Diary of a romance part 7

I’ve been single and I’ve been in a relationship.

I’m a different person when I’m with Miho.

For example: If I watch a film by myself and I don’t like it after the first 15 minutes, I tend to stop watching. But when we watch films together, we tend to watch them right through to the end, because it feels like we’ve made a commitment to watch a film together – so there is a feeling that we’re investing more of our time in it.

we watched this film together. If I had watched it alone, I’d have switched off after 10 minutes.

Another thing is I’m more tempted to go out places and possibly socialise than when I was alone. For example, last weekend we went to Wimbledon to watch stock car racing. (for those who don’t know what this is, its when cars which are written off are raced around a track, often smashing into each other, its the opposite of Formula 1, in other words). I don’t think I would have gone by myself. In fact if I had done, it would have been terrible. But Miho and I had a great time together, precisely because we were experiencing it together, so our enjoyment was heightened.

I’m sure that I’ve said it before  – but its worth repeating, -it’s a world made for two…

People aren’t as friendly as you think they are

And here’s why….

They say that they’re your friend but they’re never there in an emergency or when you really need them.

They are constantly asking for favours but are never able to return the favour

If you try to meet them somewhere they expect you to go along with whatever they have got planned and they expect you to like it, never worrying if it is interesting to you or not. Yet when you arrange something for them to do you make sure that it is of interest for them and go to great pains to ensure that they enjoy themselves.

They forget things that you have told them, even important things, and they get snappy when you remind them about this.

They don’t make any effort to ask you questions about yourself but they spend the whole time they are with you talking to you about their problems.

K-Pop review: Ailee + Vivid

Let’s start with the packaging: all Korean CDs come packaged in lavish cardboard folders that are closer to hard back books than the standard plastic jewel cases used by Western manufacturers.


This one is no exception: the cd comes in a hard book with several glossy photos of Ailee looking very seductive. The CD itself is housed in a rubber inlay.

So what about the music?

Track 1 starts with a saxophone blast over which the singer repeats the word Crash several times. It’s a strong song to begin with and bodes well for the rest of the album.

Track 2, Insane, reminds us that the singer can do a good English accent. It sounds like modern, mid-tempo R+B. Could potentially be a big hit.

Track 3 roughly translates as Love My Love and it’s a middling track that goes nowhere fast. Skip!

Track 4, Second Chance, is a bit better but by this point I was expecting more from this album. So far, nothing has come close to the energy of her most famous song Don’t Touch Me.

Track 5 is more unimpressive R+B .

Track 6, Come on Man (thanks Google Translate) plods along without doing very much.

Letting Go sounds like a potential single. It has a good hook and some nice backing vocals from Embassy.

Lastly, after a few more middling tracks, is an Emile Sande sounding ballad.

Final verdict: a few good tracks, but nothing to get very excited about. You don’t really need this album unless you are a die-hard fan.

Score: C-

Journey to Conversational fluency: e-book review

The founder of the blog Dedicated Polyglot has published an ebook in which she explains how using non-traditional methods of language learning can be more effective than textbooks and formal lessons.


Her book starts with the idea that learning a language is more about experiencing a country’s culture than simply learning grammar and sentence structure.

Most textbooks are a waste of time; it can take a lot of patience to wade through all the selections on the market. Classroom learning also gets the thumbs down because you only move as fast as the slowest learner. It can also be very expensive.

So what are language enthusiasts supposed to do? They can start by finding a language exchange partner through a website. It’s amazingly easy to do this and its an effective way for each party to improve their language ability. Plus, you may also gain a friend too. In my experience, keeping in touch through email or Skype has improved my fluency very well and has only been helped by careful use of google translate.

Most people give up on learning a language but if you experience an emotional response through another language this book argues that you will be more likely to persevere and stay the course.

One of Maria’s languages is Korean (and it just so happens that I am currently learning it myself) and she states that it has been through immersion in Korean media (cartoons and music) that she has managed to learn Korean. So called K-dramas, in particular, have enabled her to absorb much more korean. As she points out, once you have watched a few episodes of a particular drama, you will be familiar with some key vocabulary, since most of these shows emphasise strong feelings such as love and sadness.

It’s great that there are new perspectives on language learning. Through the blog and now this ebook I have realised my love of language learning, and particularly, learning Korean. Most surprisingly, it seems that learning a new language can actually cause a person to think differently. For example, when speaking English, Maria is more open-minded; whereas when she speaks Korean she feels more in tune with her emotions.

It’s a helpful book because it shows that there is more than one way to learn a new language. I’ll continue to learn Korean and I’ll continue to follow anything this language guru recommends in future.

Download Maria’s e-book from Amazon.

You can also read her blog at dedicated polyglot.com.