Intrepid Girl Reporter

no one wants to pay to see your happiness
November 7, 2007, 2:31 pm
Filed under: host fam, how we roll, Jeju crew, life on Jeju

“I get socks and a bus schedule? This is the best day ever!”

– an easy-to-please Soccer*

Oh, the glories of no school…says the girl who just received her Teach for America assignment. (It’s secondary language arts in New York City, in case you were curious.)** I’m not sure if the Board of Education realized that the weather today would be perfect for them to schedule mandatory standardized testing – I like to think that they did, and that they wanted to reward those of us who regularly find trash strewn on our classroom floors and desk graffiti that depicts us pooping. As it happened, the sun shone, the birds called, and I found myself on time – on time! – to meet Soccer for our journey to the five-day market.

On this day we just happened to have a beautiful walk, and just happened to pass Scooter, who was returning (scootering) to his home after having been forced to travel 25 minutes to his school, 인사 (bow) to his principal, and turn right back around to go home. It was the sort of day when I stood outside waiting for Soccer and found myself thinking about the wind on my back in ways that would be profoundly irritating to the less happy: Have you ever really thought about wind? How it’s air, but then it’s, like, moving? Wind is incredible! And we walked back towards SinJeju and listened to Neutral Milk Hotel together, and then we met Scooter for lunch, and Soccer went home and Scooter and I stayed for four more hours and got absolutely nothing accomplished and talked about the futures we want and Googled useless information. Then I bought glasses with ₩12000 frames***, and went out with the Host Fam to celebrate Oma and Apa’s anniversary, and ate beef and raw fish and white kimchi and soup and I told them how lucky they were to have each other. Somehow, not counting the glasses, I managed to spend ₩40,000.

At this market there were so many things I couldn’t even identify: roots, nuts, fruits, fish. There were entire stands that were devoted to nothing but – and I am not making this up – edible bark. I want to find someone to teach me about all of this, someone who cooks and speaks English, and I want to go everywhere and eat everything and write a book about it. I bought a dress for $4 and a stocking mask for Scooter with eyes and a mouth cut out, so that he is prepared to ride his scooter in the winter or alternately rob a bank, should the need arise. In the lot next to the market there was a house and in front, near the road, a tiny bed of lettuce.

I need to find a more secret place where I can keep all of these things. A catalog of joy would surely be a good thing.

*Note: maybe this is how to maintain good friendships – keep low expectations?

**I deferred TFA, so I knew I’d be placed again, but I didn’t know where. As of now, however, it’s still up in the air, because doing it will require making up part of the training I’ll miss over Christmas, and I’m not sure if they’ll let me do such a thing.

***This is about $12USD. The glasses, with lenses and everything, came to $37.


3 Comments so far
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Also, I sent you my life goals through e-mail. Do you still use your gmail?

Comment by Shanna

Wind makes me happy too. H, you are awesome, and for the record, WE ARE LIVING AT THE BOTTOM OF AN OCEAN OF AIR.

Keep it cool on Jejudo. My students tell me there are palm trees there. THANKS STUDENTS.

Comment by grayshifter

you make me happy :0)

Comment by Niks

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