Friday, June 8, 2007

Fun With English -- WHAT A DIFFICULT CHOICE!

An Educational Drama
Combining English Lessons with Entertainment
Written in conjunction with Lembaga Bahasa LIA’s English Language Program
Produced by Citra Studio
Intermediate 1, Lesson 8

CAST OF CHARACTERS IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE

Betty, Cathy, Ayu, Oleg, Nadya, Yudi, Masami, Ida, Bob, Cika, Tsubasa, Bayu, Agung, Gunawan

SCENE 1: BETTY’S LIVINGROOM – MORNING

Betty’s busy browsing through recipes in the cookbooks and recipe files scattered on the table. She looks restless, scratching her head and keeps looking at her guest list and the clock. She finally decides to call Kathy.

DIVIDE THE SCREEN INTO 2 PARTS. ONE FOR BETTY, THE OTHER ONE FOR CATHY. CLOSE-UPS

BETTY
Hello, can I speak to Kathy?

KATHY
Oh hi, Betty. How is it going?

BETTY
Okay but not okay.

KATHY
(curious)  What do you mean?

INSERT SUBTITLING: Comparing Options
CLOSE UP: BETTY

BETTY
You see, I’m throwing a party for the dancing club members. There will be 20 of them.

KATHY
Good, they’ll finally get the chance to try Karsiyem’s special ‘soto ayam’.

BETTY
That’s exactly what the problem is. Karsiyem is confined to bed because of her bad cold. I can always prepare steak and salad but I don’t feel like it. I want to surprise my Indonesian friends with ‘soto ayam’, ‘gurame goreng’, ‘lalap’ and ‘tumis kangkung’.

KATHY
Well, that’ll be kind of complicated to prepare.

BETTY
Actually, I can try without Karsiyem’s help. But what if it doesn’t turn out well?
The Indonesians would think I haven’t prepared things seriously
and the foreigners would get a bad impression about Indonesian food.
Tracking down a caterer at such a short notice isn’t a good idea.
I’ll be charged double and I ...


CLOSE UP: KATHY


KATHY
Wait, wait. How about asking Ayu to help out? She’s a fabulous cook.’

BETTY
Do you think she’d mind?

KATHY
Go talk to her and find out.

SCENE 2: BETTY’S KITCHEN – LATE AFTERNOON

Betty’s and Ayu are busy preparing things. They’re both wearing aprons. Ayu’s frying the fish and Betty’s cleaning her silverware.

AYU
What time did you say they were coming?

BETTY
At seven. What time is it?

AYU
Don’t worry. Everything will be ready by then.

BETTY
(hugging Ayu) Thanks a million, Ayu. What would I do without you?

AYU
Don’t mention it. My pleasure. Just enjoy the party.

BETTY
Thanks. Oh, I have some brownies for Cika in the fridge.

AYU
(opening the fridge, looking naughtily tempted) I think my daughter’s going on a very, very strict diet.

BETTY
(putting her arm on Ayu’s shoulder) Oh, I take that as a compliment!


SCENE 3: BETTY’S DINING ROOM


FOCUS ON TABLE

Voices are emerging from the living room, people talking, glasses clinking. The table is set and all the food looks tempting.

SCENE 4: BETTY’S LIVING ROOM – EVENING

MUTE SCENE
LONG SHOT of people talking in small groups. Slow music is playing.
FOCUS ON the sofa. Oleg, Nadya, Ida and Masami are having fruit cocktail.

OLEG
I loved the fish. It was tasty and crispy.

NADYA
You know what? He never wanted to eat fish before. He usually prefers meat and pork.

OLEG
Yeah, but this was different.

YUDI
And the ‘bolu pandan’ was the fluffiest, tastiest I have ever had.

MASAMI
Which one is ‘polu bandan’?

IDA
Bo-lu pan-dan. It’s the green cake. Bolu means cake. Thanks to Betty I screwed up my diet.

NADYA
I love this fruit cocktail. It’s so tasty and has a very characteristic aroma.

ZOOM IN, FOCUS ON OLEG’S SPOON

OLEG
(showing the mango in his spoon) Yeah, I agree. Must be because of this yellow stuff.  We don’t have anything like this in Russia.


ZOOM OUT, FULL SCREEN ON IDA, YUDI, NADYA

IDA
It’s a kind of mango called ‘mangga kweni’ (slurping) So fresh!

YUDI
(to Nadya) What fruit is typical in your country?

NADYA
The blue oval-shaped grapes. Very tasty.

IDA
I’ve never seen any blue grapes anywhere in my life!

YUDI
She’d better not. If she does, she’d probably hang them on her ears.

ZOOM IN, FOCUS ON IDA’S EARRINGS
Yudi touching Ida’s really big flower-shaped earrings

IDA
(giving Yudi a dirty look) Yeah, right. And you’d use my earrings to decorate your plain walls.

FOCUS ON MASAMI
Masami giggling

MASAMI
You’re so funny. (checking herself) Reminds me of the flowers we eat in Japan.

YUDI
Don’t ever let Ida go to Japan or your flowers will become extinct.

FOCUS ON IDA’S EARRINGS then FADE OUT

SCENE 5: BETTY’S LIVING ROOM – THE SAME EVENING

LONG SHOT of people saying their good-bye’s.
Then FULL SCREEN on Oleg, Nadya, Betty and Bob.

NADYA
Thank you very much, Betty. Everything was so delicious.

BETTY
Thanks. But the compliment should go to Ayu, actually.

OLEG
Who’s Ayu?

BOB
Our neighbor. She’s very good at cooking Indonesian food.

BETTY
Not only Indonesian food. She knows so much about food and drinks from all over the world. Japan, India, Italy. . .

OLEG
Russia?

BETTY
I believe so. At least she knows about Russian bagels. What do you call them?

OLEG and NADYA
‘Bublik’

BOB
Oh yeah. And she also knows how to make Russian pancakes. Ummm. . . (thinking) Don’t tell me. . . ‘bliny’! She told us people in Russia eat them to welcome the springtime.

NADYA
Wow. She sounds so professional. Will you give her our phone number?
Tell her we’re having a party next Saturday night and would like her
to cater it if possible. I’ll be too busy to cook by myself.

BETTY
Sure.

BOB
Don’t worry. We will.

OLEG
Oh, and please tell her also that we won’t be so fussy about the price.  Thanks again.

NADYA
Thanks, bye.

BETTY and BOB
Bye. Drive carefully.

SCENE 6: GUNAWAN’S GARDEN – SUNDAY MORNING

FOCUS ON Ayu and Gunawan who are very much absorbed in gardening. Then FOCUS ON Cika.

Cika comes running on her way in from the living room

CIKA
Mooooom!

AYU
What’s up, honey?

CIKA
There’s a woman named Eleni calling. “Is this Ayu’s catering?” (mimicking Eleni’s Greek accent)

SCENE 7: GUNAWAN’S LIVING ROOM – SUNDAY EVENING

The Gunawans are watching “Charmed”. Then the phone rings. It’s from Tsubasa Kawai.

CIKA
That must be for you again, mom.

DIVIDE THE SCREEN INTO TWO

BAYU
Gunawan’s residence

TSUBASA
Is this Ayu’s catering?

BAYU
(giggling)  Not yet. Maybe one day it will be.

TSUBASA
(puzzled)  Can you repeat that, please?

BAYU
Never mind. I’ll go get her.

FOCUS ON Ayu walking from the sofa towards the phone

AYU
Hello, this is Ayu. Can I help you?

TSUBASA
I’m Tsubasa, one of the guests at Oleg’s party.

AYU
Oh, yeah, I remember. How are you?

TSUBASA
Just fine. I was wondering if you could cook for Masami and I this coming Wednesday. Nadya said you would find no trouble cooking Japanese food.

AYU
Well, what can I say. Honestly speaking, I’ve cooked Japanese food only for my family. And that’s once in a blue moon.

INSERT SUBTITLING: Once in a blue moon = not very often, once in a while

TSUBASA
Please say ‘yes’. I know you can do it. All I need you to make is . . .

FOCUS ON Bayu and Cika

BAYU
(teasing Cika, shouting excitedly)  Mom’s gonna ccook for a samurai!

CIKA
(responding to Bayu, bowing repeatedly)  ‘Arigato gozaimasu. Anata wa bagero’.

Bayu and Cika laugh excitedly, bow to each other.

FOCUS ON Ayu and Tsubasa.

AYU
(Putting the phone away from her face)  Ssssshhh!!! Be quiet.

TSUBASA
Hello?

AYU
I’m sorry. I was just talking to my kids. Let me check once again. Beef ‘teriyaki’. . .

TSUBASA
‘Haik’

AYU
Shrimp ‘udon’. . .

TSUBASA
‘Haik’

AYU
‘Ogura’ ice cream

FADE OUT


SCENE 8: KATHY’S ROOM – SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Kathy comes back from shopping. In front of her door she meets Ayu.

AYU
Hi, how was your shopping trip?

KATHY
Great. I also bought a Hungarian cookbook for you.

AYU
Oh, thanks, Kathy. You’re so sweet.

KATHY
Come inside, I’ll show you what I got.

Inside the room, Kathy’s stuff is scattered on her bed: books, cassettes, realias for teaching at LIA.

LONG SHOT of Kathy and Ayu having conversation (MUTE SCENE).
Kathy’s showing her stuff. Ayu tried to be enthusiastic but finally couldn’t help looking hopeless.

AYU
(sighs)  Hmphhhh . . .

KATHY
Hey, cheer up. What’s the problem?

INSERT SUBTITLING: CONSIDERING DIFFERENT FACTORS BEFORE MAKING A DECISION

AYU
I’m confused. I’m faced with two choices. One is keeping my job as an aerobics instructor, and the other is starting a new job as a caterer.

KATHY
Lucky you! Which one will you choose?

SCENE 9: GUNAWAN’S GARDEN – SAME AFTERNOON

Betty and Bob were passing by, carrying shopping bags. Suddenly Bob stops.

BOB
Ssssshhhh! Did you hear that, honey?

BETTY
Oh, c’mon Bob. You’re acting like a fool. How would you feel if people eavesdrop our conversation?

BOB
(ignoring Betty)  It’s nothing personal. Ayu’s only a little bit confused.

BETTY
(shaking her head)

FOCUS ON Bob

BOB
(to the viewers)  Well, maybe we can try to understand what she’s going through.

FULL SCREEN of the following texts:
Factors to consider
As a caterer
As an aerobics instructor


BOB
(OS, the table keeps on appearing when Bob is talking) Copy this, then keep watching and listening to Kathy and Ayu.  Help her consider all the factors so that she won’t have to get confused for so long, okay?
Are you ready? Let’s get started.

FOCUS ON Bob and Betty

BOB
Where were we, honey?

BETTY
Kathy was asking Ayu which one she would choose.

SCENE 10: KATHY’S ROOM – SAME AFTERNOON


KATHY
Lucky you! Which one will you choose?

AYU
That’s the problem. It’s a difficult decision to make because both jobs have their own advantages.

KATHY
If I were you I would choose the one I enjoy more.

AYU
It’s not that simple. I love exercising as well as cooking. I could get tips as a caterer but...

KATHY
Which job do you think would allow you more time for your family?

AYU
Well. . . (smiling) working as a caterer would be a lot more hectic than working as an aerobics instructor, especially on holidays. It would probably be more stressful, too (excited), but it might be more challenging.

KATHY
What about as an aerobics instructor?

AYU
The work is certainly less stressful, it only gets hectic when my students are joining a tournament. I could still play tennis with my friends.

KATHY
Have you thought of how many hours you’d have to work?

AYU
Working as an aerobics instructor allows a regular schedule and I only have to work 15 hours a week. As a caterer I probably would have to work for 40 hours a week and I wouldn’t be able to set my schedule the way I like. I might have to work even more on holidays, but I’d get extra money for that. Anyway, I might need to hire people if the business expands.

KATHY
You have a difficult choice. Which one do you think would be more interesting?

AYU
Well, as a caterer I’d meet many people every day
so I could learn how to deal with different kinds of people.
I’d get to know some of them well because they are regulars.
As an aerobics instructor I’d meet less people.
Which job do you think I should choose?

KATHY
It’s not for me to decide. You have to make your own decision.
But for me, it’s better to bake a cake and have it fall
than never to have baked at all.
New things are worth trying.

SCENE 11: GUNAWAN’S DINING ROOM – LATE AFTERNOON

Ayu is busy with her agenda, counting prices of cooking materials, checking schedules, etc.
The TV is on but nobody’s watching. Agung comes home from work looking tired. Then he turns off the TV
.
AGUNG
What’s for diner, mom?

AYU
I’ve bought some ‘nasi uduk’. Check it out in the cupboard.

AGUNG
Oh, no! Not ‘nasi uduk’ again. Mom, I miss your cooking.

CIKA
(coming from her room)  You’re acting like a silly little kid. Can’t you see she’s busy? (walking to the living room)

SCENE 12: GUNAWAN’S LIVING ROOM – SAME LATE AFTERNOON

Then CIka turns on the TV. Bayu and Agung sit around her with ‘nasi uduk’ in their hands.

CIKA
(shouting)  Mom, come quick! “Charmed” is on. They’ve changed the schedule!

AYU
(absorbed in her work)  In a minute, sweetheart.

AGUNG
Isn’t it nice, miss righteous?

BAYU
What?

AGUNG
Being ignored. I bet she’ll never have time watching that stupid thing with you again.

CIKA
She will and it’s not stupid!

AGUNG
Will not!

CIKA
Will to!

AGUNG
Will not!!

CIKA
Will to!!!

BAYU
(covering Agung and Cika’s mouths with his hands)
We’ll see. . .

GUNAWAN
(loudly)
I’m hooooome!

Cika and Bayu giggle, then Bayu responds to his dad.


BAYU
(immitating Tarzan)  Aaaaah oooh aaaaah oooh wooooo!

Agung pretends not to see or hear anything, busy eating and watching TV.

SCENE 13: DINING ROOM

Gunawan’s eating. His kids sit around him.

AYU
Eleni’s phone number’s on the fridge. I’ll try to get home as soon as I can.

AGUNG
Yeah, right!

GUNAWAN
Agung! (staring) Go help your mom with her things.

Agung stands up with long face, followed by Ayu who keeps on imitating playfully what his brother does (instead of helping out)

GUNAWAN
Take care, see you tonight.

AYU
Sorry for leaving you again.

GUNAWAN
I’m happy if you’re happy. Just go.

CIKA
Bye, mom.

AYU
Bye, sweetie.

Ayu has left. Gunawan and the kids are doing their homework together at the dining table. Agung’s playing with a computer game near the dining table.

CIKA
Dad, do you think mom’s doing the right thing?

AGUNG
Certainly not. We’ve been eating ‘nasi uduk’ for ages.

BAYU
The worst thing is she doesn’t even have time to talk with us anymore, dad.

CIKA
Yeah, she didn’t even come to uncle Eko’s wedding. Don’t you think that’s a bit too much?

GUNAWAN
She’s just started something new. She’s trying to adjust to the new situation. You guys shouldn’t make her more confused.

CIKA
Yeah, but. . .

GUNAWAN
(ignoring Cika, musing)  It all seems like yesterday. . .

BAYU
(moving his hand in front of his father’s face)  Seeing Cika sing on the street? (acting out, using his book lika a tambourine, singing some ‘dangdut’ song)

AGUNG and CIKA
Ssssshhhhh!!! Stop it!

GUNAWAN
(smiles)

CIKA
What, Dad?

GUNAWAN
Seeing you born, learning to walk and talk. Suddenly you’ll have steady date, get married one by one and leave us.

BAYU
Oh, c’mon, Dad. We’ll never really leave you. How could we?

GUNAWAN
No, the point is, it’s about time your mom and I learned to let you go. I don’t feel she’s abandoning me. Why do you have to feel that way? Is it too much to ask letting us do something we like, so we don’t have to feel that lonely when you’re away one day?

BAYU and CIKA
No, Dad.

AGUNG
I’m sorry, Dad.

SCENE 14: GUNAWAN’S GARDEN – EVENING, PARTY

LONG SHOT on Gunawan and Ayu shaking hands with the guests who are congratulating them. Some of the guests are eating and singing together.


SCENE 15: GUNAWAN’S LIVING ROOM – SAME EVENING

There are Agung, Bayu, Cika and Kathy with food and drinks in their hands.
We see some full shopping bags on the table.

KATHY
What a terrific couple your parents are! (smiling)

AGUNG and BAYU
Yeah (contemplating)

CIKA
(excited, shopping bags in her hands)  Kathy, have you seen what we bought for Mom and Dad?

KATHY
Show them to me.


BAYU
(giggling)  Don’t worry. She will.

AGUNG
Not only to you, to everybody.

CIKA
C’mon, I’m not that childish!

KATHY
You’re not, Cika. Just don’t worry about that.

BAYU
(grabbing the shopping bags from Cika)  Just worry about how to behave.

KATHY
(touching the bags)  C’mon, Bayu. I wanna see them.

BAYU
(putting the bags down, opening the stuff)  Will you help us wrap these, Kathy?

AGUNG
Yeah, you’ve always been creative with wrapping papers.

KATHY
I’ll be glad to.

MUTE SCENE of Kathy and Cika wrapping the gifts. Agung and Bayu are busy with their food again.

SCENE 16: GUNAWAN’S GARDEN – SAME EVENING

Bayu’s playing guitar, Agung and Cika are singing along. Ayu, Gunawan and Kathy are listening. After that Agung gets the first present and approaches the parents followed by Bayu and Cika.

AGUNG, BAYU and CIKA
Mom, Dad, happy anniversary.

AYU and GUNAWAN
(kissing, hugging)  Thank you.

Then Ayu and Gunawan open the present and find a pair of watches. They wear their watches immediately and smile.

KATHY
You guys really have sweet kids.

GUNAWAN
Thank you, Kathy. And I also have something for my sweet wife, the woman who gave birth to my sweet kids.

KATHY
(smiling, touched)  Ooooh. . .

GUNAWAN
(taking the check out of his pocket)
With this check I hope you could get serious with your catering business without having to worry about the capital. Go for it. Set up a real business.

AYU
(looking absolutely surprised, dumbfounded, then holds her husband’s hand)
Thank you.

AGUNG
We also have something else for you, Mom.

Bayu hands the bigger present to his mother, smiling.

CIKA
(coming closer to her mom)  Open it, Mom.

AYU
(after opening the present)
Oh, I really don’t know what to say. (kissing her kids one by one) I feel so ashamed of having abandoned you all lately. I’ve been so selfish.

GUNAWAN
(calming her down)
Ssssshhhh. . .

KATHY
No, you haven’t Ayu. Your kids are big. They’re also very helpful.

BAYU
Yeah, especially me!

AGUNG and CIKA
Be quiet!

CIKA
Kathy’s right, Mom. Open a restaurant. We’ll help out.

BAYU
Yeah, or maybe just a bakery or ice cream parlor.

AGUNG
Ice cream parlor is not a good idea.

BAYU
You say that because you don’t like ice cream.

CIKA
(singing)
An ice cream a day keeps my brother away.

AYU
I must be out of my mind. I should be happy with all this.

GUNAWAN
What’s going on, honey? What’s boggling your mind?

AYU
Sorry for not telling you (sighs) but I’ve decided to give up catering and go back teaching aerobics (looking sad and guilty)

GUNAWAN
Well, what makes you happy makes me happy. Don’t worry.
You can use the money for something else.

AYU
I feel like a fool. I’m sorry. I’ve made up my mind.

CIKA
Don’t be sorry, Mom. You can always lend these (pointing at the cooking utensils) to Bayu for his props in drama class.

AGUNG
You can still use all these stuff anyway, Mom. You’ll need them, you’ll see.

AYU
Ooooh, it must’ve cost a fortune.

KATHY
But it’s worthwhile. Don’t give us that look, please? You should feel relieved instead. Finally you can speak your mind.

Then Betty and Bob come. They smile cheerfully.
BETTY and BOB
Congratulations! Happy wedding anniversary! (shaking hands, Betty kisses Ayu)

AGUNG
(standing up, giving his seat to Betty)  Have a seat, please

Bayu gives his seat to Bob.

BOB and BETTY
Oh, thanks.

BETTY
(looking at the paraphernalia on the table)  It’s good that you’ve finally decided, Ayu...

AYU
But I. . .

BOB
Actually we’re not gonna sit here too long, kids. We’re taking your mom and dad out.

GUNAWAN
Where to?

BETTY
Won’t be a surprise if we tell. We’re happy for you, Ayu.

AYU
But I. . .

BOB
The setting up of your catering business calls for a celebration.
You’ll meet a lot of prospective clients there.

FOCUS on Ayu looking cornered
FADE OUT

SCENE 17: KATHY, CLOSE UP

KATHY
How do you like the film? If I were Ayu, I would get confused, too.  What do you think she should do? What would you do if you were her?  Discuss with your friends and teacher. See you again.

THE END

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