ponedeljek, 23. januar 2012

Bread, Rice and Dragons

Years ago, on another planet and in another life, my girlfriend asked me to which food I could compare her. My answer, without thinking, was bread. She wasn't exactly pleased, so I explained: "I could say you're like some delicious gourmet dish, something spicy, or sweet or you name it. But, the fact is, you're like bread because I can eat bread every day and never get tired of it and I just can't live without bread."
Ah, blessed naivety of fools in love! Bread? Who gives a fuck about bread!
Today is the first day of the Year of the Dragon. I arrived in Korea on the eve of the Year of the Tiger. What a year it was! A Winter with my sweet little princess, a Spring volunteering after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, a Summer of slavery on raddish fields, a Fall in a quiet place I might really start calling home. Without bread. With lots of rice. I started to learn how to mix different varieties to make it even more pleasant. At times I have five or even six different types of rice in my room - yes, I sleep with my rice. When it was in the kitchen, the mice were stealing it way too much. And you can make rice even better adding different beans and grains.

It's been pretty much boring in the last few days. New year holidays. Everybody gone for family gatherings. So every day I feed the animals, I make a patrol in the village to check if everything is OK, feed the neighbor's cats and go back home to find myself some work. So far there was enough firewood to chop and pile, but for tomorrow I really have no clue what to do. Maybe it's time to study a little bit. Or a little bit more. I read my second book in Korean - I think the cover says it all.

I almost stopped watching Korean movies and dramas. I just can't find movies that I like anymore. And I spoiled myself with the drama City Hunter, after it all others are plain boring. So I switched to Japanese anime. With a smile. I always claimed that I'm not an otaku. Till the moment when my son almost choked himself laughing at me when I was explaining this to a Japanese. It was because of my Evangelion T-shirts that I was again "mistaken" for an otaku. I was a bit drunk so I explained to the guy: "You see, I'm not really into anime, I'm fan only of Evangelion... and yes, I do like all Miyazaki's movies. And Otomo's Akira and Cowboy Bebop and Galaxy Express and Photon The Idiot Adventures and Fullmetal Alchemist and Space Battleship Yamato and..." Ummm... what was I trying to explain?
So I asked a connoisseur for some good stuff and for the past days I was glued to the screen all evenings and most nights watching デッドマンワンダーランド

ひぐらしのなく頃に and ひぐらしのなく頃に解

and today I started Serial Experiments Lain

But... but... you have to believe me, I'm no otaku... and it really really DOESN'T matter that I'm listening to 分島 花音 while I'm writing this, really!
To complicate my life I installed the Korean Windows on my computer also. It's for learning, you know. And to challenge myself. For fun I connected another monitor to watch anime while comfortably lying in my bed and I found a pair of broken speakers, repaired them and no we go full volume. And yes, I still have too much time so I started another blog, Conficturae, dedicated only to fiction, poetry and photography. Feel free to visit it.

sreda, 18. januar 2012

If Days Can Be Called Crazy

It's almost boring hearing this one "I had a crazy day". How can a day be crazy? As far as the latest statistics goes, a day still has 24 hours, 1440 minutes and so on and this day starts for everyone of you in the moment you wake up. I remeber a time I was really allergic to newspapers news saying "the road killed two people". Come on, are you kidding me? Did the road awaken in a movielike and strangled the innocent drivers?
Uhm, this switch was totally unexpected, seems my subconsciousnes is working all the time. So, let's go back, for many years, when I was still a happy teacher in Surobenia and we had a great award trip for the best students from our school. Yeah, we did some amazing rafting in the Kolpa river, had a great time and on the way home... our bus minced a biker. The moron was racing with one of his friends and in one bend he just happened to be under our bus. His fucking bike got to flames when he was dragged under the bus so also our bus caught fire.
Was it a crazy day?
Days have nothing to do with it.
Like a day when you're invited by a yoga master to visit his ... well, whatever they call it.. a yoga 道場, till I don't learn the Korean word, his yoga center. And again, I have to make another jump in time, but only four days. It was a Sunday like many others, not many work to do, so a lot of time for gathering and having common meals. I was excited and happy my teacher was back, so we could start our lessond after three weeks of vacation, but... the Doc (friend of the Yoga master) had planned an all-out drinking night. So it was, for me, at least it's how I see it, since I don't remember shit of that night and I awoke at 1PM. My dear teacher was waiting for me at 9AM. I missed many appointments in my life, but I never felt so bad like that day. I was even too ashamed to call her back (I had two missed calls from her on the phone), not to say to go to her home to apologize. Clearly she was way pissed with me - and I really really do agree with her for being it - but she just smiled at me when we met for the umpteteh common dinner of our community the same day. I managed to send her a text message saying "I'm sorry". In Korean, of course. Everyobody predicted some hard beating as punishment, alike in Korean schools still nowadays, and, to tell the truth, I would feel better if she just whipped me instead of just smiling at me and giving me the look I-know-you. Next day was same, common meals, and in late evening two drunk fellas dropped in my house. With plenty of beer and soju. I suppose it was the first time in my life I said, loudly and cleraly, "NO! GO AWAY! I DON'T WANT TO DRINK! EUN SHIL WILL KILL ME!¨" I did my best to resist to these Asain barbarians, but they overwhelmed me. I had to drink with them.

Believe it or not, I was so mad at myself and at them that I woke up at 6AM, made my breakfast, ate it, brushed my teeth, drank coffee, set fire in the gudeul and took the wrong books to my lesson. Crap again. No matter how much I want to learn Koran (and no matter how I really want to please my tecaher) I keep doing everything wong. But I'm happy to have my own GTO. Well, fuck the latin letters, I have my GT은! I survived even this lesson. And here the scary part starts.
We went to Jinju, to the Yoga master's place. Two hours of yoga killed me. I feel better after after ten hours making wood. Not to talk about th embarassment. It's a sort of public secret here how to make a couple of me and my teacher. Well, my first yoga lesson turned into ero-yoga (not my invention, it was laughably explained like this to othres later)and I really don't want go into details. Now, don't you dare to think it turned in an orgy or anything the like, no way, there's just some.. some things.. you'd be happy to do when you're alone.. I mean, when you're alone with her, with him..
Anyway I was a good boy today and I made my engrish homework (on a pissed note: I submitted some really good pics in the last year to the site but the admin seems not to like me). My comment on this is I miss crrasicar music

After lunch it went on some more common railways. I mentioned the Chalengger guy few times in my posts. He's not only my friend and my challenger (a challenge still unresolved), but he's one of the best floor heating builders in the area. To become his apprentice -wow! Well, we visited him on his latest work site, where he's trying to make a record floor heating. Bigger houses in Korea usually have separated heating systems for each room, but his project is to heat the whole house with only one furnace. For this house.

Later tehre was work waiting for me, digging arrowroota(Maranta arundinacea), unpleasant and hard work to do, but I'll have some dices of this medicine to make a good hangover tea.

After digging the roots we had dinner with three bottles of soju. Yeah, dream on, that wasn't the dinner, we have to go Mi Jeong ssi house... AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH eat, drink, sing!

petek, 06. januar 2012

A Memorable Birthday

I was born in the year 4297, the year of the Wood Dragon, on the second day of the twelfth month. But I'm not used to the lunar calendar yet, so I missed my birthday. And I didn't care much about my birthday according to the solar calendar, but, as it usually goes, somebody else did care.
For a few days I was working in a factory of 된장. We had to make a few tons of 메주, bricks of crushed boiled soybeans. And during the afternoon break my coworkers made me the funniest birthday cake ever. It was made - or, should I say, built - of choko pies with a candle on top. And the boss had makkoli and soju instead of coffee for us. Just for a toast, there was more work waiting, but it was really nice.
On our way home in the evening 경희 said that we must hurry because dinner is waiting. What dinner? It's your birthday, isn't it? So 영란 made a ginger cake for you!
And we went to the house of my teacher, we were a bit late but it was not an issue, the cake was really there, with candles and the writing 꼬끼오 (which is an onomatopoeia for the sound of the hen) and my teacher made also seaweed soup (which is a must for a birthday in Korea) and 상평 hurried to open a bottle of red wine... and I was on the verge of tears. I have rarely been so touched. Because I rarely met such people. The food was simple (yet delicious) and the wine was nothing special (yet we drank it all), but the feelings were all so warm, friendly... hard to describe with words. Have you ever been lost on a cold winter night? If you haven't, you'll never understand these feelings.
I was happy that next day I had to wake up early again, so there was no abuse of alcohol, just that bottle of wine. To much drinking would have spoiled the greatness of the moment. In aeons I didn't go to sleep sober on a birthday evening, but it was also aeons that I didn't go to sleep so happy.
During this holidays I also managed to read my first book in Korean, 노란 우산이 좋아.

Yes, it's a book for small children, but it's a start. And I also had the guts to send a text message to my princess, without asking anybody for help and I could read (and understand) her reply by myself.
In few weeks is 설날, the New Year according to the lunar calendar. It will be one year - lunar year - that I'm in Asia. What a year it has been!