Smalltown and I had a nice little evening last night. I ran out to meet him at the computer shop up the road and had a nice little chat with the two youngish guys inside, who ended up doing a lot of work on Smalltown's laptop and then refusing to take any money for it. After dinner, we went for coffee, and he came back to mine to show me a poem he's been working on, to look at some stuff I've been doing, and to generally hash it over. It's nice to have him back around in some real context, but his girlfriend is just genuinely not having it. I keep suggesting that maybe if she could just get to know me a little better, but Smalltown keeps insisting that she would absolutely refuse, and that it probably wouldn't help.
After he left, it took me about thirty minutes to fall asleep. At about 10 o'clock. Which is why it's now just before 4 am and I'm wide awake, drinking coffee, reading articles on linguistics and poems, and talking to the kid back home. Me and Smalltown are tentatively getting up to something today, although he has no idea what, and I kind of have an inkling (since it's still raining) to just stay in and make a genuine go of things with the new typewriter I managed to grab yesterday (thanks to Chris's excellent suggestion) when me, Whiskey and Smalltown made it out to the excellent Seoul Folk Flea Market.
I guess I'm doing poems again, which is why writing in this blog is suddenly not very easy. My structure is breaking down and fucked up, and moving in straight lines is a little difficult.
Uh. I'll just answer some questions then, and possibly try to get a bit more sleep before the day officially begins.
have you felt significantly healthier since first moving to korea?
I don't know how to answer this question, really. I was a vegetarian back in the States, and I've never been much one for loads of junk food -- I don't really care for sweet things. Since being in Korea, I pretty much only eat Korean food, which is what it is -- healthier in some respects, but also salty and full of white rice, plus things like samgyeopsal, which I don't think anyone can make a fair argument for. I've lost a fucking ton of weight, which has got to mean something, although at times it hasn't been because of me being particularly "healthy". But also, my job went from being based around me sitting down with students to moving around nonstop trying to keep the interest of 30-4o teenage boys for 45 minutes at a time. I don't know.
What is your favourite part about being a teacher in Korea?
Isn't it obvious? The students. Hanging out with them. Hearing everything they have to say. Getting to know all their different personalities. Watching them interact. Having the chance to generally behave like a teenage boy for most of every day and get paid for it. They are Korea for me. And we all know how much I love Korea.
Which program did you do at Glasgow? What kind of grades did you apply with? I want to study there but from what I've read it's really competitive like Edinburgh.
Haha. I'm not really sure where this one came from. Possibly because I reference Glasgow so much. But I never studied or lived in Glasgow -- I've only visited. My best friend from high school, however, is doing her grad program there now, and did a bit of her undergrad as well. And I have a lot of friends there as a result of this. She will be able to answer this question, but I can't. Steph?
Hey, pal! Pray tell, do you keep in touch with ole' Boxochocolates? She vanished and inquiring minds are inquiring. Gracias, .38
I'm afraid I don't actually, no. We never really connected, one on one. She was pretty cool though. Good luck finding her. I wonder if she got the ban, as well?
Having mentioned before that 'cute' is not at all you, will you ever call someone 'oppa'? Assuming it'll mean a lot to him and he means a lot to you.
If I ever call someone oppah, it will not be in "cute" way. I have no motivation to appeal to that side of anyone's desire. They can just find that somewhere else. Even if it means everything in the world to them. If I do call someone oppah, it will be because I genuinely see them in the position of a kind of older brother in my life. Which is quite rare. To me, it's a serious term. I like the Korean family structure that extends throughout -- it's a really appealing part of the culture for me, and I have no desire to make a joke of it. I also have no desire to put my relationship with someone in terms that place me in an endearing younger sister position to him.
I've taken to calling older Korean males, who I don't feel comfortable calling by their first name, "hyeong", after some amount of discussion about my discomfort with the term "oppah". At first, some of them find it really hilarious, but come around to it. And some even make the suggestion first themselves. "Hyeong" has the same sexless connotation as "unni", and is more comfortable to me because of that. It's not that I have a problem kind of looking up to someone -- it's that I have a problem with men getting off on that. When you change to "hyeong", although it's a little awkward at first, it feels like the relationship doesn't take on the jokey, cutesy quality that happens with "oppah", but shifts instead to a more (to me) kind of endearing, genuinely platonic nature. Which I prefer.