Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh How It Burns!

It's amazing how many muscles the human body has. It's also amazing how exercise makes us aware of each and every one...

Today I lay back to do another 30 sit-ups, I looked up at the beams of the ceiling and considered the fact that I had looked forward to class all day. That thought quickly fled as I lifted up for the first one, cringing and biting down on my cheek; it's still swollen.

After completing the warm up, I got to learn some of the basic moves. Mostly this involved my uncoordinated limbs flailing about in an effort to imitate my instructor, who is a year younger than I am and has trained for 13 years. There were lots of snickers from the black-belted boys, but really in a fight I could still just sit on them.

I had to do more ankle lifts, and the first few almost killed me. Yesterday I got a cramp in my calf, and everything still ached. My lower lip trembled, my eyes welled, but the favorite Konglish phrase (Konglish = Korean + English) "Fighting!" rang in my ears. Whenever something is difficult, you can count on someone to rally with a chorus of "Fighting!" Except, what with the lack of "f" in the alphabet, it comes out "whiting" or "pighting," but the sentiment is there. So I pulled myself together, and my instructor came over to talk to me and distract me to the point where I was able to do all 100 again.

I'm so glad I'm going to Seoul tomorrow. As much fun as I had today, I'm looking forward to blowing off my "becoming Korean" classes (aka taekwondo and language) to go experience the real thing with a friend. It's supposed to rain and be chilly, but I'll just remember: fighting!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Taekwondo Day 2

In case you were wondering, taekwondo in Korean is: 태권도.

Today was day 2 of my new hobby, and according to the schedule we were practicing kicks. More important, though, I got my uniform! I put on the suit that had the school's name and everything, tied on my belt, and the transformation was amazing. I went from this out-of-place foreigner, clueless and filled with wonder, to this out-of-place foreigner, clueless, filled with wonder, and remarkably uncoordinated. But, I got to do what I came for: take a stance, kick a paddle!

I only got to do 2 kicks before I got sentenced to white belt hell. What with ankle limitations, I got to do something like 200 ankle exercises, which honestly hurt but felt good at the same time. I'm so glad to be working on fixing the atrophied muscles instead of just wondering what to do. I also got to do this leg-jiggling thing that makes my thighs burn. While I was doing the last 10 sets of ankle exercises, I got moved to a window so I'd have a breeze and a view. When the instructor came over to see how I was doing, I'd moved on to making sound effects and scoping out the foot traffic for cute guys which amused her. So, I practiced counting to ten in Korean (I can do Chinese numbers, but Korean ones are just hard). Looking forward to tomorrow...

Tomorrow's goal: help Emily learn how to spell her name. Poor little girl knows all of the letters, now, but it usually goes "Emliy." At least she's cute!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Beltless Wonder

So today was it. I'm sure you've all been waiting with baited breath to see how the first day of TKD went. (I'm not full of myself, am I, hehe.) I survived!

Fortunately, Mondays are stretching. After faltering with jumping jacks (thank you, broken leg), I have been excused from all jumping-related activities. I have, however, been assigned extra strength exercises, but that's okay because I wanted them. I want my leg to be better!

We had a slight disagreement over my uniform. I think I should wear pants that don't show my butt, but the uniform is the uniform and I am to take comfort in the fact that the shirt is extra long. ... It brings back flashbacks of stretch pants in sixth grade, but I needed to get over that trauma anyway.

For the first time since high school, I did a series of sit-ups (real ones, with the instructor pinning my feet to the floor), and I managed 25 before shaking and needing help to finish the set. I kicked butt at stretching (maybe yoga would have been a good choice after all), and despite the pants concern, I enjoyed myself. I have to smile at my lack of belt, though. I think it's like the universe knows that I'm not even at white belt level and need to go a few times just to have the right.

The instructor was very encouraging, and while I feel like the dunce of the class (possibly because I am), I made it without further injuring myself. I left feeling like I could do it. I left feeling like I'm looking forward to tomorrow. And that's a pretty big deal.

Before taekwondo, my day went just fine. Kindergarten was what I can expect, now. My precious baby boy David was all full of cuddles today, so that was fun. I tried to teach reading (gasp) and it didn't go so well, but I got to sit each of them on my lap and try to get them to say at, cat, hat, mat, pat, sat. The memories of some of these kids are so precious, I hope they're what remains in the sieve of my life when all of the bad stuff has been washed away, and I'm left with gold nuggets.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I know I'm cheating 2 posts in a row using lolcats, but honestly.. this is exactly how today went. I just couldn't get it right today, and so I'm going to throw in the towel, eat some galbi, and look forward to tomorrow being a new day.

Petting Pets

Of course from

Once my dad decided to see how long it would take our dog to get tired of having his head pet--his most favorite thing in the world. All it took was 8 minutes. I wonder how much of my attention each of my students would need to feel fulfilled, happy, and like I can stop petting their heads.

I'm pretty sure whatever it is, it wouldn't be enough for me.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rain, Rain GO AWAY!

After a year of living in Colorado, I grew accustomed to living in the sunniest city in the United States. Now, the rainy days just bring me down. I think it affects the kids, too.

1) Aidan cried for the second time ever. :(
2) Julia broke her 3-day streak of no crying and gave into temptation.
3) Emily tripped me.
4) Terry keeps shoving his hands in my butt.
5) Helen rammed her toothbrush into my butt.
6) Ben has been carrying around a note from a girl (Bella) for two days that literally only says "Thanks, Ben," and talks about her (in Korean) ad nauseum, but it's cute because he whispers it all in my ear.

And that was all before lunch. Today was watching pomsae for the taekwondo. It made me really look forward to Monday.

Here's hoping tomorrow's post is more interesting. Too sleepy, but wanted to put something up. ... Seriously, what's the obsession with my butt?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

School Shopping

In Daegu, there are tons of hagwons. Hagwons are private academies, like the one I teach in. I teach at an English hagwon. On average there's three per block, and that's just English. There's also math, computer, art, taekwondo, and so on. Today, Hannah and I went around to some of the schools in our neighborhood and found one where the instructor is female, and has good time slots. She spoke a fair amount of English, and the floor is padded.

She had us sit and watch one of the classes, and I was really nervous. She told us ahead of time that everyone was a black belt and that they jumped rope 1,000 times. So I sat, quivering, sometimes grabbing for Hannah's hand, while some kids played around--kids younger than my afternoon students but older than my kindergarten kids. As 8:30 rolled around, I realized they were going to be my classmates. It's a lot less scary when you can easily protect yourself by tackling and sitting on your opponent.

Some of the stuff honestly looked difficult, but it was all very interesting. There were two kids with purple belts, and they got to sit out for the harder stuff. I'm looking forward to joining them. To be honest, I think this is going to be a great next step in the adventure. Learning taekwondo in South Korea? Oh yeah, babe. BAM!

Physical Therapy Epiphany

As written at 4:00 p.m. from my physical therapy table.

In getting mentally prepared for taekwondo, my mind has of course flooded with all of the negatives, a big one being, "What about my broken leg?" I know I've been walking without aid since Christmas, but is it okay?

I went to the doctor today, with a note in Korean asking if I was ready. This resulted in some ankle-groping and questions about pain and limping. With a warning to do it carefully and another set of x-rays, I got to see the bones.

This time there were only two--the two you should have. To my medically-untrained eye, I could see there is a mass of swollen tissue, but the bone itself looked beautiful.

After, they made me go to physical therapy again. (Two days in a row after skipping more than a week, oops.) As I sat thinking and listening to my purple iPod, I realized now that I am genuinely excited. In more ways than one I've recovered from the trauma of my life, and I am embracing this new step. This is going to be huge.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thanks, mom!

Today had a rough start. I had a hard time sleeping because of a disagreement with one of my acquaintances. In one sense, she has a personality very similar to mine, but it is dissimilar enough for us to grate against one another. It's kind of like two cogs, and for whatever reason, instead of working together we're wearing each other down. So, when I woke up, I wasn't feeling all fresh and ready! to! go! to! work!

I got the shower thing done, and started to get dressed. I figured since it's around 80 in Daegu to try some new shorts my mom sent. I tried to pull them up and they wouldn't even make it to my butt. What the heck! I pulled them off and looked at the tag, but the size was right. When I held them up to another pair (a pair whose size I know is correct) there was two inches of the waistband missing. What with it being a circle (as waists tend to be), that means I am missing FOUR INCHES of fabric. Sigh.

So I changed into a less glamorous (ha) outfit and whined to my mom. She told me I was going to have a nice day, because she was praying for it so I was stuck with it. I kind of smiled and rolled my eyes and headed off, making a beeline for the nearest convenience store that sells Starbucks double shots.

Once I got upstairs for my first class, my kids were still eating their snacks, so I greeted them, reminded them that they do in fact speak English--despite a 3-day weekend's attempt at erasing everything--and before I got too far into the period, my darling baby David (the poor little guy who was in the hospital) grabbed my hand. In the past, when kids grab my hands I either get boogers, tissues, chewed up food, tickled, or pinched. But he took my right hand and pressed his lips to it and kissed it five times, then looked up with his big brown eyes and said, "Kate Teacher Princess."

I dare you to have a bad day after that.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jimmy Johns

As told to Molly at too-late-o'clock Denver time:



hahaha this guy I was walking behind was wearing

I kid you not




So I caught up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. I was like, do you know Jimmy John's? and he was like, wtf, why are you speaking English

and I like touched the back of his shirt

and his girlfriend told him my meaning in Korean

and he was like, oh, no, sorry, sorry

--- End Transmission

How strange is that?

Yes Man

As I blogged about over Christmas, I really identified with the movie Yes Man. I'm not a banker at a tedious job, but I feel like I might as well have been a year ago. How did the character shake up his life? He said yes to things he never would have imagined.

And so, today, I chose to say yes to something I desperately (DESPERATELY) want to do. In the deepest, darkest, moldiest, clammiest corner of my heart where dreams go to die, I've had one that won't let go: learning a martial art. Yes, I am reading your minds, "What the heeeell?" but allow me to explain.

I hate pain. I hate being sweaty. I have a mortal fear of having my nose broken. I hate being dirty. In general I hate moving. I'm out of shape. I've been overweight for about as long as I can remember. My ankle is still healing from having had a twice-broken leg. I may be too big to have a uniform. I may sputter out and die my first lesson. I may not own enough ibuprofen to get me through. I have this long list of irrational reasons why not to learn taekwondo. (A word spell check thinks is so ridiculous for me to use in my blog it would like to replace "taekwondo" with "Wonderbra.")

But people always discuss the merits of learning a martial art. The one that speaks to me is having higher self-confidence. Maybe I won't be afraid of every little thing if I feel like I could defend myself. Maybe I wouldn't hide behind Baskin Robbins. And then... Maybe my nose WILL be broken, and I'll still survive. Maybe after the first month, I'll feel good and won't need the ibuprofen.

So, in the land of taekwondo, where your average six-year-old could kick my ass (yay for arms longer than their legs!), I say yes to sit ups, sore muscles, sweating, and doing something for me. Yippee!!

On a side note, a boy tried to ask me to lunch, but I already had plans and he didn't want to feel like a third wheel. Aww. It's the second week in a row he's asked to do something. It may be platonic, but I still find it touching.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Soju Thursday

After my little revelation yesterday concerning my place of employment, I was ready to celebrate having no classes today. So I grabbed up my best Canadian gal pal and we hit up the chicken galbi place.

This time I understood on the second try what the lady was saying about the spicy factor, and we got the extra spicy. It was seriously spicy and seriously awesome. The soju flowed pretty freely. (How is it soju still wasn't in my online spell check dictionary?) By pretty freely I mean, we both knew that we still have to do some work tomorrow and kept ourselves to 4 bottles.

Heather said something that made me go, hm. She said I've pulled a 180 since coming here. I used to be kind of codependent, and when the others said jump, I asked how high and then brought them a lemonade. Now I've gotten to a point where we hadn't really hung out (aside from Soju Friday) in maybe two weeks, and I wasn't a needy mess--we had both just been busy.

Another reason why it was fun last night is, I like hearing about how things are going between her and her Korean boyfriend. They've been together for almost as long as I've been here, and things have just come such a long way. He genuinely cares for her, and I think it has nurtured something inside of her. The language barrier has been interesting. For a while, when he wanted to hang out, he would ask if she wanted to play with him--it's not exactly wrong, but it's not exactly right, either.

We parted ways after 3 1/2 hours of sitting on the floor, with me desperate to get home to use my not-a-squatter toilet, and I had the happy tiredness that comes with the good end of a long day. Let's hope for the same tonight after the 5 1/2 hour teacher's seminar.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For

There are people who wish to win the lottery, and they do, and they end up going bankrupt. There was an idiot little girl who wished to use crutches, and then she broke her leg in South Korea. Sometimes we put these ideas that on paper look really good out into the Universe, and then they come back like a boomerang and knock us on our asses.

For the last few weeks I've been revisiting this concern of what to do after my contract ends. Sleepless nights, binge eating, the works. The big question is, Do I stay at ECC where it's familiar (friends, work, location, Albert), or Do I move on what with the unknown having worked out for me pretty well in the past? Me being me, I flashed the big God-shaped bat signal and did what I could in the meantime.

I went to my supervisor with three requests (none of which included a pay raise), and all three were rejected by the owner. 1) No changing to afternoon teaching, 2) no break to go home for July, and 3) no time off for Christmas. I expected two yes's and a no, which really would have made concluding my contract a lot more difficult.

While I'm glad to see what to do (well, at least what not to do), I feel a little hurt to hear "no" so strongly. I've put in eight months, most of them good, and had months with no students leaving ECC. I work hard, the kids like me, and the parents appreciate the bond I have with their kids. Mrs. Baek would rather throw all of that away and risk getting another teacher with no experience and a complete lack of competency than keep me around. I know there is an influx of teachers running around, but I know who some of them are, and I know why they're running around--and it's not because a school closed.

So, at day 255 of my Korean Saga, I sit back and realize that it all will come to an end, and sooner than I expect. It will come time to pack up my two bags, haul everything through Incheon with 100% humidity, 90-degree heat, and return for a month of rest and shopping. 110 days--will you be ready?

Monday, April 6, 2009


As I walked back from buying chicken, I contemplated the reality that this past year (okay, 8 months) has seen a lot of firsts. First moving to a foreign country. Even if I decide to go do this ESL job in China, Iraq, Cambodia, South Korea will always be my first. My first triumph over language barrier (okay, so triumph is a bit strong), my first Christmas alone, my first broken bone (hopefully last), first time my heart has been broken by children, and so on.

When everything is shiny and new, it's easy to have an adventure. For instance, a can of cheese flavored soda can liven a day up. While the stimulation lasted longer, I'm seeing now it's up to me to keep the magic alive. Whenever I feel I'm becoming blase about something, I remember the Mary Tyler Moore Show. There's an episode where she feels blah about her life, how every morning she gets up, showers, goes to work, eats lunch, works more, and comes home. Ted Baxter told her she needs needs to Get up! and Shower! Go to Work! Eat Lunch! Work More! and Come Home!


Shirk No More

So yesterday was the trip to Palgong Mountain (팔공산) with Albert. While I mildly concerned myself with what to wear (Korean women wear skirts and heels to do everything), I headed off to meet him at 7 Valley, a shopping center that has 5 floors. As I walked, I marveled at what a beautiful day it was. It was a perfect, 68-degree, sunny, light breeze spring day. Once I got the spot off my sunglasses, everything was perfect. I walked through the shopping center, and there were no other customers, so all of the clerks were able to focus their attention on me and bow only to me. I felt a little embarrassed, and a little badly for only using the center for a meeting place instead of shopping.

As I sat, a white car (Hyundai 현대) pulled up and honked, then Albert waved out of the window. Fancy! I get in, buckle up, and we're off. We talked about breakfast, but it was a pretty quiet car ride, listening to a CD of popular recent Korean songs (see below for Sorry Sorry), and me in awe of how big my area of Daegu (Chilgok) is, and grateful to get away from the towers of apartment buildings. For probably a mile and a half leading up to the mountain, the street is lined with cherry blossom trees, and it was a beautiful sight. When we arrived, there was the typical problem in Korea of no parking, made worse by a woman taking the spot Albert was trying to back into. With the car left in a place where it would be towed in the United States, we headed off, watching people rock climb, and me having a mild cow trying to get up a big hill. I'd like to say it's because I've been sick for a week, but really--my leg is healed, it's time to exercise again. At the top he asked if I was tired, so we had apple juice boxes before heading into the park.

I didn't know what to expect going in; I was quite surprised to see 12-foot-tall angry statues out of a Hindu storybook. They were so fierce with giant bulging eyes. I wouldn't mind having one of them in my classroom from time to time. (Did you do that? Do you want me to feed you to the giant angry man?) As I looked out across a valley, it was nice to see the mountains, but it was like looking out at foothills in Montana or Colorado. Kind of petite. At first all I saw was wilderness, which was interesting, but I wondered how long I was going to last; just around a bend, though, we came upon the area where monks live and study.

It wasn't what I expected at all, and I'm glad I got to see it. After some ddeok (free!) we made a stop at the strangest water fountain I've ever seen. Instead of it being "push a button, stoop over, sip," it was, "take a cup that hundreds of strangers have drank from, hold it under the water, sip." From there, we headed up into an area that was a courtyard with row after row of pretty lanterns.

While stopped to read some information about people and places with really long, forgettable names, a tour guide came up and started yakking Albert's ear off while I started to explore the main prayer room. I've known for a long time that Yuria was a Buddhist, and I had been to her area where she prayed before. I'd never seen anything like this, and I was afraid of disturbing anyone, so I didn't take a picture. Truth be told, it reminded me of some of the really old churches in Germany, with lights lit and lined up (their reason, though, I do not know), and a deathly quiet that brings solemnity. The three big, golden statues were quite different, though. We left (lest I burst into laughter from awkwardness) and (after he lined up my shoes for me to step back into them, aw), we saw a few smaller versions of the same, and peeked around at the living arrangements. The men and women live separately, and there are signs posted so visitors do not disturb the arrangement (no females, ever, allowed!).

On the way out of the living arrangements area, we stopped at a gift shop, where he looked at some incense burners. I think he may have been trying to buy one for me, but I felt kind of embarrassed, so I looked around and took an interest in the traditional instruments people were setting up with. (Aw and sigh.) We saw some statues of angels (no wings or halos, hm), and I teased him, asking whether he was an angel or a devil. He responded by saying angels were devils' girlfriends, and a bit later he called me an angel. Aww.

Once he spied someone eating, he got very excited at the prospect of lunch, so we started off, but not before encountering a gong. After a few pictures of him pretending to hit the gong, he did tap it, garnering even more looks than the white foreigner already had.

When we made our way down to where he had seen people with bibambap, he found out it was free which made it a hundred times better. Unfortunately, this was one of those instances where you get what you pay for. We got the rice, and bean sprouts, and some of the strongest kimchi I've ever had, and radishes. Despite making faces the entire time, he actually enjoyed it--based on its price--and helped me finish mine. I had no idea what was going on, so he ended up doing our dishes, and then helped me back into my shoes. Aw. As we walked out, his sister called and asked for him to bring the car back so she could go shopping. He was upset about it, which in retrospect helps me feel better about having things cut short. We lallygagged on our way back to the car, though, stopping for some (free!) tea, ice cream, and to swing on the giant swing. He offered to pull the car over for me to take some pictures of the cherry blossoms, which in retrospect I wish I had, but I didn't want him to get into trouble. On the way back we grooved to Big Bang and etc., and it was fun. Per usual, he dropped me off at my house, and he sped off to fulfill his family duties.

I had a really nice time, and I think he did, too. And thus concludes the Palgong San Chapter. While I wonder mildly what's next, for the most part I take joy in the wonderful day I had.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Korean Music Videos!

One fun, one more dancy. Yeah, spell check, I said dancy.

White Girl in Korea

There was a date, but it's no where as amusing as this story.

I just called to order delivery.
Chicken Place: ""
Me: "Uhm, hi. Do you speak English?"
CP: "Huh?"
Me: "영어?"
CP: "Kate-uhh?"
Me: Nervous giggles. "Yeah."
CP: "One chicken galbi?"
Me: Embarassed giggles. "Yes please."
CP: "Thank you." Click.

So, I guess you could say I am a movie star, what with having a meal known by my name and people knowing where I live.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Point of Irony

I didn't even realize how skewed my view has become...

A few months ago I was mocking my sister's ex for not even having his own car. Yet I look around and thoroughly appreciate a man who still lives with his mommy and doesn't have a vehicle. I know it's the culture, but I'm just kind of contemplating whether it's hypocrisy.

Weekend Update

A great start to Saturday begins with not drinking lethal amounts of soju, so today began well. Plenty of sleep, McDonald's for breakfast, and a pretty good Korean lesson. We have these two guys who are a little over-enthusiastic (translation: arrogant dipshits), and when confronted by two very stressed out girls, one of them denied being over-enthusiastic claiming the grammar stuff was new. Well, grammar is only a small portion of the class--maybe he should move up a level. Or two.

Am recognized as one of the better students, though, and a guy I kind of liked a few months back (pre-Albert) asked for my number and to study. Ah the life of the fabulous! I'm pleased to say that none of it is going over my head; I'm not good at it, but I understand the concept and just need to practice. That's a pretty good feeling.

My hair's been whacked off, again, and I think it's even shorter. We'll see what it looks like after the perfectionist touch has been washed out.

After, I found Arthur wandering around downtown, so we meandered uselessly together. It was nice. I had bad manners, though, and I really find it embarrassing. I'm guessing I'll let it go, since I have no other option. Heh. In the future, ask people how they are before pouncing about details with their new job, capice? I think I had twenty questions stored up because I'm eying the position of being his partner teacher, but really. Manners first.

Ended up with a new pair of Converse slip-ons for 23,000 won. ($17?) They're men's, but they're pink, so really...

Kayleigh and I saw Slumdog Millionaire; it was pretty good the second time. I'd rent it if I was out there in America-land and haven't seen it.

That pretty much brings us to present time with an empty new workbook (whee!), a sink full of dishes (aww), and a still-uneaten breakfast sandwich from McD's.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bits of Randomness

So the week improved. I thought I had lunch duty for 8 straight weeks; they gave me 2 on, then 2 off, then 3 on, so that's better. And I got a really awesome blues song out of it, so it's not all bad. My kids have actually been pretty well-behaved (for them) and despite having bronchitis and another sinus infection, my days aren't wiping me out. Which means I have time for adventures.

On Monday I did something. I don't remember what, or with whom, but I was out enjoying the bitter cold before the swelter sets in. Tuesday, Hannah and I got Phil's free movie passes (they expired that day) and saw Shopaholic. Blah blah Kate goes to another movie blah blah, right? Wrong! They were for a specific kind of cinema, and there are two of them in the downtown area. Hannah and I wandered for 20 minutes or so before accepting defeat and walking towards the one we knew where it was (but we had missed our movie time). As we walked, though, I read signs, and, in Korean, I found our cinema! OH MY GOD!! It really was my finest moment since coming to Korea, and I kind of ruined it by obsessing, but there you have it. Not only did I get lost, but I got found--in Hangul. You've come a long way, baby!

Last night I had a night in and got my apartment sorted out--laundry put away, mostly. Dead kleenexes moved from the floor to a trash bag. That sort of thing. I got a second wind, though, and started calling people back home. How I miss you guys. It makes me feel pretty confident to end my current contract on schedule and come home for July--I can always return to my current school or find another contract. But I miss my dad and his fake accents (oh so fake, and I love them), my mom's wit and cooking, and the unique spin that everyone has.

I've thought a lot about how weird it would be to be in an English-speaking country. At the YMCA on Saturday mornings, I feel overwhelmed by being in a room full of foreigners--the dull roar of English overloads my senses, and I wish they'd all switch to speaking Korean, haha. However long I stay home, it won't be for too long because I'm sure I'll miss my movie star status. ("Ohmigod it's a foreigner!") And I know I'll miss the food. I just got in from a night of galbi. Yum!

I am fairly confident I will be able to come home and make bulgogi, bibambap and kimchi jjigae, though. After trying Misha's Korean grocer, I should be able to prepare delicious spiciness. Yum.

Eight months have passed, now, and I find it interesting how my tastes in Korean food have progressed. I've gone from eating peanut butter and jelly my entire first week to cheesy ramen, to devouring anything with kimchi in it, to bibambap. Bibambap has bean sprouts, spinach, kimchi radish, greasy potatoes, seaweed, and onion on top of rice. To this you add spicy red pepper paste to your liking and blend with chopsticks, then eat with a spoon. Can you believe I would eat something so healthy with great relish four times a week? No wonder my hair has gotten so shiny.

I also take pleasure in reading signs, now. This week I hit studying Korean hard, and now I recognize words, like restaurant, clothes, etc. I can find ingredients for cooking, now, and I feel like I'm coming into my own. So, I know it was only playfully, but I was whining on Monday, and I'd like to retract it. I am quite happy, know that I am in the right place, and look forward to whatever comes next.


I just hope it's cherry blossoms with Albert.