Saturday, November 19, 2011

After the Fallout, Fallen, I Fall for you...

I have a $500 job for Daesan Foundation (screening some translated fiction) that I need to finish. so it was quickly up to the Hyatt to spend 40 bucks on a green tea, coffee, and apple-crumble and then a walk over the hill to work. There is still a substantial amount of Fall in the air, and I had to stop and take a picture when I spotted an ajjumah who had dressed to accoutre the trees.

Then, as "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" came into the earbugs, I turned the corner on the Dongguk Tomb (of the unknown student?), where I stopped for a melancholy meditation on mortality.

But it got a bit cold, so I moved on (LOL - the earth is, as Sydney Smith once said, a coarse enough place).

Now, with Elton John (flashback!) pumping on the speakers, I'm trying to do some work.

Sort of failing.^^

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fall has Fallen - Shots from Namsan...

R I Famous Y3t?

LOL - just won 2nd or 3rd place (depending on whether or not the list is in alphabetical order) in the LTI Korea "Korean Literature English Essay Contest." The essay was on Kang Yong-sook's Brown Tears (despite what the page says), a really great story. LTI Korea doesn't allow deep linking, but the page looks like this:

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Down in Anseong in Fall

On a bus at 9AM on a rainy Saturday. The bus is sparsely populated with my students and a few professors, and heated to “boiler room of Hell” levels, a mode the interior of anything in Korea is switched to the minute the temperature drops below 20. We are headed to somewhere called Anseong (I think) In Gyeonggni-do for a series of career seminars for our students. I am along in some kind of show of foreigner solidarity, my foreigner counterpart having buggered off to parts unknown.

At least we are on a bus – leaving Seoul on a Saturday morning can be fraught for the individual automobile and as we passed over the might Han (a thing I never get tired of) the automobile traffic clotted like blood in my aorta. I have a kind of upset stomach as the lovely wife shifted last night’s dinner away from a healthy stew to a pepperoni pizza. She was very hungry, I guess, as when she landed home with the pizza and I left the bedroom to say ‘hello’ she hadn’t even taken the string off the pizza box but was already down to the crust of the two pieces of white-bread she had stuffed into her mouth as soon as she got home!

Anyway, one of the bad (are there good?) things about oldage is food that I like now routinely upsets my stomach, and pepperoni is on that list.

Let’s just say that it’s fortunate I have a row to myself, and leave it at that.

And we got kind of trapped on the freeway... so I snapped this lovely picture of a traffic sign to my old hometown, Daejeon.

Yeah, it was exciting.

But we did get there, and even though the outside looked like Shawshank Prison, the inside was pretty nice, and it was a free room with a TV.^^

One of the features on the inside was that all the coin-operated stuff was free. This caused me some confusion on Sunday morning, as I tried to find a coffee vending machine that would accept my money. Eventually, I figured it out and enjoyed a deliciously bitter coffee. Here are a couple of students enjoying the vibrating chairs:

While the kiddies were in their career-planning sessions I took the opportunity to sneak out and take a walk, since in this part of the country it was in full autumn and the trees were going completely insane.

Then, of course, because I work at a Korean university it was time for a quick, small dinner, followed by an epic drinking session with beer, soju and makkeoli (some slight anju as well). The students were still going strong, drinking with abandon, at midnight, when I decided to go to sleep. I told everyone present that I would miss breakfast the next morning in order to sleep in, but that didn't stop each individual student and professor from knocking on my door in the morning (beginning at 7 AM) and asking if I was coming down for breakfast.

I stayed inside.

Some of the students were also feeling it.

The kids had to go in to get some more (hungover) career counseling and I took another walk.

On the way home, we got the disco bus!