Sunday, September 27, 2009

water conquers all?

In 1953, a storm hit the Netherlands. In the province of Zeeland, ships and boats went aground. Houses sank in the deepest whirlpool of the angry North Sea. Thousands were homeless, and close to another thousand vanished in the sea. It was a nightmare that the Dutch people will never forget.

Let me tell you something about Zeeland. It is a province where the formation of the land is so much influenced by the water. Much land is reclaimed and lost to the sea. Pretty much like my very own homeland, the archipelagic Philippines. The difference is that Zeeland is a province of polders, dams, dikes and bridges while Philippines is, well,... a country of more than 7,100 islands.

The tragedy of 1953 taught the Dutch a valuable lesson. They have to protect themselves from the rough North Sea and put an end to the never-ending battle with water. They built the Deltawerken. (click on the link to read more about it. I have been there in 2005. Amazing place! If you are planning a trip to the Netherlands, you must go to Zeeland , see the Deltaworks & visit Neeltje Jans.)

Last night, I received a heart rending news from friends and relatives. Manila went under water. Typhoon Ondoy literally twirled the city within its fingers and left many people homeless and in despair.

Like in any other disaster, officials start pointing fingers at each other. The President, who is occupying the highest seat in the chain of command, is being blamed for everything. I don't know what to think and say. I mean, surely, it's not her fault if storms and typhoon hit the country. Her number one priority is economic recovery. So they say.

As I sit here, and watch all the youtube videos forwarded to me, I wonder why can't we follow the suit of the Dutchmen, in terms of addressing the problem of water. During a short chit-chat with the governor of my hometown last April, she said that windmills are being built by Dutch engineers to generate power. That's great, I thought.

But what about losing land to the sea? How about the floods and overflowing rivers that had been plaguing the capital? What are government officials doing, in terms of governance and allocation of funds? Are fiestas and other merrymakings really more important than infrastructure? tsk...tsk...tsk..

Sources of photograps: (1 & 3) Holland. Herman van Amsterdam and Jan Vermeer. (2) postcard (4)

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Last June, Hubby and I went around (in our neighborhood) to collect for ANGO (Algemene Nederlandse Gehandicapten Organisatie), an organization that helps handicap and people with chronic ailment. It was a volunteer job that hubby signed up for online, and I merely tagged along to meet our other neighbors.

You wouldn´t believe what people are capable of doing when you come knocking at their door, with the little plastic thing where people could drop loose change but also paper money.

One guy asked us if we knew who he was. We said no. He introduced himself as the TV host of a program for some charity organization. Then he said, I am already doing enough charity work. With that note, he left and closed the door behind him.

An elderly woman asked for an identification card, and the document that states that we are official collectors of ANGO.

A guy told us he doesn´t believe in charity, and slammed the door angrily.

A middle-aged woman said she doesn´t have change, and has only 10 euros in her wallet.

Others didn´t even bother to open the door, and the thing is, you could see them from outside that they are home, watching television.

As we walked home, I wonder why it was sooo difficult for those people to share 20 or 50 cents. It doesn´t say that you are obliged to give 100 euros. Any amount is welcome. You may even donate 5 cents if you want. Oh well....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

in the eyes of a child....

I have a new 7-year-old piano student. He is quite special. Highly-intelligent and doesn't want to be treated like a kid.

During our first session last Friday, he urged me to talk to him like an adult. He was annoyed about the fact that I explained everything to him twice. He was also insulted upon realization that I was choosing carefully my words. Finally, he had an outburst. Begged me to stop talking to him like he was a freaking moron.

Truth is, I was not talking to him like he was a moron. I was merely explaining to him the elements of music, which frankly speaking, is quite difficult for a child to grasp. At least, that's what I have observed from my almost 20 years of teaching experience. I don´t normally talk about elements of music on the first lesson. But he reported to me that he read a book about it, and that I must tell him what I know about the subject matter.

The boy told me he knew everything there is to know about melody, harmony, pitch, timbre, meter, and tempo. Maybe, he did too. I mean, he showed me the book on Music Theory to support his claim. So I told him that just because he read the book, doesn't mean he knows everything.

He challenged me to ask him anything. So I did.

Since he wanted to be treated like an adult, I started talking to him like I was giving a lecture to my former university students. I played an excerpt from Schubert's sonata in B flat, and asked him to tell me what he thinks about the timbre of that piece of music. He stared at me, with mouth wide opened. More annoyed.

So I said, all right... how about this one? I played a portion from Mozart's Theme and Variation on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. This time, I asked him to tell me about the chord progression and how it developed in those two sections. He became upset.

For the record, I was not bullying him. I was merely driving at a point. The point being: Enjoy what is here now, and right now, he is a child. I told him that he will only be a child once. Just once. He should not rush to adulthood.

He was silent.

While I was saying those things, I can imagine that the mother was listening intently. After all, she was sitting by about 6 meters away from us only. She warned me of course, about his son´s IQ. But I have established before that I will not be terrorized by a kid. Not in my house and certainly not about music.

Bottom line, the child may have the IQ of a genius but we, adults, have the years of experience and wisdom. I don´t know if what I did is right, or might have scarred or even traumatized him. So maybe, I too don't have the wisdom. I don't know.

So he read a book. Big deal. I spent more than half of my life, learning practically everything that I now know.

And this much I know. As a teacher, I feel that it was also my role to educate his emotions. After all, music is about feelings too. It´s about knowing with your senses. If he can´t control himself and his emotions, he has no business to learn how to play the piano, especially because music needs time and patience. Lots of patience actually.

So yes, in the eyes of this specific child, music is quite simple. Maybe, he has everything figured out. Theoretically speaking, perhaps. Who knows? But the practical side... I bet it is as alien to him as reggae is to a Tibetan monk. :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Art of Insult.

The mayor of Shanghai is complaining about its residents who are lounging around the city steets in their pyjamas. It´s bad for the image of Shanghai, he said.

This reminds me of the flea market in front of our house in Sampaloc. Every Wednesday and Saturday, people from remote villages (barrios) come to sell their goods. Some are decent, others in their pyjamas, and there are those who walk around in half-clad bodies. I guess, from where I come, walking around in pyjamas is no big deal. You can wear whatever you want to wear because comfort always comes first. The good thing about this practice is, nobody makes fun of you. You can walk around half-naked, and still have your dignity. I'm talking about men of course! Women don't walk around in half-clad bodies in Sorsogon.

In some cultures, walking around in your pyjamas or half-naked is the ultimate insult. In the northern part of the Philippines, there is a group of people called the Ifugaos. They are well-known for the 8th manmade wonder of the world. The Banaue Rice Terraces.

In Ifugao culture, men always put on a shirt when they talk to each other. Although it is all right for women to walk around in shorts, wearing it to social gatherings like a pre-wedding festival, is definitely inappropriate. It doesn't matter if you're wearing Dolce and Gabbana shorts. It's still a pair of shorts and the host will still be humiliated for your utter disrespect of the occasion.

In Indonesia, one should never hand-over something with his left hand. It´s tantamount to a slap on the face because the left hand is considered the dirty hand. And when you point, better do it with your thumb and never with your other fingers. In the Philippines, some people have the habit of pointing with their lips. LOL

Speaking of pointing and fingers, we all know that showing or giving your middle-finger is reaching the apogee of insults in western societies. It is obscene and is like saying the F-word. In some southern European countries however, they abase you by saying that you are a child of a whore. Meaning, your mother belongs to the lowest caste. A puta.

In India where women are empowered, men never open doors for them. It's a form of insult also. You should also forget about offering your muscled arms to lift or carry heavy bags for a woman. It's simply unacceptable there.

In the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, it is funny to make jokes about their neighboring countries. The more ridiculous the joke, the better. In Africa, it's the highest form of insult. To make fun of other ethnolinguistic groups or what they call as their `neighboring tribes´. In fact, this could lead to an all-out war.

Insults then come in many forms. Some people have mastered the art of it. But I think, it is important to always bear in mind where we´re coming from. After all, our cultural baggage will always dictate what is accepted and unaccepted to us. For what is one man´s meat, could be another man´s poison.

***I wrote this last year around Christmas time, and decided to delete it. I am posting it again. :)

Monday, September 21, 2009


Do you ever wonder how biased the English language is to men?

Take for example an unmarried man of 50 years old. We use the word single or bachelor to describe him. Right? Such decent and dignified words. lol

But if it´s a woman, the only word available to label her status is single. Unless, we will count spinster and old maid... which frankly, do not even come close to decent, dignified bachelor.

Here's a thought. Imagine a society where unmarried women could have more than one live-in partner. How will we label her?


I'm not so sure...


Only if she is tied to a spinning wheel, and far from her Cassanovas. lol

Old maid?

In this age, 50 is the new 30 they say. Calling a 50-year-old unmarried woman, an old maid is rather inappropriate, don't you agree? LOL


Nice try!

So much for labeling. HAHAHAHAHAHA Again, this is one reason why I don't like labels. It's too restricted. Too plain. Too biased! I mean, really.....!

Den Helder.

These photographs were taken today in and on our way to Den Helder to visit friends.... It's a lovely city. Only 45 minutes away (could be more, could be less... lol) from Amsterdam.

windmills, of course....

It's an old fishing village..... and like any other coastal city, there are lots of boats, yachts, and ships.

People are warm and friendly. They also love the outdoors... like this one, hosting a kiddie birthday party outside their home ......

Den Helder is known for its beaches, beautiful sand dunes and lakes too.......

This is one place in Holland where horses & would-be equestrians go for a little walk on the beach

Our old friend Mickie and daughter, cuddly Em.............

And of course, his wife Mommy Res.

On our way back, we met a fold of Highland kyloes, the oldest known cattle breed which dates back as far as the 12th century. We walked right in front of them. Such beautiful animals.... huge, too! I took several pictures, except that they didn´t come out well because I was quite nervous and my iPhone camera didn´t have a flash. A few years ago, during a trip to Scotland, I heard about these rare kyloes and hoped that we see some along the way. We didn´t. And well, what do you know?! I never thought I´d be seeing them here!!! lol

Don´t you just love weekends? I know, I do! ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I was talking with my friend, Linde, yesterday. Haven't seen her for almost 6 months. And in the 6 months that I haven't seen her, Linde lost 12 kgs whereas I gained 8! I was a bit jealoused of course. She was looking fabulous, and I was feeling oh-so-bloated. lol So I asked her, what did you do?

Without hesitation she said, oh .... bakken. If you look up the dictionary, a bakker is a baker. And bakken is to bake or to fry in a pan. Surely, you don't lose 12 kgs if you live alone on bread and fried stuff, I said.

She smiled shyly.... which is somewhat new to me. You see, Linde is outspoken, very frank, and loud. The 3 years that I´ve known her, she was never modest, and being shy is not really in her vocabulary. So I teased her. I said, oh come on.... don´t tell me you´re shy now! lol

Well, apparently, I did not hear her very well. Or probably, I did ..... Anyway. The human brain is like a computer. When you encode something and your spelling is wrong, the brain (like the computer) will search for a word that is similar to the word that you just said.

That's why my brain thought Linde said bakken although she said bakkeren. Let me tell you about Bakkeren. It's a Dutch word that came to existence just very recently. Perhaps a year or two ago. Suffice it to say that bakkeren is actually not a real Dutch word. It's somebody else's last name.

Her name is Sonja Bakker. (Oh yes Mathilda, I did my homework!! LOL) Ms.Bakker came up with a diet that earned her millions of followers in the Netherlands and Germany. She wrote several books already, I understand from her website. And a lot of people are hooked on her simple dieting. My friend Linde also told me that Ms. Bakker has a tv program. Don't look now but I'm actually not very keen on watching tv! lol

I haven't tried bakkeren yet, but I checked out her website. The diet loooks very simple really. There are 2 different sets of weekly meal plans for men and women.

Check this out. It's a one day meal plan for women.

Breakfast: a slice of breakfast cookie and butter
snack: 1 apple
Lunch: 1 slice toasted wheat bread with a slice of pineapple
snack: a glass of non-fat milk
Dinner: 125 g of boiled potatoes
250 g of witlof
75 g of meatball
1 tbsp gravy
1 serving rauwkost (cucumber, radish, beets) and yoghurt.

Like I said, it looks simple. But the question is, do I have the discipline and patience to follow the diet to the letter? That, my friend, is the one million dollar question! lol

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sweet blogging.

Every night and sometimes, every morning I check my blog with much anticipation. Like a child on Christmas  morning, I wonder if Santa dropped by and whether or not, he left a package for me.

So it goes without saying that whenever I click on my blog everyday, I am reminded of Neil Diamond´s Sweet Caroline. You know, Where it began.. I can´t begin to knowin´ ... But then I know it´s growin´ strong...  Was in the spring ... Then spring became the summer ... Who would believe you´d come along....  Hands, touching hands ....reaching out.... touching me.... touching you.....

Ahhhhh blogging. I started blogging back in 2007. It was purely out of .... well, curiousity. I was curious about the "new"  (it was not new all right, but the idea was new to me) program back then. I didn't know what it was, so my first blog was a longggggggg story about my life here! And so..... began my blogging journey through cyberspace.

What I did not expect is the people that I will meet here. People that I know before, but have lost touch. And there are those people who I don´t know at all.

Take Cherie for instance. Our families know each other for as long as I can remember! Her dad was once upon a time our family doctor.... And her mom and uncles and aunts were my grandma's students. I still remember my grandma talking about a certain brilliant Maquito boy whose genius impressed her like no other student did.

Girl scout buddy Anna and sistahhh  Buday,... well, our parents grew up and went to the same high school together. Her aunt and my mother still gossip and talk about their old high school days. As for her grandpa... well, I also remember my grandma say some things about him. But I was young then and I did not really pay much attention! LOL I just know that he was a judge.

Anna and I know each other since kindergarten. We were best of friends between 1981 and 82.... I used to hang around in their house -- her bedroom, whenever we have vacant periods. Loved and envied her sanrio collection. And together, we fell in love with Scott Baio and Rex Smith! lol

Jesusa´s grandparents and my grandma were also old friends. They owned the oldest printing press in the province. And although I never was close to Jesusa before because she is 3 batches younger than I, we both had piano lessons with Tia Yaying and her cousin Amy, is one of the few people in the world who truly understand me and my temperament. Dear Amy is my one old friend who neither spoke ill of me nor passed judgement about me.

Then there´s Mel, an old friend, who migrated to Canada since March last year. Mel taught me to appreciate writing. She insisted back in highschool that we exchange letters every morning! lol 

Chyt belongs to my university days. We've known each other since 1990. With Chyt as my bestfriend, my last year in the university was the most memorable one. I saw her fall in and out of love with this-and-that guy. And vice versa. If there is one word that would aptly describe our friendship, that word would be passion. Chyt and I both love passionately, believe passionately, and fight passionately.

My good friend Retno shares my Holland years. She´s my link to my former life in Indonesia. We know each other for 5 years now. We seldom see each other face to face, but we both know that we will always be there for each other.

And now.... I have new blog friends! These are the people who visit my blog on a regular basis, I think. :)

There's Aristarkhos. I know him for over a year (maybe 2?) now. He strikes me as a young Gandhi. Don't ask why! lol I don't know him very well, but this much I know. He is a decent man who loves literature, philosophy, sports, and is amazed by his neighbor's mom. lol  Aristarkhos is also an advocate of animal rights and a lover of nature, a wise person who listens with his heart and talks with his logical mind. I consider him a good friend.

Lopa , Aledys and Anita are very new friends. All three live in the Netherlands. Lopa is a young executive, who lives here because of her job. Aledys is married with children (where´s Peggy Bundy? lol). She strikes me of someone who is devoted and honest. I'd like to taste her dulce de leche someday!!! lol  As for lovely Anita,... I think she´s really an artist disguised as a Brazilian mom living and working in Holland. hehehe 

Pinay in Dutchland and Isabel are very new expat friends as well.

There´s also Sol. And Tessa. New friends of mine. They are both townmates that I haven´t met before.... except here, in this bloody thing called blog. We now share thoughts and life experiences.....  just like the rest of you guys here.

So now, I look at the night... and it don´t seem so lonelySweet blogging... good times never seemed so GOOOOOOD!

Monday, September 14, 2009


A Filipina friend of mine and her husband moved to a flat, which she calls a condominium. Emphasis on the condominium. She is very thrilled and excited about the whole moving thing. She told me that she enjoys watching the city skyline at night and well... everything and everybody that is below her.

I am happy for her. True, the skyline is beautiful, especially late at night. But it made me think about the difference in lifestyles and perspective.

In the Philippines, if you live in a flat... well, you are well-off. Only moneyed young executives live in flats, or condominiums for that matter. (Besides, flats are only found in congested big cities.) Ordinary people live in houses. If you are poor in the Philippines, you eat fish and vegetables. Meat is expensive. Only middle class and rich people can afford to eat meat on a daily basis. As for vegetables, rich people often go for salad.

Also in the Philippines, only rich people ride Mercedes. Ordinary people take jeepneys and buses.

Here, people who can not afford to buy houses, live in flats. People who have money, eat fish and vegetables on a daily basis. Salad is for everybody, and lettuce is one of the cheaper vegetables available in the supermarkets. As for riding Mercedes, well,... it's a cab here! Anyone can hail a cab. Although, there are also people who drive Mercedes here.

It's funny, isn't it? How things work in this crazy, crazy world. lol

Saturday, September 12, 2009

lazy afternoon...

I guess, summer will never be over.... as far as these kids are concerned anyway! lol

"let's build a castle...."

"are you serious?"

"I am! Let's get started!"

I was reminded of my childhood actually. How my siblings and I used to make our own castles and volcanos. Love those days...!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"He who without grammar mistakes, let him throw a stone at her first."

There are people who continue to impress me with their huge egos and what I perceive as stupidity. Take for example some of hubby's cantankerous relatives. I mean, really... tell me what do sophisticated people need --- to realize that migrants are struggling to be accepted, and will therefore remain to laugh with an accent (to borrow the title of Firozeeh Dumas' book LAUGHING WITHOUT AN ACCENT)?

I was particularly offended by the recent emails that circulated among the cousins. Hubby being a cousin, received copies of them as well. I did too. One particular brilliant cousin attacked the immigrants who talk with heavy `North African´accents. I think, the pathetic guy meant Moroccan accent. His email ended with a question. The question being, "what will our children learn in school if they have these people's kids for classmates?"

Another obnoxious cousin replied about how amused she was with these people who absolutely need LOTS OF help in the grammar department. Such arrogance. I wanted so badly to email this cousin and borrow a line from the Bible (quoting in bad taste, if I made add)... but what the heck? That line being.... "He who without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first."

Oh yes, I wanted to give them a piece of my mind, and tell them all to get lost. But I am blogging instead.

I am blogging about it NOT because I am fuming mad. Neither do I hate them nor do I want to sollicit pity or sympathy here. I am blogging because I am outraged. Outraged by our behavior towards each other. Outraged about their indiscretion and ignorance. Outraged and scandalised about their incorrect image of migrants. Outraged and upset about their utter disrespect and lack of compassion.

This kind of behaviour made me think of myself... whether I feel the same way whenever they speak in what I will call here as Klompen-English. You know, like, "I go with the bike to the city" (ik ga met de fiets naar het centrum). Or when they say HEPI to mean happy; or LOOKI to mean lucky.

This brings me to my next question. Are we just as indiscreet, ignorant, incorrect, disrespectful, and incompassionate as these cousins? I wonder.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Alzheimer´s disease.

Stella, my fellow scholar in Indonesia and German friend of 15 years is devastated upon learning that her 63-year-old mom has Alzheimer's disease. Her life crumbled like a cookie dipped in a frothy milkshake. Together with the rest of her family, she watches her mother slowly slip away.

I have never met Stella´s mom. Whenever I went visit Stella in Munich before, her mom wasn´t around. I knew though that she lives in Pasau. And although I haven´t met the woman, I know in my heart that she is a gentle woman. A woman with high morals and good character. I knew that she is a good mother.

The last time Stella and I spoke to each other was in November 2008. She was heartbroken because they could no longer take care of her mom and they have to put her in a hospital where she will receive proper care. I was enveloped with sadness, pity and cowardice.

As a result, I stopped talking to Stella. She stopped emailing as well. I guess, we don't really know what to say to each other anymore. Oh yes, I think about her constantly. About how it would like to witness your mom lose control of everything.

I think about them. About how they are coping with the difficult situation. But I am coward.... and I don't know what to say to her.

Europe´s richest monarch.

The Dutch Prince and heir to the throne, Willem Alexander is crying foul. Foul that the paparazzis ambushed and took pictures of his family during a trip to Argentina, homeland of his wife and future Queen of the Netherlands, Princess Maxima.

This was one of the many topics my friends May, Micky and I had tonight. Micky (a diehard Dutch) pointed out to me that these people did not really choose to be royalties. That it is a birthright, but that they did not ask for it. That they now want some privacy, is but logical, he said. After all, they always arrange for those pictorials that the magazines, television programs need to show to the world.

The devil's advocate in me told Micky that it is not entirely true that they did not choose to be in that position. That like ordinary people, royalties also have choices. You know, free will. It´s not as if we are still living in the Dark Ages here.

Then Micky told me something that I did not know. Apparently, the Dutch reigning queen, Beatrix, is the wealthiest reigning monarch in Europe. I fell silent. Didn´t know what to say. I wanted to pursue my argument but I was floored by the new information. I can´t believe it.... I always thought it was Queen Elizabeth II. So, I surfed the net. Micky was right of course.

source of the pix:

Friday, September 4, 2009

Funny Everdien.

Everdien was one of my many Dutch teachers at the language school where I went for the integration program. She was ... has always been the funny one although I must admit that her facial expression has the intensity and seriousness of the Queen of England.

There were times when she would make jokes that probably half of the class didn´t get. I still laugh at them whenever I think of her.

For example that one morning while she was collecting our books and was waiting for us to finish our seatwork, she said, zijn julie al klaar....(pauses here).... komen? (are you done?) In Dutch, klaar means being done. But when you add komen to klaar, it still means done all right --- but in a very naughty way! The beauty of this language. hahahahahaha

Everdien moved to the south of France, I heard. I don't blame her. She used to say that she was born in the wrong country. I thought she was being funny again when she said that. But I guess, she got tired of the gloomy, dark northern European skies.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Hubby needed a new hard drive, so we drove to Media Markt. After waiting for what seemed like 30 minutes, I decided to approach two men in an identical suit who were carrying a box of Dyson vacuum cleaner.

I said, could you please help me?

The guys looked at each other and said in unison, sure.

I pointed at my husband and told the guys we needed their assistance to help us decide which one to buy.

The guys looked at each other, and stared at me. Somewhat annoyed and impatient, I said half-jokingly, well? Are we still going to wait for the rainy season?

The older guy smiled and said, well .....

I said, yessss?

Hubby came, put his arms around me and whispered in my ears, they don´t work here.

Oppppsss. lol

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

on the keys...

For me, piano playing is something that I do to entertain myself, be closer to a loved one, or at times when a beautiful melody is playing in my head and I want to capture it on my keyboard. I don't do it to entertain people. Or to make a living out of it. It is not a hobby either. It is my way of life.

A lot of people don't get that. They don't understand why would I waste my talent on ME, myself. They think that it is a very selfish thing to do. They think it's arrogant. Maybe, that is so. I don't know.

For me, it's quite simple really. It´s like having a well. Your own well; in your own backyard. You regularly fetch water there because you need water to cook, clean, wash, drink... to live. My music is my well... my water. My source of life. My agua de vida, and it's not for public consumption. Sure, I can share it with others every now and then. But it should be in my own terms... my own time... my own liking.

So when I started teaching private lessons back in 2005, it was purely out of politeness. I had an 8-year old neighbor Sofia, who wanted to learn how to play the piano. She has a condition and I found it too hard say NO to her. A blue-eyed girl with an angelic face, and a smile of everlasting purity and innocence, who am I to say NO? It was not what I have planned to do here though.

Sofia is not the easiest student but she kind of grew on me. She has ADHD, an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She has problems with concentration, mental focus, and has a low self-esteem. When I first had her on the piano, her body trembled. I had to be very gentle with her.

It was not easy for both of us, of course. But now, Sofia can play Fur Elise, Brahm´s Waltz in A flat major, Comptine d'un autre été l'après, among other things.

Sometimes, she makes me cry with her playing. Maybe, because I have grown very fond of her.
She´s 12 now. But whenever she´s playing the piano, she remains this little girl to me... who, on that bright summer day, came knocking at my door,.. in her red, short, pretty dress... and asked me to take her on as my piano student.

Sofia and I know that she will not become a concert pianist. But in her, I see a glimpse of myself. For like myself, Sofia had found a home and a friend in her music.... like I did too, years ago.