Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mundane is good, too

My days are beginning to feel mundane, and I'm really OK with that.

Today brought a delightfully warm and rainy front of about 48F. So I was dripping sweat everywhere I went indoors because Koreans determine weather not by mercury but by the date (season), and still have the heaters blasting inside. All the same, I found today to be a blessed reprieve from the long winter. Tomorrow will be even warmer. :0)

My phone wasn't working this weekend, so I asked my boss about it. He said the prepay costs 10,000 won ($8.50) per month and he'd put 20,000 won on it when he gave it to me. He said I can put more money on it at any cell phone store and pointed to one across the street. After work, I went there with money in my hand and gestured at my phone. The salesperson shook her head no and waved me away. The same at 2 other shops on the same block.

In Ansan (and most of Korea, as I understand it), you can't throw a rock without hitting a Dunkin' Donuts, Paris Baguette, and a Baskin Robbins. And cell phone boutiques easily outnumber all these combined by 3 to 1. I resolved to spend as long as it took to find a shop that could help me; there are at least 20 across the street from my place. Luckily, the first one I hit in my neighborhood said they could help me tomorrow because it was "close time," though all the lights were on and the sign on the door read "Open."

Returning the next morning, the salesman asked for "card-uh" in addition to my money. I pulled card after card from my wallet, and he shook his head "no" for every one until I reached my alien card. Success! It's amazing how far one can get in Korea with little more than "Hello" and "Thank you" to her vocabulary and a sunny disposition.

So I've finished reading "The Traveler's Gift" and have to recommend it. It's a personal success/self help kind of book with a good fictional story weaving together "The Seven Decisions for Personal Success." Whatever your opinions of the 'power of positive thought' trend, the book's advice has practical applications. Inspired, I decided this week that a bunch of shit head children could no longer determine how good or bad my day was. I reclaimed happiness in my own name and have had a pretty good week thus far.

In other news, I'm taking the One Hundred Pushups Challenge, a six week program designed to help me reach 100 pushups in one set. I managed 14 good form pushups for my initial test, not bad considering I only do 10 every morning right now. I'm excited to start this program next week. Anyone else want to join me?

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