Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Life is a Circus

The yellow-and-blue striped tent, under the stormy Philippine skies.

Varekai just had its opening in Manila. I've never been to the circus all my life so I was really curious to see this. I wanted to make it extra special, so I got the VIP. The ticket was painfully expensive, but it's one of the crazy things I just have to do once in a while. 

Needless to say it was spectacular and everything. It's Cirque du Soleil, "the greatest show on earth". But amidst the roaring crowd, behind the glittery smiles and colorful make-ups, I couldn't help seeing the almost painful anxiety of the performers to deliver and to look good onstage. It makes me wonder what they had to put through and sacrificed for the sake of show. I was watching with a mix of admiration and sympathy. 

I dunno. Maybe it's because I've just been to a wake. It always changes the way I see things again when someone I know passes away. 

I wonder how much time we spend on our lives just to look good for other people? How much of ourselves are just make-up and costume? 

The circus tent seemed to belong to a world where everything is happy and colorful. The VIP area was packed with the crème de la crème of the society and a few wannabe middle-class like me. I tried as many of the hors d'oeuvres as I could, but didn't get to appreciate any of them. So I just drowned myself in wine and mango juice. 

Leaving the tent felt like stepping out into another world - the real one, where street children come to you begging for leftover pop corn. Outside, you can see the high society among the proletariat and the bourgeoisie  in one view - each class seem to be confined in their own worlds.

I enjoyed the show nonetheless, despite all the emo-pondering. My mouth must have been open all the time from all the gasping and screaming and laughing. In fact I must have enjoyed it too well because I didn't realize I was just sitting almost beside Ara Mina until the end of the show. Not that I'm starstruck or anything, but still.

Basbasan Nawa!

Pick your poison.

Inside the Tapis Rouge tent.

One of the costumes on display.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Kanji Adventure

Today I have officially memorized 500 kanji.

Since the beginning of June, I've been (re-)memorizing one hundred kanji per week using the Heisig method. By October I hope to be able to recognize the meaning of every Joyo kanji I encounter upon. After that will I only begin to actually study how to 'pronounce' them.

I even got no plans of (re-)learning Nihongo grammar just yet. My goal this year is simply just to be able to read aloud written Japanese.

Still got 1,542 more to go. Ganbarimasu!


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