Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Un-Quit

Day 240
I take back the "I must leave within a month" notice that I had given my boss. Actually, the conversation I have with her is "I would like to finish my contract, if that is still possible."
The conversation she has with me is more like "will you stay longer than your contract? Maybe not? Okay, will you come back?"

We conclude that I will be here until September, perhaps October, then I run off to join Owen and Lindsay, a couple of my English-speaking companions, at the Hof. We somehow join forces with 5 or 6 Koreans and change booths, then establishments. A woman in the group is my fitness center buddy. There is much enthusiasm about meeting the next evening for pocketball.

Highlights from Days 241-246

Rain prohibits monster hike.

I am a recipient of fine dining, some wining, and gangster phone for 2 months.

A pit-stop in an outdoor market under black netting and colorful awnings, the likes of which I hadn't seen - grains, vegetables, live seafoods, meat. All usual, but there is something special about this one.

A moderate hike including:
a full creekside dinner which emerges from backpacks Mary Poppins style.
a detour through a bamboo stand to a small waterfall and pool where the ladies take off their shoes and wade while most of the men go for a full dip.

The arrival of a beautiful letter, perhaps from the highest post office in Asia, has the other teachers asking why I'm so happy all day.

The purchase of a practice amp and mic cord will probably drive my neighbors crazy, but make me very happy. I try to keep polite hours - generally sound happens from 10am-12pm.

My missing phone and ID card return to me after approximately 2 weeks. How? Who knows. It's Korea. In any case, I am ecstatic.

Sun Young's prediction of changing luck comes true. There is more rain and new flowering trees constantly come into season.

** Forecast Fox is currently telling me that Friday will be a Sunny -999 °F

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

One Month to the Day

What's the news? well, let me think...

- Paik Nam June Gallery in Yonggi-do provides a revitalizing music/art experience. Bulgasari at Yogiga Gallery in Hongdae, Seoul, sustains the revival for an extra day.
- Costco pesto makes me sick and quesadillas are all I eat for a week after a visit to Seoul.

- A new crowd of foreigners move into Gimcheon and we invade the Bowling Alley for an evening meet'n'greet.

- Buddha's birthday rolls around and with it come colorful lanterns, free bibimbap from temple volunteers, and a stroll through lovely Jikji-sa.
- Books arrive from the states and are devoured by me.
- The refrigerator noise continues to grow louder by the night.
- A bicycle some might have considered semi-abandoned is stolen. (I didn't consider it abandoned. I thought it could take care of itself.)
- I join a gym and flail around to K-pop with very coordinated middle aged women.

- A long weekend leads to the loss of several important items and a trip to Busan, a port city on the southeast coast of the Korean peninsula.
- The daily evaluation of pros and cons of breaking contract and leaving early begins to get pretty weighty in the pro-go column.
- A return trip to Busan, a search and rescue attempt on my foreigner ID, is a failure in one respect and a total win in the "random adventure" category.


After failing to obtain my ID from the hotel I'm sure I left it at, I go to the beach for people watching and evening sun. I also happen to find 3 Korean rasta-reggaes spinning records on the walkway. I seat myself near them to observe and listen...a kitemaker is showcasing his wares with a tiny dot in the sky.

- I befriend the reggaes
- I am offered a new phone in exchange for English lessons. Let's call it "gangster phone"
- I go hiking with and am dubbed girlfriend by a tattoo artist and his friends.
- I have an interesting night out with Koreans...kind of the first time for a Korean night-on-the-town.


- I give my boss a month's notice...she asks for two.
- I consider taking back the notice and staying for the duration of my contract after a major issue to be dealt with turns out to be virtually unsolvable, regardless of the country I'm in.

That brings us up to date. Basically. Stay? Go? Any input? Lately I've been feeling that my life is a series of short stories that have no common link aside from the fact that I'm a central character. Korea has pushed these stories further into the realm of surreality than I'd forseen. Someday, Someday maybe you'll read them.