Saturday, July 26, 2008


I was at the baseball game dripping sweat in the insane humidity when Hye Sook tapped me on the shoulder and told me she needed help. Many people that Dan knows from Daejeon had come down this weekend to watch the baseball game and go see Dan play at a nearby bar. Logan was one of them, and he was getting into some trouble. See, the Busan fans weren't very happy with a bunch of Daejeon fans sitting in their section anyway, but Logan (and others) were rubbing it in whenever Daejeon made a good play. Logan had had a few too many and decided it would be a good idea to dance in front of the Busan cheerleaders. Security was called in, and Logan wasn't going quietly.

Me and a few of the other guys got up and tried to get Logan to sit back down, but he just kept saying, "I just want to go over there. This is some communist shit. This isn't a democracy. I just want to go over there," and other stuff to that effect. Logan isn't a small guy, so trying to get him to sit down wasn't easy. Three of us and two security guards were still struggling when I felt something bang against my shoulder. I looked down and saw that I was soaked. An irate Busan fan had thrown a full water bottle from up in the stands. It bounced off one of the security guards' heads and hit me in the shoulder, where it burst open.

This, of course, made the situation much much worse. The other guys that were with me started screaming at the man who threw the bottle, Logan was getting away, and the security guard was angry and bleeding from a small gash on his forehead. After much ado, Logan was finally corralled and eventually got kicked out of the stadium after arguing with the guards for a good 10 minutes. The security guards got the bottle thrower, but he simply said that he was sorry and apparently that was enough, because he got to go back to his seat.

The lesson: when captured by Korean security guards, whether dancing in front of the other team's cheeleaders or throwing bottles trying to injure other fans, saying sorry just might get you out of it.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Nice Place

It's 11:30 on Thursday night. We've been living in our new apartment for a couple weeks now. It's a significant upgrade from our last place, but it'll be a lot nicer once we get all the furniture. A real bed will be nice. I'm sleeping on a mat on the floor currently; it's a nice mat, no question, but it's a mat.

The semester's been over for a couple weeks too. I've been lazing around a lot, preparing for next semester's classes, riding my bike, that sort of thing. I started teaching some summer classes yesterday for some extra money and to give myself something to do. I've been writing a bit more. I finished a short story the other day--the first in a while. These days, I tend to start the stories but not finish them. It's odd to say, but I think part of that comes from being generally happy and content with my life. It's a lot easier to write when you're in upheaval, upset, angry, depressed, or generally just in a bad place--easier for me, anyway.

These days things are good, sure, but I also have a bit of a feeling of "what's next?". Moving was the big project recently, and now that's checked off the old to-do list. Actually, everything's checked off the old to-do list. No big trips planned. No big life changes coming up. So what now? I'm not sure, really. Moving back to the US? Starting my PhD? Hye Sook going to cooking school? Yeah, those are all there. Those are all definitely things down the road, but they're still a little bit too far down the road to really be "real" yet.

Part of me wishes I could pack up with Hye Sook tomorrow and just head off to somewhere new, mix things up a little again like I did 4 years ago (for those counting, it actually HAS been four years since I left the US now as of last Sunday). Part of me is also scared of that possibility, of losing the wonderful life that I've built for myself here. When I packed up 4 years ago, it wasn't like this: I wasn't leaving a lot behind. Sure, there were family and friends, but I could keep in touch. But a good job? A stable relationship? A comfortable life? I wasn't leaving behind any of that. No, packing up and leaving now would be far scarier than it was 4 years ago. Now, I actually have something to lose. Now, I could potentially end up worse off, but back then, I only had two places to go: up or sideways.

I'm sure it'll be scary when Hye Sook and I actually do go back to the US. There'll be a lot of unknowns: a new city, new jobs, a new life. In some ways, going home will be a lot harder than coming here. There will be one big plus, though: I won't be doing it alone. And although I'm sure that Hye Sook will be just as scared as I am (very possibly more so), it'll be nice to have her there as a sounding board and as a comfort when things get rough, as I'm sure they will. That'll be nice, indeed.