Back from Asia. Culture shock galore.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

To a New Year...and Memories of One Past.

My list of new years resolutions are as follows:

1. Make more blog posts. ha.

2. Compost. I have the green bin outside, I have the molding, disgusting produce -- why the hell not.

3. Cook more. Surprisingly, I've been baking the last few months but no real authentic, from scratch cooking. If nothing else I want to try out my grandma's pierogi recipe that's been magneted to my fridge since I moved in. I even have a nice fold-out table from Home Depot to do the "pinching" on.

4. Hang out with more kids. Even though some of my friends don't believe this I truly do love spending time with children. I always feel more relaxed and I can be my natural silly, scatterbrained self.

That's about it for resolutions.

I've been pretty wrapped up with my new job and holiday socializing. I always have mixed feelings about this time of year. In one way the season forces everyone together and it is super great to see old friends and family. On the other hand, I resent having all my weekends pre-booked (not by me) and no down-time and huge gift expectations and don't even get me started on the travel stress. Oh, another resolution was almost "buy a new car," but after tallying up the budget for the first quarter of 07' that doesn't seem like such a hot idea. I'm stuck suffering through arduous Greyhound bus rides. The last was particularly painful because two college-aged guys starting rambling on about the pros and cons of nuclear war and satellite intelligence
behind me. Not that I'm opposed to stimulating conversation...

Since I haven't chatted about my year in Asia in awhile, and this blog was specifically designed to focus on that, I think I'll share a short anctidote about my Christmas in Korea.

Last Christmas Eve, after a day spent teaching cheesy carols and sharing chocolate and duk (Korean traditional rice cake dessert), I contemplated the evening's options. At the time, I was dating this very sweet and slightly naive Korean guy who wanted to spend quality time "together." It's important to note that Christmas day has become a romantic holiday in Korea. If you're miraculously one of the non-Christians, you would be out twirling pasta carbonara with your sweetheart -- as Italian is the dating food of choice (girls like it apparently). I, however, was not interested in smooching with some new guy but instead opted for getting shit-faced with my friends at a pub while eating cake with chopsticks and periodically having my photo taken by a group of drunken young Korean admirers. The cute guy did show up later and my friends thought he was cute too so he drove me home and spent the night. He produced a second cake from his trunk with candles and I made a few more wishes.

New Years followed the same lines. I choose to have a nice, quick dinner with the boy and than joined friends in Itaweon for the usual hoop-la. The boy, I recall, was disappointed in my casual, flighty behaviour, and probably spent the remainder of his evening cursing off Canadians. Ah. I still do feel slight guilt over that.

And finally, Chinese/Korean New Year. I spent this holiday holed up in my one room apartment slurping ramen noodles and watching any English TV I could find. I did have a suitor drop off a bag of apples from his hometown later in the night. That gesture was one sweet move in a very long, pathetic trail of let-downs. I've avoided discussing him for many reasons but might get into it another day.

All in all. No turkey, no wrapped gifts, no egg nog. BUT, no stress and no depleted bank account. I can't really pinpoint which Christmas I preferred -- 2005 or 2006. (Oh, I did receive a box of instant stuffing in the mail from someone, I forget who...ahhhhhh. I didn't eat that during the holidays though. I devoured it during one of my many all day hangovers.

On a completely different note, I've attached a picture from lovely Amy Kivell's 30th birthday bash on January 5th. It is so nice to see everyone again!


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