nedelja, 16. oktober 2011

Quiet Life... My Ass!

There are things that are supposed to never happen to people who live a quiet life. But they do happen, often and merrily, to those who just claim to have one.
This week I went to Seoul and Gangwon do, to collect my winter clothes as I intend to stay here. Mainly it was an excuse, I wanted to visit my princess. The trip went smooth and as planned. Too much beer in Seoul, then shopping. Some "exotic" spices and food at the Shinsaege to bring back to Hapcheon and presents for my princess at the Kyobo. A pink diary, a pink hairpin, stuff like that. Cute useless crap. If she likes it, be it. First thing when I arrived she asked me how long will I stay. Instantly I realized that her English improved again in this month since my last visit. Could be happy to say the same for my Korean... but at least I managed to answer her, in Korean, that I'll be leaving next day in the morning. Most of our conversation went on like that, she in English, me in stuttering Korean.
When I bought the diary I didn't even notice that it has a padlock to keep it's content secret. It was the first thing she saw when she opened the box with it. As it always comes with the padlocks, it had two keys. To my great amazement - and delight - she took one and gave me the other. If I was to put it in a poetic way I'd say that now I have the key to a child's secrets. The key to a child's heart. But I suppose I've already had one for a long long time, since the first second we met. For sure it's true the other way.

As always I asked her if I should make spaghetti for dinner, sure that, as always, she'll be delighted. To my surprise she declined my offer and went to make dinner herself. I know well how lazy and lousy she can be at times, but she did wash the rice properly, all three times, before cooking it. If you didn't know it yet, rice has to be washed in cold water three times, not two, not four, but three. Believe it or not, it makes the final result much better.

Maybe an hour after I came the postman visited. With a parcel coming from Slobenia. Addressed to Hae In. She gave a puzzled look, asking if I sent this. I laughed, of course not, I haven't been there for a long time (and I won't be there for a long time, I do hope so). She opened it and found it full of chocolate. She looked accusingly at me and said, It was you! I explained her that this was a gift for her from my friend. Man or woman, she wanted to know. Man. What's the name? Robert. Please tell Robert very good man. I know that. All his friends know that, now a little Korean girl knows it, too.
Next morning was sad, with goodbyes, hugs, kisses, promises to come back and invites to come here to visit me for holidays. The long trip back started.

After changing buses and subways I was in Jinju in the evening, just to find out that I missed the last bus to Gahwe. Tomorrow morning, was what I was told at the ticket office and a dark despair rose in me. Clever as I am I didn't have any phone numbers with me to call anyone to pick me there. I was too sure I could make it by myself. And so I would! First, let's find a way to get out of the city. That is always the most difficult thing when you go hitchhiking - escape the gravity of big cities. I got lost two or three times and eventually found my way out. By the time it was pitch dark so I tried my luck for a minute or two, then decided against it. Darkness is a bad companion for hitchers. So I took a long walk. Too long. Got lost in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of rice pads and woody hills. With something like 30 kg of various crap in my backpack and flip flops on my feet. Luckily the rain had stopped. I stopped too, after something that seemed to me like 20 km. It was actually 27, but I realized that the next morning. Luckily most of the crap in my backpack were warm clothes and a coat to wrap myself in under a tree, where the ground seemed almost dry. I kept telling myself that I could do it, that I stopped just because I was lost and I should wait for morning to get a better orientation or to eventually ask someone for directions. Truth was I was exhausted. I'm no more in shape for crap like this. But I was ready to go on in the first morning gray. Eventually I managed to find Wonji and caught the first morning bus to Gahwe from there. And then there was the last part of the way home that I should have done on feet anyway, but it happened as I hoped, no, as I expected. A pickup stopped, a smiling greeting, bows and I had a ride. The wet night was replaced by a splendid shiny morning and I really felt like going back home. It was hard to leave my princess, but it was a pleasure to come back. Even if I became the laughstock because of this adventure. If I only had some phone numbers with me.. Sang Pyeong was in Jinju exactly at the time I arrived there!
Now I have to do something that people who live a quiet life never do. I have to go to the Jinju bus station and punch in the face the bitch who told me I missed the last bus. I didn't.

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