Thursday, July 22, 2010

Who do you ask for directions in Korea?

Yesterday, the Yangsan Book Club had its first outdoor meeting. There are these awesome circle benches near the subway station with good lighting so we sat, sipped our beer and discussed Cairo Modern. It felt more to meet outside. More grassroots somehow. More indie maybe? I can't quite put my finger on it. However, there are interesting complications that arise when you meet outside.

1. The very obvious: bugs. I asked my co-teacher about bug spray but she wasn't entirely sure where to buy it or the generic Korean word for it. Something tells me that I'll be miming in a store in the near future.

2. Evangelists on street corners trying to prevent us from getting to our meeting place. Usually it's the Jehovah's Witnesses but last night it was the 'Our Holy Mother' people. All of them realized that with 70+ foreigners in the area it was time to upgrade to carrying pamphlets in multiple languages. Three of us made it by but they caught Blondie for a minute. Silly polite Blondie.

3. Rubber neck stares. It's like people driving by a traffic accident, they slow down and keep watching as they go by. Fortunately, the conversation was interesting enough that it wasn't too distracting.

4. Interruptions. Now, if you were a lost Korean and there are plenty of Koreans around, why on earth would you ask the group of obviously foreign people for directions? To be fair, we did know where she was trying to go...we just couldn't exactly express it coherently in Korean.

5. Witnesses. Today one of the teacher's at school was so excited to tell me that she saw me last night. Actually, it was kind of awesome because she was so curious that she didn't mind using Korean and English to try to explain what she had seen and her questions. It was our first real conversation together and I really enjoyed it. It means that I probably won't go the entire day without speaking to anyone if I have already had one real conversation before 10am. That could just be wishful thinking though.

To do today:
1. Read another 100 pages in Anna Karenina.
2. Book a hostel for Siem Riep and Kuala Lumpar.
3. Write an article that's due tomorrow... (oh procrastination...why do I allow you to happen).
4. Go for a run. New route today and hopefully it will cool down a little once the sun goes down. Attempt to not trip over my own feet.
5. Attempt to not expire from extreme boredom/ennui while desk warming.
6. Maybe study? Ennui has killed my zeal for studying. Hopefully vacation will revitalize my insane passion for over-achievement.

1 comment:

Josh said...

heehee..... you = funny

good luck not tripping over yourself..... this is a constant battle for you and me