Well, it’s been awhile since I last posted, and if you make it to the end of this one you will know why.
It was back to the dentist on Saturday to rebuild and prepare the tooth that was subjected to a root canal for a permanent crown. That entailed nearly two hours in the chair which was pretty much the extent of my tolerance level. Taking the mold for the crown proved problematic because the construction work on the tooth left my gums bleeding profusely. She eventually finished with the mold and inserted a temporary crown. And then abandoned me for another patient. After about ten minutes of sitting there alone, I got up, removed my bib, and made my way up front. I was given two options on the crown, W700,000 for the Cadillac of crowns, or W450,000 for the Chevy. Hell, at my age I expect the cheap(er) crown will last a lifetime. At least that’s the gamble I’m taking.
All that stuff going down in my mouth left me sore for a couple of days, but manageable enough with aspirin. And just about the time my mouth stopped hurting, some pain in my right knee flared up. I’ve not experienced joint issues but it is frankly one of the things I fear. My lifestyle necessarily requires climbing multiple flights of stairs on a regular basis to access the
drinking darting establishments I frequent. Jee Yeun (bless her heart) went on the internet and announced that all the extra poundage I’m carrying around my middle is stressing my knees. So in addition to the pain, I’ve had to endure her beseeching me to exercise. Oh well, for what it is worth after my morning commute today (which does involve a fair amount of walking) the pain in the knee went away. So maybe the doo doo alluded to in the title of the post is not so deep after all. We’ll see.
What else? Well, I came across this:
One of my petty pet peeves about the sidewalks of Itaewon is Korean pedestrians with no sense of situation awareness. The other night I encountered three young women walking side-by-side with their arms intertwined. Getting past them was like breaching the Berlin wall. And yes, if that’s my biggest gripe about Seoul city life things must be pretty good.
Speaking of gripes, I came across this article in the Korea Observer entitled Expats Speak Out: What Seoul Needs. The responses ran the usual gauntlet–traffic laws should be enforced “people in France fear the police”; you should have to pay to drive a vehicle into the city “like they do in London”; Seoul should be multilingual (meaning English) “Fine businesses who are not accessible because of language”; more trash cans, free Korean lessons, less racism, etc. etc.
Alright, well I’m not going to rag on those quoted too much because they were responding to a survey the city initiated as part of its quest to become a “global city”. I did leave this comment on the article:
I’m sure all the survey responses were made with the best of intentions, but really I couldn’t help but be reminded of the tendency of some folks to leave their country of birth looking for something new and different, and then they set about trying to make it more like home.
What I love about Seoul is its quirkiness and organized chaos. Sure, things could be better I suppose but heaven forbid it becomes homogenized and vanilla like the country I fled (USA).
Moving along to things I love about Korea, high on my list is the
beautiful women outstanding food. Last night we enjoyed this:
Right downstairs from my apartment building is a place that features beef. All the meat pictured is a mere W39,000. Sure, you’ve got to cook it yourself, but that’s part of the fun. Just ask Jee Yeun!
Another thing I like is the subway system. There is even a hierarchy of seating preferences:
Now, when I find myself seated in the “red zone” (i.e. middle seats) I’ve observed a certain reluctance of some Koreans to sit beside me. It’s amusing that some folks prefer to stand than to squeeze in beside the big, burly, scary waegook. Heh, more room for me!
Now, maybe I’m just easily entertained but I find the subway advertisements amusing. Like this one:
Inbred dog or a Korean corndog. You decide.
Lest you think I’ve unfairly maligned the Korea people whom I actually admire (notwithstanding how they walk, don’t sit, and that whole eating dog thing) let me relate a small kindness that occurred when I exited the train at Gireum station today. I was carrying 24 cans of diet Coke in my backpack, plus an 11 piece box of Popeye’s chicken and two Whopper Jr.’s. Well, the backpack was heavy and I was struggling to get the strap over my left shoulder. An ajussi passing by without saying a word helped pull it up onto my back. That earned him a hearty “kamsamnida!” and prominent mention in this post.
Finally (ah, there’s a word you’ve been waiting for I reckon), regular readers may recall that I’ve been angling for a position with my old organization. It would be a sweet gig for me, doing work I know and enjoy. The woman who would be my boss has her doubts however, so last week I did a one hour sit down with her to try and alleviate whatever concerns she may be entertaining. I thought the meeting went well. For my part, I was actually quite impressed with her–smart and motivated. I hope that I left a similar impression on her, but although she promised to let me know her decision in a “couple of days” a week has gone by with no word. I’m trying not to read too much into that, but at the same time I’m steeling myself for possible rejection.
Whatever happens I’ll be okay of course. Unless I blow out my knee.