Sinchon, Sex wagers and Staring.

Today we went to Sinchon and had yet another really good Saturday. Last night kind of sucked, but only because Mike accidentally bought really expensive toilet paper instead of paper towels and decided to sulk about it for the entire evening. Plus Anthony Bourdain's Christmas special was a pretty big letdown. And we ate crappy sandwiches again, which is getting old.

Anyway. Sinchon. I'm a massive failure at remembering to bring my camera places, but it kind of all looks the same as far as where we end up on most weekend evenings anyway. We found a little record store. I mean music store. There was a section actually labeled "Black Music", which I had a mild conniption fit over. I found a Wedding Present album and had money to buy it. Life is good.

After, we got coffee and sat facing a window, talking about our respective writing situations. Mike is working on a collection of Biblical recreations which I think are simply genius. Me.... well. I'm doing fuck all, as usual. Mike says I should try non-fiction for a while, and I think he's right. I've been toying with non-fiction for about a year now, but I haven't gotten down to any kind of serious business.

We also talked about different ideas for where I could take my vacation. I told him Paris just kind of seems a little boring, and more than a little predictable. I would love to go to Thailand, but I don't think now is the best time, for obvious reasons. I dunno, I dunno. I need to make up my mind this weekend, though.

Last night we made a little 20,000 won wager, which is the first actual bet I've ever placed in my life. It involves Mr. Kwan, because he's an easy target. Today we worked out what I think is a relatively decent plan for how we will settle our bet, to be deployed next weekend. I'll let you know how that comes.

Tomorrow Mike's coming over and I'm going to attempt to cook something else out of my Korean cookbook. I don't know what yet. But I have a shit-ton of fresh ingredients left over from the stew that I need to use before they go bad.

Mr. Kwan is a moron sometimes, and while he was carrying on yet again about me learning to cook, he suggested kimchi chicken (which just so happens to be his favorite dish). I told him chicken still scares me, because the entire time I was living on my own, I was vegetarian, and therefore have never learned how to properly carve a chicken. He then suggested I ask someone at the store to do it for me. When I gave him a sheepish look in reply, he got the biggest light bulb over his head, and said, "Oh! You don't speak Korean!" Like it was a fucking epiphany. No shit, Mr. Kwan. It was like he suddenly realized, for the first time, how complicated little daily things can be for me. He has now vowed to teach me at least one essential sentence in Korean every day. I'll eat my hat if that actually happens.

My mothers class, on the other hand, have been shockingly quick on the uptake. I think it's because they are mothers, and they know that they are the same age as my mother. On Friday, the all started fussing about me and how hard things must be for me here. It was really sweet. I told them the hardest part is essentially over, and every day every little thing gets a little easier, especially as I slowly pick up more and more and Korean. Nonetheless, they've insisted on taking me to see my first movie in Korea, and I was handed several email addresses and phone numbers and instructed vehemently to use them whenever I have any questions or hard times.

I am interested in getting to know them more than any other group of people I've met here so far. Almost everything they say is interesting and insightful. And I am desperately in need of some form of female companionship. Everyone knows I love boys and everything about them, but all boy students, plus hanging out with the male coworkers, plus having my only fellow expat friend be male -- well. It's a little much.

Anything else interesting to report? Well. Not really. Other than I sort of got mobbed by a group of high school/college age looking boys on my way to the subway today. One saw me coming from a mile off and called the others over. They stood directly in my path staring as I approached. When I got close, they started shoving each other and arguing over who would say something. The thought crossed my mind to simply say, "Annyeonghaseyo", as I passed, but I was in a hurry and didn't feel like the usual nonsense. A lot of that has decreased as the people in my neighborhood have gotten used to having me around. There's still the occasional small child screaming, "Umma! Waegookin!" as I pass, but it's a lot less than it was before. Or maybe I've just gotten used to it.

Mike pointed out tonight that I get stared at a lot more than he does. I think there are more than a few reasons for that. It doesn't bother me as much as I would think it would. Only when the old men get about two centimeters from my face and glare do I get annoyed. I think the random people striking up conversations is kind of nice. And as for the legions of gorgeous men in Seoul, well. They can stare at me anytime they'd like. And for whatever reason.

Sorry. It had to be said eventually.

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