Monday, August 21, 2006

Note to self: stick to the right!

It took me ten months to get used to walking on the left side of the sidewalk in Korea. I'm all messed up! At least no one drives a motorcycle straight at me in these parts.

There are so many cultures all together in this one city. It's a beautiful thing. Despite that and for some reason I felt unusually nervous on the subway this morning. Until I was standing on the platform at Bloor heading West with Koreans on either side of me. I badly wanted to say something but couldn't think of anything that wouldn't be lame.

Speaking of Koreans, they're everywhere! I saw a girl on the subway wearing a "Come, Let's Walk With Vigorous Strides!" t-shirt. Do you think they sold that one in Canada too? I somehow doubt it. I hope I didn't throw mine out during my closet purge. I also saw a guy wearing a red soccer bracelet and I wanted to cheer at him. And then there was a guy wearing the Korean team jersey.

I went to check out my department and meet with a professor who reminded me of what school is like and made me almost miss teaching five year olds. Then I chatted with a current grad student (who is Korean) and she made me excited, despite her warnings of how hard it will be. I still feel like I've managed to slip in. Hopefully I don't slip out.

We had a welcome home barbecue last night and my mother and I did a lot of preparation for it. She laughed when I couldn't remember where the saran wrap was stored in our kitchen. I laughed when I easily remembered where other things are stored. You should see the collection of postcards on my parents' fridge.

I saw some friends last night that I haven't seen, including one who also spent a year abroad and who also came home with a piercing. Another friend of ours did the same. I am unoriginal. What makes people go abroad and come back pierced? Maybe so we can say "Thailand" or something when someone asks where we got it done. Maybe to reflect the internal changes we felt, or wanted to feel.

I had a crush on the salesman who sold me my guitar (I got a guitar) and the salesman who sold me my cell phone (I got a cellphone). They both spoke English flawlessly.

I saw my apartment that my friend found for us. We're moving in next week. My attic room is big enough for a game of ball hockey, if only I played ball hockey.

I went to a bar the other day and saw half my highschool, it seemed. Including one who was close at one point and then not anymore. He introduced me to his girlfriend. "We were friends in highschool," I said. "This was THE friend in highschool," he corrected me, and I was flattered. We made plans for today that I broke. I felt smug and cool with my year, my Thai tan, and my pierce. Unoriginal.


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