About Asian Dramas and why I love them.

When I talk to my friends about Asian dramas I always get the roll-eyes reaction, like I’m crazy or something for liking them.
So I thought I would try to explain why I watch them so  much.

First of all, what is a drama? It’s a tv series. It’s not like the American ones, when you know there will be different seasons, Asian dramas are often just one season, at least the ones I watch. Their episodes number is not fixed (I watched 12-16-18-24 episodes drama and I know there are 50 episodes ones as well) and it’s not uncommon for them to be based upon popular mangas.
For me, it actually started like that.

I was watching a Japanese anime based on a manga (Itazura Na Kiss) and utterly fell in love with it so one day I found out there was a Japanese tv series about it.
I’m a curious monkey so I started looking around, finding streaming websites and discovering a whole world I never knew about.
Do you know how many people, all over the world, are crazy for Asian dramas?
Well, they are many more than you can imagine. There are so many websites dedicated to those dramas, streaming them, providing for fanmade english translations (and not only english. There are subs for so many languages…) forums where people from all over the world gather to discuss about their favourite drama and actors.

When I watched the Japanese version of Itazura Na Kiss, I found out there was a very famous Taiwanese version, called It started with a Kiss.
Of course I watched that one as well. And then I watched its sequel.
They weren’t perfect. Asian dramas are often on low budgets, so there really wasn’t anything special about them… editing mistakes, less then perfect scenes are very common.
Moreover they often live-shoot meaning that they shoot the episode and then air it just some days later (the last drama I watched, Faith, shooted its last scene the same day the final episode aired…).
This often leads to mistakes on the editing part because everything is done in a rush. Not to talk about the actors giant sleeping bags because they are busy shooting and can’t get enough sleep.
Being an actor in Asia is an extremely exhausting job.

And yet, even with those flaws, the dramas totally captured me. So I started watching more of them.
Browsing through the Taiwanese dramas, I found out they often have one thing in common: comedy. It’s a type of comedy I don’t particularly like as it’s often overdone and ridicolous but when it’s done right, it makes me laugh so much!
I found myself increasingly fond of that type of entertainment and even watched some Japanese dramas, while I was at it.

But the big leap came when I watched Meteor Garden. This is a Taiwanese drama based upon a very famous Japanese manga, Hana Yori Dango. It’s a rather classic story of 4 rich friends, who enjoy making life impossible to others in their school and how a poor girl gets caught in the middle and teaches them a lesson, making two of them fall in love and generally turning the 4 friends into decent people.
I liked the story even though what really caught me was the second romantic pair (not the main one) and browsing around I found what I now know being my bane: Boys over Flowers, the Korean version of Meteor Garden.
Damn the moment I found that drama (or blessed it, I can’t decide!!!).
I didn’t fell in love. I fell into obsession.

The four boys were a pure eye-candy and among them I found Lee Min-ho and Kim Bum to be the best actors. I didn’t like the lead actress at all (sorry Koo Hye Sun) while I found the young Kim So Eun absolutely adorable.
Since I didn’t really like Lee Min-ho and Koo Hye Sun together (even though the story was good and I found him wonderful in Gu Jun Pyo role), I found myself more and more invested in Kim Bum and Kim So Eun story to the point where one (again, damned/blessed) day I found a website purely dedicated to fanfics about their drama characters. That really was the death of me ^^
I started writing about them with a passion, creating stories and situations and fangirling to my heart content.
I even had the honor of having one of my stories being featured for a month as one of the best in the website. That story is still incomplete because I had to stop writing in the middle of it, but I’m planning to watch BoF again in some time, to rekindle the love. I love my I Will Rip Your Wings Off too much to let it rot forever unfinished!

Anyway Boys over Flowers was just the beginning.
The obsession continued when I found Dramabeans, a blog where a blessed girl recaps all the series she is following, complete with pictures and dialogues. A must have for someone like me, who loves finding out about the multiple layers of everything. Since she understands Korean, she’s able to explain the subtleties, the meaning hidden behind the words. And since the Korean culture is definitely different from the Western ones, I particularly enjoyed when she explained certain behaviours as well, such as the infamous Piggyback Ride. Apparently it’s a must have in every Korean relationship: if you’re into a girl, then you have to piggyback her sooner or later!!!

I tried many times to explain why I love Asian dramas and Korean dramas in particular. It’s not that they are particularly fun or well made, it’s more about the feeling they give me.
First of all, I think a great portion of my love for Korean dramas, is due to the actors. They are so different from American stars. They always work: either they are shooting a drama, or they are advertising something, or they are holding fan meetings… they just never stop. And they are humble.
I believe this is because they know they need to keep their fan base to work: if fans don’t like them anymore, they are over in the entertainment business. And Korean fans can be extremely possessive towards their idols. This is actually something I don’t like too much, because they tend to pry in the private life of the actors, following them everywhere and idolizing them. I tend to love the characters they play, not the actors themselves, since I can’t really know (and don’t want to know) about their private life. Then again, I’m European, not Asian. And the Korean actors seem to be used to this behaviour from their fans.
I think part of their humbleness comes from the culture as well, since Asian culture is heavily based on the people hard work: I just love how they care about giving their all and hope their commitment will be rewarded.
I recently followed (through FB and pictures) Lee Min-ho traveling to China for a store opening. He went to the airport with just 2 bodyguards, walking among other people, smiling to the fans, allowing everyone to take a picture of him and make videos.
Can you imagine an American star doing something like this?

Second, Korean dramas aren’t overdone on the comedy sector: they make you laugh but they rarely go into ridiculous or gross which is something I hate. You don’t really need to embarass people to make them laugh.
Third, I love slow paced stories, especially if I’m watching a romantic drama. I like to see a character development, I need to see it to connect to that character. When I watch American series, this doesn’t happen. I’m gradually coming to despise the whole meeting-kissing-bedding type of stories, they are just not interesting anymore to me.
Korean dramas are the opposite: people meet, they gradually start to know each other, exchanging gazes, smiling, talking… if you’re lucky they end up holding hands at some point. If you’re really lucky, they hug. And maybe they kiss. Maybe. Barely touching their lips in many cases as Korean kisses are usually very chaste and probably they just happen once in 24 episodes.
I can count on the finger of one hand the bed scenes I saw.
One was in Playful Kiss, the Korean remake of It Started With A Kiss. Well, if you can call a “bed scene” one where the two characters are in the bed, kissing, still fully clothed, implying they will have sex later.
Indeed the bed scenes are often made like this: they look at each other, they kiss, fade-away, new scene with both of them in the bed, with her covered till the chin and him (maybe) showing his bare chest.

Boring? Yes, I thought so.
Then you watch them and you understand. It’s all in the glances they exchange, eyes that talk more than a million words, shy fingers that touch the other hand almost afraid, secret smiles when the other is not looking.
It’s chemistry, pure and simple.
Korean dramas almost never show body parts, especially the actress. Sometimes you can get the eye-candy shower scene in the male case, but as for the women, they are pretty chaste. When the lead actor kisses them, they are frequently portrayed as taken by surprise and as such they don’t kiss them back.
This is something I’d like to change as I don’t particularly like the “wooden” reaction, but I’m not trading it for all the rest: if actors have good chemistry I don’t need kisses, I’m happy watching their relationship blossom through their eyes.

I’ll bring the latest drama I watched as an example because everything I love in dramas it’s there. It’s called Faith.
Let’s start by saying I want someone to teach some serious editing and directing lessons to whoever worked on that drama. They had something precious in their hands and they ruined it.
Seriously, what’s up with the editing? The scenes glued together without transiction? The battle scenes? The wonderful OST mistreated like that? Baaaaah. PD-nim, as many people told you on Soompi (hey, hello there Faithlings!), I really hate you.
So, why did I love Faith that much? Eh. Because as long as the story is good, I can’t care less about the editing. And Faith story is… well. With Faith I’m reaching the obsession level I had with Boys over Flowers and I perfectly know why.

First, the lead actor is Lee Min-ho, the same one as BoF and an actor I already loved when I watched his City Hunter, one of the best action/revenge drama I ever watched. He was simply perfect in it.
Second, it’s an historical drama, set in the Goryeo period and I love historical stories. I particularly appreciate this because of the clothes as well, because I like their way of clothing much more than the Joseon one. I’ll trade the hanbok with this dress anytime (oh, and the male dress as well while we’re at it ^^) and I find the men’s hats in Joseon period too funny to be taken seriously :P
Then, the story. I was already curious when I learnt it was a time travel story, but it doesn’t stop there. It talks about politic, war, loyalty, betrayal, insanity, love… it has everything. And the Faith (as in trust in another person) theme is flowing strong in all the drama.
Although my favourite theme is of course the romantic one, I enjoyed every aspect of the drama because they blended in each other so perfectly I could see everything was necessary.
The characters grew in a believable way, their relationships grew with them and the story unfolded naturally, one event a consequence of the one before it.

As for the love story, I’ll just say this:
How many times in a relationship your partner asked “Tell me when you started loving me” and you were at a loss because you actually didn’t know?
Faith was like that. The love story was slow, it grew bit by bit. I watched those characters, I watched them evolve and at some point I just knew they were in love. If you ask me “How? When?” I won’t be able to answer you. It happened so naturally I can’t pick a single moment.
They never actually told each other “I love you”.
They never slept together.
They exchanged just one kiss and it was in a public situation where it wasn’t a romantic move but a political one.
All they did was looking at each other, with their soul in their eyes, holding hands, hugging each other.
And I swear, it made my heart race more then a thousand kisses.

This is what I love about Korean dramas: chemistry.
You can see with your heart even if you don’t see it with your eyes. You don’t need it. The actors eyes (and trust me, in this case Lee Min-ho and his partner, Kim Hee Sun were wonderful) speak volumes.
I’m a romantic person, I always was. I honestly can live without sex, I can even live without passionate kisses. I don’t need them. What I can’t be without, are hugs and smiles. I need them to survive, to feel alive and loved.
In this department, Korean dramas satisfy a very primal part of me.
They give me everything I need and much more.
They give me the romance I love, the implied one, not the explicit one I find in American series.
I still like some American series, don’t misunderstand. I love romantic scenes and passionate kisses just like the next person.
But if I have to make a comparison, I find the Korean dramas to satisfy the forever teenager part of me, the one that looked at the stars in a clear night and wondered when my Prince Charming would come.

I suppose this is why I get the roll-eyes reaction. People look at me as a little girl when I talk about Faith with sparkling eyes. Grown up women aren’t supposed to be like this, or so they think. They laugh and regard me as a hopeless romantic.
Well, as long as I can look at my Faith Daejang and sigh at the wonderful feeling he shares with his Imja, let them laugh to their heart content ;)

Now I just need to refrain from writing fanfics about them or my social life is really over!!! :P

Happy (belated) birthday Aion!

Wow, it’s been 3 years already? I can’t believe how fast time flies. And yet, Aion is 3 years old now and it’s still beautiful (with flaws, but still beautiful!)
I started playing it way before it was released in Europe. I was playing Lineage2 at the time, but to be honest I was quite bored of it, after 5 years. So, I started following Aion development and somewhere down the road, I had the opportunity to try it for free. On the chinese servers O_O
I don’t remember exactly how, but I managed to register an account and apply an English patch that would translate most of the game in english.
And when I logged in…. wow.

My first character was a female Elyos mage. She had this amazing white tunic that swayed every time she moved or cast a spell. My first thought at the time was “She looks like an angel”. And I swear, there were stars and hearts in my eyes ^^
The world was breathtaking, it was bright, full of colours, beautifully designed. I fell in love at first sight. And yes, even though now I play an Asmodian, my first love was Elysea and the traslucent flying fishes in Poeta’s lake. It looked magical to me, ethereal and pure.

The waiting between that opportunity on the Chinese servers and the European release was hard on me. I so wanted to play Aion! I was counting the days to release and when it finally happened, I was there with my boyfriend, ready to play. We always played together and after the Lineage2 experience we were determined not to repeat the same mistakes: so the first thing to do was create characters that could party together and needed for other people as well. And voilà! As per the boy-girl tradition in MMOs, he rolled a Templar and I rolled a Cleric. My dear, beloved Eilan.

I don’t remember much of my early days in Aion, to be honest. It was a blur of leveling up, getting ganked, leveling up more and enjoy the beautiful world.
At some point, we joined a legion called Cyrus. It was lively and there were some funny people in there, but after a while we realised it was a bit too much pvp focused for us. We always were the slow levelers, taking it easy, playing it as a hobby. So of course we fell behind.
At some point we quit the game but again I don’t remember why. Maybe after 5 years of Lineage2 we were tired of MMOs.
Some time later I started playing again, but this time I was alone. I joined Highlanders, an Italian legion and leveled up again. I was lvl 44 when my boyfriend asked me a certain question… and since my answer was “YES!” I had to quit the game again, this time to prepare for my wedding.
A wedding is a VERY complicated event to organize and I think I didn’t miss Aion in that period… I simply had too much to do ^^
Anyway after the wedding, I came back again… and here comes the part of the story I remember more.

You see, until going back to Aion again, my gaming was just leveling, partying and not much else, very casual. I never really bonded with anybody while I was part of Cyrus and Highlanders because nobody there was as casual as me: they were all fan of pvp or simply leveling up too fast for me. When I joined this time, I wanted to try something different.

So, one day I log in the official board and see a recruitment thread. It was advertising a legion called “The Protectors of Elysium” a legion “for mums, dads and people with lives”
And the best part of it? They were roleplayers!

I’m a roleplayer, I’ve always been one and I think I’ll be one forever. Usually I play pen & paper (and dices) with friends, but I had some experience on text roleplaying so I decided to give it a go.
I went to their forum and I wrote a novel length application which was immediately accepted.
Oh that was a wonderful period. The Protectors were fun, the chat was always alive, full of jokes, people were friendly, warm, a family. They were very casual, sometimes we just met in Sanctum or in our special place (the village below Sanctum, where we used to roleplay) and just chat for hours, or walk around showing off all our dresses. I remember a time when we started playing drums right in the Broker’s hall. At first there were 3 of us. Then people, even people we didn’t know started to join. Soon enough there were people dancing, singing, playing instruments… a big party!

A couple of months after I joined the Protectors a certain someone asked to roleplay with us, even without being part of the legion. His name was Daemion.

I remembered him from my Cyrus days although he didn’t remember me. He was a pretty good roleplayer and we accepted him gladly. He kept saying he didn’t want to leave his legion and that he just wanted to roleplay with us, but I was always pretty sure it was just a matter of time. He would have joined sooner or later. He actually did, a month later, making  all of us happy as we really liked him.
And that’s how I met (again) my dear, dear Allan.
We started playing together, at first out of frustration because our respective RP partners were too casual for us, but then we just “clicked” together, both roleplaying and as friends.
Last summer I was in the UK for a couple of weeks, and I can honestly say the best part of my holiday there was finally meeting him. Isn’t it awesome when you can finally talk with and see and hug someone you chatted with for over a year?

Since all good things sooner or later come to an end, the Protectors didn’t last long: our leader had to step down from the leadership and nobody stepped up to take over the legion. That blow was a really hard one. I remember I cried when I read about the disbanding. It was so hard for me that it made me quit Aion for some months.
I felt like I was mourning as silly as it may sound and I couldn’t look at Eilan without feeling pain. I definitely needed some time off.

I tried Rift but I didn’t like it too much, and when in June Aion reactivated all the inactive accounts as an event, I shyly logged in again, finding out I could stand playing Eilan again after the big pain for PoE disbanding. I was in a placeholder legion with Daemion at the time, until he decided he wanted to take the big step and join Havoc, the #1 pvp Legion on Perento. I stayed behind.
I never was a big pvper, I never had the gear nor the will to work for it. So he went and I stayed.
I tried to join a legion with a couple of former Protectors but in the end I left and joined back with Highlanders, my former Italian legion.

This time everything was different. Gaming wise, I think that was my best time in Aion. Highlanders was rebuilding when I joined. There were 4-5 people who logged in everyday and since they were Italian I was finally able to join TS to chat with them (chatting in English always ended up in a strong headache so I mostly avoided it).
I was the only cleric. I was taken everywhere. I helped them with heals and they helped me by teaching me how to pvp and how to get my gear. A month later I was in full 40e, socketed and +10. It truly amazed me as I was never into pvp… but I was liking every bit of it.
I stayed with them 4-5 months, helping them to rebuild, chatting with them everyday, I loved them.
Then a couple of things happened all together: an old member of Highlanders joined back and since he was a cleric and he was the General best friend, I started to party a bit less. And then I found out I had some health problems and I needed a little surgery to heal.
On top of this I really missed Daemion. Since he joined Havoc we barely talked as he was always busy with his legion.
So I made the leap: I applied for Havoc.
I’m apparently good at applications because I was accepted ^^

I was so proud of myself! It wasn’t easy at all to get into Havoc, and yet I made it. I was finally part of something big, an important legion, I was in the first one of the server!
And so another chapter begun, although it was short lived. Havoc may have been the #1 Legion in Perento, but when I joined I realised that was because of what the members did in the past. When I joined it was declining. It kept going down and down and as a reaction I went even more casual until I had to go to the hospital. Shortly after my surgery, Daemion left the legion after a heated argument and some days later I quit the game again. I simply wasn’t well enough to play, I needed a break.

My health and Daemion leaving weren’t the only reasons I quit though. I started to hate the game and I started to hate my cleric. We were in 2.7, when Arena was introduced and I kept loosing.
Yes I know: A cleric is the hardest class to beat, blablabla, he’s always winning, blablabla, etc etc. Well, I wasn’t winning at all. Sometimes my Mres set was helping against magic classes, but every physical class was simply touching me and stunning me everytime.
It was my problem of course, but the Arena was making me understand I hated 1vs1. I was a cleric, I was made to play in groups. I was made to heal groups. And I didn’t have a group to heal at the time.
I started loathing Eilan so much I couldn’t stand looking at her. So, as a reaction, I quit playing.
And this time I never went back to Eilan again.

After healing I started playing my little SM, a cute girl named Anthiah.

She was so fun!!! I always loved pets (I was playing a summoner on Lineage2) so rerolling on a SM was a natural step for me. I loved every bit of her and went through the levels like I never did with my cleric.

And then NC sold us to Gameforge. I remember raging so much on every platform I could reach since I could perfectly imagine what was in store for us.
I can now sadly confirm I was right but back then BlackVelvet managed to calm me down with her attitude, her will to answer our questions, her promises we would be fine.
I’m sure she meant every word as she’s a dear girl but sadly things didn’t turn out that well.

When Gameforge took over Aion I decided (as many others did) to give the new server a try. I was sick of Eilan, Daemion wasn’t playing Aion anymore, I needed something new to keep me in the game, so I went to Nexus.
This time I went Asmodian but it was a very short lived try!
After some thoughts I had to admit it with myself: I simply wasn’t interested in Aion anymore. I loved it, I laughed and cried and found a great friend, but it was over for me.

Since I’m writing this essay (!!!) now, that means I came back playing though… How did it happen? Sheer chance.
One day I logged into Highlanders TS to say hi and a legion member told me he and another one were trying Anuhart out, “to chill”. He invited me to play with them sometimes and I said “why not?”.
I was back into the tunnel, just like that :P

It was another Asmodian, a lovely SM named Miritas.

Isn’t she damn sexy? Too bad the mount was on loan from the shugo. But one day I’ll have it! :D
Of course the “chilling” turned out to be a reroll. And we joined an Italian legion called “Anime Nere” which can be translated as “Dark Souls”. It’s the legion I’m in right now.
I met a new friend there, a girl which is now very dear to me. We usually spend half the morning talking through skype!

I think I made peace with Aion when I went to Anuhart. I went casual again. I admitted with myself I enjoy PvE much more than I enjoy PvP. After that I never went pvping again and I don’t miss it in the slightest. I stopped leveling my SM at 56, seeing no reasons to level further for now. I simply have no urge to do so.

A week ago I decided I wanted to leave the Studio and have a proper home. The problem is I don’t like how Houses look! My favourite building was always the Mansion, but I had no money for it. I found a Fine Mana Serum design, bought it for 25 mil and started crafting. Anuhart is a new server… can you believe I can sell those serums at 14k each? In a week I had like 160 mil, just out of selling serums.
I already knew which Mansion I wanted and it was on Auction last week. I gathered my courage and pressed the Bid button. 112 mil disappeared just like that. I spent the rest of the week anxiously looking for an ingame mail: that would mean someone else bid higher than me.
The Auction was ending on sunday, at midday. I remember counting down the seconds like on New Year’s Eve ^^
And then…. it was mine!

My house! My preciouuuuuus.
How can you not love it when, walking outside you see this?

So, this is it for now. I think me and Aion went through a lot this past 3 years. I loved it and then I hated it. I quit and then I came back. There is something in this game that just keep drawing me in.
I wish I knew what it is. Right now I have my Mansion, I plan to level up my Construction craft to furnish it, since it’s pretty empty right now but I don’t plan to level, I’m content just staying where I am, taking it slowly, making kinah and using it to have fun.
And in the spare time, when I want some action, I log my little Eilantha (since Eilan was already taken), a char I created on the Israphel server.
Why NA?
Because I don’t like GF. I don’t mean to blame anyone, but they handled the game in a way I really don’t like. They promised us lots of things and kept too few of them. They promised us the Gold Pack system was necessary to avoid putting p2w items in the cash shop and yet we have them. Well, they aren’t p2w in their mind, but they are in mine.
NA is pay to win as well. They have lots of stuff I don’t like. But at least I don’t need to pay a Gold Pack there and they have events I like. And the fast Track Server *_* (Yes! I’m a PvE queen! :D)

So… yes, it looks like I can’t stay away from Aion too much before missing it and trying to find new ways to enjoy it.
Maybe it’s because of those many memories. Maybe it’s because I remember Sitarih and her whip. Or Shinlore and his badass look. Or our beloved Protector’s Village, right under Sanctum, where my Eilan lived doing her best to protect Elysea.
Maybe it’s because of Devilinside’s kindness, his wise words, his complete understanding, his helping me in anything I needed.
Maybe it’s because playing Aion reminds me of Daemion.

Happy Birthday Aion. Thank you for every emotion you gifted me in these 3 years!

It’s been a month

And so, I’m back. Well, I was back a month ago, but I refrained from writing anything, knowing I needed to put some distance between “here” and “there”.

My experience in the UK… how can I describe it. It was awesome and yet disappointing, exciting and yet it felt “normal”.
I don’t think I need to go into details of what I did there, because after all it was a two weeks holiday. I walked around, explored Derby, went to the museum… but that’s not really important.
The feelings while being there, those are just unforgettable.
Wherever I went, whatever I did, I couldn’t stop looking around, absorbing everything, closing it in my heart to be cherished. This will be a stream of consciousness rather than a coherent account of my time there, but I’m finding it hard to put it into words.

When I landed in London, I felt like breathing, for the first time in ages. It had begun. I struggled to accomplish something, I didn’t give up, and there I was! I actually made it! I couldn’t believe it. But, truth to be told, London wasn’t what I was interested in. I couldn’t wait to catch the train to Derby.
Gian slept for a good part of the journey, but I didn’t close my eyes a single minute, I didn’t want to loose anything. It was like a journey in my personal Neverland. It was green, everywhere. Bushes, flowers, trees… herds! Lots of animals everywhere! I saw cows, horses, sheeps, even a couple of donkeys!
I remember I couldn’t stop smiling. Every mile, every house, every bush, I was just smiling. It was so beautiful, I just felt so… good. Wonderful.
It was cold for my standards, and it was raining as well, but I didn’t care. I was just feeling at peace with the world.
And then we arrived, and I felt like a child finally opening his Christmas gift and finding out it was everything he ever wanted.

Life there is so different from here.
Everything is orderly, methodical. The trains are on time. Buses are on time! When you get on the bus, everybody knows it’s going to take time before it departs: the driver has to check your ticket or give you one. Everybody stands in queue, waiting for their turn. And when you’re on the bus, you have to sit down and don’t move until it stops. Only then you’re allowed to stand up and get out. And everbody thanks the driver as they get out!
I tell you how it works in Italy: queues don’t exist. People just hop in, looking for a seat, regardless if there is an old person, a pregnant woman or whatever in the bus. Tickets? Don’t make me laugh. Yes, there is  some checking every now and then, but they are not as frequent as they should be, so lots of people just don’t pay anything.
Going down, people just amass on the exit, often pushing others aside. And yelling at each other if they aren’t fast enough to get out (or to hop in at the start).
You never want to be on a bus in school time. A nightmare!!!

So, I was amazed at the amount of courtesy I found there, everywhere. People were apologizing to me when they accidentally crossed my path! Or even for looking at me O_O
It was… reassuring in a way. I felt like some very old person was calmly telling me “take your time. Breathe. There is no need to hurry, everything comes in time.”
And, for a person living in a very chaotic environment, those words are soothing.

Then there were the children. Children, everywhere. Of every age. Families, walking around. And damn, they were all so young! So many women between 20 and 30 with 1-2 kids. You know this is almost a sin here? If you have a kid before 30 here, people think you’ve gone crazy. Or that you got accidentally pregnant. Same for getting married. Waste of life, they think, waste of youth. And, most of all, waste of money.
So many people still living with their parents because they can’t afford to get their own place. So how can they afford to get married or start a family? It’s just crazy.
So, when I saw that many young families around, that many kids, it felt warm. It felt like I didn’t need to be afraid here, that creating something was actually possible.

***

Of course, there is a reason I’m home since a month instead of staying there, and that was my major disappointment.
I’m not a tidy person at home, I like chaos. But there is a limit, even for me. And that limit was definitely reached when I went to see the room I booked, the room I was supposed to spend my UK month in. In a word, it was horrible.
It was dirty, it was chaotic, the neighbourhood was scary, the window was on ground level and just a curtain was separating the room from the street. Anybody could look inside. Hell, anybody could break inside! At least we have shutters for our windows. They don’t! I was scared. Very, very scared.
And needless to say Gian was all “come back home with me, I’m not leaving you here”. Truth to be told, he was right. I couldn’t stay there. And I didn’t.

Of course, that was the end of my dream of staying there for a month or more.
Gian already had doubts then other things came in the way and he started to say he wasn’t so sure about moving there, seeing how much we have at home (parents, family, ties, work, home…). But he told me to stay some more while he was going back, he told me to try and find another room. In a suitable place and of suitable standards.
I couldn’t find anything. Either it was only males renting the rooms, or it was too expensive, or it was, well, dirty.
So, I resigned and just stayed at the hotel for a week more.

Again, I had mixed feelings. When you live so long with a person, he becomes a part of you, slipping into your daily routine. So, of course, I missed my husband, and I couldn’t wait to see him again.
And yet, being alone for the first time in years, it felt wonderful. As lonely as it was, it was freedom as well. I never realised how much I missed being alone until that time.
It’s funny: when you first move in together, you have to adjust in mixing two life styles and actually not jump at each other throat, because you’re used to be alone. And when you are alone for the first time after being so long with someone, adjustments need to be made as well. I missed him dearly, I longed to be home. But I found out I could be alone as well. Knowing he was home waiting for me probably helped, since I knew I wasn’t really leaving anything behind. It felt safe. And I think I’ll never thank him enough for the time he gifted me. He understood I needed some time alone, away from him, away from home, from duties, from family, from everything. I needed time with myself.
I was waking up relaxed, and I was going to bed relaxed as well. Just what I needed.

And of course, there was the big plus called Allan. I can’t say how much I wanted to finally meet him, to glue together his image, his voice and his character. He was the big highlight of my holiday.
The first time I saw him, when he parked his bike and took the helmet off, my first thought was “damn, he’s so young!”. I always knew he was, but seeing it in first person was almost a shock.
And then there was talk, lot of talk. Well, I could not understand everything he said, but I usually got the general idea, and I loved every minute of it. When you talk to someone for over a year, it’s amazing to be physically in the same place and look at each other for a change.
I wished he could came and visit me more, but the odds were against us. First the weather. It kept raining, almost every day. Gian had like 35°C at home and I was sleeping with a duvet! I wished it was the other way round.
Then Allan was sick for a day.
Of course it wouldn’t have mattered if I actually stayed a month as planned, but knowing I just had a few days and then I would probably never see him again, I definitely cursed everything that kept him away.

And then… it was time to go home. Holiday over.
I cried on the plane when it took off, because I knew my big life change was never going to happen. In a sense, I failed there. If I couldn’t even find a place to sleep, how was I supposed to find a job?
So I silently cried, looking at England fading beneath me, thinking about what I was leaving behind, thinking about everything that would have never happened. I cried and cried.
Sad as I was, I still renewed the promise I made myself when I left: if I had to come back, then I would change everything that made me flee in the first place.

And I did. Not at first maybe, but I’m slowly working to it.
Simple things like moving the furniture around at home, to make it looking more “our home” and not “your parents home which we are living in, with their stuff”.
And looking for another home as well, somewhere that can be truly ours.
Being a better housewife, both for my sake and for Gian’s. Somehow, looking at those UK houses made me want to make mine better. To improve myself. God forbid I ever allow my home to become like them. Never, ever, ever.
And, magic, since I’m trying to be better, I stopped arguing with Gian. He feels better when he comes home and finds it tidy and clean, home is not somewhere to flee from anymore.

I still miss the UK. It showed me a way of living I really crave for. I know I’m never going back there, except maybe on holiday. I know I’m never going to live there. I know it will take a miracle to see Allan again.
But everything that happened, everything I felt and experienced, it’s all here, in my heart, safe and cherished. It’s something I can look at to improve or to just feel better. I know it’s not as perfect as I picture it, I know I didn’t stay long enough to spot the flaws, but I don’t care. Let me live in my fantasy ;)

Qualcosa che non c’è (something that isn’t there)

Tutto questo tempo a chiedermi                            All this time asking myself
Cos’è che non mi lascia in pace                            What is that, that doesn’t leave me alone
Tutti questi anni a chiedermi                                  All these years asking myself
Se vado veramente bene                                       If I’m really doing well
Così                                                                        Like this
Come sono                                                             As I am
Così                                                                        Like this

Così un giorno                                                         So one day
Ho scritto sul quaderno                                           I wrote in my notebook
Io farò sognare il mondo con la musica                  I’ll make the world dream with my music
Non molto tempo                                                     After not too much time
dopo quando mi bastava                                         I just had to
Fare un salto per                                                     Jump and
Raggiungere la felicità                                             Achieve happiness
E la verità è che                                                       And the truth is that

Ho aspettato a lungo                                         I have waited for so long
Qualcosa che non c’è                                       For something that doesn’t exist (isn’t there)
Invece di guardare il sole sorgere                     Instead of looking at the rising sun

[…]

E miracolosamente non                                        And miraculously
Ho smesso di sognare                                          I didn’t stop dreaming
E miracolosamente                                               And miraculously
Non riesco a non sperare                                      I can’t stop hoping

E se c’è un segreto                                              And if there’s a secret is
E’ fare tutto come                                                 to do all that you have to do
Se vedessi solo il sole                                         like you could only see the sun

[…]

E non                                                                  And not
Qualcosa che non c’è                                        Something that doesn’t exist (isn’t there)

**********************************************************************************************

So… this is a song, by an Italian artist. Her name is Elisa.

I never listened to this song so much or so carefully as in the last few days.
Why?
Because it tells how I feel in a way I almost never realised myself.
I spent many years wondering if what I was doing was right, if I was good enough, if I wasn’t making mistakes somewhere, why was I always unhappy and unsatisfied. Was it me? Was it something else? Why couldn’t I be satisfied, smiling, happy with my life? What was wrong?
I thought about this for a long time, over months and months of depression. And in the end, I came to a conclusion: I wasn’t satisfied with my life because in my opinion it wasn’t enough. I was married, I was on my way to start a family, but that wasn’t enough. I didn’t know who I was anymore, I couldn’t see myself as a single person, but just as a half of a whole.

So… well, I didn’t really wrote anything in my notebook, but I made some big changes anyway. In an attempt to find out who I really was, I decided to change everything.
I changed country, flying to England. I always wanted to visit England. I grew up with Jane Austen’s books and I spent my youth dreaming about country side and courtesy… and something typically British, which I don’t even know how to explain.
Maybe it’s the traffic light, where you can see the yellow light before the green one. Maybe it’s the people thanking the driver when they leave the bus. Maybe it’s the extreme attention to the environment or the general rules. Maybe it’s all the people saying “sorry” if they even look at you when you’re walking.
I just know that I always wanted to live in England, to leave the Italian chaos behind me.

And I did.
I prepared everything. I found a room to stay in for a month and I prepared to find myself a job there.
And then… everything came crushing down.

The room I found turned up to be a hole, in a horrible neighbourhood where I wouldn’t have dared to show my face around after 4pm. I tried to find something else, but I couldn’t.
My friend Allan, the main reason I chose this part of England, had to leave me alone due to the weather not allowing him to move around with his bike. And today, when we were able to meet, he had to stay home because he’s ill.

So I’m here in my hotel room, and I’m crying because I feel homesick and alone. And I wonder, again: is it me? Is it something I did? Is it my fault? Or I’m looking for something that just doesn’t exist? I’m looking at an external solution while I should just focus on what I have, on what I could have in the future? Am I forgetting to look at the rising sun because I’m too busy looking at the darkness, at something that isn’t there?
I know what my rising sun is, I know what I could strive for. I’m starting to believe I just need to accept it, to accept this is what life can give me.
I tried to get something else, something that probably isn’t there and never will be and I went through an incredible list of stuff that went wrong.
Maybe I should really start looking at my rising sun, bask in its light and be happy.
When I close my eyes and I see my sun, when I forget about everything else, then I just see the light and the warmth.
Maybe Elisa is right. The secret could be pretending to just see the light, everywhere I go, everything I do. Or maybe, not pretending: making so that you just see the light because when you can see the light anywhere you go, then nothing can go wrong. You always know what you need to do and you’re not scared anymore.
I wish I could do it as well.

Almost there

Well, I can’t believe it. I actually won’t until I’m on that flight on saturday.
Yeah that’s right, I’m leaving on saturday for the UK.
Is it true? Is it not?

These last months were busy. For the first time in my life, I put out my claws and never let go of what I wanted. And what I wanted was to leave. I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do, I don’t know if it’s a mistake or not, but I don’t care. It’s just something I need to do.
To be honest, I’ll be very surprised if it turns out to be the successful choice, it would be a sort of miracle: starting over in a new town is never easy, go figure in a new country with all sort of barriers between me and the people! But I’m so excited about this, I can’t wait.
Preparations are almost done, now all I need to do is pack. I managed to find a room to sleep in, after 2 months of looking for it, but I’m rather satisfied: it’s a double room and the owner looks very friendly. And she has cats! Three cats! At least I won’t miss my pets too much ^^
My husband got me a laptop, a tiny thing which perfectly suits my needs, so I will be available through skype and FB and I’ll be able to talk to him and not feel too much alone.

Lonelyness scares me the most. I like to be alone, but I think this will be a hard month. I’m happy I chose to go near where Allan lives. As much as I know he works too much to disturb him, it’s nice to know I’ll have a friend near. And I can’t wait to meet him! After so long, after talking to him so much, I look forward to finally meet him face to face.

That’s it, I’m really leaving. Success or not, I’m satisfied. If it works, then my life will completely change. If it doesn’t, I’ll know I tried. I think much of my problems right now are due to the fact I feel stuck. With this trip, I’m unstucking myself and truth to be told, that’s a success already. I feel that if I have to come back after failing in the UK, I’ll finally be able to build something here without the constant “What If…?” questions.

Now every piece of clothes I put in the bag are a step towards freedom.
I’ll miss home. I’ll miss my pets, my little Spam, I’ll miss my routine. And I’ll miss my husband. I already know the first few days I’ll fall asleep at night after crying my eyes out, wishing for nothing more than having him by my side. But I know this as well: when I come back, whatever the outcome, I’ll be a better person and I’ll make it worthwhile.

UK, I’m coming. Are you ready for me? :)

Long Time.

Wow, it’s been so long. I didn’t actually realize how long it was since I last came here.

First of all, I have to laugh. The amount of spam comments I read in my dahsboard is hilarious as it’s their content. They managed to comment on my R rated fic saying stuff like “wow, such an informative website!” Well thank you! I didn’t know a fiction about a love/hate rape could be that informative :P

What happened to me in all these months?
Well, first of all, I’m finally healed. Yesterday it was a big day for me, when I finally found out my body is working again. I swear, I’ve never been so happy because of this reason. Since my surgery in november, I always feared something was wrong somewhere… now I know at least half of the problem is gone. For the other half I’ll have to wait till november, but hey, I’m already hugely relieved like this, I even cried yesterday when I could finally relax after all those months. Wonderful, wonderful feeling.

What else? Concerning Aion I made some huge changes. I left Havoc some days after Daemion left and I think I quit for some time. With him quitting, I really didn’t have any more reasons to play. When the game went free to play, I gave it another shot but I changed side trying an Asmodian on Nexus, the new server.
I didn’t like the environment though, or maybe it was just the fact that I still was on my old account… Knowing I just needed to change server to look at Eilan again was too much maybe. I think I came to hate her, poor baby, she reminded me of wonderful times that were now gone and mistakes and everything else I had done in these years.

I quit again, going to play Assassin’s Creed for a while. Wow, what a game! I absolutely loved it. I played 1 and then 2 one after the other, then I took a break and looked at Aion again.
This time I really changed everything. I resurrected my old Asmodian account where I had a Perento Asmodian and started playing again. No money, no equip, I started absolutely from scratch. And I loved it.
I’m still playing now and my new little Cleric just leveled to 46. I even found myself a nice legion, but it fell apart shortly after and even though I’m still under its crest, it’s pretty dead there. I don’t really care tbh as I’m mainly playing for myself so the silent chat doesn’t bother me. When 3.0 finally comes around I’ll see what to do, but for now I’m happy like this.
What really bothered me was my legion leader. I was maybe a bit too friendly with him and making him understand that I didn’t want it to happen anymore was a real challenge. Sometimes men can be really stubborn… why “no” must mean “Yes” or “I don’t want anymore” must turn into a “well, for now I don’t want to, but I’ll change my mind later” ?
It doesn’t sound that hard to me.
I really hope he got the hint now though. I’d hate to repeat myself for the third time.

As for the rest… I think I’ll leave in a couple of months. My big february depression turned into a sort of plan in these months, something I’ll try to pursue.
There is no future for me here, there will never be. If I want to do something for myself, I have to do it somewhere else. So, why not? My husband is helping me in this, he’s actually pushing for me to do it… and I think I will. Who knows what will come out of this, but one thing is sure: I’ll never know until I try!

Another thing: I need to go back writing. My head is literally exploding lately but it’s like the words are trapped into my fingers. I think that if I managed to write even one word, they would flow like a river and I wouldn’t stop anymore. I just need to find the will to write that first word. I have ideas. I have ides about my old fanfic, I have ideas for my Aion characters and even for two of my most beloved characters in all my roleplaying life.
They are all here, in my head. I just need to get them out, to set them free.
Somehow I have the feeling that when I let loose my mind again… I will feel free as well.

Epiphany

I’m writing this from my bed, after just sleeping four hours tonight due to continued waking up. I just need to get this out of my system so I can try to sleep again.
I think I just had an epiphany and I really hope it’s the right way to write it because I cba to check the dictionary now.

I’m completely unable to be selfish. Whenever someone else is involved with me, I suddenly start thinking “we” instead of “I”. It can be a friend, a colleague, my husband, someone I just met or, as I found out when I first entered the internet world, someone I never met. My husband calls them “a bunch of pixels” and he’s not that wrong; sometimes they are a voice as well, or a photo, but most frequently they are just pixels on my monitor, in the game I play or in my chat windows.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter. No matter who they are, my mind start thinking about them and stops thinking about me to the point I feel guilty and dirty when doing something for just myself. When that happens I suddenly panic and try to include others in what I’m doing, fearing they might feel deserted while they probably just don’t give a damn about me or they think I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I just have this feeling that I worry about others too much and I don’t worry about myself enough.
Shouldn’t it be the other way round?
The consequence is I am often disappointed because I expect others to behave in the same way, which of course they don’t. And tbh why should they? Everybody has just one life and must live it and be happy. And we can’t be happy while constantly worrying about others. A bit of selfishness is needed. I guess I just need to learn how because so far I’m always on the screwed up side. I tried to think about how many people I worried about through the years and what I got on return and I must say I often was the one doing the sacrifices and I was almost never the one awarded for them. Or the one on the receiving end of a sacrifice or just simple consideration.
This needs to change. I need to stop constantly worrying about others and I need to stop expecting others doing the same with me because, with very few exceptions, this just leads to disappointment. I’m a bit tired. I suppose nobody will blame me if I’m a bit selfish once in a while right?

So much for already being 35. Shouldn’t I be a bit more experienced than this??? Life, you tricked me.
And now I’ll go back to sleep.