Monday, September 15, 2008

Random Happenings

Here are just a few random things that have been happening in my life lately...

Last weekend I went to the Hongdae/Edae area of Seoul to do some shopping. As I was heading back to my apartment I ran into Sam, which was definitely unexpected. Sam and I went to university together back in Mississippi...I knew he had come to Seoul to teach ESL but I didn't think we'd ever bump into each other in the subway. So we chatted for a few minutes and then parted ways.

Later that evening, I managed to clumsily drop my cell phone down the elevator shaft from the fifth floor of my building. I felt very stupid and embarrassed. With the help of some korean speaking friends we managed to get the maintenance people at the building to retrieve my phone a few days later. Fortunately, my phone survived the fall with only a few scars!

It's Chuseok in Korea which means a long weekend for foreigners and family time for the rest of the country. Since China and Japan weren't an option any longer, I decided to hang out at COEX on Saturday. Sun and I went to see Mamma Mia! and ate dinner at On The Border (delicious by the way). On Sunday, I went to go see Gyungbukgung Palace and to Itaewon to eat supper.

I also think I might have a stalker. The situation is odd and a little creepy. Friday evening, after work, I saw a man standing/walking down the hallway torwards my place. Later that evening, I left to get something to eat and nearly jumped out of my skin and gasped. I saw the same man standing outside my door near the window that faces the street. Immediately he spoke IN English and says, "Sorry. So Sorry." I just shook it off and walked to the elevator. He followed me, stood to my left and then he kinda chuckled, but didn't say much more. We both got on the elevator and rode down to the first floor. The next time I saw him was on Saturday, right before I met up with Sun. I left my room and he was walking down the hallway towards me. As we were waiting at the elevator he started laughing, looked at me and asked in broken English, "You go meet your friend?"

I kinda nodded and said yeah at the same time, obviously creeped out. I wondered how and why this guy would ask me this question. (Later I realized that Sun had called me right before I had left my apartment...Was it possible he was outside my door again, listening to my conversation?) So we got on the elevator....and went up instead of going down. I realized neither one of us pushed the 1 button so I quickly pressed it. After getting off of the elevator first I turn to the left and he tells me to have a good time.

Strange or have I let myself get a little paranoid?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's never too late.

Surprisingly, the dinner I made tonight was somewhat tasty. The last time I attempted a fried rice dish, the rice turned into a mush and it didn't have much flavor.

Over the past month, I have been working out with my personal trainer for four days a week. It usually consists of running, an ab workout and a body workout. I'm pleased with the results so far and can't wait until I reach my goal. Lately, I've been on this push to be physically stronger as well as mentally stronger. In the end, I would like to be able to run a marathon.

My place of employment has undergone some changes. The Seocho branch has been remodeled and it looks much better (plus I have a spacious room--pictures soon). There are also a number of new teachers. It's odd to be grouped in with the "veterans." Unfortunately, there aren't too many of us left... Marie has left, due to unexpected circumstances back in the well as a number of others. The atmosphere at work is different now, but I can't determine if it is good or bad.

I have picked up a "private" and will be teaching the Vice-President of Sony in Korea on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning. This will be a one-on-one lesson (conversation based) which is much different from what I'm use to... Sessions start next week and I'm pretty excited about them.

My birthday came quietly and it also ended quietly. Although this past weekend I managed to have a good ole time out at the clubs and bars in Seoul. For my birthday dinner I ate a laid-back meal with a friend in Gangnam and one of my students gave me a small turtle figurine which I named Sprinkles.

Currently, I'm on a mission to try and get my visa for China. I would like to go to Beijing for a few days for the upcoming Korean holiday. Hopefully I will succeed and see the Great Wall within the next few weeks.

The mistakes I've made are my past. The aftermath of the mistakes are my present. The strength gained is my future. There are moments where I have flashes of my past. Quick, ephemeral clips of my life. They remind me of situations and of a self I don't wish to see again. My moments of desperation, my moments of loss, my moments of confusion, instability and chaos....all return to haunt me unexpectedly. I am dealing with these intangible photographs of my mind...learning how to grow and how to change into the person I desire to become.

That "one-fine day" is drawing nearer with each sunrise and setting of the sun.

I look at strangers on the subway, on the uneven sidewalks of Seoul, and discover the same thing in each face, in each pair of eyes. We all long for the same thing. Understanding. Love. Inner Peace. There are too many of us searching for things that shouldn't have to be sought after and that is unfortunate.