Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 362

I've always liked the week between Christmas and New Year's. Aside from the thrills of Boxing Day, when we put away the Christmas boxes, or box up our unwanted presents for return, or watch a Rocky marathon on TV, or buy colorful underwear, or browse pictures of brachycephalic dogs with underbites, or some damn thing (I've never quite been sure), it's a quiet time of reflection, catching one's breath, and tranquilly contracting hypothermia. And for more than half of my years on earth, it's meant time off from school.

Looking back at this blog, I see I've posted an ungrand total of six entries in the last 22 weeks. (For comparison, I made 35 posts in my first month in Korea and 14 in my first month in Seoul.) I guess this is because I post about things I find novel or interesting and, after three-plus years here, not much is novel anymore. Maybe I'm a little tired of my own glibness, too. I've thought of dropping this blog entirely, to tell the truth. (I haven't, evidently.)

There was a time not long ago when I would have found so many things ripe for blogging:

  • Tug went into the shop for plumbing repairs (to the tune of $1000) and is back there now for treatment of a cold and an eye infection, both of which he picked up when he boarded there the first time.
  • I fell on my head (and chest and wrist), running downhill on hash and tripping on a drunk bump in the street; at our hash Thanksgiving dinner afterward, I bled like a new red hoodie from Wal-Mart and, four weeks later, my wrist is still sore. (In my post about the marathon in November, I wrote that if there had been a string in the street, I would have tripped. At the time, I thought I was joking.) It's the third time in my life I've gashed myself just above my left eye by falling on my head... one is supposed to learn something from experience, and what I've learned is that I turn my head to the right just before I fall on it.
  • The gang I started working two years ago at school continues to disperse, one by one, around the world: Nick, our counselor, has moved back to the States and Lauren has moved from San Diego to Copenhagen.
  • My hashing friends leave, too... GI Ho, Spartakicks, and Spread Eagle Scout Master (among many others) are gone, TKO is leaving, and it's only a couple of months until we lose Shitonya and Bootylicious.
  • Korea continues to impress with its tech. For example, this is one of a dozen panels at a particular subway platform:
 ...while you're waiting for the next train, you scan the items you want with your handepone (cellphone) and send it to HomePlus. Your groceries are delivered when you get home.
  • I MC the Moms' English Club at school every Thursday evening, bringing the joys of Fried Green Tomatoes to the land of pickled cabbage.
  • Kim Jong II died, making way for Kim Jong III, and I'm told nerves are frayed on our side of the border, though I can't see it anywhere.
  • The stores go crazy for Christmas and, gee, Gangnam is pretty, all lit up with LED trees and gift-wrapped building facades. But the day itself is pretty much like any other; everything's open for business. And what I really miss are Christmas cookies and trees with lights.
 In Itaewon: possibly the biggest light display in Korea.
  • Penguins in parkas are patrolling the park. (It's c-c-cold.)
  • And so it goes.
The biggest thing worth blogging about is my relationship with Kyung ah, and that's almost too personal to write about. We've been seeing each other once or twice a week, and it has done me-- and I hope, her-- a world of good. We go to dinner or a movie, sing together at a noraebang, play a little pool... one day she drove me out past Incheon Airport to a dock, where we took a ten-minute ferry ride to a little island on the West (that is, Yellow) Sea. I loved every second of it: the salt air, the sea breeze, the hungry gulls, the company. can get a lucky shot, even with a cellphone camera.

Beyond that, we just enjoy each other's company, and it has been a long time since I've had someone in my life.

And, years from now, if I remember one thing about 2011, it will be this: it's when I met Kyung.

That means it's been a good, good year: I'm not alone.