Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I talked to my cousin's wife about how it's SO cold now, and she said, "this isn't cold! Besides, it's way warmer than New York!" Funny, b/c I've never thought NY was cold. At least not NYC and the metro area. Today was ridiculous. I thought I was bundled up enough but I was NOT. I went to Oroom Gallery to see the third piece of the James Turrell show and then got a little mixed up riding a bus, so I had to backtrack on foot.

Getting turned around gave me a better sense of the road layout and neighborhood. The gallery is inside this building, called Human Starville. It's HUGE (heightwise). Once I finally got north of the river, I sat down in a coffeeshop w/tea and a scone (and a brilliant strawberry jelly dispenser - nice patent. You snap it in half, two pockets of jelly press against each other, and you squeeze it out of a diamond-shaped hole. No mess!) while reading Louis Erdrich and waited for Melissa and her New Zealand guests. It felt so good to have down time like that. Today was literally the first time I've been able to do that for about five months.

I met them at the tea house w/birds flying all around, and it was SO LOVELY to spend the afternoon together. Whirimako is a singer, and Lance is a guitarist. Both were warm and friendly; there was a sense of largesse in spirit and a relaxing of time, which is so unusual in Seoul, but a great tonic. They took their time and were happy to learn and share cultural tidbits, which made for a slow-paced itinerary with lots of room for unwinding. Whirimako sung me a song first in Maori and then in Korean. She said that it's a traditional song in New Zealand, and that when the K-Force (soldiers from NZ) went to Korea during the war to join the US, they taught the song to Koreans. At lunch I was worried that we had ordered too much food, but as Lance polished off the last bits, he said, "you're sitting with two Polynesians! There is no such thing as too much food."

I made it home w/o turning into an icicle, but my feet are already cracking. Tomorrow I'll hit the salon for a haircut before the VIP dinner where Whirimako and Lance will perform! I'm excited, except that I am going to have to wear about a hundred layers over my dressy clothes just to be able to make it to the hotel. But "Human Thing" is on and I just heard "A girl can keep it together" so I'm going to believe it.

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