Feb 17, 2010

Chapter Twenty-Three: The End

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes...again

My year in Korea has come and gone.  This will be the last blog entry so I hope you enjoyed reading about my impressions and experiences in Seoul.  Skip to the end if you want to see how follow in the future.

Korea is a country with both feet set firmly in the past, with eyes stretching towards the future, but with absolutely no thoughts about the present. What does living in a place like Korea do to your psyche?  My expectations have changed quite a bit in the last twelve months.  Here is what the last year has done to my thoughts.

I think that if I can't get my way, the solution is to make whiny noises until people give in.

I think coffee should cost twice as much as beer.

I think garlic bread and pasta sauce should always have sugar on it.

I think a bag of chips should be opened sideways.

Everytime someone says "That's very hot," I think "Hot. Hot.  That's very hot."

I also expect them to connect two objects not with a straight line but with the craziest squiggly line ever.

I think I need to apologize profusely if I want to leave the bars or clubs before 5 am.

I think that even with my windows closed, there is always an abnormal amount of dust that accrues in my apartment.

I think the mop/broom combination thing I have is inadequate to deal with said dust.

I think that, no matter where I'm eating, it's a good idea for the food to be served with sweet pickles.

No matter what the time of year is, I think bars should be simultaneously decorated for Xmas and Halloween.

I think it's okay to get one plastic bag even when I buy a month's worth of groceries.

I think I'm in a really fancy restaurant if our group gets more than one menu and we are allowed to keep it during our whole time there.

I think it's normal for korean kids to start chanting "ole," but, like them, I think it's spelled "olleh!" (hello backwards).

No matter where I am in the city, if the nearest 7-11 is more than 3 minutes away I think it's a major inconvenience.

I think it's perfectly normal for businessmen in otherwise formal attire to wear a snoopy or teddy bear sweater.

I think "panties" is a unisex word.

I think it's just a normal day when I see dozens of people on the subway and on the streets carrying cakes.

I think that when you go hiking, you shouldn't take food, maps, a compass, or even water.  If there aren't vending machines somewhere near the top of mountain, there will be a restaurant on the way.

I think that no matter where I am, there will be excerise equipment available.

I think my knowledge of grammar looks like this: "Subject is verb."  (Rex is run.  Teacher is cry?  James is no finish.)

I think wooden chopsticks seem clumsy, large and bulky.

I think it's normal even during drastic crayon shortages for there always to be too many peach.

I think I should be able to take a 20 minute walk, and see a dozen Paris Baguettes, Duncan Donuts, 7-11's, or Noraebongs, but if I see one garbage can I am truly surprised

I think every dinner table should have scissors and a roll of toilet paper.

I think any apartment big enough to fit more than two-three people is massive.

I think old women have the right to push me if I am in any way standing in their way.  Or even if I'm not.

If someone isn't standing as close as humanly possible to the person in front of them, I think it's okay to step in that space.

I think you can just bre
ak up words in English whenever you wa
nt to.

This blog is ending, but the journey is just getting started.  Future travels include hikes in Himalayas and the Pacific Northwest, a few months in SE Asia, and perhaps a visit to New Zealand before teaching again in Japan or Taiwan.

After two months in Nepal, I will meet Rachel in Bangkok and it will kick off.  Follow our adventures here: http://arewethereyeti.wordpress.com/


Garrett Calcaterra said...

Looking forward to reading about the new adventures, and maybe even taking part in some of them when you get back to the US.

Racharoo said...

The peach crayon surplus never fails to blow my mind.

My only addition:

Whenever I hear 'Fur Elise', I think someone must be messing with the subway gate.

Ahimsa said...

Hell yeah, Garrett. I should have mentioned our epic west coast road trip. Have you ever camped at Boont Brewery? That might be fun.

Ahimsa said...

Oh, "Fur Elise" is a good one. Such a nice song to have in the subway.

Garrett Calcaterra said...

Boont Brewery is on to-do list as it turns out.