I can’t beleive that it’s June 1st. Whereas the first three months of my life in South Korea seemed to drag on forever, the last four or five months have sped by… I can’t decide which is better. Things have certainly worked out — almost perfectly — since I left my job at ____’s, as I’m now much happier and am seeing much more of this country than I would be were I still at ____’s. I’m also making more money, which is never a bad thing. I do have a bit of regret about leaving ____’s the way I did, which is inevitable, although I tell myself that everything that’s happened since is in some way a result of the way and the time that I left ____’s… were I to have stayed and gotten a release letter I might be getting ready to go to another full-time hogwan job right now, and that would be just unfortunate.
About two or three weeks ago I had a dream that there was a fire at ____’s — the new foreign teacher was killed, as were several of the students. Mr. ___ was in lots of trouble because something he had done or overlooked had indirectly caused the fire. I remember saying to someone (Becky, perhaps): “If I hadn’t left that school, I’d be dead right now.”
I finally found a place to live, after what often seemed like an endless and futile search. I’ll be moving to a smaller room in a three bedroom apartment that’s about a fifteen minute walk from my current residence — I now live in Yongsan-dong, I’ll be moving to Itaewon-dong. It’s a much nicer area, with several good grocery stores and Korean restaurants within walking distance, and is also much less ghetto-ish than my current neighborhood. I’ll be living with two Canadian teachers, the one I met is named Mat (with one t) — a twenty-nine year old who (like me) is a music and internet-phile, I think we’ll get along right well. The apartment is smaller, but much cleaner, and has great windows and access to a huge roof. I reckon it’ll be a fine place to spend the next five months.
So now all that’s left for me to do is move, and then my two big anxieties for the last three weeks will be effectively quashed — finding a place to live, and finding an airline ticket to NYC. Done and done. Now what do I worry about?
Beyond that, I didn’t do much this weekend. I find that I’m fairly comfortable being by myself here, although I spend far too much time on the internet. My current, and recent, excuse has been that going out costs money, and I need to save money here — both for NYC and for my debt. I really should be seeing more of Seoul, though — I often make plans to sightsee that never come to fruition. First on my list is the DMZ tour, which I plan to do once I return from NYC. I must settle first, then I can shake again.
My housemate Dan, his girlfriend Mee-He, and me at the Seoul Classified party on Tuesday night.
Daily Reason To Dispatch Bush. (McSweeney’s)
US intelligence fears Iran duped hawks into Iraq war (Guardian UK)
Abuse of Captives More Widespread, Says Army Survey (NY Times)
Our Darkest Days Are Here (Andy Rooney — CBS News)
“I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture. . . We are leading this fight by example.”
-George W. Bush, June 2003
Today is Buddha’s birthday, a national holiday in South Korea and many other countries with a large Buddhist population. To me this means that I have no school, and that I should have attended the lantern festival that took place last Sunday night but which I didn’t know about until today.
Last night we celebrated in true Buddhist fashion, by getting ridiculously drunk on free booze at the Seoul Classified‘s 6th birthday party. If it wasn’t for the free booze, the party would have been really lame and unattended. As it was, however, it was rather well attended and enjoyable in a blurry/socially slippery way. There was also free food, catered by a local Indian restaurant, but there was a long line and the plates were very small so I never really had enough to eat… this may have had something to do with my ease of intoxication.
After the party some some people came back to our apartment for an afterhours party, bits and pieces of which I remember — drinking wine, eating noodles with Mee-He, burning my Thailand candle, going to the store for more wine, and getting a splinter in my hand that I desperately need to remove today.
In other news, I finally got a plane ticket to NYC. So, I shall be returning to America for one week at the end of June for glee and yucks, and mostly to see Becky. Now, if anyone wants to see me, you know where I’ll be from June 23rd to the 29th — Manhattan. It will certainly be strange to be in city full of big white people after spending so much time in a country full of small yellow people.