Sunday, November 29, 2009

Falling in love with Ansan

Today has been great.

David took me to lunch at this FABULOUS Italian place down the street. And I mean ITALIAN. Not Olive Garden American-style Italian smothered in cheese. I had spaghetti pomodoro with lots of veggies and spices.

I learned that David is 45, married, his son has recently joined the army, and he has a daughter, too. He studied philosophy in school and values happiness in life; he likes to read, spends time at the library, and has been teaching English for 8 years.

After lunch, we went to the city hall, which he told me is open to serve the public 24 hours a day, and he picked up a map and tourist's guidebook of Ansan. It's all in Korean, so I will have to step up and learn the language.

Then we went to the library, which is within walking distance (maybe 30 minutes) from my place. <3! It has several racks of English books, with a LOT of fairy tales and classics. This might be my weekend hangout until the weather warms up. There is also a sizable DVD library with private viewing areas and lots of desks to study or connect to the internet. I will have to wait until I get my Alien Registration Card before I can get a library card, but I can go there to sit and read. And there is a cafeteria in the basement. The fourth floor of the library has a GORGEOUS view of Lake Park, and I will definitely be returning for pictures.
(OK, so it's pretty ugly in winter.)

The sun was out today, though everything was hazy, and it was kinda nice weather. We walked a bit in the park. It was really pretty today. Last time I went was too gray. David told me 5 years ago there was nothing here. Ansan is a new city and I live in the downtown part of it. It is based on Melbourne and is the first planned city of South Korea.

Next stop: Hongdae? Seoul? Yongsan?

Posterity, Pt2

MP is safely in Korea. It's 10 p.m. here. Video upload forthcoming.
November 14 at 7:02am

MP The previous resident left me quite a bit of what looks to be booze- a bottle of wine, a handle of Sagatiba (looks like vodka), and a fancy bottle of possibly anything.
November 14 at 8:08am

MP is now on Skype. Search user name TheMonBelly
November 14 at 9:15am

MP has never lived alone before. And I can't even walk around naked because the blinds are jacked up. :(
November 14 at 9:43am

MP 's assigned bed is hard as a rock. Love it.
November 14 at 5:01pm

MP <3s Korean boy bands on the TV. November 15 at 2:00am MP For two whole days I've been looking out my window at the blur of store signs and ads across the street, and it only just dawned on me seconds ago that some of them read "Wine bar" and "Live bar."
November 16 at 8:23am

MP is filled with joy. The Dunkin' Donuts clerk speaks English.
November 16 at 7:10pm

MP If day one was "I'm not sure teaching is for me," then day two is "I got this," with a smug nod of the head.
November 17 at 4:42am

MP So who wants the loaf of bread with a face and arms plushie from Korea?
November 17 at 6:04am

MP bought her sis a smiley face "Have your a smile" t-shirt today.
November 17 at 6:29am

MP found out her local mart sells bunnies. Can anyone think of a reason I shouldn't get one except that I'd stay in all day and cuddle it and become a recluse? It's too cold to want to go out and explore anyway.
November 17 at 7:09am

MP just spent $12.41 on a personal cheese pizza from Pizza Hut and is not ashamed to say so. They wrapped up the box in a little red bow. Do you know what is wrapped up in this bow? That's right- happiness and joy.
November 18 at 5:29am

MP needs to learn to go to bed earlier and get up earlier because this not having blinds thing means I wake up at dawn, dawn:20, dawn:40, and so on.
November 18 at 8:01am

MP Freezing rain.... it feels just like home.
November 20 at 5:26am

MP is steeped in apathy
November 20 at 8:45pm

MP is trying to psych herself up to venture into the cold.
November 21 at 4:08am

November 21 at 6:27am

MP "Ha! I am amazing," I exclaimed after successfully finding the key combination of 7 switches and 2 buttons in my breaker box to reboot the electricity. It only took 25 minutes, but I didn't have to call my boss to ask him to call maintenance. Yatta!
November 22 at 4:17am

MP saw a pheasant today.
November 22 at 7:35pm

MP wonders how she ever found her way ANYWHERE before satellite imaging maps.
November 22 at 7:36pm

MP has acquired precision screwdrivers and will now be cracking open her busted up camera. Wee!
November 23 at 6:55am

MP just won the "Sniff this Chemical to Determine if it's Bleach" Game!
November 23 at 7:37pm

MP loves how cheap Coke is in Korea. About $1 for a liter. :)
November 23 at 9:04pm

MP Help! I cannot upload to YouTube because I'm in Korea. I cannot upload my vid to Webshots because at <5min and 134Mb, they say it's too big. Suggestions where to upload? November 25 at 9:18pm MP is celebrating Thanksgiving with Uzbek leftovers.
November 26 at 5:09am

MP ventures forth in search of ice cream.
November 26 at 5:43am

MP Oh, dear Paris Baguette/ Won't you be my frenemy?/ Gluttony divine
November 26 at 8:48pm

MP is ever falling more deeply in love with Korean boy bands. For shame!
November 27 at 7:54am

MP is learning to jump rope. Her record so far is 18 skips without tripping.
November 27 at 8:15pm

MP Oh! The problem is that it's catching on my ponytail and randomly slowing the interval. Genius!
November 27 at 8:19pm

MP 36!
November 27 at 8:28pm

MP saw her first fatty in Korea today.
November 28 at 2:31am

MP WTF?! Why do I sometimes smell cigarette smoke in my bathroom?! It's bleeping disgusting.
November 29 at 8:30am

MP finally acquired an American-sized pillow! It was all rolled up and disguised in "Pillow Stuffing" packaging.
November 30 at 7:00am

MP is oh so envious of all her friends who got to go to TRF this year.
November 30 at 7:22am

MP can't seem to stop puking. There's nothing left in there! Gah, remind me never to get pregnant.
November 30 at 8:55pm

Thursday, November 26, 2009


In one class today, we were learning about music genres with audio examples. I pressed "play," and the first example was a well-known classical piece I can't name because I'm just not very cultured. The rock example was Bon Jovi's "It's my Life." Pretty cool; I'm bobbing my head. Next is a smooth jazz example.
0:33- 0:40

Example number four blares out, "And I was like, good gracious/ That ass is bodacious..." Picture my jaw on the floor. Shifty eyes- left, right, left. OK, none of these kids know what just happened other than they should write "rap" in the appropriate blank in their book. Now, the question is: Do I tell someone this is inappropriate? Or do I just leave it as a surprise for the next English teacher who rolls through this program?

I think the answer is clear.

Turkey Day update

Monday, November 23, 2009

Have you seen Paranormal Activity?

Otherworldly thing,
Annoying me in my sleep.
Cut it out, wanker!

Last night the power went out while I was making dinner. I don't necessarily find anything spooky about that. However, something turned on my radio to loud static in the middle of the night. I am not pleased.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Walking, nice cold day.
Exploring my town, Ansan.
Parks, stadium, arts.

About seven miles,
Exhausted, then fourteen flights.
Time for a nap now.

Also, they spit in the street here. It's gross. But they don't blow their noses because they think that's gross. Which means I hang around a lot of little kids with snot running down their faces. Awesome.

Last night's haikus

Please, what is this place?
My heartbeat thrums familiar
Drowned out by this place.

Bedding smells like me
Finally comfortable
And so fall asleep

Can he forgive me?
Still berating myself here.
And how long will I?

The stuff of nightmares and unwelcome guests

While I am loathe to put myself out there like this, I need to know why this happened and if it's preventable.

I have a history of having nightmares that could probably be classified as night terrors happening twice a year or so, usually focusing on an apocalypse type of event and/or people I love dying horribly.

But I think this one was worse.

The first thing I remember was walking with a child on my right to see a white rabbit in the forest. As we approached, there was a blur of motion and in the blink of an eye, the rabbit was mauled. Dead. Then the child turned and looked at me in horror. I couldn't understand why.

Back among other people, they accused me, but I couldn't understand why. There was no evidence to point to this. Then I felt pieces of something in my mouth and spit them out. It was chunks of meat. I wiped my mouth with my white sleeve near my wrist and saw gobs of blood. More when I wiped with my other sleeve.

Cue consuming fear and self-doubt as to my sanity.

There was a skinny old priest yelling at me, much too close to me, for my evil actions.

The vision went on very long and I tried several times, unsuccessfully, to rouse myself. The events in the middle are fuzzy.

Later I visited a gorilla habitat after hours but the night watchman said it was OK. He let them out (15) and they lined up against the wall. For a moment they were men, convicts, unshackled. And I knew something about this wasn't right. Then two started to fight. They were gorillas again. I tried to back away but more appeared behind me, fighting. I was boxed in and they drew nearer, crushing me. I fell. I can't remember what was after that.

The last thing I remember was lying down, on a couch it seemed. Something or someone was on top of me. It seemed like the priest from before, but it wasn't. It seemed like a man, but it wasn't human. It was dry and thin and shriveled. But it was pressing me down and I couldn't move. My arms were free and I summoned all the energy I could, physical and otherwise, to push it off me, but it didn't budge, didn't react. I know I could have moved anything that was real. Terror and panic. I had gone to bed naked but was wearing clothes throughout the dream. Still, it felt as if the thing were violating me and I felt it moving atop me.

I continued to struggle to wake myself. I finally succeeded, breathing hard and searching the room, panicked, with my eyes when I came to. I awoke lying flat on my back with my hands resting atop my hips. I never sleep like this. As long as I've been here, I sleep on my side or stomach. My body still felt violated. I don't know what else to call it. My skin crawled with the memory of being shamed. And it was irritated and breaking out between my breasts and belly button. There was a small scratch.

I woke around 4 a.m. and curled up on my side after a while when I no longer feared to move. I had to get up and put clothes on before I could go back to sleep. It seemed so real. I really thought something had attacked me there in my room and was lingering, watching, waiting. But I didn't know what to do.

I put on an ex's t-shirt. I have very few things belonging to exes, but I associate the clothing with comfort. I wished so hard I had packed the ex's sweatshirt. But it had been so long since I felt I needed it, I didn't think I would while I was away from home. Maybe 30 minutes later, I finally fell asleep.

I got up about 9 a.m. and my skin still feels weird. My stomach feels queasy in relation to it. My hands are shaky. Still. I can't summon the words to explain the depth of the fear I felt that continued on and on in several situations. A highly stressful emotional state summoned again and again.

I hadn't eaten close to going to bed, and before I did, I was reading web comics, articles on life in Korea, and listening to the movie "Shakespeare in Love." I went to bed with a bout of homesickness but calmed myself by composing haikus before I fell asleep. So about this nightmare- wtf?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Freezing rain- it feels just like home

My boss was pleased to drive me home today. And I got my first feedback of the week; he said he thinks I am a quick learner. We didn't play hangman in ANY of my classes today! (Hangman is the goto when I fail to have enough material.)

The bus to work was infinitely better. Lots of red lights, a better driver, and a seat! I still got off a few blocks early because I worry about missing my stop. And it occurs to me that walking two blocks is probably a good thing.

What's 14 flights of stairs at 13 steps apiece? It's my having a rock hard butt by the next time you see me. Scratch that. By the end of the month probably. Or a heart attack.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Have I mentioned I live on the 7th floor?

Because I decided today there is no reason at all that I shouldn't be taking the stairs up to my apartment unless I'm carrying groceries. What I failed to account for, however, as I began my ascent, was the issue of loft-style apartments being about 70% taller than the average 8-10 foot ceiling. Meaning I just walked up an awful lot of stairs and am huffing and puffing a bit.

Also, I don't like to tell stories chronologically. Today was the first day I tackled the bus on my own. EEGAD! Instead of lining up to get on when it stops, people jostle and push to get in front of you to get on. And then I found out why- it only stops for about 7 seconds before tearing off to the next stop at lightning speed, and heaven help you if you're not holding on tight and don't have the reflexes of a stuntman. (I don't, but I expect practice will help.) Not only does the driver speed up and slow down like someone trying to throw a zombie from the roof, but it's a manual transmission and he shifts HARD.

I had to get off 2 blocks too soon because I just couldn't take it anymore and was halfway to an anxiety attack. I kind of wanted to cry. This certainly settles the question of whether I'll be moving closer to school next month. I knew there had to be a reason why I was hesitant to settle in, unpack, and decorate here. I just didn't know the reason until today. Which is marginally unfortunate because, at second glance there are closer to a dozen bars on my block alone.

Classes went really well today. Not perfect, but I think I will have mastered the art of planning adequate activities to occupy a full hour if (read: when) the lesson does not. This being the fourth day of classes, I only just learned that I am supposed to be cleaning the same classroom before school starts everyday, not the first one on my schedule each day, as I had previously been doing. Nice.

I started tutoring the boss's son today. It will be 30 minutes everyday after classes. No pressure, Mon. And in addition to the unstructured tutoring, I have a class full of 14-year-olds who have neither a textbook nor a lesson plan. Fun! (read: sarcasm)

I discovered an acquaintance from Denton lives in the same town as me, so I'm hoping we can get in touch and maybe she'll show me around a bit. I'm really excited about this development as my introverted nature is probably not the best-suited for the adventure of a lifetime that I chose. Nor is my stomach. It's pretty pissed about that pizza. Blegh.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Korea: day 4, School: day 3

So today was mostly good except for my first class was total anarchy. They had a test yesterday so nothing on the docket today. They are young (8ish) and wild and couldn't even play a civilized game of hangman. I've never wanted to hogtie anything before today.

Half my last class fell asleep. They finished what was needed for the day, so I'm hard pressed to give a darn.

There's a small parking garage in the basement of my building, and lots of people double park. I saw the weirdest thing in Korea thus far today. When my boss picked me up, he went up to a van in the way, stuck his hand out, and pushed the van back out of the way. *Jaw drop* I guess they don't use parking brakes here?

Yesterday I went shopping by myself for the first time. I didn't really need anything, but I wanted to familiarize myself with what's available. The answer is pretty much everything. And then some. I got "Hot choco" for me, a "Have your a smile" smiley face t-shirt for my sis, and a loaf of bread plushie for Sam.

Then I got home, decided I didn't have enough milk for hot choco and would pick some up. Then today my boss brought over 2 cartons of milk, saying his sons were sick and couldn't drink it. (?) Cool. Then I looked at my hot choco and asked myself how in the world would I prepare it without a microwave. After work, my boss brought me a microwave and showed me how to use it.

Being now overstocked with milk about to hit its expiration date, I decided to pour myself a glass. I poured what was given me. Man, does it smell weird. I don't know what yonsei milk is, so I really don't know whether it's weird or bad. A friend told me it's soy milk. Oooh. I hate soy milk. Like really hate. I've been staring at this glass for probably 15 or 20 minutes now. I pick it up now and then and put it near my face, but I just can't bring myself to drink it. What a waste.

Since the seafood noodles incident, I'd been planning on treating myself to an American pizza, and there's a Pizza Hut on my block. I finally got one tonight after work. The hostess was immensely helpful in pointing out the pictures and prices on the menu for me. Thank goodness Korean for "take out" is "take out." I paid $12.41 for a personal cheese pizza (marginally bigger than Pizza Hut drive-through pizzas at home) and did not feel the least bit guilty.

They wrapped the box in a little red bow! I walked home, eager to unwrap the happiness and joy contained therein. They gave me a baggy of condiments, including a side of sweet pickles. I don't know either. But they were awful tasty. The pizza itself? Well, it was crap. You know how Pizza Hut changed its crust to yummy in the last year or so? Well, not in Korea. C'est la vie. There are easily at least a dozen other American style pizza places within a mile radius of here.

I had a Coke today. It was AWESOME.

I've counted a half dozen bars within 100 yards of my place, too. My boss said there are several foreign teachers in my building, though I've yet to stumble across a single one. The other teachers at my school said the foreign teachers all hang out at one bar, but they didn't know which.
Looks like I'll have a busy weekend ahead of me.
I am up to the challenge.

Monday, November 16, 2009

First day of school

I feel a deep and abiding shame and disgust, revolting repulsion for the sickening, nigh unspeakable horrors inflicted upon my poor, fragile mortal shell this day.

Rape? Kinda. Really I just need a pizza. Stat.

My boss took me to lunch today. He asked what kind of food I wanted, assured me we could get American food, but I said I wanted to try Korean food, how about noodles. So he ordered for me noodles with seafood. There were dead creatures in my dish! Scallops, a prawn, and the pointy half of a crab. But I ate. Only the noodles. I mentally coached myself around the disgusting creatures contaminating my dish and only gagged once. I'm not sure what exactly that says about my character that I can choke down the most disgusting stuff on earth for the sake of being polite, but I feel I need someone to say to me that I'm a bigger man than they.

Also, our server made fun of me for eating the noodles first; supposedly that action makes people fat. Horrified, mortified, whatever, I laughed along with him.

Cheese sandwich, you are my sunshine in this God-forsaken land of fish.

To school:
It's a lucky thing I'm thin-ish because my boss parks so freaking close to other cars. Also, they drive like fucking maniacs over here. There are signs at many intersections that allow for unprotected left turns on red lights. And they only pay heed to any red lights as they see fit. And they turn from whatever damn lane they please and cut others off often. But there is no rage. It's like the Twilight Zone or something.

When we pulled up, I decided I would move to the apartments by the school for sure, an option I've been given for the end of the year. I could open my window there and spit on the school. But later my fellow teachers asked about my current place and said they heard it was expensive. What? I dunno.
I was told I'd be teaching 10- to 12-year-olds. By that, they mean 8 to 14. The first class was the worst. The kids were so much younger than I expected, so adorable and exuberant and LOUD. The academy is set up with 3 Korean teachers and me. Annie was there to help me through the first class, only she had no idea what the foreign teacher's role is supposed to be, so that went poorly.
I spent 2 whole classes playing hangman. And 2 half classes. These kids LOVE hangman. It's nuts. The class the other teachers warned me about having ill-behaved children wasn't that bad.

My last class was 13- and 14-year-old boys who gave me crap for not knowing Korean but phrased it so well in English that I can't help but want to smack the one upside the head. Whatever. They're not so bad.

I tried Kimpa (sp???), rice and stuff wrapped in seaweed. It tasted ok except for the seaweed, but now I'm having gross tasting burps.

My boss gave me a prepaid cell phone. After 3 days of peaceful separation from one, I am loathe to carry this one.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

First day in town

My first meal in Korea consisted of scrambled eggs and dry cereal I found in the apartment. And then I couldn't figure out how to turn off the stove. Every time I fiddled with the knob it got hotter, so I just walked away for a while. Eventually it turned itself off.

Walked around my neighborhood for about an hour this morning. It's a good thing I have a good sense of direction because I don't know where anything is, don't know my address, and can't read the street signs. The wind chill was 27 degrees F, and my camera does not work in cold weather, might be permanently damaged for all I know right now.

Pizza Hut
Outback Steakhouse
Baskin Robbins (In a food court overwhelmingly permeated with the stink of seafood)
Dunkin' Donuts on my corner
lots of pizza places
lots of coffeehouses/cafes
walk/bike trail a mile or 2 long with workout equipment in the center (There is workout equipment sitting all over the city for public use. Too cool.)
a number of shops specializing in awesome activewear
Kim's Club- "This Korean—style warehouse is operated by New Core Company and is open 24 hours a day. It has 12 local branches and offers more than 3,000 kinds of merchandise including groceries. Shoppers can purchase electronic appliances, sportswear, clothing and household items at discounted prices. You are sure to save plenty of cash, so buy everything you intend to!"

My boss showed me around and took me shopping later in the day. Riding in a car with heated seats is a very unusual experience for a first-timer. He showed me where the school is and where the bus stops are to get there, also the subway (train) station and two 24-hour convenience stores near me, which he said were expensive. Found a stand-alone Robbins and a KFC. A big thank you to Coca Cola for conquering the globe. (Imagine double chest pound and peace sign.) Much love.

The next building over from my apartment is a many storied store like a department store and grocery and bed and bath and has a food court, dry cleaning, photo processing, and I don't know how much more. They sell hula hoops everywhere here. I might need one. I know it's much to early to say so, but I'm gonna pull a Moseby. I think I'm in love.

Ask me about my flight

Friday, Nov. 13
4:19 a.m. CST - My ride is here. I didn't sleep last night because it's easier for me to stay up until I have to leave than to try to sleep for 3 hours.
5:20 a.m. CST - I can check two bags free of charge, but they amount to 1 pound over the weight limit. The ticket lady doesn't charge me. <3 This means I have packed my weight in luggage.
7:12 a.m. CST - It's dawn and my plane is backing out from the terminal. A sense of finality sets in; I could have backed out any time before now, but I am encapsulated and well on my way. I feel alone (but not lonely). I feel the weight of everyone else's worries for me.
7:17 a.m. CST - As the plane lifts off and away from what has been my only home for as long as I can remember, I take note of the internal monologue running through my head. My day will amount to 24 hours total spent in airports and in the air. I may as well tell you all about it.
8:50 a.m. PST - The plane touches down in San Francisco. I suppose it was a good flight; I slept through the takeoff until initial descent.
9:05 a.m. PST - A lot of cute Asians at San Fran Internt'l, Nick. Look at all the my size people!
9:17 a.m. PST - I just spent $11 on a plate of eggs. I will even go so far as to say they were nearly worth it. Breakfast is my favorite.
9:48 a.m. PST - What am I going to do with the remaining 3.5 hours of my layover? Walk laps around the terminal and check out the duty free shops. Boy, if you like liquor, cigarettes, fancy fine chocolates, or perfume, this is the place for you.
11:26 a.m. PST - The motion activated toilet flushed before I was finished and splashed potty water all over my hiney. This is my sad face.
12:28 p.m. PST - There's a man waiting to board my flight wearing a Metallica tshirt, jeans, black combat boots, black trench coat, and sporting a partially shaved head, long ponytail, goatee and sunglasses indoors, carrying an orange duffel bag. He looks so menacing.... I love it.
12:46 p.m. PST - Boarding. Look out Korea. Here I come.
2:27 p.m. PST - I didn't know why airline food has such a bad rap, until now. Yuck.
4:08 p.m. PST - I got to watch the second half of "The Time Traveler's Wife." I don't know if I'll ever be able to watch it again without getting all teared up. There's a cool screen feature that shows a map of our plane's position over the Pacific in real time. The outside air temperature is -59 degrees F or -51 C. Fucking Celsius. Fucking metric system. Who thought up that bullshit anyway?
7:42 p.m. PST - We've just crossed the international date line. That makes it Saturday.
8:07 p.m. PST - We're being served Chinese noodles and given a spork and chopsticks. It's become painfully obvious that I can't eat noodles with a spork. I stare at my food in frustration. I don't do chopsticks. I say it's because I'm left handed. But the ladies on either side of me are slurping away, so I cease to worry about looking like an idiot with chopsticks and follow suit. (After landing, I heard some other American passengers complaining about the same issue. One guy said he couldn't use chopsticks and his friend asked him if he had ever eaten Chinese food. I almost turned around and said that's what forks are for.)
10:02 p.m. PST - I've been on this plane for 8 hours, 27 minutes. I would kill for a neck massage. And a shower. My own skin feels greasy to me. I found out I give a damn good self massage.
12:36 a.m. PST - HOT turkey sandwich on sourdough. Black Eyed Peas' "I got a Feelin'" in my earbuds. Does it get any better than this?
6:56 p.m. Korea - Turbulent landing. I think I'm gonna puke.

A guy name John (I think?) met me at the airport and put me on a bus. He said my stop is Ansan and it's the last stop. I asked how long the ride would be, and he said maybe 30 minutes.
It was closer to an hour. I waited outside for a bit but did not see any signs with my name, so I wrastled luggage weighing more than me inside to wait for my ride because it was damn cold, deciding it was my boss' job to find me now, not the other way around.

Welcome to Korea

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

For posterity

I will be compiling my Korea-related Facebook updates and posting them periodically. Also, I left Facebook on CST. So ignore the time stamps, I guess. Here is the pre-Korea list.

MP just had an interview today to teach English in Korea. This might be one of the coolest jobs ever. Send some "land the job" vibes my way if you have the chance! :0)
June 8 at 6:15pm

MP is going to Korea in September! *JOY!*
June 9 at 7:07pm

MP Do you ever have the feeling that maybe your life has no greater purpose than being the butt of some cosmic joke? That's what my week has been like. I can't decide whether to laugh, cry, or glower at the skies.
June 17 at 8:36pm

MP spent $150 on a damn passport today.
June 23 at 6:26pm

MP is broke and desperately seeking work. :-(
June 29 at 1:56pm

MP This is for everyone who was worried about me being sold into slavery.
Footprints Recruiting | Better Business Bureau Review | Vancouver, BC BBB Rating
Based on BBB files, this business has a BBB Rating of A+ on a scale from A+ to F.
August 31 at 11:02pm

MP made her first trip ever into a pawn shop today. It wasn't nearly as seedy or shady as she expected, and they paid her exactly what she was expecting.
August 5 at 9:32pm

MP Needs to make a daytrip to Austin this week to get shit certified for Korea. Anyone want to come with?
September 8 at 11:33am

MP put in three applications today. Woo.
September 21 at 5:10pm

MP is not looking forward to writing a cover letter
September 21 at 3:28pm

MP got a job offer for a school about 40 min. south of Seoul. :0)
October 13 at 4:37pm

MP is going home to pack. Can anyone recommend a cheap, climate-controlled storage place in or near Denton?
October 13 at 4:43pm

MP can't believe she's willing to get rid of ELEVEN pairs of shoes. Awesome. That perfectly halves the space they take up under my bed.
October 16 at 7:26pm

MP wishes she owned more pawnable stuff.
October 21 at 4:31pm 

MP is frustrated with paperwork, red tape, and bureacracy in general.
October 22 at 3:25pm

MP is packing. Bah humbug.
October 27 at 6:50pm

MP is contemplating how long it will take to bicycle 280 miles to Houston. For the record, getting information on/from the Korean Consulate is a bit like shooting craps.
October 30 at 2:14pm

MP will TELL you as soon as she knows what day she's leaving. Stop asking or I might have to sign up for Twitter.
November 2 at 7:19pm

MP is headed to Houston in the morning. Bleck.
November 4 at 8:01pm

MP "They’ve decided to change your departure date to the 13th because it’s easier for them if you arrive on a weekend. This way, you have some time to relax. :)"
November 5 at 10:05pm

MP has the appropriate power adapter. Woot!
November 8 at 5:52pm

MP is straightening out the turmoil.
November 10 at 12:41pm

MP has her flight itinerary. Depart DFW 7:16 a.m. Friday the 13th, arrive Seoul 7:15 p.m. Nov. 14. 4 hours to San Fran and 13 to Seoul. I'll be living 14 hours in the FUTURE!
November 11 at 11:41am

MP On Saturday, it will be 57 degrees F in Seoul with scattered clouds.
November 11 at 12:37pm

MP genuinely believes the airwaves are conspiring against her today. She was only in Albertson's for a few minutes total, and they played Green Day's "Time of Your Life," and the radio has been playing similar noise designed to elicit an emotional response.
November 12 at 11:19am

MP splurged on 2 pairs of new boots but won't get to wear them until she is in Korea. Omg they are sexy. *Joy*
November 12 at 11:29am

"You're so much braver than I am"

Am I? It's what a handful of people have said to me about my leaving. I generally dismissed it, not really understanding what they meant. I've never lived more than an hour from home and never been away from home for more than 2 months, and that was with family. It could be awful for me over there, but I won't really know until I get there, will I? So what is this you mean about my being brave?

Except that it's started to creep into the pot simmering on the back burner in my mind. I'm pretty sure if I watched the pot, I'd start freaking out. So instead I'm keeping myself busy doing other things. Don't really want to think about it for fear of incapacitating...fear? I guess. Choosing not to address the issue because I see no sense in worrying over how I don't know I'll feel a week from now seems like a waste of my energy. And that's different from denial, isn't it?

My aunt went to teach English in Japan at about my age and had to come home after three months. Yikes.

I'm banking on being too busy learning to teach, learning my surroundings, learning the language, and trying to stay afloat once I arrive to be rightly homesick.

Oh my God, I hate this medication. I started the pill last week and I am miserable. Depression, fatigue, serious weight gain, upset stomach, and more- I really hope the symptoms even out soon because I feel like a wreck.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Preparing the way

A few nights ago, a guy asked me what in the world would I do in Korea without a "real" (read: caucasian) man to satisfy me. I am not concerned and told him I doubt there will be any problem, but still he pressed, going so far as to suggest he come visit me there. Awkward.

I was exceedingly offended by his remarks (The very idea that a woman should need a man to satisfy her- ha! as if), and the feeling stuck with me for days until I had an epiphany last night.

As laughable as I find the matter, I understand why you (all you men, really) have to believe such a thing is true and go on joking about endowments as they relate to ethnicity. It's a bit sad, really, because it's clear now that you have little self worth except for that defined by your perceived value to women. Is your penis really the best thing you have going for you?

I don't expect any of you to believe me because it just might shatter your worldview, but here it is: women don't need you and can, in fact, live without you. We don't love your peter half as much as you do, and I'm not sure that we could even aspire to. I understand how a man would be threatened by such a revelation, so I have no intention of telling you to cease your delusions of being God's gift to women.

Personally, I must say I find the notion of my only being God's gift to men tragically depressing. I am my own, and my self-worth is not measured by how pleasing others judge my physical traits to be.

Perhaps I am remiss in not sooner mentioning that I'm no man-hating, liberal, hippie feminist of questionable orientation; I'm really not. Don't get me wrong; I love men and I love to love them. But the only downside I can see to not having one around to "please" and "satisfy" me, as it were, is more free time. And I have been wanting to write a book.

Sorry, fellas. Women being able to take care of themselves and solve their own frustrations probably threatens the world order and your life's purpose. Perhaps some of you ought to consider higher aspirations. If this bothers you, if you have a problem with my being a whole person, complete and self-possessed as an individual, well, it's not my problem.

That being the case, we will now part ways. But please know that I wish you the very best of luck in finding converts for the cult of your cock.