Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Here we go again

I suppose that once in awhile I should write about something besides running. So I will. (Though I did have a fun hash on Saturday and a good 10K race with my friend Lauren on Sunday. It was... oh, right, right. Back on topic.)

As you know if you've been able to tear yourself away from Dancing With the Stars, the North dropped a bucketload of missiles on South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island (two miles from North Korea and 70 or so from me) yesterday. The best guess I've seen online is that some generals did it to demonstrate their discontent with their loss of influence with the upcoming succession of Kim Young Jerk to replace his dad Kim Ug Ly. Two RoK marines were killed. I think about them and their families and about the fact that all of the boys we teach will be in the military in just a few years.

My friends abroad (I mean, back home) want to know how people are reacting and what it feels like to be here. I think it's like the Cuban Missile Crisis or the aftermath of a minor tremblor: will the other shoe drop? People go about their business and keep their ears open for further developments. Arirang, the English-language channel, devoted 15 minutes of the news to the attack, but didn't break into their regular shows.

I'm not scared, and absolutely everything spooks me: tall buildings, roller coasters, Snooki. The reason I'm not scared is that I don't think that the North's leaders are so bullgoose loony that they're suicidal. I know enough history to know that sometimes things just go much further than any sensible person anticipated, like the Civil War, World War I, and Sarah Palin. (Same joke twice: too much?) And the current RoK government is much more hard-line than its predecessors.

The US embassy sent us registered Yanks email that basically said they'll let us know if we need to bug out. I don't know how I could take flying out of here and leaving our kids behind. But I don't think that the bigwigs on either side of the border want to die; The North Korean leaders are capital-E Evil, so they wouldn't care, but the South Korean guys don't want hundreds of thousands of casualties. So I think it's going to be okay.

All the same, maybe I won't go tour the DMZ on our day off this Friday.

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