I'm eating take-out: kimbap and rabbogie. The rice cakes are swimming in red pepper sauce, with carrots, leaks, cabbage and onions.
At the restaurant on my way home from work, my end of the conversation went like this: Anyoasayo. (Bow.) Rabbogie pojung? Nay. Comsamnida. Anyo (to a bag). Pay-go-payo. Smile. Comasamnida. Anyungekasayo.
Onlookers are amused when I attempt to speak Hangul. Of course, had the waitress asked me anything, she would have revealed my ignorance. Basically I know enough to be fed!
The other day I was approached by a Mongolian woman. She's a newlywed, married to a Korean, with no friends or family in Korea. She and her husband converse in the International language: English.
You'd swear she was Korean by looking at her, so Koreans initiate conversation, and are confused when she doesn't understand. I'm grateful for my pale skin, and that trusty Canadian flag pinned to my coat.
But tonight, for the first time, chopsticks feel natural in my hand. The pressure is effortless.
When you arrive in a foreign country, you only have to wake up to feel alive. Hooking up a phone or mastering the transportation system is accomplishment enough. But it has been over 3 months now and routine has followed me, as it does most people. It's necessary to make an effort to keep life interesting, and push yourself to do better- to learn more, see more.
Tonight I'm reading, studying Korean and writing. I like the rain.
I've been invited to a Korean's home for Lunar New Years, Sunday. The guy's family must be liberal, because the celebration is steeped in tradition. It's the holiday that carries the most weight in Korea so it would be like me inviting a near-stranger to Christmas day at my family's home.