The Climb

Yes, I’ve been neglecting my blog for some time… The beginning of the school year is hard for teachers, too. XD Anyway, here’s something unpolished, a part of something I’ve been working on. I like this little detail about one of my characters. Meet Bastian! 😉


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If the door is impenetrable, there’s always a window to use.

That became some sort of a motto for Bastian. Climbing the walls was something he was very good at. It took him some years to become an expert, but he flattered himself that he had a natural talent for it.

The walls on the house were made of white stone, which was fashionable among rich people. Unfortunately, the stone was not left crude. It was completely smooth. Impossible to climb. Rich people liked everything to look sleek. There were no pipes or drains on the building’s facade. There were, however, large windows on the ground floor, because bright rooms were also fashionable. Those windows made of impenetrable glass, and connected to an alarm. They were, also, climbable.

Bastian first stepped on the bottom edge of the window. The windows had frames, also made of white stone, and were richly ornamented. The frame was quite narrow, but Bastian was good at keeping his balance. He was also tall. Just barely, he was able to reach the upper edge of the frame. As he held the frame firmly, he put his feet on the side of the frame and cautiously climbed up, pressing his feet at the frame and walking horizontally. Soon, he was standing on the upper edge of the frame, feeling proud of himself.

Who else could pull this off, eh?

He now had to reach for the first floor window, which was also huge, and quite far away. The difficult thing was not falling off the narrow edge. Bastian learned how to be careful. He was doing this for years. He started with simple houses in poorer neighbourhoods, and then gave himself bigger and bigger challenges. He was only caught once, when he was fifteen, to his parents’ great embarrassment. He didn’t actually steal anything, so they just had to pay a fine for his breaking in. It helped that they were influential people.

The window proved easy to open. The family wasn’t expecting anyone to break in though this window. It didn’t even have an alarm. Bastian entered the house. He was swept by the feeling of accomplishment. He still wasn’t sure how this unusual hobby came to his mind. Why did he love to break into random houses? Partially, because it was a challenge. He also liked that it was completely illegal. Breaking the rules made him feel strong.

Well, I’m done here. Off to my next stop.


Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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Learning and Thinking with the Help of Fiction

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I’ve recently read two really great books and I wanted to mention them on my blog, so, in the end, I decided the best thing to do was to talk about them together. After all, they have something in common.

The first book is Honour by Elif Shafak, which I already mentioned in an award post. The book actually deals with quite a lot of topics, but the central theme is an honour murder about which the reader learnes in the first chapter and is held in the grip of its imminence. The novel depicts everything that lead to the murder, for the most part the way of life in Kurdish villlages in Turkey, and all that followed. Since certain characters leave Turkey for London, it also explores the issues of living in a culture different than your own and the danger of being influenced by extremists. This is presented in a way which doesn’t propagate anything, but only opens the door of understanding and gives the reader something to think about. The story is spread through three generations, and it follows multiple points of view, but it never gets confusing. The characters seem very real, and the language is gorgeous. Even though the main event of the novel is an honour murder, and at points it gets very sad, the reader cannot help but notice just how beautifully Elif Shafak writes. And even though the novel is sad, I didn’t find it depressing – in the end, it’s even hopeful. After reading it, I immediately decided that I would read more of Shafak’s novels in the future.

The other book I want to talk about is Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This one is, I think, quite well-known. The novel follows two Nigerian characters, Ifemelu and Obinze, and is at first sight a love story. Except that it is not really a love story. The book deals with immigration, culture, social classes, and most of all with the issue of race. In comparison to Honour, which touches on similar topics, Americanah is much more factual, especially the parts presented through Ifemelu’s point of view since, after moving to USA, she starts a blog about her experiences as a “Non-American Black”, as she puts it.  A lot can be learned about Nigeria from this book, just like Honour gives an insight of rural Turkey. And just as in Honour, the characters in Americanah are very real and believable. Even though both books were a pleasure to read, they also made me think and taught me a lot. And isn’t that the best combination one could wish for?

Even though I liked Honour a little bit more, I’m aware that’s just a case of personal preference, and I would recommend both books with equal vigour. But most of all, I would recommend reading books about the issues or cultures you may not be as familiar with. There are so many books like that out there. I can add another example – The Golem and the Djinni, a book about which I wrote before. (see the post HERE)

Learn about the world you live in as much as you can! Happy reading! 🙂