Saturday, January 14, 2006

A Walk in the Woods

Going to Seoul can be simultaneously elating and depressing. Elating because it's a fabulous city and I love simply walking down the sidewalk there. Depressing because I know my elation is fleeting and I don't get to stay, live, work, play, etc. there.

This blog entry is a time capsule.

Right now we can't understand it but soon we will.

I went to Seoul today partly because I had just had it with this entire week. (Which, p.s., was week 14!) Madness on all fronts. Some of it not even vaguely interesting/relevant to get into here, some of it personal/emotional, and some of it Ding Dingity Dang.

I went to Seoul because I was hungry, and I rather enjoyed my Mexican food at Mi Casa Loca, thank you. Today I dined at the Yeouido location (last time, the one in Apgujeong). Seoul is a fantastic city. I may have mentioned that.

I haven't been posting much of late because I have been alternately busy and fretting, and I think Korea or rather Ding Ding Dang is sapping my inner artist and making me have nothing to write. Or I'm letting it do that, I should say. Some days I just don't log on because I don't want to give my audience (such as it is) the wrong idea. I'm not angry at Korea, and I know it comes out that way, often, when the expats start bitching and moaning.

Imagine you worked at a factory. You made eight cartons of widgets per day. Then you started meeting people from the nearby factories and you found out they're only required to produce four or five cartons of widgets a day, and don't have to work nearly as many hours, but they make the same monthly salary as you. And that if you quit because they wanted to hire you at the factory down the street, which was clean and shiny and sparkly unlike your dirty, grimy, claustrophobic, unsatisfactory factory, the boss of your factory would have to give written permission for the boss of the other factory to hire you. Which the boss of your factory was unlikely to do, because then who would work at his factory? Also imagine that you can't look at the factories before you start working there...and that when you have an idea of how to make a widget more productive they tell you the assembly line has been making widgets this way for years...

I am so often hungry, and so often bored, working at my job and being here. It's strange. Those two feelings I hadn't had in years before coming to Korea. Until the end there at B____. In fact, I think after all the anger, irritation, outrage, and philosophical disagreements, boredom was the last straw in that job and helped me reach my escape velocity. I am craving the intellectual rigor of law school so badly. Does anyone understand? I want to be challenged. It's been too long. But I also want to have time for my writing, which decidedly does interest me. Hence wanting to have a job that's not full-time. And so on and so on in circles of hell.

I'm a big eater. I take care to feed myself, a lot. But I just can't here. It's been such an interesting few months. And the job, with its endless days of classes and mind-numbing illogical hoops to jump through...the other day as we stood trying to slam some water during our five-minute break between one slew of rugrats and the next, I remarked to Jessica (and, ostensibly, anyone else who was around, but I knew they wouldn't pick up on all of the implications of my statement, nor half the vocabulary), "I wonder if it's actually possible that my brain could just commence leaking out of my ears from boredom. I wonder what that might feel like. I suppose it would be terribly messy." She said she knows the feeling.

I went to Seoul because I needed to be deliberate and to think, and I did do those things.

This message is a time capsule. Can you read between the lines?

"If I have a care in the world, I have a gift to bring."
-- Indigo Girls, 'Hammer and a Nail'

"One thing was obvious. We were never going to walk to Maine."
- Bill Bryson, in _A_Walk_in_the_Woods_

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