Surabaya + Neglect + Pandemic

I have been neglecting this blog on purpose. I have been reading, but I haven’t been updating. And even with the reading, it was just mediocre.

My last update – Was two days before I flew out to Surabaya, Indonesia. I went there to escape Lunar New Year. I went there to escape a whole lot of things. I went there to escape reality. I succeeded, and I came back with a new tattoo. A tattoo that says “Avec Toi, Je Suis Moi”.

Last night, I finished reading Black Boy by Richard Wright. Started on The Gift of Anger by Arun Gandhi. It’s not going to be an enlightening read for me. Simply another read about another person’s journey.

I’m rather fortunate to have travelled right before the pandemic hit. It was quite a stupid move, but nevertheless, it happened, and so it happened. My wanderlust is no longer that strong, and I do not care to explain why, although I know why. I did visit the Russian submarine, of all places. And yes, the tattoo. Made new friends too. Had a blast using Gojek travelling around the city and also ordering in. I lived opposite Tunjungan Plaza, and yet I ordered in. Like I said, the wanderlust – wasn’t with me this time around.

This pandemic has taught me nothing. I am so numb from life that it has taught me nothing. 21,000 deaths today, but that’s just “official figures”. We know that’s not believable. Come on, you’re not that stupid, are you? Do you know how many people died in 1994 in Rwanda alone? Do you know how many people died in the 2004 tsunami? What about Syria? What about Sudan? What about Xinjiang? What about history?

One thing reading has taught me – is to be resilient and keep an open heart for the poor, the weak, the oppressed. They are the ones who always suffer the most. Literally, the most. If I die from this virus, my eldest, who’s living with me, might perish, too. But if he doesn’t, it will be devastating to him, but he will carry on, just like the rest of the world. I will soon become a distant but loving memory to him. I will be missed. Life goes on.

The least I could do, right now, is remain indoors – so that the frontline heroes can do their jobs better with one lesser covidiot (if I go out, I will be one), and go home to their loved ones and live to fight another day.

That’s all for this post. That’s all.

2019-2020

So I’m paying for this domain and I don’t even use it diligently! What a shame! I’ve been busy battling some life numbing bs, and I haven’t been able to read as much as I’d like to. That was 2019 for me. The last book I read in 2019 was Stolen, about the Boko Haram.

I bought less than 20 books in 2019 (okay, less than 40, still, much better compared to 2018), and I’ve read less than 30. At least that’s what my Goodreads reading challenge is telling me… Let me go check it now…

There you go… *pats slaps self on back*. Some achievement!

Alright. Might upload another post of some books I got earlier this month…

Slump

I’ve been on a life slump lately. Not just reading. But life in general. So much has happened, it’s a shame that I do not wish to blog about it. I might turn it into a book, though. Now, isn’t that something relevant to reading?

Okay. Let me get to something more important than what’s been going on in my life.

I’m currently reading:

  • Stolen Girls by Wolfgang Bauer.
  • Gomorrah by Roberto Saviano.

I was previously reading but stalled:

  • From The Ground Up by Howard Schultz
  • and dozens more.

It’s nearing the end of 2019. So much has happened. So much is still happening. I am overwhelmed, but I’ll never give up on reading because it’s the only escape I have. Peace out.

16 Personalities

OK, so this came in my newsletter based on my Defender personality. I’m gonna take a break from book-blogging and get to know myself better:

[From 16 Personalities] Our research shows that Defenders are the most likely personality type to…

  • …enjoy turn-based games;
    • Yes, I love board games…
  • …prefer wine to beer;
    • I’m allergic to alcohol but yes if I had to drink I’d choose wine over beer.
  • …refuse to sacrifice privacy for fame;
    • Without a doubt.
  • …dislike gambling;
    • Without a doubt.
  • …hide their anger;
    • Without a doubt.
  • …avoid challenging other people‚Äôs beliefs for trivial reasons;
    • Without a doubt.
  • …live in the same house for more than a decade;
    • Without a doubt.
  • …be religious;
    • Raised a protestant. But no I’m not religious…
  • …feel stimulated when they are out in nature;
    • Without a doubt.
  • …make to-do lists for themselves;
    • Always. But…
  • …prefer texting to calling;
    • Without a doubt.
  • …find it difficult to lie;
    • Without a doubt.
  • …get annoyed by pranks;
    • Without a doubt.
  • …refuse to compromise their principles to get ahead on the career ladder;
    • Without a doubt.
  • …have little interest in going into politics.
    • Without a doubt.

OK. So back to books, back to reading. No more slacking…

Reading Slump

Terrible, terrible, terrible reading slump. I have been reading, I did finish a couple of books over the past few weeks, but things have been really unstable as of late and hence, affected my reading goals.

I am 62% through J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. It’s a really good read, and it could be easily finished in a setting. Yes, that kind of book.

I just started Madame Mao: The White-Boned Demon by Ross Terrill. No shit but I misplaced the book around the house somewhere. So I’m probably gonna be stuck at page 12 for a very long time.

Also, just bought No Turning Back by Rania Abouzeid. This is a read I’d want to be 100% with. So I doubt I’ll be able to start anytime soon.

I think that’s pretty much it. I can’t remember whether I wrote about finishing The Slaughter by Ethan Gutmann but yeah I did and I really don’t want to talk about it.

What’s Up

So much has happened over the past month. I did finish a couple reads but haven’t posted any progress in here. So I’ll go with what I’m currently reading and trying to get into:

  • Russian Roulette | Paperback. It’s quite heavy, but my surroundings aren’t supportive of my finishing of this read. Hope to pick it up again soon.
  • The Lynching | Kindle e-book. I’m 50% done.
  • Voices from Chernobyl | Paperback. Page 17. Because I was distracted.

Mainly those three.

Also, a book haul. But that can wait.

What Reading Spree?

“I just went on a reading spree!”

If you have days or times when you can ‘go on a reading spree’, well, I’m jealous of you, though not happy for you. There’s no happiness in seeing somebody, or anybody, for being able to read and read and read, and then, finish – done – next!

This book has been sitting on my dining table for two months. It’s not that I don’t want to finish it in one day or even within a week or two. The book is good. The author is fearless, passionate even, as she needs to interview talk to druglords who are incarcerated across few of the most notorious prisons in the world.

It’s funny how people pass comments like, wow, “You’re still reading that book?”, or, “You took that long to finish one book?”

It’s as if people who read don’t necessarily have lives beyond books (we wish we hadn’t, really), or, as if people who don’t read, knows what’s it like to actually spend quality time reading a book.

Some people could finish 700 pages in one setting, sure. They have different reading speeds, they could comprehend the context better, they didn’t have other commitments, they probably have no kids, grown kids who don’t need them, or they work in jobs that enables them to read, or they prefer to screw up their jobs and family or whatsoever so that they could read.

Who knows? Who are you to know?

I couldn’t read all day and night. Not even all day. There’s work, there’s chores, there’s kids, there’s texts to respond to otherwise they’ll call (which is worse) if you don’t respond.

Then there’s moody days and gloomy skies.

It’s so stupid, seeing bookworms belittling each other over “you just started that?! I finished that last month!”

Shut up, b*tch. Better, f*ck off.

This is why people are discouraged from reading. Well, at least one of the reasons. People just wouldn’t leave them alone.

If you come across a snobbish bookworm, send them the link to this post. May this be a STFU reminder for those morons.

“Reading sprees” are a privilege, never a right. Sure, neglect everything else and naturally everything will become a right for/to you. I hope our paths will never cross, and by that I mean literally and digitally.