Tag Archives: pohang
We reach the place after wandering. It’s her favorite place she tells me. It wears its history like thrift-store treasures: a trellis railing from its years as a Hof bar, stained and worn coffee lounge couches with mismatched cushions, its roadstall tables and chairs. The stove’s chimney pokes out from a hole above the wooden door — shiny and silver. We sit. We order. “The table’s are big,” she says. “I come here sometimes to work.” The owner talks to someone in a room beside the kitchen. A young woman comes out and leaves. A man comes in. Sullen and alone. He disappears into the back for a bit. Another man comes in, leans over the kitchen counter, peering at the work area. We eat – beansprouts in soup flavored with pink briny shrimp the eyes still on them. The men take seats, one in the room’s corner, the other beside the stove. He spreads his legs, pointing himself right at the heat. We eat, pay, and go. “You have to be in the mood for it,” she says. I tell her I’m always in that mood.
Here’s a story.
I used to pass this guy every morning on my way to work at this certain streetlight. He’d be on a bike and I’d be walking.
He was an older Korean guy wearing a baseball cap and aviator sunglasses, always casually dressed but super neat like if it were raining he’d be riding the bike one handed holding an umbrella with the other, and the open umbrella would be perfectly parallel to the road, not held sloped or slanted like you or I or any other slob would.
Anyway, he always said “Good Morning” to me, so that’s the name I gave him. He was like my alarm clock. If I didn’t see him on my way to work, I knew I’d be late.
But in the past few months there’s been all this construction near work and I’ve had to detour past the place where we usually met, so I hardly see him. I still do but it’s rare and no matter when I do, he always breezes by me on his bike saying “Good Morning.” This even happened once on a Saturday afternoon.
So I told Jin about the guy and she thought it was amusing. But then earlier this week we were coming out of the supermarket and there the guy was in his track suit and wearing a cravat (and baseball cap). It was nighttime, he said “Good Morning”, and we stopped and chatted with him. Turns out the guy’s a retired master ship’s surgeon from the Korean Navy who works as a school crossing guard, which is where he’s always going in the morning. He also thought I was from Uzbekistan. Jin was more than a little amused by that, and after we left she said, “You know that guy’s now going to take you out drinking.”
That might be interesting.
Today’s question: “What did you do last weekend?”
Today’s answer: “I killed a chicken with Minsu.”
Minsu: “No. No. I did nothing, teacher. Nothing!”
August is here.
The beach in town is filthy with humanity leaving their trash around. It’s downright apocalyptic. To make matters worse the mayor has cordoned off a section of the beachfront and designated it an “International Zone”. Yes, town now has its own Interzone. There’s even a monument and everything. We’re not at “Lee and the Boys” levels yet, but I wonder if the mayor’s a secret William S. Burroughs fan.
(Remind me not to go back to the beach until, say. . . October. Also, shit, second WSB reference in a month. I’ll allow myself one more for the year.)
The heat’s giving me migraines, so I went to the doctor’s. He gave me meds, put me in a headlock, and knuckle-punched me in the skull right behind my left ear. That was fun, but I’m not sure he needed to wear a Luchador mask while he did it.
Hey, you know what’s great? Owning one’s mistakes and pledging to do better.
I’ve one more week of school left to teach, then staycation starts along with a heap of novel writing and revising. It’s actually been going on for a bit – but I won’t bore you with the details. Who the fuck wants to read about writing? On an unrelated note, Jin’s been looking at real estate listings more and more often. I’m not sure what this portends.
Lastly, we’re housesitting a cat for the next two weeks. Say hello to Ms. Switch.
So I have this laryngitis-cold-thing and sound like Tom Waits. It’s cool. I hope it never ends, though if it didn’t I’d probably lose my job. Can’t teach English if you sound like the Cookie Monster. I went to the doctor’s this morning. Some details: they do stuff like take your blood pressure and temperature in the waiting room. So folks are all around you waiting while a nurse takes your blood pressure and looks in your ears and whatever. Then they have you go back to sitting down, while you wait for the doctor to see you. The doc was a youngish guy and wanted to know about my mucus and stuff. His English wasn’t great, but whatever. Between Jin and me, we could figure out what he was asking. He sprayed some stuff down my throat and some more stuff up my nose, then gave me a prescription. Easy peasy. The thing is I feel fine. I just sound like death.
Price for visit and three days of meds: less than 10USD. I pay into the National Health Care program about 60USD monthly, but damn, a five buck Doctor visit? Yeah. Not complaining.