On American [no longer] In Korea
I've been on hiatus for a while now for the usual reason- I started getting laid again. A lot, actually. There's more to it than that, but right now I'm getting ready for 10 days in Laos and not much else is on my mind.
I'm approaching the 6 month mark of being in the Korean countryside, and it's not that bad. The food has less variety, but its overall much higher quality and much cheaper than what you'd get in a city. People are friendlier and more casual. In the last 3 months I've gone to Seoul, Daejeon, Busan, or Daegu more weekends than not, and I like it out here in the shit farms more than I do out there. It turns out that everything I thought I'd miss about a big city actually isn't important at all. Korean behavior in the subways is an atrocity, and my exposure to Korean middle-aged men has been vastly reduced out here. What little interaction I do have with the natives is amiable, even friendly at times.
Okay, I do miss the white people, but not enough to miss the same bars every weekend, no matter where you go, it's all the same. The bars are the same, the conversations are the same, and if the people aren't, they will become the same. After one year, expat life becomes so...stale.
Case in point: I met a girl who's been in Seoul for 3 years. In her first year, she went out all the time. Put on enough pounds to catch up to the rest of the expat women, and had 20-25 one night stands with the native population. That's pretty fucking boss.
Year 2, she meets a charming Korean boy, he turns out to be just as sexually dissatisfying as the couple dozen before him, and musters up enough self-respect to dump him after a year.
On On the Side of the Good
AHHH. We made it. We made it through the Fa-la-la-la-la. We made it through the Turkeys and Hams. We made it through the bows, and the jingles, and the lights up the tree. We even passed around a fruitcake. We did it. And it was grand. And as we turn the page on this chapter, even more exciting to me is the blank one staring us in the face.
A fresh, clean start awaits us. Possibility and hope are at our door! We can choose to refocus our effort in Seeking the Good in ourselves and one another. My kids never understand why we have to clean our house for the New Year. I guess metaphorically and physically I have a need to sweep away last year’s “dirt” and buff the scuffs in the floor.
I like reset buttons. I like being given a new starting line. I get energized in knowing we get to wipe the slate clean and start anew. And those who make resolutions, whether they live up to them or not, are caught up in the spirit of enrichment. I do believe we need the blast of fireworks or a date on a calendar to wake and shake us up to refocus.
Set an intention. What is your one word for the New Year? How will that word serve you? This time last year my word was LIGHT. I wanted to feel LIGHTer, I wanted to be LIGHT-hearted, I wanted to live in LIGHT and not in the darkness of chronic illness. I wanted to BE a LIGHT for those in my circle.
And that word has served me and followed me all year. It’s been written on a chalkboard in my kitchen to remind me everyday of this year to illuminate a new path. It embodied my year. And it followed me to my birthday when I lit Chinese lanterns full of wishes. And to cap off a year of illuminating a new path, I will head to the City of Light later this week. My heart is full of joy and excitement.