07 September 2011
The Obligatory Update
The first is of the newly-built train station in my parents' temporary home, Toegyewon. I guess, then, one could surmise that this blog was borne out of a lie, but it's close enough and anyway, Bowie never wrote any songs with titles ending in -oegyewon. Slightly east of Seoul, if you catch the train on time, you'll be in some attractive parts of the metropolis in thirty minutes or less. Sunsets are always beautiful pretty much anywhere in Korea but I'm afraid to report that that's just about all there is to report on Toegyewon. It's a quiet town resistant to civic development, save for the few very new high rises on the edge of the city. Two main roads, one nice, hikeable mountain, too many uniform-clad youths, and really no great restaurants in sight (tragedy). Luckily, my mom is a great cook.
Much evidenced by the flash kimchi-making session that sprouted on my second night in Korea. Instead of taking the easy way out by using pepper paste, or more forgiveably, using store-bought pepper flakes with home-made rice paste, my mom bought sun-dried hot peppers and ground up the paste herself. And still had the kimchi done in under an hour. The lady means business.
I have ventured out to Seoul a couple of times to see Dyana, who even in Korea does her best to represent the California spirit (exhibit A: Third Eye Blind shirt that serves the dual purpose of advocating non-Kpop crap music and a love for the Golden State). It's been too hot to really do anything energetic the last week, but the weather is rapidly cooling and you can feel the relief of autumn coming.
Really, most of my time has been spent at or around home. I feel like a tweaky cat getting used to a new environment. There has been diligent completion of schoolwork, posting of tutoring advertisements, and a newly-found meticulousness in studying Korean. Hopefully by the time I leave, I'll be able to read and write in the language I've known since the womb. I've got both numerical counts down, which led me to realize in surprise that my dad will be turning 60 next year, a cultural milestone that merits an all-out celebration. My, how time flies.
Pumped up by the red ginseng extract that just refuses to not taste like cold cum in a bag, I'm off to the mountains, then a meeting with my first prospective student before the weekend, when there will be relatives/holiday observances and a three-day cram tutoring sesh with a family acquaintance. Good weekend, everyone.