Thursday, December 18, 2008


I didn't think I'd make it out the door today after a long night last night and getting my period a week early (unfortunate timing: this means I'll start bleeding right in the middle of my freezing-cold apprenticeship), but I woke up this morning wanting to run out the door. I managed to burn toast VERY BADLY and delay my exit for various other stupid reasons. I usually never burn toast, but I'm also not very good w/toaster ovens.

I then managed to get on the wrong bus entirely, get off at what I thought was a transfer for a subway station, walk in the wrong direction entirely, turn around, turn around, turn around, and then give up and take another bus going to a different stop, just to find that if I had just walked a little further, I would have found the stop. Frustrated, I spotted a store similar to sprawling "pharmacies" back home, and got off immediately, waited forever to cross, and then browsed all of the FH (I refuse to type that out b/c it's such a ridiculous term) products. I'm going to try everything that's out here to see what I like best. So far, the organic cotton line sucks. I got the Chinese medicine stuff today and so far am a fan.

So despite all of my getting turned around (I'm more frustrated than embarrassed that I STILL have experiences like this on a regular basis after living here for six months), I made it to the Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, where I viewed an underwhelming (huuuge understatement) photography exhibit. The highlight of the show: peeking at all the architecture and the red frames! I couldn't believe I paid money to see the show, but will put "red frames" onto my list for my future home (perhaps I'll add "red toilet seat" to that - I encountered that in a tiny French restaurant in SoHo five years ago and liked it a lot). It reminded me of another aspect of the national museum that I loved yesterday: so many spaces here have built-in nooks and crannies for people. Yesterday, the museum was chock full of "lounges" right off of the main galleries, places to sit and relax, hang out, and maybe watch a video. I love that acknowledgment that it helps to have places to rest, b/c museum-going is no easy task.

I then crossed the street to one of the big palaces in Seoul and decided to duck into the National Palace Museum to hopefully get something more than what I had just seen. Again, there were some really dark areas, but I got to see some gorgeous lacquer work and also a huge chest done in ox-horn, this painting technique where pieces of horn are shaved thin and flattened, and then the painting is done on the backside so it shows through the front surface. I love that stuff. When I crossed the palace entrance, a Korean man asked me to take a picture of him and his English-speaking male friend. Funny, b/c the SAME exact thing happened to me yesterday at the national museum. I have varying degrees of desire to make sure that they both know that I can understand both languages. Though, really, none is required for that kind of request.

I ran some more errands and then finally got to my studio for a tiny bit before my tutoring session. My 2009 planner is all set to go now, extraneous pages removed, extra things glued in, birthdays recorded, and months tabbed. My tutor, happy that I had been inspired yesterday by Korean artifacts (she was a history major before going into language education), gave me a huge history lesson on the creation myth in Korea. Which I LOVED. I realized pretty quickly that I was on the edge of my chair leaning way forward, listening to the whole "tiger couldn't handle living in a cave eating garlic and mugwort but bear could and then was transformed into a girl" story. I am a total sucker for myths. And since it took so much time, we didn't get to textbook lessons, which is even better.

Now, my last weekend before moving into my new place. All sorts of things to do, and all sorts of procrastination temptations.

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