Listening Class

Listen to the rants
Of those needing some ears. Who?
Maybe your own self—

I need fresh air and different taste today! Pretty hot day and my bike really needs long rest. So I decided to book a taxi to Bussorah Street. Why not MRT? Today the automatic-smile-to-people apps of mine broke down and my ears needed some entertainment from random drivers who -if you are lucky or unlucky depending on how you perceive it- will tell a lot of stories about the Gov, the people, etc.

And Universe answered! The driver was perfectly being upset with a passenger that scolded at him because the passenger thought he made a longer journey and so the passenger had to pay $16 instead of $9.

“Walao! He think such distance can ah with only $9? If he live in Sentausa, he sure got money whaaaaat?! And if always take taxi, he sure know it is at least $15!”

“He think because he is foreigner he ok do what he like haaaaaah?!”

“You know he said “f***ing ***hole” to me ! He think he got right say that to driver! This is first time I complain to my office about my passenger you know. Usually I don’t care la people bitter or not smile or not talk but this guy ah scolding ah you think ok ah?”

Oops! If that was really the words said to the driver, that was rude!

He ranted more…. actually the whole trip I was all ears for him. Thanks God for my patience today.

“You probably need some coffee, Sir,” said I.

“Ya la. I so angry! I didn’t take passenger after him, straight to coffee shop to have coffee then took your order la. Still angry you know! My company already took my complaint. Maybe also need blacklisted passenger you know. People should not behave rude to drivers blah blah blah”.”

“You need to walk to the street. Cannot enter, not allowed one, you know right?”

“Oh, no worry, Sir. I know this area quite well. Let me walk. This is the fare, please take the change, for your noon coffee.”

“Thank you. Thank you. Have a nice day!”

I walked down the street to go to a small bookstore which sells books that I won’t find in Kinokuniya. This hidden gem among all those nice restaurants feels much more special in this pandemic. There are still many people but probably only 30% of normal days when tourists are swarming like alate around the light.

This was a nice day! I brought home some reading and good food!

Mission accomplished!

Time to listen to the Self!

Salaam

reading is like listening to self, you decipher your own intelligence through other’s writing

Twisting Logic

Wanna twist logic?
Learn foreign languages or
Backpack with no cash.

While the Arabic won’t twist my logic so much, the Japanese is a bit of a challenge ‘coz it is a brand new thing. Arabic has been a background play since I was young although I am only good at reading and writing. In fact, Japanese is totally a logic twist and takes some resource commitment if I want to achieve my target: intermediate level in all 4 skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking).

As electronic learning sources are not suitable for my eyes, I decided to boost my effort through traditional way: all paper-based. Books, cue cards, dictionary, etc…

Among all those tools, there is one that I am most impressed of: the karuta card. Not the uniqueness of the cards itself as cue cards are used in all language classes but more about the age of its existence that amazes me. It is a deck of playing cards aged back to 16th century, brought by the Portuguese sailors to Japan. Since then it has been a tool for fun game, fun learning and even competitive game.

Go search “karuta” that means card in Portuguese (in Bahasa Indonesia it is kartu), and you’ll find various webs explaining about karuta from its history up to how to play it.

Found two decks in Kinokuniya bookstore today together with dictionaries that will be a company for all children books in the reading list. Fun study yay!

Let’s get the ball rolling!

You Can Read But Umm…

I can read but I
Don’t know what I read and I 
Don’t stop ‘coz I like
What I read. Sounds strange but I
Like to read hidden meaning.

Reading is fun even if you don’t know the meaning of what is read. When learning a new language with totally different structure and alphabets from what you are fluently using everyday, the excitement is there. I was so excited when first time learning writing Javanese alphabets in my childhood and I mostly knew the meaning because Javanese has been my mother tongue; while Indonesian has been second (primary) language. Then Arabic gave me the second excitement when I was around 17. And now, Japanese gives me another excitement and a taste of frustration.

Mastering language is about internalising logical thinking of a culture, the logic of a nation. Why in one particular language structure a predicate is located at the end of a sentence while in the other it is somewhere else. This frozen brain has to work hard to know how Japanese digest facts and blend them into grammar. And all the sweet apology and courtesy all over the language now make me question if they are truly kind in heart or it’s just a muscle of articulation. Forget it. Just learn and know how to use it.

The excitement is here coz I read like a kindergarten student -loud, confident but dreadfully un-melodic”. Yet I love it! Even when I had to finish the super short story Ikkyu-San in 45 minutes. I keep mixing up among ne-re-wa, i and ri, nu and me… Good heaven! (Did I mean bloody hell?) Courtesy please 😂

I also have Yotsuba! for my next. But hey, that can only be started after reading Ikkyu-San smoothly with melody. When the melody and pace are right, read more books! Then get dictionary….

My colleagues in Japan already offered their free time to chat with me in Japanese when I’m ready. When? I don’t know…. 😂

May all beings be happy.