Seoul Talk Concert (Guest Star: Eru, Red Velvet)

 

(Breaking news that breaks my heart: Cleveland Cavaliers (I root for LeBron) just got its first loss since post-season from the Celtics after blowing out Celtics in previous two games, come on..)

So, last night I went to a mini-concert/talk show named “Seoul Talk Concert”. The event was intended to promote the sister city of Jakarta, which is Seoul and its top spots, foods, and the beauty of the Seoul itself. It was attended by two main guest stars: Eru and Red Velvet. To complete the Seoul promotion, several representatives of Seoul including its Vice Mayor.

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Event banner

Before we going to the main part of the show, I’d like to tell you some back stories before I got here.

THE STRUGGLE

After the sudden announcement from Eru’s official LINE account that he would attend a event along with mistyped “Read Velvet” (whom I thought was a cover-dance group), I got a bit nervous. Firstly, the event was completely FREE, and there were only 964 seats publicly available. Even though Red Velvet’s fanbase aren’t as big as that of EXO’s or SNSD’s, but Red Velvet has surely attracted many international fans with their talents, visual, and their personality. Plus, I have seen a bunch of Indonesian who comments on every Red Velvet music videos. Which adds to my nervousness.

The official ticket handler was Kiostix, whom already experienced in selling tickets to many events, its name also is quite as big as other ticket provider in Indonesia. Kiostix announced that they were going to start the ticketing on 10th May and 13th May. Starting from 1:00pm until sold out.

Completely FREE means everyone has the same chance to get the ticket, fans or not, cash or cashless.

So I predicted that the traffic would be outrageous, the website would be down for the entire sequence. At 10:00am on May 10th, simultaneously doing an interview, I started to refresh the webpage of Kiostix’s. From the phone. Which was not a wisest thing to do.

I couldn’t access the page from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Unfortunately I couldn’t reach for my laptop as well as I wasn’t in the room for the whole 5 hours. I was doing a back-to-back interview. Boy did I nervous.

Right when I could access the website, the banner showed “REGISTRATION CLOSED”. Damn. It means I should wait for another day for war. May 13th 2017. Luckily, May 13th was on Saturday, means I could go full berserk on getting the ticket.

So the day came, I woke up at early morning, did a registration on the website (I was  a fool for not realizing I should’ve registered on the website first) and opened like 10 tabs from 3 different browsers, almost as if I was prepared for total war. The ticketing, as previously happened, was opened at 1:00pm.

The clock ticks at 1:00pm. I started to refresh like crazy.

The first 30 minutes. No luck.

The first 1 hour. Still no luck. Checked the twitter, people went batshit crazy because the website was fully inaccessible. All we got was this screen.

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You’re on the right track….. baby I was born this way

The first hour coming to two, I could still think positively and calmly hit refresh each of the tab I opened, like mother bird giving worm to each of her kids’ mouth.

Okay… I got this, we got this, just let everyone raged, we have to hit refresh. refresh. And refresh.”

I thought the self-hypnosis would be effective but….. no.

Over the next 45 minutes, I got tired of trying. “Screw this”. I told myself.

But only then I remembered that when you’re tired of trying and feel like giving up, that’s when you’re closer to succeeding. This might be exaggerated for a mere ticket, but it was true!

Before I got tired, I made a mistake of clearing the browsers’ cookie. Which I thought would make me access faster, instead, I got logged out from Kiostix because the password I saved was wiped away.

However, after the tiring sequence, magically, in one attempt, I successfully relogged in and bought the ticket smooothly! Much like cutting through butter with hot knife.

I got excited but still cautious because there might be a mistake or anything.

But no! The E-Ticket was successfully sent to my e-mail, it looked like this:

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Swwwweeet.

THE STRUGGLE PART II

It all started with this clause:

Clause

That pretty much means: “if you’re late then screw you and go home”.

So, I planned to sleep early the night before and woke up early to prepare and depart early.

That’s the plan.

In reality, because I was a tad tired and got anxious, I couldn’t sleep until 1:00am. The thought of meeting Red Velvet in person made me giddy. But I managed to sleep.

I then woke up at 5:30am, did a Subuh prayer and foolishly slept afterwards and re-woke up at 6:40am. A shot of panic crept up my body. I swung myself from the bed and hastily took a short shower. Departed from home at 7:20am.

It took only 12 minutes from home to the venue, plus, Jakarta at Sunday morning has a blissful traffic which I enjoyed while jamming to Red Velvet’s songs.

Right when I arrived, I thought I would be on the 50th in line or so, but life gave a powerful slap and laughed hard while saying “you’re 300th, dumbass. Don’t dream like you’re the first to arrive”.

Suddenly I remembered early bird gets the worm.

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Taken from Kumparan.com, this was the front line, they had been here since 5:00am

I walked towards the end of the line while not believing what had just happened. Couldn’t digest the reality.

“Alright…..” I sat down.

It was 8:00am. The E-Voucher exchanging with wristbands would start at 11:00am. Means I have 3 hours of doing anything.

There wasn’t much to do, frankly. I tried to make friend with people queuing beside me, but they weren’t people of my age. In fact, we probably have a double-digit age difference. So, a small-talk attempt ended in awkward pause.

Fortunately, I brought my N3DS and a book with me. Played Monster Hunter and killed some dragons, and read a quite hefty page. But there were something that distracted me the most:

Hunger and weary.

Both gave me a serious deal of pain. Although it wasn’t that painful, but boy did I became fidgety and finicky.

N3DS and book help me got through roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes, there was 45 minutes left and I feel uneasy, changing position became frequent, my stomach screamed, and my body felt like giving up.

This was actually my first Korean concert experience, unlike my sister, I wasn’t that much of a concert goer. She had gone to like 7 different concerts, while I only 2; Taylor Swift and Red Velvet. Taylor’s concert didn’t involve a lot of queuing, we got the ticket after we bought it, then just get in and enjoy. Whilst I have to get through battles in order to get there. So, tiredness was inevitable.

After barely made it to 11:00am, the committee finally spoken and everyone rushed to stand, the queue started to move line-by-line, there were approximately 200 people lining in front of me. It was such a tedious waiting and I was getting agitated, both because I was worried that the seat would suddenly ran out and I hadn’t eat anything yet.

Fortunately, it didn’t feel so tough after I opened Reddit and read comments from NBA thread, it was legitimately funny. Call me anything, but Reddit people are always good at making me laugh. During the queuing, I laughed silently but too obvious; people were staring confusedly.

12:00pm, I finally made it to the end of the line, and got the wristband. My seat number was BG 32. Located on the top part of the theater.

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After such a struggle

THE (PRE) SHOW

There was a 3 hour gap from the wristband exchange to the open gate, it was 1:00pm, I’m totally worn out and knowing that my home isn’t far away from the location, I went back home and spent like 2 hours of resting before the actual show.

At 4:00pm, I darted back to the venue and found that there were a bunch of people waiting outside the venue, mixed between those with wristband, and those who were still hoping to get the ticket (the ticket provider promised to give extra tickets on the venue). The faces showed grimace of hopelessness and at the same time, happiness.

When the securities allowed people with wristband in for (another) queuing, the scene got even saddening. You know the scene from disaster movies, where people with privilege could hop in the safety vehicles while those without privilege just wait outside, silently cursing and being judgmental, giving the “I’ll see you in hell” face? That’s exactly what happened. Worse, people with wristband and those who were starving for tickets were only separated by a glass. So we could see these people’s disheartened expression.

Sadness aside, I successfully entered the venue front side for (another) queuing. This time, we were told by the staffs to write some sort of questionnaire that would be randomly picked and read by performing guests and the vice mayor himself, with a gift from those people as the award.

There’s usually a fan union in Korean concerts. The purpose? In order to appreciate our idol, the fan union usually gave something called freebies. The freebies are usually banner, a fan, or photo card. ReVeluvs (Red Velvet fandom name) were given a banner, a photo card, and a sheet of lyric with emphasized parts inside it.

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Actually, there should be more than this but I’m too lazy to move

We were told indirectly by the lyric sheet that Red Velvet will only sing two songs: their current hit Rookie, and a ballad First Time. I personally was a bit disappointed, firstly, two songs? After all this pain? Secondly, I was hoping to sing Red Velvet’s One of These Nights. That song was subjectively amazing and all-time great. But I had to be grateful to even able to watch them live.

The time then came, 6:30pm. The committee told us to queue (again) and sequentially enter the main venue. At this point, I envied those who were located on the bottom part of the stage, you know, I thought they could see them closer.

As I entered the door that led me to seat number BG 32, I started to realize that this was a freaking theater. A theater’s seat must be stage-focused, the design must allow even the farthest seat to see the stage with ease.

And yes.

This was my view:

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Crystal clear.

Wowzers.

Better yet, there were nobody sitting behind me, so I could dance all I want and just let the hell out.

The show then started shortly after.

An old man in his fifties started to emerge, after the emcee introduced him. He was the Vice Mayor of Seoul, spoken some diplomatic words to solidify the sisterly relation between Jakarta and Seoul. Then proceed to introduce the Ambassador of Seoul, which was Gita Gutawa.

I never once doubted Gita Gutawa and turned out, it was right. Gita was a classy performer with good attitude, classified as top performers (subjectively) along with Afgan, Raisa, Tulus, and more. Her signature high-note is always her identity.

After a symbolic ceremony between the Vice Mayor and Gita Gutawa, Gita Gutawa then started to sing 3 of her songs: Harmoni, SempurnaAYO (Come on). I must say these 3 songs were perfect for the moment and with her high note ability, the crowd couldn’t do anything but clap in awe. Great choice!

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RED VELVET STAGE

With Gita Gutawa’s last song finished, and back to the backstage, the emcee again emerge. At this point, almost 90% of the audience forgot that the main performer was ERU. Not Red Velvet. So we didn’t anticipate their appearance until the last hour.

The emcee teased us about calling out Red Velvet to the stage. We took the bait but he laughed.

The emcee again teased us.

But this time, Red Velvet really came to the stage.

With some introductory video, the girls started to walk to the stage. The whole venue exploded with excited scream, I screamed to the top of my lungs.

Without hesitation and giving us fans a moment, they started to dance and here comes the first song…

Dumb Dumb

The decibel level went from 90 to 140 in just a second. We didn’t thought they would sing this song.

If you watched Descendants of The Sun before, on episode 16, Red Velvet attend the armies’ event and sing this song as well. The armies’ chanting were sounded like mine, here’s the scene:

The only difference was I screamed with passion. Ha.

Right after Dumb Dumb finished, they still didn’t give us a moment to sit.

Aaaand…. Little Little

I couldn’t scream much because this song is a Ballad. But I sang along with this enjoyable Ballad. (I actually waited for Last Love or Body Talk, but…)

Along with singing, I realized that it was the first time I saw them live. No intermediary objects, no select resolution, no, this wasn’t 720p or 1080p or even 4K, this was real.

When they were singing, I kinda realized that I was in the Twilight Zone. You know, the moment you couldn’t exactly believe.

Anyway, after singing Little Little, came the talkshow about hot spots in Seoul. Each member spoke about their favorite spots in Seoul. Hongdae, Itaewon, Common Ground, and more. The funniest thing happened when Joy were introducing nightclub as a spot to relax, the audience went “nooo Joy!” and she was embarrassed, along with this smile

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This isn’t her final form

This is the live version:

@redvelvet.smtown Joy Talk Show Cut #RedVelvetInJakarta #SeoulTalkConcert #ParkSooyoung #Joy #조이

A post shared by Muhammad Farizky Priambudi (@farizkey) on

Long story short, we didn’t expect that they would continue singing….

But they did.

Russian freaking Roulette.

Please excuse my overly hyped scream. That was intentional.

I couldn’t tell much here as I was into the moment.

Again, no break.

Then Rookie happened.

Damn straight.

Post-Red Velvet

Eru took the stage right after Red Velvet, performing his own hit songs from 2011 and proceed with cooking on stage and introduce South Korean cuisines such as Samgyetang, Bibimbap, and others.

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Eru. My apologies, I went “Who ER-U?” during your performance.

To describe the atmosphere post-Red Velvet, it was like a stock crash. The voice that was previously 140 decibel plummeted to 70 or 80, no argument there. I deducted that the committee and the Seoul people thought that Eru has a large fanbase in Indonesia, but sadly no. I personally didn’t know him much either, the best that I know from him was his duet with local comedian, Sule. That’s that.

After Eru performed with the Vice Mayor, Red Velvet reappeared! The crowd again rose from their seats and wave hands at the girls, they waved back and doing cutesy things… you know what happened after.

My Take on the Concert

The whole talk show was amazing! Besides the main gem, Red Velvet, the shows were carefully designed (I noticed the intro videos) and in my opinion, successfully attract us fans of South Korea to visit Seoul. It’s just a bit sad that there were a lot of fans who couldn’t attend the concert.

ADDITIONAL REMARKS

I’d like to recommend some of great Red Velvet songs (besides their hit), with deep meaning and enjoyable tune, my top 10 rank:

  1. One of These Nights (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xWiro_tS1k)
  2. Last Love (Wendy solo) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46AuqaVnG1Q)
  3. Because I Love You (Wendy solo) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDMLANstgGI)
  4. Body Talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM0AwoKzZTg)
  5. Would U (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu7OmSqHVng)
  6. Automatic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px2Q47O0_eE)
  7. Be Natural (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpAn9ryoB4Y)
  8. Little Little (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mskdzoFF4o)
  9. First Time (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HchJVfmSG5w)
  10. Day 1 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uasFLFB4UI)

Enjoy!

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Review (more like fanboying over) Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Review (more like fanboying over) Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

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“Good ideas are always sounds crazy until they’re not” – Larry Page (Page 396)

If someone ask me “What was your favorite coincidence?” I would say: “discovered Elon Musk via BBC News app“.

It was in 2015, on campus’ parking lot. A story of Hyperloop and Elon Musk first popped and enter my life unwittingly. Long story short, I ran a Google search on Elon and find that he is dubbed as “real-life Tony Stark”, which I thought was overrated because nobody would ever be on par with fictitious Tony Stark and his ingenious mind.

Since then, I only know Elon Musk for being dubbed as real-life Tony Stark without ever discovering who he really is.

Last month, I strolled to Periplus, an import bookstore near the office. I have this habit of buying new books every month, but because I’m far from being financially secure, I’d run a Goodreads search on every book. The top contender was: Charles Duhigg’s the Power of Habit, Chris Guillebeau’s the $100 Startup, Freakonomics, and Adam Grant’s Originals. After finding that Ashlee Vance’s Elon Musk biography scored 4.2, which, quite rare in Goodreads, without hesitant I bought this book, snatch away the plastic cover, and start reading.

THE STORY HIGHLIGHT

Like any other biographies, the book solely focused on the life of Elon Musk. Elon Musk himself was born in South Africa, way far from the United States of America, but he moved from there to Canada, and eventually, the USA.

The story began from his childhood, as per usual, the “bullied kid” narrative could be found here, and Elon was bullied hard because he was this quiet, nerdy, and ordinary kid with no billionaire symptoms anywhere. He never took any leadership position, be on the podium beside the brightest kids from his class, or any signs of “oh-he’s-going-places”. He’s just usual.

Apparently, he’s doing that on purpose. He said “I just look at it as ‘What grade do I need to get to where I want to go?’ There were compulsory subjects like Afrikaans, and I just didn’t see the point of learning that. It seemed ridiculous. I’d get a passing grade and that was fine. Things like physics and computers–I got the highest grade you can get in those. There needs to be a reason for a grade. I’d rather play video games, write software, and read books than try to get an A if there’s no point in getting an A“.

He was fed up growing up on South Africa and went to Canada and USA instead, where he could find something more interesting. Which he did.

Long story short, he and Kimbal Musk, his brother, went to found Zip2, an online city guide company in 1995, and then sold to Compaq for $307 million.

Elon then found X.com afterwards, an email payment and online financial services company. Found a competitor named Confinity, founded by Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, and Luke Nosek. Both then merged to be the world-renowned online payment service, PayPal. Which then acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion.

With fortunes acquired by Elon from Zip2 and PayPal acquisition, he then started Space Exploration Technologies or SpaceX, holding his conviction of carrying man to Mars.

Almost right at the same time, he also start building electric cars with a company he invested on, Tesla. Up until now, Tesla has produced several cars and will produce more. Replacing gas stations, Tesla built Supercharged station for recharging, spread around US and soon, worldwide.

Together with Rive brothers Lyndon and Peter, Elon founded SolarCity, now second largest solar power system provider in the USA. Elon is the largest shareholder there.

And just recently, Elon unveiled Hyperloop, an ultra-fast transportation that looked like an MRT, but with a pod and super high speed.

MY TAKE ON THE BOOK

I will always remember this book as one canonical business book that establish my fondness of starting a business.

You can tell me Dale Carnegie’s book is all-time best, Jack Welch’s MBA book is a must-read, Stephen Covey’s 7 Habit is on best seller list. But no other biography or business books that will give me tremendous amount of effect than Elon Musk’s.

I’d have to thank Ashlee Vance for tailoring sentence after sentence eloquently that it became an obvious page-turner for me. I enjoy reading Elon’s childhood, the rising of Zip2 and X.com, and mainly the Tesla and SpaceX arc.

Pestering is what I loather, but I share some trait with Elon, albeit his 14 hour work per day is unparalleled, his love of technology, being geeky, likes to be different, are traits I share with him. That made me feel like I was standing in the same ground (but different dimension) with the business magnate, and every time I read a page, I feel a significant increase in confidence.

It is somewhat blasphemous to place Elon with other big business owner, I mean, in terms of net worth, they are probably on par or even above the par from Elon, but if we’re speaking vision, Elon has the upper hand.

Elon said that human could be a multiplanetary species, he work on it, he incrementally make it true. That’s the thing I admire the most from him. He walk the talk–no, he run the talk, in lights speed.

The fact that he hold a top management position in 5 different companies is beyond imagination,  even being a CEO in one company is tremendously difficult and a hair-falling journey.

His work ethic is…. ineffable. Putting 100 hours a week for years straight is insane! But he nailed it anyway.

Oh, I couldn’t even tailor words properly to describe how I admire Elon Musk. Not merely because he’s a business magnate and I’d like to be on his position sort, but more like he’s a prove that being geek is starting to be cool and outplay the quarterbacks and muscular and shredding guitarists with eargasmic riffs.

But even with all that winnings in life, a price must be paid, too. All that relentless hard work and demand for perfection makes Elon’s attention to human relation a bit abandoned. He had two wives, Justine Musk and Talulah Riley which had divorced him because of different way of life. Justine had been with Elon for eight years, while Talulah spent an on-off four years.

Elon is also known for having sky-high demand for his employees, high standard, high working hours, despite high earnings. Temper problem is his feat, too. He had some quarrel with former co-founders such as Martin Eberhard of Tesla, former designer of Tesla, Henrik Fisker (who eventually establish his own electric car company, Fisker Automotive) and a lot more.

It was Mary Beth Brown, former right hand of Elon Musk, a woman who devoted her 12 years to SpaceX and Elon, who witness this first hand. She was indirectly fired from her job for asking a raise. There were two version of this story, one from Elon’s side (written in the book and a Quora answer written by Justine Musk herself) and other narratives who said that Brown was fired right away by Musk. From the book, Musk said this:

“As Musk recalled, “I told her, ‘Look, I think you’re very valuable. Maybe that compensation is right. You need to take two weeks’ vacation, and I’m going to assess whether that’s true or not.’ Before this came up, I had offered her multiple all-expenses-paid vacations. I really wanted her to take a vacation. When she got back, my conclusion was just that the relationship was not going to work anymore. Twelve years is a good run for any job. She’ll do a great job for someone.” According to Musk, he offered Brown another position at the company. She declined the offer by never showing up at the office again. Musk gave her twelve months’ severance and has not spoken to her since.”

Former employees found that Elon’s harsh, too. He would fire someone whom he think being an obstacle.

However, most of people, including me, found that it was not because Elon is a major league asshole. More like because he’s so driven that he knows what to do and sweep away the gravels from his road. Besides, when you work at the company who wants to move humankind to a new planet, which CEO would love to see you be a laid back person?

I found it funny and feel honored when Musk said that Artificial Intelligence is a threat to humankind, this may not be widely covered in the book but, my bachelor thesis covered that same concern, too. Yet people still being pessimistic and skeptical about that. I was wondering why, but now I know.

VERDICT

For those who wanted to get motivation on business and previously feel like “okay, this idea is not gonna work”, I’d recommend this book in any given day for your panacea. The only flaw of this book was you’d feel like you read a writing of someone who has a crush, fangirling/fanboying. But I jumped on the bandwagon, too. I couldn’t help but be a cheer squad for Elon.

This is a book that I would read more than twice, because it is my surefire panacea for being insecure about starting a business.

Review(ID): Reply 1988

Review(ID): Reply 1988

 

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Ssangmundong, bakal jadi tempat yang bikin sedih kalau kalian nonton drama ini

[SPOILER ALERT]

TL;DR, Gue sangat, sangat, sangat merekomendasikan drama ini bahkan untuk yang belum pernah nonton drama Korea sekalipun. Karena ceritanya yang sangat-sangat bagus dan sarat makna, kalau ada yang ingin nonton dan enggak mau tahu ceritanya duluan, cukup baca sampai sini aja. Totally recommended. You’ll know it in the first three episodes.

————————-[SPOILER STARTS BELOW]—————————

TENTANG REPLY 1988

Reply 1988 adalah sebuah drama yang bercerita tentang 5 orang teman beserta 5 keluarga yang tinggal di satu gang kecil di Ssangmun-dong, Seoul. Reply 1988 merupakan seri ketiga setelah Reply 1997 dan Reply 1994. Seperti judulnya, latar cerita di Reply 1988 berada di tahun 1988.

PENGHUNI SSANGMUNDONG

Keluarga Sung 

(Kiri atas: Sung Duk-seon, Kanan atas: Sung Dong-il (ayah), Kiri bawah: Sung Bo-ra (kakak Duk Seon, Tengah bawah: Sung No-eul (adik Duk Seon), Kanan bawah: Lee Il-hwa (ibu))

Sung Duk-seon (Lee Hyeri)

Perempuan yang paling males belajar, di sekolah rankingnya selalu di angka 999 dari 1000. Paling hiperaktif dari keluarga Sung.

Sung Dong-il (Sung Dong-il)

Kepala keluarga Sung yang kerja di bank. Selalu dimarahin istrinya karena suka mabuk kalau pulang kerja. Orangnya diam-diam perhatian sama anak-anaknya

Sung Bo-ra  (Ryu Hye-young)

“Kepala keluarga”, paling galak dan kerjaannya teriak-teriak, juga berantem mulu sama Sung Duk-seon. Kuliah di Seoul University, salah satu kampus paling bergengsi dan baik di sana.

Sung No-eul (Choi Sung-won)

Di umur 17 tahun, No-eul punya muka yang sama tuanya sama ayahnya. Paling sering dijadiin bahan bully oleh Bo-ra dan Duk-seon.

Lee Il-hwa (Lee Il-hwa)

Ibu dan istri yang cukup sabar ngadepin anak-anak dan suaminya. Paling sayang sama anak-anaknya.

Keluarga Kim

(Kiri atas: Kim Jung-hwan, Kanan atas: Kim Sung-kyun, Kiri bawah: Kim Jung-bong (kakak Jung-hwan), Kanan bawah: Ra Mi Ran)

Kim Jung-hwan (Ryu Jun-yeol)

Jung-hwan punya ciri khas yakni cuek. Seakan enggak peduli sama apapun di sekitarnya, tapi diem-diem, merhatiin sekitarnya dan perhatian.

Kim Sung-kyun (Kim Sung-kyun)

Tipe-tipe ayah yang paling demen sama dad jokes. Paling hiperaktif di keluarga Kim, kadang-kadang melankolis, kadang-kadang bijaksana.

Kim Jung-bong (Ahn Jae-hong)

Jung-bong adalah tipe orang yang polos dan gampang tertarik sama hal yang enggak bikin orang tertarik secara umum; rubik, ngumpulin perangko, jadi admin chatroom, atau bacain buku alamat. Hampir 7 tahun nyoba tes kuliah enggak masuk-masuk.

Ra Mi Ran (Ra Mi Ran)

Mi Ran ini pure emak-emak. Setiap hari kerjaannya teriak-teriak mulu, karena semua penghuni di rumahnya laki-laki dan rata-rata pemalas.

Keluarga Sung (Sun-woo)

(Kiri atas: Sung Jin Joo (adik Sun-woo), Kanan atas: Kim Sun-young (ibu), Bawah: Sung Sun-woo)

Sung Jin-joo (Kim Seol)

Jin-joo ini anak yang deket banget sama kakak dan ibunya. Kadang hiperaktif.

Kim Sun-young (Kim Sun-young)

Semenjak suaminya meninggal, Sun-young harus bekerja keras untuk hidupin anak-anaknya. Ibu yang perhatian sama anak-anaknya.

Sung Sun-woo (Go Kyung-pyo)

Tipe anak idaman orang tua; pinter, jadi ketua OSIS, dan sayang banget sama keluarganya.

Keluarga Choi

(Kiri: Choi Taek, Kanan: Choi Moo-sung (ayah))

Choi Taek (Park Bo-gum)

Pemain Go jenius, tapi untuk kegiatan sehari-hari, terlalu polos.

Choi Moo-sung (Choi Moo-sung)

Ayah Taek yang juga cuek dan hemat bicara, tapi diam-diam peduli sama sekitarnya dan kuat.

Keluarga Dong-ryong

 

(Kiri: Ryu Jae-myung (ayah), Kanan: Ryu Dong-ryong)

*Keluarga ini ada ibu dan kakak, tapi jarang terlihat

Ryu Jae-myung (Yoo Jae-myung)

Kepala sekolah dan ayah dari Dong-ryong. Orangnya strict dan galak, terutama ke Dong-ryong

Ryu Dong-ryong (Lee Dong-hwi)

Anak hiperaktif yang disebut counselor karena kebijaksanaannya dalam ngasih saran.

UNSUR FAVORIT

1. Ssangmundong Squad

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Bagi kalian yang udah nonton atau akan nonton, ini adalah pemandangan yang bakal kalian lihat di setiap episode. Ada atau enggak adanya Choi Taek di rumah (karena dia sering pergi ke luar negeri untuk kompetisi Go/Baduk), Sun-woo, Dong-ryong, Jung-hwan, dan Duk-seon pasti akan ngumpul di tempat ini untuk nonton, makan ramen di panci besar, atau sekadar ngobrol-ngobrol dan curhat. Kelimanya juga punya hobi nginep bareng di rumah Taek, tidur di lantai pakai selimut.

Buat gue, pemandangan kaya gini bikin senang. Terutama karena hal kaya gini udah jarang ditemuin di era yang masing-masing udah pegang handphone. Boro-boro ketemu, chat pun kadang suka lama dibalas. Makanya, ngelihat adegan-adegan yang ngelibatin mereka semua, bikin rindu ngumpul sama teman-teman.

2. Parents’ squad

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Enggak cuma anak-anaknya aja yang rajin ngumpul, tapi orang-orang tuanya pun ikutan rajin ngumpul. Biasanya, para orang tua ngumpul di saat-saat ada perayaan besar atau biasanya, kalau Taek jadi juara atau sekedar menang kompetisi internasional. Mereka pun enggak ada canggung-canggungnya kalau ngomong satu sama lainnya, selain itu, perhatian yang mereka kasih ke satu sama lainnya pun besar. Di satu episode, ada cerita waktu Choi Moo-sung jatuh sakit dan akhirnya di rawat di rumah sakit. Para orang tua pun secara bergantian bawain makanan atau sekedar berkunjung, yang ibu-ibunya lebih care lagi. Terutama karena istri Choi Moo-sung sudah meninggal.

Di episode pertama, penonton juga disuguhin adegan ketika masing-masing keluarga tukar-tukaran makanan sehingga yang awalnya meja makanan satu keluarga cuma ada satu macam makanan, jadi punya 5 sampai 6 macam makanan. Buat gue, hal kayak gitu udah hampir susah ditemuin di sini.

3. The Ahjummas

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Kalau sekarang ibu-ibu bisa ngegosip ketika ada satu platform yang sama (WhatsApp atau… Tukang sayur), ketiga ibu-ibu ini bisa kapanpun ketemu dan saling mengunjungi. Cerita satu sama lain masalah keluarga masing-masing atau bahkan masalah personal. Ketika satunya ada masalah, dua ibu-ibu lain pasti langsung terjun ngebantuin.

Di satu episode, Kim Sun-young tiba-tiba ketimpa masalah karena rumahnya mau disita oleh bank. Sun-young diminta bayar 10 juta won dalam waktu dekat atau ia diusir. Ibu mertuanya (yang jahat, nanti akan tau background-nya), justru malah minta Jin-joo dan Sun-woo untuk dikirim ke rumah ibu mertuanya, dan Sun-young “tinggal di jalan”. Il-hwa dan Mi Ran enggak tinggal diam dan langsung cari bantuan. Mi Ran bahkan mau meminjamkan 2-3 juta won untuk membantu Sun-young.

3. Hubungan orang tua-anak tetangga

Meskipun enggak terlalu sering kelihatan, tapi hubungan antara orang tua dan anak-anak tetangganya juga patut diapresiasi, dua potongan adegan di atas adalah buktinya. Yang paling gue seneng adalah ketika lihat Duk-seon dan Sung-kyung salam aneh-aneh. Tapi pesan yang bisa diambil, jaman dulu orang tua dan anak tetangga itu dekat banget. Ayah gue, yang melewati masa-masa 1988 juga bilang kayak gitu. Dulu waktu ayah main ke rumah temannya dan kebetulan lagi enggak ada, ayah malah main catur sama bapak dari temannya itu. Kadang juga minta makanan.

4. The Complexes

Setiap orang punya masalah. Itu pasti, dan itulah yang ditonjolin oleh Reply 1988. Setiap karakter punya complex-nya masing-masing. Masalahnya pun beragam dan enggak hanya sebatas cinta-cintaan remaja, tapi masalah real yang sampai sekarang pun kita hadapi. Coba lihat potongan adegan ini:

Secara enggak sadar, gue sendiri belajar bahwa ini adalah masalah-masalah yang bakal gue hadapi nanti waktu jadi orang tua dan gue harus siap sama itu. Gimana nanti ngehadapin anak yang kena kasus, ngehadapin kepala sekolah karena anak berantem, nerima takdir kalau orang yang kita sayang meninggal, gimana harus berkorban supaya anak senang, dan lain-lain. It’s like we’re being taught to be a good parent.

5. The values

Berkaitan sama poin nomor 4, di setiap episode Reply 1988 pasti sarat nilai. Ditambah, setiap episodenya punya tema masing-masing. Gue inget di episode pertama, Ra Mi Ran (ibu Jung-hwan) agak sedih karena anaknya enggak cerita soal sekolah, pelajaran, atau hal-hal kecil ke ibunya. Pas Jung-hwan lagi belajar, Mi Ran diam-diam bilang ke Jung-hwan kalau dia juga kepingin Jung-hwan cerita ke ibunya. Setelahnya, Mi Ran peluk anaknya secara awkward.

Ada juga episode yang nunjukkin kalau di balik hebatnya seorang ayah, yang enggak ada takut-takutnya ngadepin apapun, punya ketakutan juga.

6. Quotes

Banyak banget quotes-quotes yang bisa kalian jadiin status media sosial atau sekedar diinget, ini beberapa favorit gue:

“Dads don’t automatically become dads the moment you’re born because it was my first time being a dad” -Sung Dong Il-

“Adults keep it bottled up, adults feel pain too. They were too busy being adults and acted strong because of the pressure that came with their age.” -Duk Seon-

“Sometimes it’s okay to be deluded – if you can make your mother happy by making her think her cooking is good” 

“Adult-like child is just one without complaints, They’ve acclimated to the world of adults and they’ve grown used to the illusions around them. Adult-like child is just… a child.”

“Even when I’m at the age to be a mother, my mother always be my guardian angel. Calling her by the name Mom is something that has the power to tug at my heartstrings. Mothers are always strong” -Sung Bo Ra-

“When one is at the age when one can console one’s mother, it’s when one has matured past being able to say ‘Thank You’ and ‘I Love You’. If one wishes to make one’s mother happy, the words ‘Mom I need you” is more than enough”

7. The plot

Karena mungkin hampir 90% drama Korea dipenuhi dengan cinta-cintaan yang, orang bilang, enggak realistis, jadi drama-drama sebagus ini pun kena imbas kalau isinya ya pasti cinta-cintaan juga.

Enggak salah, sih.

Tapi yang gue suka dari Reply 1988, adalah ceritanya yang seimbang. Bahkan, porsi cinta-cintaannya lebih sedikit dibanding friendship dan family. Inilah drama yang gue suka.

KARAKTER FAVORIT

1. Ra Mi Ran

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Ra Mi Ran ini punya charm baik di dalam peran maupun sebagai Ra Mi Ran asli. Gue hanya fokus di Reply 1988, ya.

Kenapa Ra Mi Ran jadi karakter favorit gue nomor 1? Karena selama berepisode-episode, gue ngeliat segala ekspresi Mi Ran dari sedih, teriak-teriak, ketawa-ketawa, sampai gokil. Gue dibuat ketawa ngakak karena kelakuannya yang aneh-aneh, dibuat sedih karena dibalik mukanya yang garang dan galak ke keluarganya, Mi Ran juga bisa pecah nangis waktu Jung-bong mau dioperasi. Di depan Jung-bong, Mi Ran bilang kurang lebih “yaelah, operasi kecil doang gak sampe sejam! Udahlah! Enggak usah dipikirin! Mending makan aja! , tapi waktu tengah malam, ngeliat anaknya, Jung-bong lagi tidur dan ketakutan karena mau operasi, dia nangis sesegukan di ruang lain karena sebenarnya dia juga takut. Di sisi lain, Ra Mi Ran juga–di antara ibu-ibu–bisa jadi orang yang bijak dan suportif.

Gue rasa, kita bisa sayang (in terms of friendship, ya) sama orang kalau kita udah lihat semua ekspresinya. Di sini, gue ngerasa Ra Mi Ran kaya ibu beneran.

2. Sung Bo-ra

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Hampir karena alasan yang sama dengan Ra Mi Ran, di drama ini kalian bakal dilihatin macam-macam ekspresi dari Bo-ra. Di episode 1, gue yakin kalian akan benci banget sama perempuan ini. Tapi lama kelamaan, Bo-ra nunjukkin sikap hangatnya dan diam-diam perhatian sama keluarganya.

Di episode-episode sebelum terakhir, kalian akan lihat Bo-ra yang bener-bener sayang sama keluarganya dan itu yang bikin gue senang lihat Bo-ra. Di balik teriak-teriak “Lo mau mati!?”, dia bisa nangis dan bikin orang tuanya sadar kalau mereka beruntung punya anak kaya Bo-ra.

3. Sung Sun-woo

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Sun-woo mungkin adalah karakter yang paling relatable buat gue. Because I was once in his shoes that I can relate to all of his thoughts. Dia sayang ibunya, sampai-sampai, enggak tega dan bisa nangis karena ngelihat ibunya kerja untuk dia. Sun-woo juga sayang banget sama adiknya, Jin-joo, yang bahkan tiap hari dia ajak main dan suapin kalau lagi makan. Dia juga paling enggak mau ngerepotin ibunya dan kalau bisa, dia yang bantu ibunya.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Keputusan gue untuk copy Reply 1988 dan nonton pelan-pelan adalah keputusan yang baik. Selama nonton drama ini, gue enggak bisa berhenti ketawa, senyum, bahkan pada satu waktu, ikut nangis. Karena memang sangat relatable dan mengenai keluarga.

Di drama ini, gue ngerasain bener lari dari dunia nyata dan seakan tinggal di Ssangmundong bareng sama mereka-mereka ini. Karena, kehangatan antarkeluarga dan antarteman udah jarang banget dirasain di jaman kayak sekarang. Dulu gue punya teman kecil yang rumahnya dekat juga, hampir mirip Ssangmundong. Kami tinggal satu kompleks dan setiap hari ngunjungin rumah masing-masing untuk nongkrong, nonton, atau main. Berkat Reply 1988, gue keinget masa-masa itu. Meskipun sekarang udah pada mencar. Dulu juga gue punya keluarga besar yang selalu ngumpul di waktu-waktu tertentu, tapi karena sekarang sibuk masing-masing, ngumpul jadi jarang.

Buat gue, drama ini enggak hanya bagus, tapi juga menyinggung dunia hari ini. Kita terlalu sibuk dengan handphone masing-masing sampai-sampai interaksi antarmuka jarang terjadi. Kita lebih sibuk dengan dunia masing-masing. Di Reply 1988, TV hanya ada satu, belum ada internet atau handphone. Itu yang bikin interaksi antarmereka kuat.

Dengan selesainya gue nonton Reply 1988, gue ngerasa kosong. Padahal, hampir setiap minggu gue ngerasa ada di tempat itu.

Sangat, sangat, sangat, sangat direkomendasikan.

Thank you, Ssangmundong.

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Review: My Wife’s Having an Affair This Week

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It was because Song Ji Hyo (woman in the middle) played in this drama, my motivation rose to watch this drama.

From the look of it, I thought this was meant to be a comical, light-weighted plot which will be colored with a lot of jokes and only have a little dose of sadness.

Instead, what I got is the opposite of my expectation. Despite the comical part was still clearly visible in almost all episodes, but the sadness is inevitable. Turns out, the drama really live up to its name, especially in the “affair” part.

Firstly, the drama itself consists of solid casts, variety show Running Man’s most renowned only girl Song Ji Hyo was the main spotlight in the drama. She played as Jung Soo-yeon, a career mom, and wife of Do Hyun Woo, portrayed by Lee Sun-kyun. There are also Lee Sang-yeob as Ahn Joon Young (man on the right), popular singer Kwon BoA as Kwon Bo Young, Kim Hee-won as Choi Yoon Ki the cheating lawyer (man on the left) and Ye Ji-won as Eun Ah Ra, wife of Choi Yoon Ki.

The story revolved around the world of cheating and affair which almost all of the character had to deal with. Do Hyun Woo,a chief producer of a TV program and the main character of the story found out that his wife is about to meet with an unknown man whom he suspected as his wife’s cheating partner. Not knowing what to do, Hyun Woo posted his story under the name of “TOYCRANE” in a message board titled “My Wife’s Having an Affair This Week”, and got help from various anonymous netizens ever since. Ahn Joon Young and Kwon Bo Young have a love-hate relationship and both are Do Hyun Woo’s best TV production team as well as close friend. On the other side, Choi Yoon Ki and Eun Ah Ra’s relationship was colored with cheating. Yoon Ki cheated with several women in various occasion while Ah Ra stayed calm and did not make a fuss about the cheating until the last three episodes.

Subjectively, the whole story was painfully beautiful. Painful because I can relate to what happened in the drama, but beautiful because in every conflict, there rose a beautiful resolution. If I looked at the bigger picture, the three main story represent a phase of marriage. Choi Yoon Ki’s story represented a phase when a marriage is stable but monotonous, which pushes one party to try to revive their motivation of loving someone by choosing person that’s not their partner. Ahn Joon Young’s story represented a phase when a marriage ends and the remaining person tries to love someone new but with hurtful memories of the past, it seemed to be hard. While Do Hyun Woo’s story represented a broken marriage. Trying to knit the whole mess back, but hard to do. At the same time, they have a kid who stand in between the line and connect both parent while hoping to have a happily ever after family.

My heart was fluttering while watching it. The drama was so realistic that people in comment section actually told their own experience of being cheated or cheating, it also gave a wake-up slap and different perspective to see. While people automatically blame the cheater for cheating all this time, this drama will force you to see things from both the cheater and the cheating’s side.

Another beauty of the drama is the anonymous netizen’s side story. While on the internet, they help TOYCRANE a.k.a Do Hyun Woo in solving the problem, but in real life, they also have their own problem of cheating, problematic kid, wanting to suicide, and other stories. Each has their own portion of stories which colored the drama even more beautifully.

I really really have to give much praise to BoA’s acting as Writer Kwon/Kwon Bo Young and Lee Sang-yeob’s acting as Ahn Joon Young. Their story was the most interesting beside Do Hyun Woo and Jung Soo-yeon’s story. They have a great chemistry and love-hate relationship that I guarantee you’d root for both of them. Also, Writer Kwon was the kind of cool girl with laidback personality you will like. And Ahn Joon Young was this one person who are overreacting at almost everything, noisy, cry-baby but at the same time, a great person and deep inside, a vulnerable person.

You will also love Do Hyun Woo and Jung Soo-yeon’s kid, Do Joon Soo. He’s still seven years old in the drama, but act and speak like an adult, many of his words are either laugh-inviting, or sad.

On the other side, though. I kinda disappointed with Song Ji Hyo’s role as Jung Soo-yeon. Prior to this drama and Running Man, I never see any of her drama but I know she’s a good actress so… Looking at her expression who was frequently sad, shy, and rarely laugh plus cried a lot is quite a disappointment. I expected a full expression like what happened with Writer Kwon and Ahn Joon Young.

Plus, if you really want to watch the drama, you really have to go through two first boring episode with full of exposition. Because the conflict started to happen in episode 3. But it was worth the wait and watch.

Nevertheless, this drama deserve a lot of love as it will give you a fresh insight in marriage and will shake your conscience as well. I really recommend people to watch this as a preparation pre-marriage or just want to watch good dramas.

 

 

Review: Descendants of the Sun

After long struggle against watching Korean dramas, my brain and body finally give in. For months after the series launched–and seeing legions of mewling girls–I despise the mainstream-ity of the drama. I even think it was overrated before even laying single eye on the drama.

Then everything reversed.

About two weeks ago, my sister wanted to re-watch the series, she said she forgot the whole story (mini-amnesia?) and had to re-watch it again.

Coincidentally, we were on the living room with my laptop connected to the TV. We just finished watching Running Man and I’m relaxing on the sofa. Then she hovered the cursor to the URL bar, typed “dramacool.to” and chose Descendants of the Sun.

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One of the most memorable scene

I think it’s safe to say that I was forced to watch the drama. Before this, I only watch 2 K-Dramas and none of them successfully glue my eyes past episode 1. Also, I never intended to watch this, though.

So the first episode played back then, I can help but watch it because it was the only thing that produces sound, which of course, attracts my mind and body to pay attention to it (a bit exaggerating).

Turns out, it was a page turner. I had to watch again and again because the ending scene of every episode provided a irresistible suspense. Great cliffhanger and upcoming episode preview.

After that night, I watch the series every night and just last night, I finished it. Even watched the behind the scene episode.

What impressed me was how complicated and meticulous the story line went. At the same time, it also displays a brighter side from a serious and complicated story.

Firstly, the casts really stuck to the character. I don’t know much about drama world and this was the first drama I ever completed, but I really love how Song Hye Kyo (as Kang Mo Yeon) acted. I took a quick look at Song Hye Kyo’s Wikipedia page and astonished by how she has a solid track record. As far as I researched, Descendants of the Sun was the first drama that she acted as a jolly and cheerful women, plus, she never play as a doctor.

The drama focused a lot in doctor and army’s life. In army, there is no over complicated and tongue-twisting foreign terms, but medical terms surely give you hard time just to pronounce it. Terms like IV (intravenous injection), triage protocol, intraperitoneal bleeding, and abdominal distention and even use medical tools and move like the pro. Below is the example of one scene where she completely speaks alien (medical terms).

Secondly, the other main characters are also the factor why the drama was considered great. Song Joong Ki as Captain Yoo Si Jin was also exceptional. Despite his childish look, he managed to radiate the aura of real soldier, pull off good jokes, but at the same time, he also managed to play with our emotion. I might never pay a special attention to the kissing scene because it was not my thing, but Si Jin’s on off and unusual relationship with Mo Yeon successfully stole people’s heart and make it beat faster.

Jin Goo’s role as Sergeant Seo Dae Young should also be applauded. His chemistry with Song Joong Ki’s Yoo Si Jin and her (also) on off girlfriend, Yoon Myeong Ju portrayed by Kim Ji Won completes the whole story. Dae Young’s rigid but also laidback attitude when he’s on army and not in the army was a laugh generating machine.

While I can’t comment on every cast, how the story went is crazy.

First you got conflict, then you got lovey-dovey couple scene, funny scene, just when you think everything is done, conflict happened, then peace, then conflict, then done, then final twist, then happy.

One of the best that is printed in my mind was the 15th episode, one before end.

The episode was filled with fluctuating waves. The first 30 minutes you have these peaceful scenes like lovey-dovey couple, sweet moments, but entering the second half, you got a heartbreaking and poignant scenes.

If you haven’t watch the series, I suggest you should stop in this line, because I’m going to spill the milk after this very sentence.

The poignant scene I was talking about is the scene where Yoo Si Jin and Seo Dae Young are assumed dead. The scene told us so, the people around told us so, the army commander told us so. You are convinced that the both main character died.

Kang Mo Yeon and Yoon Myeong Ju–both main character’s respective girlfriend cried hard and spent time reminiscing both men. Drinking together.

A year passed. At this time I believed that they really died, but I know they will eventually back to life, then I was right.

It’s a bit disappointing for me, frankly. If the drama ended with poignant cliffhanger, I would’ve been really happy.

All in all, this isn’t really a review, it’s just I want to spill my impression here after watching the series. I totally recommend it for fangirls or not. Professionally, it is worth and safe to say that this is currently the best drama around. I rarely get crazy over casts but Song Hye Kyo and Kim Ji Won wins.

 

Review: Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami

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After a quite rocky start in Hear the Wind Sing, Murakami finally did some justice in his second novella that came right after that.

Firstly, I have this strange aficionado towards a novel with unique title that doesn’t tell the big picture of the book content. I mean, somehow I feel annoyed by a novel title that clearly tell the reader in only one glance. You know, something like “The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo” or “Hunger Games” or “Mr. Mercedes” will not catch my eye unless highly recommended. Probably irrelevant with the content, though. But that’s just me.

I’d prefer a book with mysterious title and a good wordplay, “Slaughterhouse-Five”, “A Clockwork Orange”, and of course, “Pinball, 1973” are the kinds of title I would fall for, the kinds of novel I would take a look at when I’m at a bookstore. Mysteriously, these titles gave me a sort of proud sensation when people ask me “what are you reading currently?” then I can vehemently answer “Pinball, 1973”.

Okay, enough with the strange favorite.

I have to say the novel gave me the same sensation and feeling like when I read Murakami’s later works. The joy of being lonely, the joy of listening to old jazz, the overly-accurate description of almost anything. Murakami’s ability of describing things is probably on par with that of a poet. I mean, I can vividly imagine what he describe.

That overly-accurate description of things can be seen in this novel. Like a plane that just about to take off, 45 degrees bending its body towards the sky, you can feel that there are a change in how he describe things, compared to Hear the Wind Sing.

It is the pleasure I always feel whenever I read Murakami. You can almost feel that you live in the book, especially knowing that the character doesn’t have a name, if it has, you probably end up feeling like you are always beside the main character, observing his/her life.

Plot-wise, unlike its predecessor, Murakami stitched the plot in a careful fashion, you can see the flow clearly, how the narrator tells the story about him and The Rat and J’s story alternately. From a translator that lived an abnormal days with a twin girl we never know to how the narrator ends up being in love with an inanimate object, a pinball.

The Rat’s story is somewhat interesting, too. Sadly I didn’t put that much amount of attention towards his story line.

Unfortunately, the novel didn’t 100% live up to its name, “pinball, 1973” because the pinball-human love story just started at page 1-2 and 80-ish, the page between them rarely mentioned about pinball, rather than a quite long introduction to narrator’s life and about The Rat.

But overall, I found it delighting reading Pinball, 1973. Why? Because when I read it, I find myself sinking into the novel and lost from my world to that world. I almost didn’t feel I was on a motorcycle because I was too focused on reading it.

For Murakami fans, this book shows exactly the transition from a mere writer to a great writer of our time.

Review: Hear the Wind Sing by Haruki Murakami

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If you are a fan of Haruki Murakami’s writing and happened to be inspired by how he creates a wholly new and strange world, this should be included in your mandatory reading list.

This very book is the first ever novella written by Murakami himself as a reaction to his sudden epiphany while watching a baseball game. That sudden epiphany was written in the prologue section. In that section, Murakami tells us readers a story on how he got into the world of writing.

I believe I wrote a bit about that in this post. Briefly, Murakami attended a baseball game and right when a batter hit the ball thrown by the pitcher, that exact moment Murakami told himself “I think I can write a novel” and that became a drive for Murakami to write novels up until now.

(if you are curious with the complete passage, go here)

As common for the first-timer, this novella hasn’t show the signature Murakami strange-world-plot where Colonel Sanders can give an advice how to get girls or your bestfriend accused you of raping them in a dream. Instead, what you get is a confusing plot. Suddenly there’s a radio broadcast which you (at least me) will never know what connects with that, plus several pretentious (at least in my view) dialogue and words. Plus several cliffhangers for the bonus.

You can see, however, a spark that leads to present-Murakami in this book. The start of a scene where the protagonist naked with unknown woman on his side and meticulously-described sex scene; The lone ranger who likes old jazz and read books voraciously; Mysterious personality of the protagonist who likes answering people with one or two liner.

This novella could somewhat relieve people who dreams on becoming a writer as prolific as Murakami in terms of making words flow like a diarrhea, because the novella (plus the prologue) gave you a picture of how Murakami starts with nothing than a sudden epiphany with no empirical evident. Murakami didn’t know a lot of vocabularies, even grammar.

But for those who are about to start reading Murakami, I don’t recommend this novella as a starter, read his latest but light novels instead. I started with Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore, successfully gives a kick to read more from him. Because you might end up not liking him due to his first book