Friday, 14 November 2008

The End of an Era

It is my last night in Korea. Well, it is my last night in Korea relative to the experience of living here, which leads me to think about the definition of home; first, though, let's talk about the day.
I spent the first part of it with my friend/violin teacher socializing and identifying key flaws in my self-perception, which I freely acknowledge but may fail to deal with. Then I went to work to see people and, having nothing better to do, settled in to make some vocabulary lists and advance my intensive course proposal from the winter. Dork-tastic. Voluntary labor on my last free day in Korea. I stuck around so I could see my students and forbade the one heading towards an eating disorder from getting skinny; I even forced her to acknowledge and consume a miniature peanut butter cup. After work we all went out drinking. It was pretty entertaining. The most reserved of the staff pulled up his shirt to reveal a mighty tattoo of a dragonfly on his torso, I was egged into directly challenging my replacement, and I harangued one of the more adorable members of the Korean staff (who, incidentally, said I sound really educated).
The replacement apparently indicated that he was considering, with his English literature degree, among other things, getting a Ph.D. in Philosophy. Granted, this can't be serious because he is, beyond a doubt, too stupid to achieve any greatness in any field (unless Jackassery is a discipline that has developed since I left college). I was more than pleased to start throwing out words and phrases because I spent my vacation with a philosopher and am confident I could crush said replacement with my mind even without the added help of being able to abuse philosophy jargon to highlight his ignorance. The opportunity never arose. The coworkers began inviting me to speak, prodding me to start fucking with my replacement, and I explained that "the flower must bloom; I cannot force the bud to open," and raised a toast of soju, infamy of liquid infamies, to "horticulture". I hope that my ability to bring laughter made up for my failure to crush my coworker with my mind in an overt and public way.
It's late. I will pursue the idea of 'home' another time.
Dear America,
I'm coming home. Or returning to some close approximation.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

In the Tank in Singapore

I'm wearing blue today and tracking the elections from my friend's office in Singapore.

Singapore feels much more multicultural and integrated than anywhere else I've been.

In quieter moments I find myself staring down a path of worries about my future -a job, a place to live, what to do with the cat, reconnecting with people.

Things to look forward to: Thanksgiving, baking, vegetating with friends and loved ones, being near my books, sweaters, cooking, fighting zombies, & snow.

If you have a final request for items from Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea or the Narita Airport in Japan please send me a note so I can acquire them. There are 5 airports and 1.5 weeks between me and home.