Saturday, July 26, 2008

Playing catch up

I still haven't figured out why mosquito spray is called "F Killer." I'm bracing myself for an afternoon/evening of heavy fire by mosquitoes: I'm going to a rock concert with my cousin and his wife in Incheon, a city west of Seoul and the location of Korea's major int'l airport. It's outdoors, and hopefully my cousin will have picked up a pair of boots for me b/c it has been raining for the last 3-4 days in a row, with the sun coming out today. So it will be muddy and steamy. Can't wait. I'll take my camera, now that I've figured out that I need new batteries (I haven't been taking new photos b/c I had a panic attack several days ago when the thing wouldn't turn on. I had just recharged the batteries but obviously it's time to get a new set, since these are 4-5 years old and not holding a charge. I went to a Canon store in Seoul to ask about the warranty, which wouldn't have been honored here, so thank goodness it's just a power issue).

These are our lockers at school (if you put a deposit down for one). I feel like I'm in junior high b/c whenever I have lunch w/friends after class, I always say, "I need to run to my locker!" Right now, it's holding two bags of crackers, my gift book from Clover, all my homework, a plastic bag, a textbook, and a workbook. That's right, I have two days of exams coming up (Mon/Tues) and I decided to leave my books at school. I figured that even if I study all weekend, I won't get much better at grammar, so why bother? Our teacher must have been concerned on Friday b/c we looked so unhappy during test review, and she said, please don't stress about the tests! Just have fun.

The day before (Thursday), I met another family friend (who has known me since I was a baby) and spent the entire afternoon and evening with her, catching up, eating, getting measured for a new suit (she's a tailor), going to the local market to look for a hanji doll maker (he closed shop a while ago), and watching her make tons of phone calls for me (re: housing in the fall and places to study hanji). On Friday, I had lunch w/a bunch of students from the program: 2 from Japan, 1 from China, 1 from Singapore, and 1 from the US. Then I hiked up the mountain to visit my cousin's friend and met her children, who are crazy beautiful. She's my new local standby b/c my cousin is in Florida for a month w/her kids visiting her sister.

After iced tea, phone calls to random Koreans, and a tiny nap, I went to Sinchon to run errands and meet Kelsey &c (aka 1. her long-lost friend from high school who had moved to Australia and married 2. an Aussie, 3. this friend's cousin who happens to be living in Korea with his 4. Korean gf, and 5. a Korean guy who just spent 10 years in Hawaii and is friends with our Japanese classmate b/c they are in a Chinese-speaking group together). We went to a chicken place for dinner (click here for an image-laden explanation of the food) and then to a club for drinks, where Kelsey's friend (a modern dancer who was in NYC before moving to Seoul five years ago) joined us.

Since everything that I just talked about happened in the kind of rain that makes umbrellas nearly useless, I took all yesterday to sleep in and do calm, at-the-desk activities like studying and working on my first subscription piece. I'm frustrated b/c I wanted to send it out two weeks ago, but have not had the time to sit down and engineer it and make multiples. But hopefully I'll get it done this week. I would do it today, but sometimes you just have to put things off in favor of muddy rock concerts.

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