This Siti Never Sleeps At Night

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Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1)Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Before I bought the book, I heard a lot of it. I mean, in terms of it being adapted into a Hollywood movie and it’s all going to be filled with Asian actors and was shot in Singapore – that part of it.

I thought: “Oh, that’s cool! I should read the book before the movie releases then.”

I should not have done that. Why did I waste SGD 27.77 for this book?

10 pages in and I was bored but I thought, maybe it’s not that bad and I should give it a chance.

28 pages in and I actually sighed in the middle of my train ride to work and rolled my eyes, really rolled my eyes.

I am fine with tiny annotations at the bottom explaining the Singlish, Hokkien, Cantonese and Malay terms mentioned in the book. Totally fine with foreigners who read the book and give them a slight taste of Singapore culture.

But what I’m not fine with is butchering my ethnic language – Malay. The author butchered it.

28 pages in and I saw the word “ta pah kay”. I thought: “Hmm… is it a Hokkien or Cantonese word?” So I went and read the annotation at the bottom: “Malay for ‘not accurate'”. I was suddenly hit with a possible ethnicity crisis. I am born Malay, talk in Malay language for 33 years of my life, worked as a Malay language translator for 4.5 years out of 12 years of my working life, scored a distinction in Malay language and never have I came across the word “ta pah kay”.

So, I re-read the statement in the book “Daisy, your information is always ta pah kay.” I went through it over and over in my head and I realized the author is trying to say “Daisy, your information is always tak boleh pakai.” Malays would use this to let someone know that their words are not useful and/or not trustworthy. “Tidak boleh pakai” is more grammatically proper. “Tak boleh pakai” is words used in everyday conversations. It could also mean not able to wear something. For example: “Baju ini tidak boleh pakai lagi” – “This clothes cannot be worn any longer”. “Ta pah kay”, on the other hand, is a Singlish term used by literally anyone and everyone who is born and bred in Singapore and/or lived here for so long and used Singlish like it’s their second skin. It’s Singlish. Not Malay.

What irks me and made me stop reading the book and put it into my “We are never ever ever getting back together” book bin is that the author did not even show any effort in trying to find out the correct Malay term for it and just plainly and falsely put the information that it’s a Malay word for everyone to read. Foreigners would think that’s a Malay word and will go to Malaysia or Singapore and say the word and will be hit with confused Malays.

Apart from that, the writing is quite slipshod. I was not enticed to read further and seeing the above made me give up completely.

Whether I would give the movie a chance is another question. After the book, I’m not so sure.

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Book Review: The Devotion of Suspect X

The Devotion of Suspect X (Detective Galileo #3)The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was one of the books recommended by Kai (or Kim Jongin) from EXO and I decided to give it a shot. I didn’t regret the decision at all. I can’t read Japanese so I have no idea how it is in its original form but I’m pretty sure the translated version still keeps the essence of it. In the first few pages, it’s a little slow and draggy – it feels like I was reading an anime/manga but with no pictures or artistic impressions of it. But it picks up pace later on and I lost sleep just trying to finish a chapter or two. As someone who does love crime thriller books, it is right up my alley. I understand why it has a cult following in Japan.

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Movie Review: Along With The Gods: The Two Worlds

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Yesterday marked the first day of the year I watched a movie in the theatres. A movie I’ve been waiting to watch since 2017 and got me more hyped when it did really well in its home country, South Korea. That movie is Along With The Gods: The Two Worlds or 신과함께 -죄와 벌 

In South Korea, the movie did so well and achieved 10 million admissions in just 15 days. In Taiwan, the film overtook Train To Busan to become the highest-grossing Korean film in the country ever, which is a big deal knowing how huge Train To Busan was.

It got me so excited to finally watch the movie yesterday with my colleagues and boy, it was one of the best movie nights I have ever organized.

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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1)Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was recommended to me by a passing stranger. And boy, I don’t regret reading it at all. It’s been on my bookshelves for years before I decided to pick it up and read and I got it for real cheap at a bookfair.

It’s an amazing ride from start to finish. The voice of the main character, Clay Jannon, resonates to me. He’s like every unemployed young person trying to find their place in the world but never lost that positivity and humour, which something I can relate to. Not the unemployed part, the finding their place in the world part, of course.

The book is full of adventure and mystery but humourous and inspiring as well. It’s a joy to read. I recommend it to anyone. You don’t have to be someone else. Sometimes, what you have and who you are is enough.

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Movie Review: 더킹 (The King)

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Second movie in a day. Wow, that must be a first for me. I was inspired by one of my fave idols, Do Kyungsoo (who is also an actor), watching 5 movies in one day. If he, with a hectic schedule of his, can watch 5 movies in a day, I should be able to. Right? Oh well, I’m trying.

The second movie that I watched is said to be one of the best movies to come out this year. So, I decided to give it a try. I don’t regret that decision at all.

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Movie Review: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny

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This week, there wasn’t any movie I was interested to watch (okay, actually there was one – a Korean movie called The Villainess, which sounds really badass from the synopsis, but the movie is shown at limited theatres and it’s slightly further from my house and I’m just too lazy okay!). So I decided to check out my Netflix account on my awesome smart TV to see if there’s anything remotely interesting to watch in there and I remembered I wanted to watch Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny. So here I am, two hours later, reviewing it.

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Movie Review: Spiderman: Homecoming

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I’m backkkkkkkk! And why does it feel like everytime I’m back, WordPress decides to change its blogging layout that makes me just feel… odd?

Anyway, what a good movie to come back to writing reviews to… Spiderman: Homecoming. Geddit? Anywho… I had doubts about this movie before it even started shooting because just how many adaptations of the famed webby superhero does anyone need? But after watching the movie, I take it back. I’m sorry, Tom Holland, for doubting you *insert sad-face emoji*

On to my review…

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