Because it’s January and I promised myself to write this every single month so here it is my December’s highlights
Starboy – The Weeknd
I surprised myself for liking the whole album cause I’m not The Weeknd’s fan, which means I didn’t listen to his songs. I didn’t even like the hit single Starboy at first but I kept humming his “I said look what you’ve done.. and imma imma starboy” which is totally addicting. After I watched the promo video of Starboy album titled M A N I A, I love Sidewalks (which !!!fyi featured Kendrick Lamar!!!) at the very first try. I started listen to this album and couldn’t stop that it’s so hard to choose my favorite track. Like it fits to my different moods and I could just play any song without skipping. If i really need to choose then I’ll pick True Colors, Sidewalks, and Die For You.
On the other note, I also listened to 24K Magic a lot during December (especially “That’s What I Like”, I guess).
On describing what Skam is about : Many people says Skam is a Norwegian version of Skins, with less drama. SKAM hits Norwegian teenagers by storm since most Norwegian teenagers thought SKAM portrays the real situation on what happened at their schools (maybe it’s because the creator did the research across the country for two years, to find out real issues among Norwegian teenagers). SKAM dealt with relevant issues for adolescent these days; feminism, homophobia, islamophobia, but most of all we see how the characters dealt with their own ups-and-downs while growing up.
I personally watched it because I was curious, how does a non-english speaking series became a hit and also why. It turned out I binge watched its two seasons in just two days. I really like it because I start to see these different issues with new perspective, for example; I don’t label myself as a homophobic before, I said I don’t support gay marriage but I respect gay rights and their life (which is sort of confusing and contradictory), and I also sometimes joked about it lightly with my friends which is totally wrong. So I started to see this gay-issue through Isak, one of the characters. I like SKAM that the characters aren’t cliché protagonists and I can also see other country’s culture (their Russ party and Norwegian Independence day). As an additional comment, SKAM also gave us aesthetically pleasing Oslo’s neighborhood visual.
I actually finished outliers long ago but because I think this is my best-read on 2016, I love to put it here. I remember I finished it in only one sitting on my Osaka-Jakarta flight because it was such a page turner book. I wanted to thank Kak Ayla for giving this book to me because I must say Outliers is one of best non-fiction in my entire life. It open up a lot of ideas and knowledge, and I must say the book was such a catalyst for me to start reading many non-fiction, again. I purchased three of Gladwell’s book right after I finished Outliers.
The writing is exceptionally brilliant, seriously. I registered to a scientific english class this semester on which I learned how to present data smartly. One of the way is that we lead the audience to figure out the data’s meaning by themselves first rather than directly telling them because the audience’s sense of discovery will increase their interest and engagement with us. I think this is what Gladwell did, the kind of writer who makes his reader feel smarter when it’s actually him being brilliant. I also start to read more social psychology book but it was mostly feels like reading a scientific paper or report which differs from Gladwell. I am trying to state his smart delivery. I respect him more also because I find writing is a very hard job. I think as I grow up, it’s very hard to down size my ideas simply in words because my mind tends to complicate things (which in turn make me start thinking about my meta-cognitive skill). All in all, a very remarkable book that every individuals need to read.
I think there were so much going on at December. Well, because it’s titled as a highlight I think I would choose Nabana No Sato. This has been on my bucket list even before I came to Japan. I went there with a very affordable itinerary by using 18kippu discount which only cost me around 2500¥ for a Kyoto-Mie round trip. Nabana No sato is an illumination attraction (they say it’s the biggest in Japan) located at Mie Prefecture and it’s very close to Nagoya.
I always think illumination was overrated until I came here because it was very magical and… romantic. Illumination is the main attraction in Japan for winter, while fireworks festivals are mostly done in summer. It suits winter the best since it’s cold and you can cling into him/her while walking through a tunnel full of stars. Well for me, I didn’t clung into anyone since the first rule is always applied; you need a partner to do that. Instead, I went there with Kak Rika and Kak Nisa and it was rather fun and fine, because second rule; (single)girls need to support other (single)girls. I also shopped together with Kak Rika the night before and helped her finding her princess-y style coat.
A 3 hour trip from Kyoto station to Mie didn’t feel really long since we talked a lot about various things (tip for finding right trip-partner; go with the one who doesn’t like small talk and who doesn’t stare into their phone every 5 minutes). We talked about history especially east-asian war history, renewable energy stuffs (because we saw so many solar panel along the way), and Elon Musk. I also did recorded some videos but haven’t got any time to edit and post. So for now, let me show some photos from the trip.