This afternoon, after my brutal Turkish Get-Ups combo (with the janky free weights, in the midst of the skinny Korean muscle-head wanna-bes on the machines in front of mirrors...I digress), I ventured out into the blustery cold of Seoul--alone. Solo exploration of big cities via user-friendly & cost-effective subway systems is the Number Two way to gain confidence whilst traveling and living in strange lands. Number One is, you know, the ability to communicate, using words, with people. Having a basic understanding of the language to the point of knowing whether or not the door you're about to walk through is a Kissing Room or a kalbi (Korean bbq with the marinated flesh) restaurant is useful, too. I suppose one could just walk into any business establishment at random, ask the proprietor "Kalbi chusaeyo?" and look like a complete jackass (which is, more or less, my current level of understanding, that I am only slightly ashamed to admit). But really, other than attending weekly free Korean lessons, how else am I supposed to learn what is what around here? Speaking of Korean lessons, it is almost time to brave the paralyzing negative-degree C wind chills that still plague this city. Going outside is so, SO hard when I still have to dress in layers upon layers. Days like today, I am kicking myself for being in such a hurry to get here, leaving the perfect people, the long, warm Sacramento spring days that lead to evening porch-sitting, with drinks and food, and midtown-wandering at night on foot, because it's still warm when the sun goes away.
::sigh:: Off I go, trying to learn the sounds and recognize the nearly indistinguishable characters of double vowels. And terminal consonants. In the freezing ass cold. Two years at 12-degrees N latitude thinned my blood (and thickened(?) my whining capacity) considerably.
Yes, in dreary weather, woe is me.