Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pyeongtaek Flower People

Pyeongtaek Flower Festival
It's just a cute, country festival.
Take a picnic.
Spend the day.

You can't really go wrong.

Friday, April 19, 2013

It's A New Dawn, It's A New Day

 Today is Saturday.  This morning I woke early and made my morning espresso and listened to a light spring rain falling on the rice paddies.  My last morning alone is shrouded in a soft grey mist.

For over two years I've wondered if this day would ever come.  The day my Harry-bou would follow me across the world.  Today he did.  In nine hours he will touch down in South Korea with no return flight.

Ours has not been a love built under bright blue skies so it seems fitting that he should arrive amidst the sweet melancholy of warm spring showers.   Ours has been a Winter Sonata, a Miramax film, a Dickens tale.  

However, our story is not over.  Instead we are entering a new season.  One that will build on the drama and suspense of the previous years, but with a fresh new perspective and a lighter pen.  This time we are going off script.  We are tossing out the formulas and letting our characters develop without consideration for the formula everyone says works.   This time around we are going for laughs, cheesy romance and a lot of slap-stick adventure.  

Of course with any luck, the biggest change this season will be the weather and there will be bluer skies ahead.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Our Dirty Little Secret

As I stare at another great American tragedy in the headlines, 
I ask myself, 
Why do people say to those of us in South Korea, 
"Come home!  You aren't safe!"

We aren't safe? 
Come home?  
Do you watch the news in the US?  
What exactly about living there is safe?
What is it you want us to come home to 
that will be better for us?  

Is it the:

  • lack of jobs? 
  • poor wages?
  • high cost of living?
  • lack of vacation time?
  • absence of safe, affordable and reliable public transportation?
  • over priced graduate schools?
  • crippling education debt?
  • lack of access to adequate affordable health care?
  • a realistic fear of being shot or assaulted by your students?
  • the overwhelming chance to be harassed or sued by students parents?
  • fear of being assaulted in our homes?
  • fear of being shot in the streets or at large events?
  • restricted access to over priced birth control?
  • staggering cost of giving birth in a country with an infant mortality rate close to 3rd world levels
(this list can go on for ages so I will just stop here)

Is this what you want for us?
To leave behind a theoretically "unsafe" life,
to return to a truly unsafe one?

Because here is the dirty little secret
we don't want to tell you:
Living in South Korea
is the first time many of us 
have ever felt safe.

No, we are not stupid.

We know that something could happen someday.
But dealing with someday is better than dealing directly 
with the impact of an extensively violent culture
while sitting around your house employed
and drowning in massive debt.

So if you love us, just say,
"We love you.
We miss you miss you.
We worry about you."

But don't say, 
"Come home!  You aren't safe!"

1. It's simply is not true.
2. Even if it were true, 
coming home wouldn't improve our odds.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Insignificance is Relative

Don't walk past what you find beautiful,
simply because you fear it's insignificance.  
You are not less of a person
if you are the only one to see the beauty.

Love what you love.
Celebrate what you find enchanting.

There are no right answers to loveliness.
It is enough to love it as it is all alone.

When I was a boy.

Somehow they aren't so little anymore. Junior High doesn't know what's coming their way.

Oh to be a boy. 

Following their little leader.
How all decisions are made.
And of course they all buy some for Teacher.
Candid candy camera.
Working together.

Friends forever.
Everyone's favorite game, "Stop hitting yourself".

Assessing the situation.
Fear of the unknown.
The unknown.
Sheer terror.  We had to leave a man behind.
Two hour lines are nothing when you have a smart phone.

It was over too soon.  Now we must die.
Which means it's time for the arcade.
Everyone's favorite game... Diet Pigs.

A little reflection
On this day, the tribe accepted me as one of their own :)