It’s jacket weather in Korea as of this week, and apples appeared in the market about the same time. Those and rice cakes are distributed to the teachers the week prior to mid-terms. The week prior to exams is a week of total boredom for me, as my classes are usurped for test review. Because it might be another 3 weeks before I have to teach again, I look at adoption stuff and website stuff and window-shop on-line. My only role during this time, besides eating rich school lunches, is the morning broadcast. The other day, I did a segment on English commands for your dog. I heard one of the student’s nick-name is dog, so the kids in his class practiced a lot of English that day…The one nice thing about all this time off is the students really appreciate me when my classes resume. It’s a relief for them not to have grammar and vocabulary crammed down their throat, so even the bad students are like, “thank God for the foreign teacher.”
Tonight I’m watching an epic Mongolian movie about a little boy. It’s very much in the same vein as the Lapp movie, Pathfinder, that I had the privilege of watching in college. The boy is subject to so many trials, I’m wondering if he’s going to end up becoming Kubli-Khan or something. One great thing I love about Korean t.v. is it’s really pan-Asian, and I’ve gotten to watch a lot of amazing movies from China and Japan and a lot of travel documentaries on places in Asiaa I’d never heard or or seen before. It also makes me feel like I’m a part of something really large.
Coming to Korea, I still felt like a minority in the world, because Korea seems like a small copy of the west at times, but after seeing all these many iterations of Asian culture, I feel a part of something huge: something much larger and more illustrious than America. And at the same time, also so much more insignificant, just another poor and struggling speck in a huge swarm of flies living in a bottle with not enough resources to support the population. And all these struggles makes my own story seem par for the course as well. The lives of men are brutish and short.
Other than that, Momo and I continue our manic relationship, though the herbal sedatives do take the edge off. She’s tripled in size and quintupled in weight, and I feel like I’m copying her. I swear her vet is inventing vaccinations to give her for the business – she’s the most protected cat on the planet. He didn’t seem too happy when I mentioned she would need to be spayed soon.
I do hope to leave and hope the plans work out. The big challenge will be dropping out of this adoption stuff. I really want to. I don’t like when high-level activists look at me and tell me they’re waiting for my leadership on birth family search…partly because I feel I’ve buried my family this year, and partly because being an activist on top of moving to a foreign country sight unseen at middle age was really traumatic. I’ve shared what I learned. I really hope someone younger with more energy can continue to fill in the holes I see.
Back to being a couch potato, with my epic movie and my momentarily docile and warm cat.