Where have I been? and A Korean Dream

I haven’t posted in a few weeks, but not because I’ve been super busy doing exciting things.  I’ve written a couple of entries but I didn’t post them because one seemed too self-indulgent and the other was boring. Here are some highlights of the past few weeks:

  • Many friends have left Gunsan.  We usually have a big dinner and go out drinking.   It’s sad afterwards.
  • I went to Seoul for the Lunar New Year – went to a bunch of cool art exhibits and went to the horse track only to find out that it was closed because of the holiday.
  • I’ve been watching The Sopranos – why I haven’t watched this before, I don’t know, but it’s really good.
  • I received the date of my last day at my job and I’ve been reading up on possible adventures for afterwards.  I’d really like to do the Trans-Siberian Railroad and head in to Eastern Europe, the Balkans specifically.  We’ll see!
  • I’ve been hibernating – not running much, not going out as much.  The past few days have brought some relief from the cold.  I’ve gone for a run and a bike ride.  I’ve gained a bit of weight but I’m hopeful that the spring will bring back that ol’ athletic spirit.

I have a student in one of my classes who is a bit of a brown-nose, sort of a Tracy Flick from Election.  She’s a great student, her English is great and she loves to give me presents.  I got a pair of gloves for Christmas, a very expensive looking wine set for Lunar New Year and a box of nice chocolates for Valentine’s Day.  The chocolates came complete with a depiction of me.

Not bad, eh?Meanwhile I read a book about life as a prisoner in the North Korean gulag.  So a couple of nights ago I had a dream where I was a prisoner in a gulag.  This student and her family were imprisoned in the same camp.  She was really enthusiastic about all of the North Korean propaganda.  It was pretty terrifying in the camp, but I knew for whatever reason that if her family was released I would be released with them, so I had to tolerate if not encourage her annoying celebration of the régime. One day Dear Leader himself was visiting the camp.  I could have pummelled him with a metal pipe – maybe killing him, maybe not – but I chickened out.  I wanted to live.

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