Saturday, February 16, 2019

1980s NYC

I came across this link that showed really great pictures that capture the essence of NY city in the 1980s.
As you know, I really love taking pictures and always admire those who have a great eye. I included the link.
Here are my favorites.

Pain in my butt, injection in my buttocks.

I've had pain in my left, outer thigh for two days. There is a small area that is tender to the touch. My teeth/jaw/gum on the left side has also started to ache. The right eyelid was  fluttering involuntarily for four days now.
After researching online, it was either bone cancer, a pressed nerve or a slipped disc.
I know, right?! Such extremes! Thank you, internet.

I was in tears this morning because after getting dressed, I was imagining having to walk down the mountain, take the bus to Suncheon, the bigger town next door, then having to try to make a Korean staff understand my symptoms.

It was exhausting just thinking of it.
After making a few calls to a couple of older Korean friends, Mrs Moon offered to take me.
She picked me up and took me to her husband's brother's doctor office. VIP treatment felt so good. I was whipped into a consultation, spine and hip xrays then given meds and an injection in my buttocks. All within fifteen minutes!

Whew!! I was never so happy to get a needle in my butt in my life!!
Thank God for sincere, helpful friends!

Afterwards, Mrs Moon took me grocery shopping at TrialMart. I bought a bunch of staples to hold me over for about a week.

I treated her to lunch as a "thank you".
The hot beef and noodle soup felt so good in my tummy. Mrs Moon enjoyed her spicy, vegetable soup, too.

I was almost ready to endure the pain JUST to not have to navigate the Korean medical system alone.

Again, thank God for sincere Korean friends.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Stolen strawberry milk

This young Korean dude took the strawberry milk then sat down and drank it.
Dude!! That is NOT how you steal!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Ugh, what are you wearing?

I'm so tired of dressing badly and being pitied by working class people. Big size clothes are hard to find in the small southern area where I live. So most of my clothes are men's clothing, especially during the cold season. Bulky, mannish coat, boots and mannerisms are my winter cloak. But ghis society is extremely vain, superficial and feminine. So I look odd walking around. Most can't tell which gender I claim.

Most of the time it does NOT bother me but sometimes is does. When well~intentioned Koreans buy me a cardigan at the mall, I am both thankful and sad. Thankful for the gift, sad that my appearance creates pity and well meaning acts of generosity.

We all choose our life, right?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Dirty old man

This is the LAST time I have sympathy for ANYONE!!
I met this old man about five weeks ago at the bus stop. He asked for my phone number and I felt sorry for him, thinking he was lonely and wanted to practice his English. He called me last week and asked if we could have coffee. I was busy so I said that we could reschedule.
He called me exactly on time the next day. I thought it was so pathetic that he continued to try to meet so I agreed to have coffee with him. We decided on eating at Mama's Touch, a chicken burger place here. 
He took out a crisp fifty won bill to pay for the meal, after I insisted on paying. I really did NOT want to take money out of a senior citizen's tight budget.  

Well, Mr Old Ass man leaned over during the greasy meal of chicken sandwich and fries and says "I like you. I want a hug." Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
What did you say Mr Old @ss dirty old man?
I pretended not to hear him as I showed him pictures of my family. 
He repeated it and kept looking at me like I was a delicious kimchi sandwich. 
I continued to ignore him and tried my best to finish the too crispy chicken sandwich. He was making my stomach turn over.
At the end of the meal, I made sure to thank him for the meal. 

As we were walking out of the fast food place, he said that he would love to treat me to another meal if I would hug him. 
Oh my goodness, clutch my pearls!
If you don't take your dirty, old @ss away from me!
That's what I get for trying to feel sorry for a dirty old man.
And his @ss was NEVER a soldier so he did not want to practice his Englishee. 
He just wanted to taste some chocolate. 
Take your dirty mind and old heart away from me before I throw up, Father Time. 

When I relayed the story to my girlfriend she yawned and said, "As long as a man has a penis, he will try."
Ain't dat the truth.

To be young, gifted and Black....

I'm so blessed to be young, gifted and Black. 
Alright, smarty pants, two out of three is NOT bad.
Gifted and blessed with melanin. 

First vending experience in Itaewon Feb 9th, 2019

This event was last Saturday at the I heart Seoul gallery in Itaewon. My frat brother, Jazz, met me at the Express bus terminal in Seoul and helped me to navigate the subway system to get there. He also helped me to get (forgotten) large size envelopes to put the books in. 
The other vendors were very kind. The art gallery owner is Haitian! Shout out to I-eee-teee!
I sold over thirty books and was invited back again for March 2nd. 
It was a great experience and I'm looking forward to doing it better next time. 

Pig snout donuts!!

2019 - the year of the pig babeeee!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Dude, where did you get this fox fur Russian hat?

This Korean guy sat next to me on the 3 hour bus ride to Daegu recently. He had on the biggest Russian hat that I've ever seen. 
He was proud of it, too. It was fox fur. How do I know?
He told me three times. 

In my five years in this country, that was the first time I saw anyone wearing a hat like that. He explained to me he was a weekend Dad/father and video chatted with his wife and daughter at the beginning of the bus ride. Of course, I was asked to wave at them. Hi, wife and daughter! He said that he lived in Daegu during the week and then travelled to Gwangyang on the weekends to be with his small family. 

When the bus stopped at the Daegu West bus terminal, guess who met him? Guess!
His Mama. Yup, this grown @ss man lived with his mother during the week and his wife during the weekends. He was babied for five days and only had to be an adult for two days. Korean men are coddled by the women in this culture soooooo much. Ha, it must be nice. 
He insisted on taking us for a donut and coffee. I only accepted the donut. After eating, I politely thanked him and watched him, his mother and his fox fur Russian hat disappear into the crowded streets. 

It actually made him even cuter. He looked like a young boy getting ready to take his sled down a snowy hill with his furry hat on. 

Damn, I don't even get invited to the end-of-semester teacher dinner? Y'all cold af.

So my handler let it slip that she was attending an end-of-semester teacher dinner today. I was not invited or even notified of any dinner even though I know every school has a special dinner at the beginning and end of each semester to celebrate the school year. So I send a text to my handler this morning telling her exactly how I felt. No anger. Just disappointment that all the efforts that I put into my kids/students did not even earn me an invite. Even if she comes back now and invites me, I don't want to go. 

I don't know why I continue to expect to be treated as a human being in this country. Every time I do, I end up in tears with a hurt heart. These people don't give a shit about us. We don't exist and mean absolutely nothing to them. I thought my little book would make a difference in this culture but it would take an ocean full of books to make these people open their minds to us. 

I felt really low last night. So homesick. Lots of tears and a hurt heart. 
I always put forth so much effort for my students to learn in an engaged manner and, truth be told, I only exist for the students. No one else acknowledges my efforts or even know I exist. 
Home sounds very lovely right now. 
I know that once I'm home, it will amaze me that I put up with this abuse/neglect for so long. 

I am tired of being treated as less than human here.
Any attempts to change it is like hitting your head on the wall for hours and expecting a door to be created. Worthless efforts and leaves you with a headache. 
You gotta know when to throw in the towel. 
You really do.

Yup. Lost another "friend".

Sooooo.....I lost another friend. But I should've looked at the warning signs from our first phone conversation. Instead I pushed past my instincts and the red flag and pursued a friendship with this woman. Only after it blew up in my face did I realize that it was my mistake for trusting someone in this country.

If you have read this blog from the beginning in 2014, you will know that a majority of the expats here are... ummmm, social rejects or running away from major issues in their home countries. I was one of the ones running away from my stressful life back in the states. This woman was carrying mental illness and refused to acknowledge that she needed healing. We all need healing for growth. If we are too rigid to understand that then our connections with other people will suffer. 

Anyway, I will not ever, EVER attempt to trust anyone else living
 here. I mistakenly thought I had found a real lifelong friend and even introduced her to my family, which I never do unless there is sincere trust. During an argument she threw my family back in my face. That cut me deep, Shrek.

So, no, the friends that I've had for more than 25 years are the ones I will keep. No more crazy expats.
My plate has been full of crazy nuts in South Korea. 
Naw, son, no more nuts. I'm good. 


Update - 4 months later
I've had time to reflect on this. The Korean-American woman and I did not share values so that was never a real friendship. The SA woman had issues that need to be addressed. When you can tell me five times that someone was talking about me and that you had to defend my name...well, there is something wrong with that. 

Why would you choose to keep that malicious person in your life? Don't you deserve good people in your life? Or is being "the defender" a badge you wear with honor? It makes you feel good about yourself? Dude, that sh@t gets tired. 
Keep on living. You will see who your real friends are. 

Puppy love ain't cute. Why is he tapdancing on my mattress?

I volunteered to dogsit my supervisor's cocker spaniel while he goes to Vietnam to get married.
He is the sweetest, quietest dog. He is over 9 years old and hardly every barks. He has a very laid-back personality. BUT...OH MY has been YEARS since I had to pick up feces. Yuck!!
But he will keep me company for the next, almost, 4 weeks so that makes me happy. 
It is nice to have someone to come home to. 
The loneliness is getting to me again.