Monday, 17 December 2012

Counting Blessings

I had a pretty good weekend this week, it was busy - but then again here in Korea, I'm only NOT busy when I'm sick!  Still, in all the happy, hectic socialising there were lots of moments where I could only stop and give thanks.

There were several moments on Friday night, when I was out on a friend's hwaeshik (work dinner) when I was grateful for my friends here in Korea and particularly grateful that FDA will be staying for another year.
(partly because, aside from all her sterling qualities and endearing quirks, she is my very own Fellow Drama Addict. She and Lush are the only ones I can really spazz out over dramas with and I would be a very woebegone junkie indeed without those two girls.)

FDA stayed at my place that night, which meant that we both had company when we heard about the shooting in Connecticut.  We both had someone who didn't mind seeing us cry.  In all the horror, I was able to stop and give thanks that my Connecticut cousins, one of whom IS an elementary school teacher, were all far, far away from Sandy Hook.

That afternoon I had my language exchange. I am really loving these lessons! My tutor is delightful and I am really, deep down grateful for her.  She is training to be an elementary school teacher and has already cleared it with me that she is going to be quite strict.  Fine by me, I'm on a clock here people!  February 9th ain't gettin' any further away!
We were speaking about first impressions and how we were both nervous about meeting each other for the first time (as the meet was set up by the friend of a friend of a friend - yeah, tenuous or what?) and when she saw me for the first time, in my bobble hat and bear mittens, she instantly relaxed and knew we'd get on just fine!!

Sunday was the real icing on the cake in terms of maintaining an 'attitude of gratitude'. After church, MsAmused and I hotfooted it downtown to go to the farewell lunch of a very dear friend of ours.  I was sad to say goodbye to her, but in the corniest of cliches, I am more glad to have known her at all. I also have the prospect of seeing her in May to look forward to.  And on a day when I said farewell to one friend, I got to say 'Hello again' to another. Tiberius arrived back in SoKo for another stint and it was quite refreshing to say hello instead of goodbye!

After lunch, MsAmused and I went to Shinae for coffee and Christmas shopping with some friends and then six of us went to see 'The Hobbit'. This was the highlight of my month!  Waaaaay back in 2001, MsAmused and I went to the first Lord of the Rings movie together. We'd seen every other one together, as well as all the Harry Potter movies and I couldn't believe my luck that we would get to watch 'The Hobbit' together in South Korea.
Though if we are to finish the tradition properly, I need to start saving right now so I can fly back to Ireland for next Christmas!

So what I'm really, truly grateful for is that while my days here are incredilby busy - they are that way because I have so many good friends that I want to run around and spend time with  and at this time of year, when I am missing my family and friends back home, that is a very necessary blessing.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Panic Stations!!

I have 25 Korean words to learn before 1pm tomorrow afternoon, so naturally, I'm writing a blog post instead!

A month ago my darling, wonderful, incomparable Co Teacher asked if I would like to stay with her extended family for 설날, (Sol nal ) Lunar New Year in early February.
I was practically jumping up and down with delight at the invitation. Getting invited so share 추석 (Cheuseok) or 설날 with a family is a big, big deal and I was chuffed to bits that Co T would invite me.

Here's the thing, out of the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, only two of them speak english. 
So I had to get my 'game face' on and kick my Korean studying into high gear.
I've been coasting for the last year at comfortable beginner level. I can operate just fine in shops, restaurants and taxis - but ask me to formulate a sentence in casual conversation and you'll get to watch me do a first rate impression of a rabbit caught in the headlights!

For that reason, Lunar New Year is a wonderful focus for me.  It's a specific date to aim for, close enough to cause me palpitations, but far enough away that I stand a chance of achieving some real improvement.
Phase One of 'Operation Lunar New Year' started, also a month ago, on Tuesday evenings after work, my Co T and our Dept. Head and I go to a restaurant for dinner and exchange our diaries.  The two Koreans have written theirs in english and mine is in korean. We correct each others work and then slip into easy conversation. Each week my colleagues push me to speak more and more in korean.

And two weeks ago I met up with a friend of a friend of a friend (true story) for a language exchage.
Jeon Soon (her nickname) is a university student and we get on like a house on fire!  Luckily for me, she is training to be an elementary school teacher, so I think she'll keep me on the straight and narrow!
We meet at 1pm on Saturday afternoons. We speak english for the first hour so that Jeon Soon can practice, then we switch to korean for the second hour.  Like a proper student, I get homework, hence my need to learn 25 words for tomorrow.

I've also been tip toeing outside of my comfort zone with both friends and new aquaintences, speaking more korean than is necessary.  When it comes to meeting new people, I'm seriously considering writing up a flash card that says, "In english, I am funny and intelligent!" cos I sure ain't no sparkling wit in korean right now!!

   My new constant companion.

One Perfect Moment

It's Thursday night and I am basking in the glow of contentment following a series of fortunate events.
After work this evening I headed downtown and thanks to that magical place, 'Lotte Department Store', I managed to get my Christmas shopping done in one hour.
In the cab on the way home I got a phone call from Ms. Amused to tell me that she was making curry and my name was in the pot!  And what a delicious pot it was!
We ate, laughed and wrote christmas cards together.

Now I'm at home and I'm wrapping the christmas presents to be mailed in the morning, I have goodies baking in the oven for my visitors who will come tomorrow evening, the christmas tree lights are twinkling in the corner and I'm listening to a Christmas compilation by my favourite Korean indie band.

Right now, tonight, life is so good it almost hurts.
I am overwhelmed by the blessings I have continuously received since moving to Korea.

What a wonderful way to  head into the Christmas season!


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Welcome to Bizarro World....or....I am Kate's Subconscious

I was stopped in my tracks the other morning, en route to work, by the realisation that I have been watching too many Taiwanese dramas lately.
Now what on earth, you are asking yourselves, could have prompted such a pavement epiphany at 9.50am on a cold December morning?

That's a very reasonable question. Hark to my tale Dear Readers, as I guide you through the weird and wonderful landscape of my subconscious.
 
              *********************

So there I am, tripping merrily along to work, so bundled up against the cold that I might as well just put on a full burqa and have done with it!  I'm listening to my latest batch of K-Pop songs when it finally dawns on my that I have accidentally downloaded the wrong version of EXOK's new single, 'History'.  Why? Because they're singing in Chinese!!!
And I had listened to this song three or four times already without noticing!

This startled the hell out of me, because on a normal day, Chinese and Korean sound as different to me as German and Italian.  They sound screamingly different to me and I just could now swallow the fact that this song had slipped by me, not once but several times.

In the midst of this crisis of competence I started scrabbling around for explanations and justifications.
There had to be reasons. There. Had. To. Be.
And good ones at that. The alternative is that I'm as thick as two short planks and I refuse to buy that pamphlet thankyouverymuch!

In the end I came up with two causes:
1) Familiarity and 2) The Power of Expectation

1) Familiarity.
As I said, usually Chinese and Korean seem about as similar to me as Belgian Jazz and Early Renaissance Madrigals, but lately I have been following a Taiwanese drama. So I have been listening to about an hour of Chinese every day.  Therefore Chinese had lost the jarring, suprise factor. I had become used to hearing it, and almost as importantly, used to tuning it out and focusing on the subtitles.  My brain had become accustomed to registering Chinese and then ignoring it.

2) The Power of Expectation.

The song in question is by a Korean boy band. I had listened to it and watched the video on YouTube, the original Korean version (shucks, I didn't even know there WAS a Chinese version!)
So I expected the song to be in Korean.  As it 's a new release, sung quite fast and I haven't tracked down a translation yet, I also didn't expect to understand it.  So I didn't pay close attention to it.  It was catchy white noise with a good beat.

Aaaahh. Mystery solved. I spent the afternoon content in the knowledge that I am not, just  yet, an idiot.


And then on the walk home from work, that very same day, my subconscious threw me another curveball!

I was coming home for the day, after work and then dinner with friends. I had arranged to meet another friend but had been stood up, so I stomped home in the cold, muttering imprecations that would do Foul 'Ole Ron proud.  I was comfortably mid rant when I realised that while the majority of my brain was concocting witty put downs, another part of my brain was quietly and with no fuss translating the K-Pop song which was on my iPod at the time.

How, how HOW is it possible for my subconscious to be so spaced out and so clued in all on the same day??!?!?!?!

Mystery is suddenly unsolved.

And d'you know the real kicker? 

Chinese song and translated song are consecutive tracks on my playlist!    Pwah!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Decompression Chamber

This five hour layover in the former outpost of the British Empire is turning out to be a wonderful decompression chamber.  I am being given time to slowly recalibrate myself from East back to West.

I've been seeing and hearing people of various nationalities.  I've even heard two dialects of French. Incroyable!!
For the last two hours I have been snuggled up in the corner of a heavenly coffee shop eating spinach and mushroom quiche and corn beef on rye while listening to the Beatles, Carole King and Robbie Williams over the p.a.

D'you know, it's an absolute tragedy that I'm travelling by myself right now?! I have never been so colour coordinated in my entire life!
Sandals: Peach
Skirt: burnt orange
Shirt: cafe latte
Shawl: dark chocolate & seville orange
Bangles: deep coral, peach, copper and mother of pearl.

All curled up in a chocolate armchair.
Seriously! Someone should be painting me right now!

Especially considering that by the time my family meet me in Limerick I am going to look like something that has been excavated from a hole in the ground!

Oh the humanity!!

The Long Road Home

On Saturday I fly back to Ireland for my summer holidays and I'm bracing myself for a whole heap of emotional and sensory mind f*%#ery to occur.
I've lived away from home for years but before moving to Korea, I was always either a long bus ride or a short hop, skip and a Ryanair jump from home.  I was able to head back for a long weekend every 5/6 months or so.  I was close enough that Christmas with my family could be taken for granted.  Similarily, wherever I was living was within easy visiting distance for my family and friends.

Most of my time abroad was spent living in Scotland, with brief forays into Wales and the south of England.  While these countries are of course different from Ireland, by no possible stretch of the imagination could they be called exotic or or even unfamiliar.

So now I find myself wondering: what is going to catch my attention first when I land in Dublin?
  • Seeing white people EVERYWHERE??!!
  • Being able to understand every conversation going on around me - that one could become exhausting!  In Korea I have become used to living in a little bubble of white noise, only understanding the occasional snippet around me if I consciously tune in to it.
  • Going into a shop and being able to read the labels!  (heady stuff, I tell ya!)
  • Going into a house and leaving my shoes ON! 
Will that last one creep me out a little, or will I just slip back into Irish default mode?

I'm also curious to see what my family will notice about me.  How have I changed in the 18 months I've been away?  Will I transition smoothly from Korea to Ireland or will odd bits of Han detritus pop to the surface unexpectedly?
I do suspect that they will notice quite a few Americanisms in my speech, a natural side effect when 90% of the ex-pats you socialise with are Yanks.  I'm ashamed to admit it, but in the previous paragraph I actually typed 'store' before I caught myself and changed it to 'shop'.  Sigh.

On the flip side of the coin, will I find myself missing Korea?  And if so, what will I miss the most?

See?!  I told you there was a lot goin on in this head!

And that's not even counting the whole family kettle of fish - how amazing it will be to see them after a year and a half; how jarring it will feel to be confronted with all that I have missed in that same time; how it's going to hurt like a bitch to leave them again in two weeks.

Aigoo!!  I'm typing this up in the transfer lounge of Hong Kong airport, one third of the way home and I'm already too tired to process all of this existential naval gazery.

So I'm going to find a restaurant, fill ma belly and revel in the luxury of just sitting still and being surrounded by conversations going on in Cantonese, Korean, English, French, Dutch and Hindi.  And that's all within 6 feet!  Bliss!!

Ta ta for now!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Summertime, and the livin' is greasy!













So here we are folks, my second summer in Korea.
Last summer I was pleasantly surprised by how well I coped with the heat and humidity.  Considering how I had wilted in high temperatures in other countries, I had expected that I would become a blubbering wreck of humanity, whimpering my way through July and August.

Perhaps that is the trick of it.  The reality was nowhere near as vile as I had imagined.

I was also helped by the dazzling array of arsenal which Koreans have amassed to ward off sunstroke and dehydration.
I quickly learned to likewise arm myself.  So nowadays, I too would never venture forth without either a sunhat or parasol (depending on my ensemble, of course!), a fan, the occasional ice pack - a really nifty invention that freezes once you crack it - and of course consuming iced beverages on a near continuous basis.

In this consumption of cooling ices and beverages, we were helped along by the wonderful parents of our elementary students, who would regularly send their children into English School laden down with ice creams for us teachers and their fellow students.  May their names be praised forever!

This summer, we had a lovely, long run up to the horrible heatwaves of high summer.  In fact, I had begun to wonder if this summer was not as bad as last summer, or was I simply more acclimatised.

No such thing folks!

Last weekend, Mother Nature finally quit lurking around 27 degrees and made a break for 30, melting away my false sense of security in the process.
Those three little degrees have made all the difference in the world.  Now, whenever I leave the airconditioned apartment, school or bus, I walk out into the kind of heat and humidity, the likes of which back in Ireland I had only encountered on butterfly farms.

My number one priority in housework has become maintaining the ice cube drawer and keeping the fridge stocked with at least two jugs of iced drinks at all times.
Hoovering can wait.  An uninterrupted supply of ice cold drinks cannot.

Rather ickily, I have once again had to get used to sweating from places I hardly knew had sweat glands!
My chin!  Who the hell knew you could sweat UNDER your chin!!!!
So now, along with the sunglasses, parasol and fan, I also have a hankerchief tucked about my person.  That and the wonderful (social) life saving deodorant wipes!!

Hugging is a sport which has been relegated to cooler months. Exept of course when it comes to crying five year olds.  In that situation I just have to grit my teeth, haul the child onto my lap and endure the overflowing stickiness of it all.

On Saturday I head back to Ireland for my two weeks summer holidays. As if jet lag from 28 hours travel and adjusting to a 9 hr time difference wasn't enough, I will also have to cope with a temperature drop of about 10 degrees. I'm going to fuppin freeze!! 
I've already started dosing myself with Vitamin C in an attempt to ward off any possible head colds.  Though the cooler climes should help me have two weeks of blissfully unsweaty sleep, so I'm looking forward to that!

Wish me luck folks!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Time / Friend Continuum

As I start my second year here, and brace myself for a second round of saying goodbye to friends leaving Korea, I've been thinking a lot about how making and maintaining friendships works differently for us ex-pats.

Back home, with no language barrier to overcome, I usually ended up befriending and socialising with most of my work colleagues, till my work and social life looked like a particularly cosy Venn diagram.
Here in Korea, with only two colleagues I can chat with easily in english, one of whom is a busy single mother, the two circles hardly overlap at all!

So evenings and weekends become my serious socialising time, allow me to illustrate:

  • Monday  -  this used to be my Korean class night, though now it's blessedly free, for casual meet ups and   laundry.  We'll see how long I can hold out for!
  • Tuesday - Breakfast in a coffee shop with Ms. Amused, as we try to do some writing and wrestle some semblance of order into our lives.   After work it's off to dinner with friends, or home for two hours before heading to yoga class at 9.
  •  Wednesday - Dinner Club!  This night is a life saver for ten or so of us Waygookin girls. We take turns hosting a pot luck dinner at our apartments and discuss everything from feminism in Korea to favourite cartoon theme songs.
  • Thursday - again, dinner with friends or sundry hair/nail/other appointments before yoga class at 9.
  • Friday - phone teaching has me finishing work late, then off to salsa class before meeting Ms.Amused for pizza and wine and a Thank God it's Friday celebration!
It doesn't seem so much, written out like that, but remember into this schedule I also need to cram: cooking, cleaning, laundry, paying bills, Skyping home, learning a foreign language, supporting a full blown Korean drama addiction........oh,yeah, and writing a blog!

Then there's the weekends - those two days which are held utterly sacrosanct by every ex-pat.
This is when we can get out and explore Korea, in carefully organised, bite size chunks.  These are the days for meeting the friends who live too far away or who work too late to see during the week. 
This is the time for trips to Seoul, Busan or any other city you fancy.      
Or, if we're staying in Ulsan, Ms.Amused and I get busy cooking up batches of curry, tuna pasta bake, Kimchi jjigae (korean kimchi stew) and other dishes which we can parcel up to feed us for the week.

Take such a busy timetable and mix it into the ex-pat experience and you will begin to understand the importance of the Time/Friend Continuum.
We are regularly meeting new people, both Koreans and fellow ex-pats, and the longer I am here, the more I find myself running them through a mental checklist before I will commit to spending time with them.

  1. Are they a good person? Can I hold an intelligent conversation with them?
  2. Where in the city do they live? Close to me or more like turn left at pluto? Will it, in the end, be a complete pain in the arse just trying to physically get to them?
  3. How long will they be in Korea for? Are they leaving in two months or two years?  (Just before Christmas I met a girl who was going back to the States the next day. Upon learning that it was just for vacation and that she would be back, I blurted out, "Oh good! I'll remember your name then!"  I DID remember her name, we became great friends and now I'll be very sad to bid farewell to her at the end of this month.)
  4. Can I shoehorn them into my existing schedule?  'Hey, wanna come to yoga class with me?!'
This probably seems very calculating, almost ruthless but it is for three good reasons:

ONE:  I already feel like I'm spinning plates....and doing it badly....trying to keep up with the friends I HAVE. So if I am going to start spinning an extra plate, it had better be worth it!

TWO:  Living so far from home, and for such a long time, your close friends become your de facto family.  Now, you can't choose the family you're born with, but if you don't select your surrogate family carefully and wisely, then you are nine kinds of stupid.
I had a sharp reminder of the importance of ex-pat families last week. One of my friends lost her grandmother, another was quite sick and yet another finished with her boyfriend.  Three very different problems, but all of them are times when you want your family around you.

THREE:  I am a damn good friend!  I will spend time with you. I will come see whatever performance, race or charity event you are taking part in. I will help organise your wedding or bring you chicken soup when you are ill.  I will help you study for your english exam or declutter your wardrobe.
Finally, after years of being a professional doormat, I am learning to surround myself only with friends who will also go the distance for me.

Disclaimer:  All of this must make me seem like such a picky little prig, but honestly, take a look at your own friends and you'll discover your own (possibly sub-conscious) check list.
Back home, with no ticking clock and a common language, if I met someone who, I don't know, didn't like Freddie Mercury, or thought that 'The Lord of the Rings' was for kids, I could afford to declare 'You are dead to me!'
But being part of the foreigner community here in Ulsan has actually broadened my friend horizons. 
I was always pretty open and tolerant about having friends of every religion and orientation, but now I'm learning to be that open and tolerant about music and movie tastes as well!  (much more difficult!)

Actually, no matter how tolerant I become, I could never be friends with someone who didn't love Freddie.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Spring has sprung and gone.



 

Spring has sprung!  The sap is rising, the weather is getting warmer and yours truly, dear readers, is high on life!

I'm also running around the place as busy as a blue-arsed fly - as we so eloquently put it back in the Auld Sod!
So while I have enough witty remarks and profound insights to fill six blog posts, God alone knows when I'll find the time to sit and type it.

So this following offering will be short, but hopefully sweet?

                                 ********************************************

What fascinates and delights me about the change in the seasons is that the transistion happens so quickly and decisively.  As if even Mother Nature follows the Korean mantra of 'Bali, bali!!' (Quickly, quickly!)
You can almost.........almost set your watch by it.
Four weeks ago it was still cold enough that going anywhere without gloves was the height of folly.
Two days ago Ms.Amused came over to my place brandishing THREE mosquito bites.
(It's a little bit insane how irresistible they find her.)

This is an unending source of wonder to a girl from a country whose seasons bleed into each other like a red sock in a white wash!

It's very bemusing to us foreigners that one of the first topics of conversation with many Koreans is:
 "Korea has four seasons. Does your country have four seasons?"

Like most other mysteries we stumble across over here, once you start to scratch the surface, you quickly find the internal logic.

  • Unlike us Westerners, Korea is neighbourly with several countries which DON'T have four seasons. 
  • The change of seasons is still marked by large, important festivals here in Korea - in much the same way that the Celtic fire festivals of Lughnasa, Samhain and Bealtaine used to mark the seasons for us in Ireland.
  •  Most Koreans learn this phrase as a rote piece in English class.
And while I mention the rote learning - it may seem a tad random, but it's a damn sight more useful than some of the stuff I learnt in French class!
Exhibit A: "The hat of my aunt is on the table."
Now, I have an above average number of aunts, but this is still not a sentence I'mma gonna need a whole lot!!

And you know something else?
After being here for a full cycle of seasons, I'm getting pretty psyched about it myself.
Last Fall was the most perfect I have ever experienced anywhere - a textbook autumn it was- with crisp fresh mornings and warm sunny days filled with a glorious palette of colour.

Now we've just had our 'blink and you miss it' Spring. 
This is a season which I particularly adore because my earliest images of Asia came from novels and movies set in Japan - so naturally enough, cherry blossoms falling like snow flash me right back to my adolesence and my plans to conquer the world - only to snap back to reality and find, yep, I'm actually in Asia!




Tis heady stuff, I tell ya!!

So here we are, a scant few weeks later and already heading into summer.  The winter clothes have been packed away in vaccuum packed bags.  (This is essential, not just for saving space but to protect them from the killer humidity we're going to get in a few months.)
I have dug up the air con remote control and any day now I'll be buying my first watermelon popsicle!


This of course, is why Spring is such a cherished season here in Korea.  It is an astonishingly beautiful and gentle season, which doesn't last long, so it never gets taken for granted.






Friday, 6 April 2012

The Long Good Friday

** Disclaimer: this post is fairly whiny, but hang in there, it has a happy ending.**

It all began at bedtime on Holy Thursday night. 
As a teacher who is in daily contact with 119 snot-nosed, germ riddled students - taking vitamins and supplements has assumed vital importance.  If I was forced to choose between brushing my teeth and taking vitamins, dental hygiene would win out..............eventually.

So on Thursday I committed the cardinal sin of forgetting my various pills that morning, and went to rectify my error by downing them before bed on Thursday night.  In a horrible moment of clarity, as I swallowed, I remembered that one of the pills came with the warning, do not take after lunchtime as it will disrupt your sleep. 
It was 11.30p.m.
I was screwed.

I fell into an uneasy, Tim Burtonesque dream haunted sleep sometime after 4am and rose again at 8 with the leaden stomach certainty that 'oh God, it's gonna be a looooong day.'

And not just any day.  Good Friday.  I was already feeling discombobulated by having to work today.  Thirty four years on this planet as an Irish Catholic has me irrevocably indoctrinated that Good Friday is for quiet contemplation, fasting and other worthy spiritual endeavours. It is not a day for work.
Understandably enough, I fell into the trap of comparing and 'what if'ing.  What would I be doing if I was at home? Who would I be with? What church activities would I be taking part in?
Just before lunchtime I was hit by a wave of my first real, sonofabitch bout of homesickness. 
I've been in Korea for over a year now. I've missed Christmas and endured three days of the stomach virus from hell, but neither of them made me long for home like this pathetic, non-Good Friday.

I battled back tears three times at work and, contrary creature that I am, I managed to be both proud of myself for hiding the tears and secretely miffed that no one noticed how quiet I was!
So I was already feeling homesick and weird as I headed upstairs for lunch.  Now, Good Friday is a fast day, which means abstaining from meat, but I hadn't given much thought to the school lunch because in good Korean style the meat is usually just one of the many side dishes and therefore easy to avoid and while still eating my fill.
Alas, today I sat down and gazed mournfully into a dish of rice and curry.
I turned to my Head Teacher, "What is this?"
Head Teacher: "Curry."
Me: (apologetic smile) "Yes. Does it have meat in it?"
Helpfully, Head Teacher used to be Catholic and quickly realised why I was asking.  It was indeed a meat curry, so I was left with a bowl of rice and a seaweed soup that was so salty I felt like I was swimming at Spanish Point! (beach on the west coast of Ireland)
So now I was feeling homesick, weird and flippin hungry!
Not the best recipe for a light heart.

Here's where teaching kindergarten comes in handy!
I learned today:
  •  that happiness is watching 11 five year olds attempt to draw a bumble bee.
  •  that  teaching six year olds the actions to a new song is a great cure for the blues.
  •  that seeing a childs whole being light up just because they see me is a great way to get me crying again!
  • that having a sister and friends that I can text whines to is priceless.
 


 Just what the doctor ordered!  These are from two of my eight year olds, Dana and Kristen.


On Fridays, the other NET (native english teacher) and I do phone teaching: we call our elementary school students for phone conversation.  This means I work late on Fridays, which sometimes I resent, but it also means I get to hear my kids improve week by week, which I love. 
As well as getting in some scary/valuable practice in speaking Korean with their mothers!

So by the time Lush and I met for dinner at 8.30 I was mindlessly ravenous.  I kept remembering one of my Dad's semi-blasephemous quotes: "I'm so hungry I could eat the Lamb of God..........and then make a drive for the ewe!"
The delicious Vietnamese food and Lush's sympathetic ear did much to restore my spirits and when we met Sister Dear after she finished work I was back on an even keel.  We only had a brief chat with Ms.Amused, as she had to be up at the truly ungodly hour of five am to go cheer friends running in a marathon.  (whole body shudder on several levels)

Lush and I repaired to a DVD Bang in search of a particular Korean rom-com called 'Spellbound'.
We had tried to watch it at a DVD Bang in Mugeodong last week, but they didn't have subtitles.
This time, our luck was in, the bang in Samsandong had subtitles. It was already being watched so we had to wait twenty minutes for it, but we were so intrigued by the plot and I know and love both main actors, so we decided it was worth the wait.
Thankfully, it was!

 

After two hours laughing, 'awww'ing and telling Lush, "It's ok, you can look now." (it's a rom-com with a horror twist!) I headed home, content that my long Good Friday had come to a happy ending.

God bless my lovelies, and Happy Easter wherever you are!