[MOVIE REVIEW] Train to Busan (부산행)

I was so late, I know.

It was probably in July the hype for this movie arose in  the country where the movie was produced, South Korea. As someone who is quite updated about its pop culture, all I knew is that this movie is a zombie movie. And, as what my friends said, it was terrific.

I have never been a fan of zombies-related movie. The last time I tried to watch “I am Legend”, I couldn’t get myself watch the movie until the end. Also, when most of my college friends become “The Walking Dead” enthusiasts, I’m not interested to check the series out, not even a single episode of it. I might sound so boring at this point, haha.

Honestly, I’ve been retiring from watching any horror and thriller movies since long time ago. It just struck me one day that what’s the point of watching those movies when I couldn’t even enjoy it fully. What’s the point of watching it when half of the movie, I will close my eyes and my ears. Haha. Call me a scaredy-cat, but I will just take what I could take. 😁

Thus, when this movie was hyped up anywhere, including my country, I was still not interested to watch it. Until it was on last Monday, when one of my students told me excitedly her experience of watching the movie. She even gave me spoilers. Thanks to her, that night, I decided to watch the movie after halting it for so many times.

So, how was the movie?

For someone who is neither a fans of zombies movie nor likes to watch zombies movie, this movie is simply a great movie. The plot was focused and delivering and it also persuades the audience, especially me, to feel the tense and the frustration depicted in the movie.

As the title sugests, “Train to Busan” has a clear plot focus from the beginning to the end. The story simply focuses on how the survivors in the train make their way to Busan to save their lives from the zombie outbreaks happening in the country, which unfortunately got spread to the passangers in the train too.

The plot of the story doesn’t go astray even though if the movie wants, it has many chances to develop other side stories. But, no. You will only get what you paid for the title, and that’s good. As a critic from The New York Times said, “Often chaotic but never disorienting…”, the story consistently revolves around Seok Woo, a divorced fund manager and also a father of Soo An, who struggles to bring his daughter to Busan, in which the place where Soo An’s mother lives. At first, you will feel how frustrating to see how selfish Sook Woo is, regardless his handsome and hot papa vibe haha. Fortunately, he is a dynamic character who will develop to be a better character when he later meets the other characters, like Sang Hwa and his wife Seong Kyeong, the baseball player Yong Guk and his girlfriend Jin Hee, and a homeless man. They will later cooperate to save each other from zombies until they can reach Busan, where a safe quarantine zone has been successfully established. As simply as the focus of the story, the movie is enjoyable and entertaining as well.

Not only feeling the tense and the thrill, you will also wonder about the nature of human beings served in the movie. This movie doesn’t only emphasize the zombie-ness aspects but also philosophical and social aspects of the character. The development of the characters is well-written and easily becomes the key of engaging the audiences.

That is what I love the most from the movie. Every main character is given their own distinctive personality. That is relatable to how human nature actually works in emergency situation. There are characters who are willingly to be helpful for others from the start to the end. There are also characters who are selfish from the start to the end. Lastly, there are also characters who positively change from the selfish ones to be the helpful and considerate ones. This reminds me to a saying I heard the other day, “You will know and see the real character of human being when s/he in the state of danger or emergency.” 

Although somehow it is really frustrating for me to watch the character who is very dedicated being selfish without any break in the movie, I know that it can be a reality. It is plausible. I believe each and every human being living on the earth has that selfish side. It’s just the proportion of the selfishness that differs from one person to another. So, if I could give “the most selfish character ever” award for one character, I really want to give it to the COO Yon Suk. Wow! I give my biggest applause for his selfishness. He throws other people under the bus for saving himself without hesitation, exactly from the start when his character is introduced to the last seconds his character is finished. What a dedication! Just when I was happy thinking I wouldn’t have to see his face in the last couples of minutes of the movie, he appeared again bursting my happy bubbles.

Sadly, Yoon Suk is probably just an example of a small fish in a big pond where other selfish people eat each other just for securing themselves. That’s human in reality nowadays, sadly.

Other than the bad Yoon Suk, we will also be introduced to the In Gil and Jong Gil siblings. They are middle-age sisters who seem loving and taking care of each other so well, especially Jong Gil who seem to sacrifice a lot for other people. Even when she changes to be a zombie, she still looks like a nice zombie haha. Nice people will always look different, yup! 😁

This movie is entertaining yet frustrating at the same time haha. My heart still beats faster than it should be for half of an hour after I finished watching it. I don’t recommed you to watch the movie with your grandparents hehe. And a little bit spoiler, the ending is somehow not like what you probably want or expect. However it’s safe to say that it is still a happy ending with a little tragic and sad touch.

So, will I recommend this movie to other people?

Yes. I definity will. Especially for those zombie-movies lovers and enthusiats. This movie is probably not that zombie compared to other zombie movies out there but it gives you more than zombie to enjoy and to think about.

As much as I love this movie, this movie indeed has flaws too. I saw how this movie is said to owe “World War Z” a lot. I tried to watch some chunks of “World War Z”, then yea I found some of the shots from “Train to Busan” look similar to “World War Z”. Yet, I don’t think I will give “World War Z” a try to watch, hehe. Sorry Brad Pitt, you are hot and all but enough zombies for me before I start freaking out over zombies in my real life.

Another funny thing is when my another student discussed the movie with me this afternoon. She pointed out how a pregnant woman, who is Seong Kyeong, can run here and there without so much problems. Haha. As an unknowledgable and unexperienced woman who has never been pregnant, I could only say, “Well, that’s a movie after all, dear.”

Regardless, this movie is still worth a watch since it generally received favorable reviews and ratings from variety of sites like IMDb, Metacritic and Times of India. I myself will probably rate this movie 8 out of 10.

So, where can I watch the movie?

This movie was released in July in Korea, and one or two months later in other countries. In my country, Indonesia, this movie was released last month if I’m not mistaken. Also, it was not released to all cinemas, like XXI. It was limitedly released in certain cinema, like Blitz Megaplex, and I don’t know if this movie is still on play in cinemas or not. So, you should check it out yourself to know it hehe. I myself watch it online, since I saw it is already available on online sites, with English subtitles too. You can already download it too, I guess.

So, in case you want to have some spoilers from this movie, you can read from its Wikipedia page. But trust me, you will not regret your 118 minutes you spent after watching the movie. Or at least for me hehe. If you find this movie disappointing, then at least we can agree that Gong Yoo looks handsome and hot here. Haha. Anyway, here are the official trailers of the movie:

Trailer 1

Trailer 2

And, here is one of the posters released for the movie. So, have a good watching experience  🙂

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[NOVEL REVIEW] The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The title. Yup, that’s what got me the most from this novel. It sounds interesting and, somehow, scientific haha. For someone who still believes in love at first sight, I found the title amusing. It was kinda promising.

So, does the title really represent the story of the novel?

Since I am a fan of the title, I had a pretty huge anticipation and expectation toward the story. Unfortunately, after reading it, I found it a bit disappointing. The title is only one of many ‘taglines’ or quotations worth the citation from the novel.Moreover, it can only be found on page 103, which is already the end of the story. Lesson learned; hoping too much is never good.

This novel written by Jennifer E. Smith offers you a simple, cute and sweet story revolving around Hadley, Oliver and their own families respectively. There are not any unnecessary exaggerated side stories. Everything is depicted and explained proportionally. Everything is just fine.

Though never heard of the author’s masterpiece before, I honestly enjoyed my time reading this novel. The story, as fine as it is, is a bit cliché for an old woman like me haha. Especially when the main characters-Hadley and Oliver, are way younger than me. They are still teenagers! Well, reminiscing my good old teenage days.

I don’t know about other people, but neither when I was 18 nor now, I never meet a boy who willingly brings my suitcase here and there in our first meeting. I haven’t met a boy or a man who is that gentleman, particularly here, in my country haha. So, I can’t relate to the sweet and a bit magical love story between Hadley and Oliver. It was magical, unreal and fast. Despite having different origins (Hadley, the American girl and Oliver, the British boy), it only took 24 hours for them to upgrade their relationship level from completely two strangers to lovers. It was only 24 hours for the story between them to unfold yet they already had three kisses. That was too fast for a woman like me lol. Nevertheless, I still find it cute. Their love story, although much predictable, still triggers me to keep reading the novel until the end. The moment I realized that the story isn’t up to my expectation, and vice versa, I threw away my expectation and rather considered it as a light reading time. It’s the typical reading where you can just enjoy everything without the need to too much thinking.

Aside from Hadley and Oliver’s love story, this novel also provides a bit heavier conflicts regarding their families respectively. Dealing with divorced parents, broken home, cheating father, accepting new mother as well as new father and misunderstanding are, more or less, things mainly brought up in this novel. The depiction of how any trivial things can be so swallowing in those situations is also delivered well for me.  Unfortunately, since I’m fonder of Hadley and Oliver’s story, these heavier conflicts can’t really pull me in. Regardless, the cute and sweet conversation between Hadley and his father is one of my favorites.

To sum up, is this novel worth the reading?

I can say yes, especially when you are in the mood for reading light romance that is a bit cliché. As simple as it is, the story will still be able to stamp on little smiles on your face along your reading. The only disappointment I have is, the title doesn’t represent the story and so doesn’t the story represent the title.

How many stars will you rate this book?

Overall, I could rate this novel 3,5 out of 5 stars. On Goodreads, I saw this novel was rated 3,8 stars. Not that bad.

Will you recommend this to other people?

Probably, but I’m not sure either, haha. It will depend on who I will recommend it to, I guess. Anyway, this novel is pretty much PG rated. So, as long as you told your kids for not allowing strangers to kiss them within 24 hours since they know him/her, then I guess everything will just be fine haha.

How can you get this novel?

Online book stores can always be your easiest option. Or, ask your friends. Who knows one of your friends has this novel haha.

Lastly, be happy always, everyone! 😘

Title of Novel: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Publisher: Poppy Hachette Book

Number of pages: 108 pages

screenshot_2016-10-20-23-52-52

 

Pengalaman Membuat Passport

Jadi, seperti yang sudah saya katakan di post sebelumnya, kali ini saya ingin berbagi pengalaman pribadi saya dalam membuat paspor.

Sharing is caring. 

Melihat banyak pengalaman orang lain yang harus bolak balik Kantor Imigrasi beberapa waktu yang lalu membuat hati saya terketuk untuk berbagi pengalaman ini, hehe. Jadi, siapa tahu post kali ini bisa membantu memberikan pencerahan kepada bapak/ibu/mba/mas/kakak/adik sekalian yang berencana akan membuat paspor atau memperpanjang paspor.

Pada dasarnya, alur pembuatan paspor baru dan perpanjangan masa berlaku paspor itu sama. Persyaratannya pun hampir sama. Dan, jika ditanya apakah prosesnya sulit atau tidak? Saya bisa katakan, tidak. Saya cukup senang melihat bahwa birokrasi di negara tercinta kita ini sekarang mulai berbenah. Nah, birokrasinya sudah mulai berbenah, giliran masyarakatnya juga dong ikut berbenah. ☺

Sebagai informasi, saya membuat paspor secara manual (walk in) dan saya membuatnya di Kantor Imigrasi Unit Layanan Paspor (ULP) Bandung yang beralamat di Jl. Soekarno Hatta No. 162/348 (saya juga bingung tentang nomornya karena di gedungnya tertulis no. 162 tapi di Google Maps, alamatnya di no. 348). Patokan jelas Kantor ULP ini adalah Gedung Bina Citra Lestari Lantai 3. Gedung Bina Citra Lestari itu tepat di samping Gedung Bandung Convention Center (BCC) dan kalau dari arah Cimahi, letaknya setelah Terminal Leuwipanjang.

Pertama. Apa yang harus dipersiapkan?

1. Niat dan waktu

Niat itu penting, supaya kalau disuruh bolak balik karena satu dan lain hal, ngga gampang putus asa dan emosional. Niat juga penting supaya proses mempersiapkan berkas yang disyaratkan dijalani dengan sungguh-sungguh.

Waktu juga sangat penting. Kantor Imigrasi Unit Layanan Paspor (ULP) Bandung itu mulai beroperasi pukul 07.30 pagi. Tapi, sudah bisa dipastikan antrian akan dimulai dari pukul 06.00. Kantor Imigrasi memberlakukan sistem first come first serve. Jadi, semakin pagi anda datang, semakin cepat aplikasi paspor anda untuk diproses. Begitu pun sebaliknya, semakin siang anda datang, semakin lama pula anda harus menunggu, atau bahkan, semakin besar pula kemungkinan anda pulang dengan tangan hampa dan kembali lagi keesokan harinya.

2. Dokumen identitas pribadi

Sebenarnya syarat dokumen untuk paspor itu terbilang sederhana. Jadi, selama anda menjadi warga negara yang baik dengan selalu melengkapi dokumen pribadi yang wajib dimiliki, anda tidak akan menemukan kesulitan yang berarti.

Dokumen yang dibutuhkan adalah:

  • 1 Copy KTP yang berlaku (bagi yang belum mempunyai e-KTP, ayo sebaiknya diurus terlebih dahulu)
  • 1 Copy Akta Kelahiran
  • 1 Copy Kartu Keluarga
  • 1 Copy Ijazah terakhir/Buku Nikah
  • Bagi yang ingin memperpanjang paspor lamanya, dibawa juga paspor lamanya.
  • Materai 6000 (jumlahnya disesuaikan dengan jumlah paspor yang ingin dibuat, pembuatan satu paspor membutuhkan satu materai)

Hal-hal penting untuk diperhatikan dari semua berkas/dokumen adalah:

1.Pastikan semua data yang tertulis di semua berkas itu sama. Pastikan nama, alamat serta tempat tanggal lahir yang ada di KTP, KK, Akta Kelahiran dan Ijazah atau Buku Nikah itu sama. Petugas Kantor Imigrasi tidak akan menolerir perbedaan data, meskipun itu hanya satu huruf. Anda akan disuruh pulang lagi untuk mengurus surat keterangan mengenai data yang berbeda sampai di tingkat kecamatan.

Saya mengalami hal ini. Jadi, nama di KTP saya itu masih nama yang salah dan saya baru akan menerima KTP saya yang telah dikoreksi nanti di Bulan Desember. Jadi, satu-satunya cara agar tetap diproses aplikasi paspornya adalah dengan meminta surat keterangan mengenai kesalahan data di KTP sampai tingkat kecamatan. Berdasarkan pengalaman saya, saya harus meminta surat rujukan ke RT terlebih dahulu lalu ke RW dan kemudian ke Kelurahan. Nah, surat keterangan dibuatnya di Kelurahan, untuk nanti di legalisir di Kecamatan.

2.Bawa semua berkas aslinya saat anda datang ke kantor imigrasi. Tanpa berkas aslinya, aplikasi paspor anda tidak akan bisa diproses.

3. Bagi yang bukan asli berdomisili di Bandung, mahasiswa/i dari luar kota contohnya, bisa membuat paspor dengan menggunakan KTM dan (mungkin) meminta surat keterangan juga sampai tingkat kecamatan.

4. Buatlah semua copy-an dokumen di kertas ukuran A4. Semuanya. Begitu pun KTP, jadi copy KTP-nya jangan digunting sesuai ukuran KTP ya.

Semua persyaratan berkasnya lengkap dan akurat. Kedua, apa yang harus dilakukan?

1. Persiapkan semua copy-an berkas dan aslinya dalam satu map.

Mapnya bebas. Ini ditujukan agar memudahkan anda dan petugas Kantor Imigrasi dalam melakukan pengecekan.

2. Bangun dan berangkat sepagi mungkin.

Seperti yang sudah saya katakan sebelumnya bahwa Kantor Imigrasi memberlakukan sistem first come first serve. Pengambilan nomor antrian pun hanya sampai pukul 10.00. Tapi, saya sangat sarankan anda datang sebelum pukul 07.00.

3. Mengambil nomor antrian pemeriksaan dokumen/mendaftar di waiting list

Nomor antrian ini hanya ada 100 nomor dan akan habis sebelum jam 07.30. Bagi yang tidak mendapat  nomor antrian, akan masuk data waiting list yang ada di meja keamanan di luar. Kemarin saya sampai di KanIm pukul 07.47, dan saya sudah masuk waiting list no. 27 (yang berarti nomor antrian saya itu 127). Saya sampai disana pukul 07.47, dan baru dipanggil ke meja pemeriksaan dokumen pukul 10.00 (Haha lama yaaa). Ada tiga petugas yang akan melayani pemeriksaan dokumen ini.

4. Mengisi formulir.

Jika berkasnya lengkap,semua berkas akan dimasukkan ke dalam map kuning (dari Kantor Imigrasi) dan anda juga akan diberikan nomor antrian untuk wawancara, foto dan sidik jari. Akan terdapat dua lembar formulir di dalam map yang harus anda isi sambil menunggu nomor antrian anda dipanggil. Formulir pertama adalah formulir biodata yang berisi nama, alamat, tempat tanggal lahir, kantor, nama orang tua, tempat tanggal lahir orang tua, alamat orang tua, dsb. Sedangkan formulir kedua adalah formulir surat pernyataan, nah formulir ini yang membutuhkan materai 6000.

Setelah mengisi formulir ini, silakan menunggu nomor anda dipanggil. Saya sendiri kemarin harus menunggu 1,5 jam sampai akhirnya dipanggil untuk wawancara, foto dan pengambilan sidik jari. Sebenarnya tertulis disana ada 8 loket wawancara yang tersedia. Tapi, kemarin saya hanya melihat 3 loket saja yang beroperasi.

5. Setelah dipanggil, silakan masuk ke loket sesuai nomor antrian anda.

Proses wawancara, pengambilan foto dan pengambilan sidik jari berlangsung cukup cepat. Lamanya kurang lebih 15 menit/orang. Wawancara juga sebatas pertanyaan seperti mau kemana? tujuannya apa? dsb. Setelah proses wawancara, foto dan pengambilan sidik jari ini selesai, anda akan diberikan dua buah kertas. Yang satu merupakan kertas pembayaran dan yang lain adalah kertas biodata (saya juga ngga ngerti fungsi kertas kedua).

6. Melakukan pembayaran ke bank.

Setelah mendapatkan kertas pembayaran, anda bisa langsung melakukan pembayaran ke bank atau kantor pos yang berafiliasi dengan Kantor Imigrasi. Saya tidak tahu daftar bank lengkapnya, tapi kemarin saya melakukan pembayaran ke bank BNI. Mungkin anda bisa bertanya ke keamanan bank yang anda tuju apakah anda bisa melakukan pembayaran paspor disana.

Total yang harus saya bayar itu Rp 355.000. Kalau saya tidak salah, Rp 5.000 itu merupakan biaya administrasinya. Paspor anda baru akan bisa diambil setelah 3 hari kerja terhitung dari tanggal anda melakukan pembayaran. Saya kemarin melakukan pembayaran hari Rabu dan petugas Kantor Imigrasi mengatakan saya bisa mengambil paspor hari Senin mendatang.

7. Mengambil paspor

Seperti yang telah saya tuliskan sebelumnya, pengambilan paspor dapat dilakukan setelah 3 hari kerja sejak pembayaran paspor dilakukan. Dan, pengambilan paspor hanya bisa dilakukan dari pukul 13.00-14.30. Anda cukup membawa bukti pembayaran dari bank dan bukti pembayaran yang diberikan oleh Kantor Imigrasi. Begitu sampai di KanIm, langsung saja menuju meja pemeriksaan berkas. Berikan dua bukti pembayaran tadi, nanti anda akan diberikan nomor antrian.

Pengambilan paspor ini hanya bisa diwakili oleh anggota keluarga yang terdaftar di Kartu Keluarga. Dan, jika diwakili orang lain, maka anda harus membuat surat kuasa bermaterai.

Kemarin saya mendapatkan nomor antrian 5-073 sedangkan di layar loket pengambilan paspor tertulis 5-003. Sempat deg-degan harus menunggu berjam-jam. Tapi, tidak sampai 5 menit kemudian, nama saya dipanggil padahal saya lihat masih banyak orang yang menunggu lebih dulu dari saya belum dipanggil. Asumsi saya sih, pemanggilan nama diurutkan dari tanggal pembayaran. Seperti yang sudah saya sebutkan, sebenarnya saya bisa mengambil paspor dari hari Senin, tapi karena satu dan lain hal, saya baru bisa mengambil paspor hari Rabu. Dan yeay! paspor saya sudah jadi. Here it is~

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The story about Passport, Marriage and Scholarship

It was Wednesday morning when I sent a message to my older sister through Whatsapp asking her about our late parents’ birthdays.

‘What kind of daughter who doesn’t even know her parents’ birthdays?’ 

That question must pop up on your mind when you read the opening sentence, right? Haha. Don’t be surprised. I myself also asked the same question whenever I was required to write down my parents’ birthdays and got stuck in remembering their exact and correct birthdays.

Well, to my defense, both of my sister and I don’t know the exact dates of our late parents’ birthdays. It’s not because we don’t care about it, but because my family doesn’t put much attention to things like that. We don’t celebrate birthdays. Our late parents taught us that birthday isn’t something to celebrate, it is something to be grateful for and also something to reflect. It’s the time where you get older, which means your time in the world gets cut by one year.

Ok, back to the time when I sent a message to my sister. Shortly, she (with a help of my brother in law) sent me the correct dates. I thanked her. A question arose in my heart,

‘She doesn’t ask anything further? I guess I will need to prepare myself for an interrogation after work tonight.’

I was in Immigration Office at that time, and the dates were needed since I was filling in the form for my passport application. I will probably share with you my experience in making a passport when I already get my own passport later since I saw so many people should go through complicated ways due to incomplete information they got. In fact, as long as you are a good and diligent citizen with completed personal documents, making passport is not that complicated.  🙂

Go back to the story, so, dates were written down, the forms were completed then I had the interview, paid for the passport, went to New Concept, taught my students and finally, went home.

Just like what I predicted, right after I finished my dinner and changed my clothes, my sister asked me what were the dates for. Don’t wanna lie to her, I answered her honestly,

For making a passport, for applying scholarship‘, I said.

‘Where?’, she asked.

‘Europe’, I answered.

Then, the discussion began..

She started to ask why I should choose Europe when I can choose to study here, in my own country instead. Then, the next thing she brought up is my status, which is still single and unmarried.

I don’t know about other people but when I am 25 and still unmarried, then I must be accustomed to people questioning why I have not got married yet. When I said people, it doesn’t only include my family, relatives or friends, but also strange people I just met and talked to five minutes ago. I’m accustomed to it, to the point of giving a smile to the question is my sufficient answer.

Who doesn’t want to get married and have cute babies and live happily with your own family? Isn’t that always the perfect ending for every fairytale? There might be people who don’t want it or don’t believe in it. I respect everyone’s decision. However, I’m not that person. It’s always stated on my life goals to have my own family and to be a good wife and mother for my future husband and future children. Yet, it’s always stated on my life list too that I should pursue my dreams and keep learning. Longlife learning.

It’s not wrong when my sister argued that nowadays, you don’t have to fly thousands miles away from home just for getting a good education. You can learn anything from anywhere. There’s no need to go to Europe or other countries to learn something.

It’s totally not wrong. In fact, I totally agree with that. However, if you are given an opportunity and experience that not everyone gets. If you are given an opportunity that may be able to make you a better person for yourself and for people around you. Then, why should you limit yourself? Then, why should you belittle your own ability to be something better and might be bigger than what you’ve ever thought?

It was somehow funny to have this kind of serious discussion with her when I haven’t even applied for the program yet. I’m still completing the document requirements. and it’s like the very start line of my long journey, yet my sister had made it like I already get the LoA and the scholarship, and I am ready to fly there haha. Hmm, does this mean that my sister actually believes in my ability? I will give it a BIG AMIN, then. 🙂