Monday, April 07, 2008

Bloomin' beautiful

By my count I've been in Mokpo for six weeks. That's a month and a half in new parent lingo. I think I'm starting to get used to it. Kinda. I still have the new town thrill of finding little shops and locations that might become regular visiting sites in the future. Like a couple weeks ago when I hiked up the hill beside the temple in town. That was nice. The cherry blossoms on the trees were just coming out there. That was the first I saw of any in town. A few days later I saw a tree at work bursting into flower. Now the whole place is alive with the smell and sight of what they call in Korea "putt gote" but don't quote me on that. Especially not the spelling.

Nice eh? These pics are from the tree at school. There are probably a hundred of these trees on the campus of Mokpo U. but this one right in front of our building got the jump on the others by a full week. I wonder why. The magnolia buds are blowing up too. And the yellow flowers they call in Korean "kaenari" that I don't actually know the English word for, they're coming into bloom all over the place too. It's a great time of the year for hiking. Which is why it's a terrible time of the year for hiking. Sigh. Because just like the time of year when the leaves on the maple trees turn red, EVERYBODY in Korea becomes a hiker and the trails are like subway tunnels at rush hour. Not my kind of hiking. I prefer hiking in winter when it's cold, I don't sweat my bollocks off, everything's dead and the trails are empty. THAT'S NATURE!

But I don't really feel like I live in Mokpo yet. There are a lot of things I have yet to do here. I haven't gone out drinking yet. I went out with some teachers for dinner a time or two and I had a party at my place but I haven't yet bought a beer in a Mokpo bar.

I haven't ordered a pizza either. I've been taking advantage of my oven. I just recently made my second lasagna and boy was it tasty! I used ricotta, mozarella and feta cheeses. Plus I put zucchini and Italian sausage sauce in it. Still got half of it left too. I will probably bake my own pizza before ordering one. I have a kilo of pepperoni in the freezer.

I think I know the reason. I've been visiting other places on the weekends. Last weekend I stayed home but didn't really go out because I was playing all the new computer and X-Box games I got from the visit to the Jackson family residence the weekend before. Things are a bit hectic there in Osan but the hagwon looks nice and the boys are dealing with the new life pretty well. The Jackson 4 were just moving into their new apartment when I visited. I even helped a little bit.

Kids can be so angelic at times can't they? Particularly nap time. Look how cute they are. Alex already has the peace and the pose perfected. A must for a Korean. Or a Korean/Canadian. And Justin is already taking up the piano. Tickling the ivory and belting out a song. So cute. BUT...

boys will be boys. The peace sign can turn into a raspberry and the belting out of a song can deteriorate into screaming as fast as you can say, "Calgon take me away!" Here I am talking like a parent. I'm not the one living with these dudes and trying to start a business at the same time! Thank God. heh heh heh. But Scott and Min Ju are doing a good job. I DID notice that they both drank a little more beer than usual when we went out Friday night. I think they might have even kept up with ME! Ahhh they've earned it.

So yeah, I got about 100 new games for my X-box and access to about 1000 on from the Jacksons for Christmas. That's all I've been doing in my free time, (what little I now have), since last weekend. I particularly like this game called Peggle on the computer and this one called NHL 2K6 on the X-Box. I made my own hockey team called the Tuktoyaktuk Seal-Clubbers and made players for my team. Scott is my high scoring right winger and Mike is my center. I have Wallace and Gil on defence and Tim and Corey between the pipes. We're undefeated. Two months into the season. Thank you very much.

So I reckon this week should be the week I go out for a beverage in town. I could even go tomorrow if I wanted! Tomorrow is Tuesday. The Tuesday before election day. Or phonetically in Korea, "erection" day. We don't have to work. Woohoo! Then the next two weeks will be exams. Next week speaking tests and the week after written tests. Then we're already half way through the session. WOW! A lot can happen in six weeks!

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