Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bang


I'm functioning at a very low-level since returning to Seoul from Canada this past Sunday night. Jet-lag has gotten the best of me, I'm afraid. I'm all blank stares and inexplicable word choices so far.

I suppose this is all the result of rushing into my summer camp, running that for 6 days a week, heading to Canada the next day, and then teaching the day after I return to Korea. My body is saying no - as did the subway door this evening after Korean class. While walking to another car (likely due to the fact that I was wearing my baseball hat and couldn't see what was slightly above my apologetic tall-person's line of vision), I rammed my head into the door frame so hard that I knocked myself right onto my ass in the middle of a crowded subway. I was so tired that I started laughing, picked myself up and kept going.

Got a sizable bump on my head now. Oh, well.

Anyway, gotta get to sleep. There's work to be done.

Oh, and I got engaged, which is certainly the biggest and best news to come out of my trip home, and it's obvious news to most people who will ever read this blog, as those people are the ones I mostly saw this past visit.

I've kind of made it a policy for myself to not comment on relationships through this medium. I've been public enough about the engagement through facebook, and while it might be easy for others (and me) to be critical about that choice in theory, in practice, it's kind of different. Heck - I'm all happy and stuff and kind of want to tell the world, so I told my little corner of it.

In short - taking my lady home to Canada for the first time was a lovely time, and through it, I confirmed the fact that I've found someone who, quite simply, makes me happy, and whom I want to make equally happy in return. I'm constantly amazed and grateful for the way this person sees the world, and changes the world around her in unquantifiable ways. And I know how fortunate I am that someone so kind and so real is willing to be with a schmuck like me. To quote an oft-quoted favourite: "when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." Can't think of a better reason.

And so there it is - likely not going to say much else about it here - outside of the odd comment here and there about the process of planning such a merger in Korea. That might be of some interest to those back home, or those planning something similar.

Anyway, it's going to be an interesting year. I'm going to need some sleep right now if I have any hope of getting ahead of all that's on its way. Staring now.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Back Home

...and as it's been the last two times I've come back to my hometown of Calgary, there's a lot to say about it, and all of the experiences and feelings that are part of the package.

This time it's different as I've brought a huge part of my Korean life with me to meet my family and my friends, so that in and of itself makes this trip, well... bigger, I suppose in a lot of ways. It's always tough to articulate what goes on in the ol' head and heart when one goes back home, but it's been a good trip.

So far:

Heritage Park
Lake Bonavista
Backyard BBQs
Dinners with Friends
Orchestral concert at the Jack Singer
Trip to Bragg Creek

...and a lot of hanging-out between the commitments that can't help but pop-up in a two week period. There is a tendency when I return home from abroad to essentially squeeze-in a year of living into 2 weeks - that's a year and all that goes with it.

It doesn't really work.

But, trying to iron out the rough spots and recognizing that it can't all be done. It's not to say that the stress of disappointing others is not a factor - because it is, but I can only do what I can do. Before I know it, I'll be heading home to my Dobong-gu apartment on an Incheon Airport bus, wondering how I'm going to get up for a week of teaching starting the next day. I don't want to rush things. If someone has a fool-proof plan of how to plan a stress-free vacation back home, please give me some clues.

Time is flying, and I've got one week still ahead of me - full of camping, mountains, friends, and family - but mostly family, and always my rabbit.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Humble Abode


Just about to head out to the airport, but first I'll have to say goodbye to Bodie, the sweet puppy. My friend, Johnny came back form a 2 week trip with a couple of friends biking to the southern coastal city of Busan - roughly 450 KM south of Seoul - but that being as the crow flies, not as the bike rides through one of the most mountainous regions in the world. It took the 3 of them 7 days to get down, and then Johnny 6 more to get back up. I hope to do the trip someday on my Brompton, though, with the smaller wheels, it will surely take longer. It's all about the journey, and I can certainly take the train back.

Anyway, Bodie (or "My Bodie Buddy", or "The Humble Abode") has been hanging-out with me for the last two weeks.

I'd imagine it's a struggle to own a dog in Seoul. Most dogs here are small for obvious reasons, though I'm not sure that apartment life is really good for any dog. Of course, you could make the same arguments about most pets, I suppose. We just don't have the time or the space for them, and sometimes they let us know my "communicating" their displeasure through chewing and pooping helter-skelter-like.

Bodie didn't eat anything truly valuable, but he did escalate while I was at work. Things that were thought to be safe from the day before, just became warnings of what would happen if I ever left him alone again (Bodie's a very affectionate dog).


So, I took to turning over my coffe table and leaning it up against my desk to prevent any chewing in the desk region. I turned my bookshelf around toward the wall, and I put pretty much everything away - except for the Christmas lights around my window, which Bodie eventually got to/

It's all good. So, I lived with Bodie smell for a couple of weeks. It's worth the trade-off. Bodie loves to snuggle cocooned in a blanket beside me at night, and he's a pretty decent sleeper. The apartment does feel warmer with the little guy here, and it'll feel empty with him gone. Thankfully, I'll be on my way to Calgary soon with another sweet puppy waiting for me there.

Dogs are okay.

Zzzzz...

Just finished packing. One more night with a sweet puppy before I head home for a good visit. Too sleepy for a proper update. 'Night.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"I'm tired... tired... I'm tired!"


I’m tired, and I don’t want to go on at length about it, as I know people with much more reason than I have to feel tired, but I could fill post after post with a handful of anecdotes relating to why I’m lacking energy these days.

In short, my school’s Summer English Camp and the way it always seems to unfold itself with maximum administrative awkwardness, weird student dynamics, and the fact that it all just goes on way too long. Camp kicks my ass. It came down to me returning to my apartment two days ago, sitting on my bed, staring at a wall for probably five minutes considering what my next move would be – knowing that I had another long day of extracurricular activity ahead of me and was already sorely lacking the required get-up-and-go.

So, after much deliberation, I decided to go the fridge. I opened the door to see an apple in one of the drawers. I then looked at the apple for about a minute, going over my options: If I didn’t eat the apple, I would be wanting energy in some other form in short order. If I on the other hand did decide to the eat the apple, that would have involved me opening the drawer, picking up the apple, carrying it to the sink, peeling it, cutting it, and then (ideally) eating it. But that would have required chewing.

So, I took a nap instead – fully intending to eat the apple when I awoke, which I did.

My days are full – and mostly in good ways, when I get away from that which makes me insane. But it’s been a trying month, and I am tired.

Last day of camp is tomorrow, and then a matinee of Toy Story 3, and then back home to pack, because there’s a lot of good on the horizon.

I’m going to eat apples and do my best to summon-up the energy needed for a proper update tomorrow.