Thursday, July 31, 2008

Summer vacation

We get one day off for summer vacation at school, which is today. I leave in about an hour and change to head east for another suit fitting and dinner w/family friends. I woke up today at 6:30am and could NOT fall asleep b/c the cicadas were insanely noisy, so I had to put my earplugs in for a few more hours of sleep. Last week, I couldn't decide if I should do laundry b/c it had been raining, but then my aunt said, the cicadas have started up! They only start singing when it's not going to rain anymore. So then I did my laundry. I love that I get to be around people who know things like that.

I met Diana, a current Fulbrighter and a poet, yesterday for tea time, and it was great to finally meet her in person after harassing her for over a year w/questions re: Fulbright. I had just realized on the way there that the stipend is pretty much below the poverty line and how it will be a challenge to budget the coming year. The only way that I'm more comfortable now is thru family and friends, which has always been the hallmark of Korean culture: going all out for people in your circle. It's kind of amazing, even when it can be difficult.

Then I met my language exchange partner, which was really nice. I attempted to explain asiaphiles to her as well as the impossibility of people who are conditioned a certain way to see Asian women as just people - that they can't separate "Asian-ness" from personhood. We talked about the recent controversy over Dokdo, a bunch of tiny rocks/islands between Korea and Japan. Both countries have claimed them for a LONG time and just yesterday G.W. Bush made a statement about how they need to decide it once and for all.

Time to catch the train.

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