You know how rodents have their corner of the cage? Where they sleep and eat and poop and it’s always dirtier than the others but it’s….their spot.
I made a gerbil spot in my apartment. It’s up against the wall, leaning on the cot left by a former tenant. I found a space heater in the corner, and it’s at least a decade old. It gets really hot really fast and I’ve got a couple of burns from accidentally scraping it. And I sit on my warm ondol, which I try not to crank too high because you know, bills. But I trap the warmth with my zebra snuggie I got on Black Friday 5 years ago. My computer is on top of the table also left here, which is also covered with my phone bill, disposable chopsticks, my SMTown Travel pen, an apple, liquid glue for decorations, tape leftover from wrapping presents, my planner which is now irrelevant, and random 100won coins. I’m not typically a dirty person…but I made my spot. So I come home and I sit here and order delivery McDonald’s every day because it’s cold.
I don’t understand Celsius but it’s been minus celsius. It’s so cold.
It’s so damn cold.
It’s weird because I’m from New England–I went to high school at 6am when it was still dark and had to scrape the ice off of the windshield every morning. I went to college in the Rocky Mountains and had a 25 minute walk to campus when it was 2 degrees F. But this is different. I can be wearing two layers of Shinee socks and my toes still freeze. I can be wearing my giant wool coat, a sweatshirt, and a long sleeve shirt and my heart still stops. Even with my touch gloves, I don’t skip any songs on my playlist because I’d have to take my hands out of my pockets for 3 seconds. I like to walk places, but it’s the kind of cold that makes me take the bus to work instead. And even makes a quick run to the 7/11 for a banana milk almost not worth it.
And it makes everything else unpleasant too. I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. I get up at 11am, go to school (which is also cold), get home around 10pm, sit in my spot for about 4 hours just internetting. And then I scurry up to my bed.
And the past 3 weekends I’ve just stayed home. Friends come over and we sit in my spot together and we order fried chicken and watch fancams.
We did go to one “talk concert”. But if you don’t know who this actor is, then it doesn’t really matter. It was super crazy awesome cool but…but if you don’t really know who Lee Minho is then it’s just kind of an ‘oh another asian guy’ story.
But today I got an email saying that it had been a month since I wrote on el blogo and I was like…whoa…
So, while it’s still January, here’s a much needed update.
Sylvi DID end up coming for Christmas, as I knew she would. This time she convinced her cousin to go to Korea instead of Japan and they stayed in a hostel. We had more good times eating ribs dipped in cheese, spicy rice cakes, and singing embarrassingly loud at a norabang. In a twist of character development, I was looking through my computer for a specific photo taken back in June (when I could wear short sleeve dresses and eat bingsu) and I discovered an interesting photo dump of pictures I had not taken. They were creepy fan pictures of Sylvi’s favorite favorite, with a twitter water mark on them. Wait. What. Upon further investigation, I made a boggling discovery. Ladies and gentlemen, Sylvi is a tumblr girl. The girl’s I’ve been battling since my first festival, with their giant lenses and illegal stalker stools. Sylvi is one of them. I harbored a tumblr girl while she did what she does. I’m not sure how I didn’t see it before. She’s the one who taught us how to haggle with the twitter girls for tickets in the first place, knew where Kyuhyun was all the time, and would be mysteriously missing at 6am. Turns out she was at the airport taking pictures. They were all obvious clues that perhaps I was just too in denial to acknowledge. I take peace in the fact that she doesn’t stan exo or shinee or infinite or seventeen or any of the same groups that I do. So I wasn’t directly swatting, yelling, and stepping on the feet of her or her allies. But I’m sure she at least affiliates with girls who do, and it’s a terrifying thought.
As for work, it’s off and on. There are weeks where I work 12 hour days non-stop. It’s intensive time, meaning different, and longer, work hours. I’ve been in Suwon, Gwanggyo, and Daechi over the past two weeks and now I’m back in Nowon grading book reports and doing makeup classics. Two days ago I had an opportunity to use my Disney skillz. The Director put me in a giant blue pirate hat, which the representative of my hagwan wears, and sent me and one of the Flower Boy TA’s to stand in front of the local elementary school and hand out propaganda for an hour. Remember when I said how cold it was? Thankfully I wore my moccassins that day so my toes were only bright pink instead of purple. And while the royal blue pirate hat was slightly embarrassing, it was quite warm. Because of Disney, I was used to wearing ridiculous outfits and waving to small children. I even went to the grocery store to pick up the order of cup chicken Director had bought for the entire office to help us get through intensives. Some people would find this degrading but it was just too cold for me to take it off for even a second. People stare at me anyway, what’s a couple more.
I’ve been in Korea for 11 1/2 months now. Every day is still an adventure. Every day is full of ups and downs. As I’m picking up more of the language, things become almost…newer. Things that I just accepted before now make a little more sense. And I’m not quite as afraid to answer my cell phone as I used to be (though I still ignore it about 50% of the time).
It’s not that my life is boring, but it’s just the problems are getting too dense to communicate completely, and the epic successes would require hundreds of words of backstory. The ‘little things’ that used to fascinate me are normal now. The crazy coincidences, the melodramatic events, the hilarity of each day is just…too much to explain.
Also it’s cold and I just don’t feel like doing anything.
I do still get up to use the toilet, but I try to make it fast so I can slide right back into my spot.
I have plans that I am EXTREMELY looking forward to. But they’re mostly just the same plans that are still extremely exciting and amazing to me while they just don’t make much sense to most everyone else. It’s fine.
It’s time for bed now! So I guess I’ll leave my spot. Until tomorrow.