Sunday, 22 August 2004


After my months of good behaviour, it looks like I'm changing back into the old beast. Again, I nurse a hangover that is far more mild than I deserve after drinking until daylight. And after months of the selfless saving of orphans, I've not been there in five weeks.

Mum, don't worry, you have full permission to continue telling my older relatives that I'm the good child that I briefly was.

Actually, I've just struck a healthy balance. Just before my holiday in Laos, I recognised that my lifestyle was becoming far too hermitic. The only person I ever spoke to outside of work was Matt, just about. So I'm allowing myself to re-enter the social world a little. Not immerse myself, but just dip into my old pool of friends, and enjoy a few social drinks occasionally. My Korean studying has been very good this week and the teaching is hard work, so I feel I can partake in the occasional waster session.

As for the orphanage, I just felt it wasn't worth it. It was a lot of effort for ultimately little reward, for me or the orphans. If my purpose of going there was just to play games I wouldn't have minded, but any attempts at English teaching were futile. The lack of organisation made it impossible, so everyone's time was wasted. And being Saturday afternoon wasn't the best timing for me.

Anyway, my weekend has been a good one. On Friday night, straight after work, I went round to Hyo-Ju's (Gin Girl no. 1) house, for dinner with her and In-a. We ate it seated on the floor, round a small table in her bedroom. To my surprise, once in the bedroom, both shed their clothes and begged for deflowerment.

Wait, that last sentence isn't entirely accurate. No, we ate a civilised meal and then did some studying. I really enjoy these meetings; they too. They're very beneficial for my spoken and listening Korean, but the girls are also good fun. It's much easier to learn (and teach) when the teachers are both attractive girls in their early 20s. I think I'd have a harder job if they were pigs. But then I'm very superficial.

Of course, the girls are lucky too. Not just because they have Handsome Nev as their teacher, but because they've caught me in my well dressed phase. If they'd caught me at the start of the year, I was a scabby, shabby, shuffling wreck of a man.

That was my Friday night then, a meal and some enjoyable studying. It was an early night, thus a fairly early start to Saturday morning, which I spent reading about oppression of women in Iran. In the early afternoon Matt called by the apartment, as we had a plan for the day to walk north.

From my apartment rooftop, I have a great view of bouncy green mountains immediately to the north. Every time I see them, I think "I should walk to them one day" but I never get round to it. But after the near-storm of mid-week, I realised that the weather was going to be fairly cool and clear for a days, as opposed to the usual crushing humidity. This would be a perfect opportunity to explore these hills.

Matt agreed to join me, so we set off on our jaunt. We chose a small road that appeared to go in the right direction, and I think we chose well for it led to many interesting things.

The first was a passenger aeroplane, almost within touching distance flying over our heads. The airport is quite near my house and the incoming planes fly nearby. With the traffic noise, I rarely hear them, and just occasionally see them. However, upon turning a corner and hearing a noise that sounded like a lorry engine, we were both startled when a full sized aeroplane appeared suddenly, not more than a few seconds from landing on the nearby runway.

Anyway... I'm tired of writing now because I want to pick up some photos and drink some juice. Briefly, we found the oldest house in the Daegu area in a tiny village nestled between mountain, and then some kind of shaman shrine, appearing like a mirage in the middle of a forested area. Then we went downtown and ate some food and went out and drank and socialised and were very pleasant company for those around us.

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