Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Movie Stuff and Other Musings

I've been watching a lot of French movies that I check out from the médiathèque at the Institut Français de Hanoi. I'll watch them first with English subtitles just to relax and enjoy the movie, then watch them with French subtitles (if available), and then without any subtitles at all. It is a pretty good method for learning oral comprehension, which seems to be one of the most difficult skills in learning a language. I feel like I've made a lot of progress in my French class, which ends this week. Yesterday I took the final oral exam, and Friday will be a day where we just show up to get the results of the oral and written exams.  I was a little surprised that we took our oral exams individually, one by one, in the classroom.  Everybody else waited outside while the person taking the exam was quizzed. I decided I would be the last one, so I went in last.  It was not too bad, but I have no idea how it was graded.  Everybody tried to pack a bunch of stuff into their heads to take into the exam; there was a lot of last-minute studying from all of us.  But the first questions were all about talking about ourselves...I'm guessing that was to have everybody clear their heads and talk more naturally, rather relying on a template that was hastily memorized.

A couple of the movies have been pretty good. There was one called “Do Not Disturb” (the title was in English despite it being a French movie), which is sort of a buddy movie gone bizarro. I don't want to give out any spoilers, but it's a pretty funny movie. And there is one called “Coers” (Hearts) that is pretty good too. It's sort of an intertwining-relationships movie, where several sub-plots follow the characters throughout. The main plot surrounds a woman who is providing care for a guy's seriously abusive bedridden father.

I'll be in Hanoi for a little over another month, and then I plan to take off on my motorbike, possibly to Laos. I've heard Laos is more basic than Vietnam, but a little more expensive, because they import just about everything. Maybe it's a little bit crazy to take off on a motorbike that has no gas gauge and sometimes has dificulty starting by myself, through who-knows-what road conditions and weather conditions, across territory that contains lions and tigers and shit. Oh well, I'll either survive it, or I won't.

I don't think I will have too much trouble with the gear that I will have packed on my bike. It's not too heavy for a bike, though it might be kinda bulky. I just watched in horror the other day while I was riding my bike down the street, and a bike ahead of me that was carrying about twelve toilets on it had the owner slowly lose control of the balance while stopped at a red light (some people do occasionally stop for the red lights here), and it dumped over sideways, leaving the toilets to spill into the street. But the motorbike winner from the past few days has to be the guy (the knight) who was carrying several pieces of pipe about four meters long (the lance), and a whole panoply of plate glass on both sides of the bike (the glass armor), and as he passed me, I noticed he had a passenger on the back of his bike, standing uncomfortably in a question-mark position around the pipe sticking out (the hostage).

I've got some kind of gruesome rash surrounding one of my eyes that looks and feels like a chemical burn. I'm guessing shingles or something like that. So I applied some of the magical ointment that I got in a pharmacy in Japan for my foot injury. Actually, it's probably not a magical ointment. I really have no idea what it is, since everything on the tube in in Japanese. But I'm choosing to fantasize that it is a magical potion passed down to me by sagacious medical wizards with wisdom from millenia past. Maybe then a placebo effect will be conferred on me despite the horrible misapplication of whatever medication this is. I'm guessing that it is a topical antibiotic and therefore will do no good at all, and possibly even contribute to the formation of some supermicrobe that will envelop the planet in some pandemic that threatens to render the human population extinct, until scientists come up with some kind of nano-muncher that eats all the bad shit. But I digress.

I'm a little bit concerned because part of it is right on the corner of my eye. But I haven't lost any sight yet, so that's a good sign. Anyway, I'll either survive it, or I won't. At least I haven't gotten to the “Phantom of the Opera” phase yet, where I'm fashioning masks to hide my deformities.

1 comment:

  1. I hope it's not shingles. I had that once on my abdomen and it was screaming agony.

    I also hope you survive.