Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Random thoughts 1/26/11

Lets have some Random

I’ve written at least two blogs on the topic of money... and they over lap so I havent sent them out, because the idea still feels undercooked but yet over worked. So you’ll have to be content to wait.... or just move on with your lives.

Whats new:

I’ve been beguiled by the idea of learning Korean - though there is still a rational battle going on within me between Japanese and Korean vying for the “next” spot. There are a few reasons for why. I’ve started to taste what it is like to have somewhat of a foothold in Chinese, which gives me hope that I will be able to direct my attention to learning the structure and fundamentals of “the next one” in about a years time. There is still a lot of considering to do, but the following are definite supporting reasons (however much the resemble infatuation... I dont care ^_^)
- I just watched one of the most INCREDIBLE movies ever, my first Korean one. It was chocked full of bloody Kungfueyness, it was a well told story, and it was very moving.
- There is all kinds of cuteness going on linguistically and population wise (not to mention that it is one of the biggest fashion centers for Asia)

- I have a super awesome Chinese friend that teaches Korean.

- Its an underdog. The US is very involved in the goings on of South Korea, and I am not totally sure why... but the potential there is interesting to me. Also - with the gazillions of Anime nerds (im somewhat in the closet...), there are a few who actually manage to learn Japanese. So in the competition... there ARE plenty of people who speak Japanese... less so that speak Korean (relative to the American language learning population I mean).

Next new thing:

I have been part of this “winter camp” nonsense at the kid school run by the company I work for. Its essentially daycare. I didn’t sign up for this crud...
Though - if the degradation of ones personal dignity can lend me the opportunity to study chinese for the next year, i’ll be able to tolerate it to a degree.... I guess.

Anyhow, I had a little girl tell me she was gonna fart on me (like attack fart)... in Chinese... and I understood it and had a hard time not rolling on the floor.

Another littler girl evidently has this monster crush on me. She would demand my attention and then bat her eyelashes at me... repeatedly. Then latch on to my leg at every opportunity. She also went and found a snow white dress that we have in the school and came up to me and said that her prince had arrived, and latched onto me again.

After “teaching” for about 45 minutes, the remainder of the 3 hour block was a combination of playing hide and seek and whatever other games we could think of...


I just tried out the Korean style bath house. It was incredible. Frankly it wasnt really all that different from the Chinese style bath house... in fact im pretty sure it was exactly the same, but with Korean words sprinkled around the place. That said - there was still a whole variety of glory - cool warm and hot pools, a sauna, and a “sunshine” room in addition to the normalties of a Chinese bathhouse such as a large “resting hall with large recliners each housing an a personal TV with over 150 channels, tea service, massages etc.

This is one type of lavish that I absolutely love about China... and think I will come back on vacation almost specifically for this feature. For about USD$11 I can go and lounge for any amount of time within 24 hours... in gloriously hot water with fruit, and general refreshments included. Alcohol and massages come extra, but whatever.

Aside from being displaced... white, young and naked in a room of Chinese men who are generally in their mid 30s-40s (though all ages are welcome... I saw a few 20 somethings)... its a wonderfully relaxing experience. Needless to say - Im no longer concerned with visual privacy, and I’ve seen enough schpedoinkle to last a lifetime....

I still like to NOT have naked Chinese men absently throwing water which ends up on me... Part of me thinks some added cultural rules would be nice.

Anyhow, I left there and as I was on my way out I started feeling very “displaced”. Its a word I use for my situation when I feel that something really doesn’t fit, and is shoved to the wayside.

I like having new adventures, but not having people to share them with BLOWS! Most of my friends are either girls, out of town, or both... and that scenario is not very China compatible. Being a family based society, your either with your friends from work or school or with your family. I didnt go to school here, I don’t always gel with my co-workers to the point where I wanna do stuff like go to a bath-house with them, and once again - most of my friends are out of town. There aren’t really “activity” clubs or groups where you can go to meet new people and learn something new like in Canada or the US. You meet people through work, your family, or through your other friends.

As I said before, this makes me feel a bit displaced. So I went to dinner at a faux-Japanese restaurant, and then came home to my apartment. Fortunately its not VERY big, or it would feel super empty. I can at least take a sweeping glance around the room and feel that this is more “my sized” - “I fit here” ... even though it does feel empty.

So I brewed myself a bowl of coffee and am now writing this blog wondering what i’ll do with myself next.

I started reading a Chinese novel for the first time. I’m actually at the point where I can sit down with a dictionary and make sense of it. I know enough general structure and what not to make the pieces come together. That sounds singularly unimpressive, but trust me... with Chinese it is a much bigger feat altogether.

I could work on that, but I think I have another email I need to send to an old friend with whom I have not spoken in probably a year. Its about connecting the dots, and figuring out what it is im out here to get.

Self-imposed exile... Interesting bidness. Not more than you sign up for... just part of those “hidden perks” that you obviously couldn’t expect previously.