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Showing posts from June, 2011

Random Things

Korea seems to be a BYOT: Bring Your Own Towel kind of place.

Many people have random English sayings scrawled on their tee-shirts. Things like: Shooting Sparkling Star or Fashion Makes You or Thirteen.

Men wear capris here.

Women wear high heels. The more sparkles and spangles on them, the better.

Koreans love children.

Everyone carries an umbrella, rain or shine.

The subway system is blessedly easy to navigate. All the stops are numbered. Even the exits/entrances are numbered.

The grocery store is in the basement of the department store. Upstairs Clinique and Lancome. Downstairs octopus and watermelon.

Paper towels in public bathrooms come with hearts embossed on them.

Toilet paper has pink teddy bears printed on it.

Stone Guardians

Shouldn't all houses come with their own stone mascot?

Imagine if you put this little fellow on a leash and took him for a walk around the neighborhood. Everyone would be wanting one. Keeping up with the Joneses would have quite a different meaning.

If you looked out your kitchen window to see him on guard duty, would you sleep more soundly? Or less?

No shedding, for sure, but the vet bills might send you into apoplexy.

Take care

The email ended with, "I see we are expecting a typhoon. It is a little earlier this year than last. Take care."

Instead of taking care, they took a taxi to church. They listened to a vehement Korean reverend sprinkle his sermon with bits of English. It reminds her of a Far Side cartoon where a dog listens to her owner speak: "Blah blah blah blah, Ginger, blah, blah, blah." Except here it was "Pojanmacha beondaegi pajeon dabotap What the Lord wills seokguram bulguk-sa shupojirisan cheonghakdong."

Strangely enough, it works for her.

They are a two-religion family, so there is still more church to come. They mapquest the next church, then they proceed to wander the streets. They ask a motorcyclist-delivery guy [side note: McDonald's has motorcyclist delivery guys here; this one wasn't a McD's guy, though] for directions. He gives them very precise directions--in Korean. They try to follow along, but after several blocks of wandering through a bi…

Day One and Day .45

The first surprise was the packet of honey-roasted peanuts she got on the plane. You're not in Kansas, anymore, Toto. Peanuts. Peanuts and pineapple juice. Usually she has pretzels and tonic water with lime.  No fat-free tasteless pretzels that stick in her teeth for Korean Air. Peanuts! She eats the peanuts with relish, wishing for the days when no one was allergic to peanuts, as they are the perfect airplane food. She wouldn't normally have gotten pineapple juice, but she's sitting next to the youngest gingerbread boy who loves pineapple juice, and it's easier to simply say, "Two, please."
The second surprise was the packet of toys the flight attendant gave to her gingerbread boys. One got a drawstring bag with a magnetic doodle pad in it, and the other a stuffed tiger and a blanket. Just because. Koreans love children. 
After that, not much was a surprise. The flight was long. The flight was uncomfortable. The flight made her sick.
Supper was a choice of bibi…

The Leaving

When you were about ten, you started practicing. Off to camp for a week. Good-bye.

When you were thirteen, you practiced some more. Off to England for a summer. Good-bye.

When you came back, you started a new life at a new school, where you knew only three people: two girls who lived on your street and one girl from your grammar school. Good-bye grammar school people.

When you started college, you did the same thing. Good-bye high school friends.

You went to Italy for a semester. More practicing. Good-bye family. But you came back. Hello, again.

Then you transferred to a new university across the country. Good-bye again.

Then you came back for good. Good-bye college friends.

But then you got engaged and moved across the state to be closer to your love.

After a few months, you married. Good-bye maiden name. Hello, anonymous Johnson.

And you moved. Good-bye in-laws.

Then you moved again. Good-bye icky little town.

And again. Good-bye grad school. Hello hometown.

But then the job was sol…

A Quick Run

You don your running shoes, and head out the door. Your ipod shuffle is full of sleeping music, and you can't get it to change playlists, but you can't bear the thought of running to Claire de Lune or Enya, so you go old-school with only the music of birds twittering and your feet slapping the pavement. At the end of the driveway, you turn left, because then you'll head down that major hill at the beginning of the run, instead of up it at the end. Right now, you know if you switch directions, you'll never make it back home, let alone any serious distance. Hah. Who are you kidding? You never do any serious distance. In fact, there was a time when you couldn't run to the end of the street without gasping. Well. Now you can. Still, the loop you run is maybe a mile. Whatever. Down you go tonight.

The sun will set soon, and the mosquitoes will come to dine, but for now, it's just you and the road and your head full of thoughts. You pass the house on the corner that&…