikin beliau terkenal seantero jagad. Sisanya, silakan baca postingan Ando [di sini].
  14. Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (2013). Adaptasi liberal daripada Kera Sakti. Tong Samcong konyol dan ada Hsu Chi jadi pemburu hantu nan sakti mandraguna tapi jatuh cinta sama Tong Samcong.
  15. After the Storm (2016). Detektif ecek-ecek plus pecandu judi mencoba berekonsiliasi dengan ibunya serta mantan istri dan anaknya.
  16. Murmur of the Hearts (2016). Sepasang kakak adik dibawa ke mainland Taiwan dari pulau kecil di seberang oleh ibunya, lantas terpisah tercerai berai pasca beranjak dewasa dan ibu mereka meninggal.
  17. Flying Colors (2015). Perjuangan seorang gadis gyaru dengan prestasi akademis di bawah rata-rata untuk masuk Keio U.
  18. Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983). Relasi antar 4 orang tentara, 2 tentara Jepang dan 2 tentara Inggris (PoW) selama PD II.
  19. Macross: Do You Remember Love (1984). Cinta segitiga dan bombastisisme budaya populer dikombinasikan dengan perang antar-galaksi dan panspermia.
  20. Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance (2009). Garis besar utamanya masih mirip dengan cerita serialnya, tapi dengan sedikit detil yang berbeda dan penambahan karakter baru, Mari Makinami.
  21. Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo (2012). Bagian Nagisa Kaworu, tapi detil semakin melenceng.
  22. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006). Anime slice of life tentang gadis yang bisa pergi ke masa lalu.

Statistik:

  • Jepang: 8.5
  • Taiwan: 3
  • Singapore: 2
  • USA: 2
  • Korea: 2
  • Hong Kong: 2
  • RRC: 1
  • Polandia: 1
  • UK: 0.5

Setelah beberapa tahun kalah dari Korea, Hong Kong, Cina daratan, tahun ini Jepang kembali jadi nomor satu, mungkin dipengaruhi perjalananku Oktober kemarin ke Jepang, yang sukses memantik pelatuk Jejepanganku lagi. Film barat juga lebih banyak dari tahun kemarin. Ada entri baru dari Polandia! Yang setengah-setengah itu karena film no. 18 adalah film British-Japanese.

Seperti biasa, top 5:

  1. Our Times
  2. Ditto
  3. How I Unleashed World War II
  4. Macross: Do You Remember Love
  5. You are the Apple of My Eye

Sampai jumpa akhir tahun 2017!

Mando- and Cantopop

My ears have seemingly taken an uncanny route. After “settling down” last year, now I listen to…Mando- and Cantopop. Something that I would never think of some ten years ago.

I regularly listen to these nowadays.

***

Leslie Cheung – 當年情 (In the Sentimental Past)

Although I watched A Better Tomorrow [in 2014], I wasn’t interested at its soundtracks back then. Now I listen to this again after watching its sequel, which features this song overlaid with the next song.

***

Leslie Cheung – 奔向未來日子 (Will Rush Toward Future Day)

Now this is the best Cantopop song ever. Listening to this makes me feel like listening to a summary of Leslie Cheung’s entire life (although I need to put a disclaimer that I don’t really know his story very much, and I don’t know what this song is about). Plus that scene in the movie.

***

Hu Xia – 那些年 (Those Years)

I watched You Are the Apple of My Eye a couple of weeks ago and hint hint: it is a top 5 candidate for this year.

***

Eason Chan – K歌之王 (The King of Karaoke)

I have no idea what this song is about—oh let me google it. OK now I know what it is about. I find [two] [links] that tell slightly different translations. Are the Mandarin and Cantonese different? But nonetheless, how funny it is, as I’ve been known to sing melancholic songs…melancholically.

***

Wang Jie – 別讓明天的太陽離開我 (Don’t Let Tomorrow’s Sun Leave Me)

Wang Jie and this song embody the late 1980s/early 1990s atmosphere: a clean-shaven man with leather jacket singing a heartbreaking ballad.

Film-film yang Kutonton pada Tahun 2015

Melanjutkan postingan [tahun]-[tahun] sebelumnya, saya mendaftar film-film yang saya tonton tahun ini. Sedikit saja, 30, dan ini ada unsur cheating, karena beberapa dari mereka adalah film pendek. Ya, memang saya perlu mengorbankan ini demi memasukkan thesis yang mustinya sudah masuk bertahun-tahun lalu. Anyway, ini daftar film yang saya tonton pada tahun ini.

  1. Made in Hong Kong (1997). Gangster (Singlish: ah beng) muda dirundung berbagai masalah keluarga dan pertemanan. Soal duka dan kelam di dalam hati manusia. Soal impian untuk meninggalkan jejak tapi merasa mentok. Tokoh utama bikin ingat sama Mas Anindito.
  2. The Admiral: Roaring Current (2014). Dua belas kapal Korea melawan 300an kapal Jepang pada saat invasi Toyotomi ke Korea. Lambat panasnya, dan mayoritas orang Jepangnya diperankan aktor Korea. Walaupun jelas timpang kalo dibandingkan dengan Red Cliff, lumayanlah.
  3. Leaving on the 15th Spring (2013). Anak SMP di tempat terpencil di Jepang yang ingin menyelamatkan kelanggengan keluarganya yang terpisah jarak.
  4. Farewell My Concubine (1993). Dua aktor opera Peking, sebagai elemen budaya lama, bertahan hidup dalam gejolak politik Cina pertengahan abad 20.
  5. Gangster Payday (2014). Gangster tua mendukung usaha kafe cewek yang dia taksir. Bonus Carrie Ng.
  6. A Road to Sampo (1975). Mantan napi pulang kampung ditemani buruh pengangguran dan wanita penghibur.
  7. Devils on the Doorstep (2000). Tentara Jepang dan penerjemah ditawan di desa di Cina. Duapertiga pertama ketawa-ketawa, sepertiga akhir depresi.
  8. To Live (1994). Tuan tanah jatuh miskin, yang sebenarnya menguntungkan buat dia karena jrengjrengjrengjreng perang saudara di Cina.
  9. Chungking Express (1994). Takeshi Kaneshiro dan Tony Leung mencoba move on dari pasangan masing-masing. Also feat. Faye Wong muda.
  10. In the Heat of the Sun (1994). Slice of life, persahabatan anggota gank remaja dan cinta monyet dengan latar belakang Revolusi Budaya. Diceritakan dengan samar2, dari sudut pandang si karakter waktu sudah dewasa.
  11. Yellow Earth (1984). Harapan tinggi seorang gadis petani yang dipaksa menikah muda, tapi sangat berhasrat untuk bergabung sama Partai Komunis.
  12. Calvary (2014).  In this world full of darkness, hatred, pride, and adultery, how can one spread the good news of God?
  13. Red Sorghum (1987). Gong Li sebagai bos pabrik ciu™ menghadapi intrik internal, bandit, dan Jepang.
  14. Blue Kite (1993). Perempuan kawin tiga kali, suaminya mati semua, gara-gara berbagai macam fase politik RRC.
  15. Spring in a Small Town (1948). Film Cina rasa Jepang. Tanpa politik dan dukungan maupun antipati terhadap kom—anuitu-isme. Tempo lambat kaya film-filmnya Ozu.
  16. Chicken Rice War (2000). Film Singapore berbahasa Cantonese (+ Singlish). Anyway cerita cintanya silakan lupakan. Nonton komedi antar keluarganya aja.
  17. Street Angel (1937). Drama komedi tentang kaum marjinal melawan kehidupan.
  18. Ju Dou (1990). Keluarga slewah, neraka dunia.
  19. Bus 44 (2001). Udah ketauan ini mah pasti ada  yang mati.
  20. Mei (2006).  Impian ingin ke luar negeri, dan ikatan keluarga. Ini film Taiwan feelingnya Jepang banget.
  21. Bean Cake (2001). Penindasan jingoism terhadap beancakeisme. Sesungguhnya anak ini adalah seorang martir on the making!
  22. Something Universal (2014?). Miskomunikasi antara turis India dan orang Singapore yang pingin belajar Hindi.
  23. 2046 (2004). 5cmps versi dewasa, versi Hong Kong, versi Wong Kar Wai. Atau, 5cmps itu 2046 versi Makoto Shinkai, versi remaja.
  24. A Brighter Summer Day (1991). Efek perang saudara terhadap kenakalan remaja di Cina-yang-satunya. Makian di mana-mana.
  25. A Time in Quchi (2013). Anak kota liburan di desa. Walaupun kadang subverted.
  26. Durian (2003). Orang selingkuh ditemani durian.
  27. Outpost (2012). Prajurit muda nan idealis ditempatkan di sebuah benteng pertahanan di Kuantan bersama prajurit veteran yang suuuuper nyantai.
  28. Mulberry (1985). Seorang wanita yang ditelantarin suaminya nggodain laki-laki sedesa.
  29. Nambugun: North Korean Partisan in South Korea (1990). Pasukan partisan Korut di wilayah selatan yang ditelantarkan utara dan satu per satu gogrok, entah mati atau ditangkap.
  30. Mandala (1981). Dua biksu berbeda gaya hidup bertualang bersama untuk mencari pencerahan.

Statistik asal negara (seperti biasa, Hong Kong saya pisah dari Cina, yang kebetulan tahun ini absen; Taiwan eeee…™):

  • RRC = 11
  • Korea Selatan = 5
  • Hong Kong = 4
  • Taiwan = 3
  • Jepang = 2
  • Singapore = 2
  • Irlandia = 1
  • Indonesia = 1
  • Malaysia = 1

Seperti biasa, film Asia sangat mendominasi. Bahkan, tahun ini saya cuman nonton 1 film non-Asia (Calvary, dari Irlandia). Bedanya, tahun ini RRC yang jadi nomor satu. Entah kenapa. Mungkin pesona Gong Li. *eh* Dan kok ya pas tahun ini juga saya dapat rezeki bisa ke Beijing sama bapak saya. Sementara, tiga film terakhir dari Korsel karena mudah nyarinya, ada channel khusus di Youtube.

Bikin ranking tahun ini sulit juga. Tapi buat saya begini.

  1. Nambugun: North Korean Partisan in South Korea
  2. In the Heat of the Sun
  3. Devils on the Doorstep
  4. 2046
  5. Farewell My Concubine

Selamat tahun baru, dan sampai jumpa lagi tahun depan!


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