Skip to main content

Garbage and the Kindness of Strangers

I didn't make it to the internet cafe this weekend so I'm still finding minutes between class to update. I have yet to plan any of the 5 classes I have this afternoon and since I have to be in class in another 20 minutes, this will be brief.

This weekend had its ups and downs. I'm very conscious of the fact that I have not exercised and thinking that I need some happy hormones to begin floating again. I am also aware that culture shock hits you in many different ways at different times.

Sunday I was left quite everything. There is this whole garbage system which we haven't really figured out and are not really sure who we're supposed to ask about. We had been told to leave our garbage out side our door and wait until Tuesday. Tuesday came and it was still there. On Sunday morning, I realised fruit flies were beginning to invade the garbage. I had left some food in one of the bags and the hallway was beginning to smell like shit.

For some reason, this put me at a real loss. I had visions all day of someone coming to the door, yelling at me in Korean about how messy I had left it outside.

I managed to clear the food, find the right place for it to go and at least rid the hallway of the smell. I have not, however, been able to rid the hallway of all the other garbage.

This drawn out story about garbage is really about the frustration of not being able to communicate. I can't read the signs. They might say something about garbage but how the hell will I know?

I made myself feel better by practicing more Korean.

But I had a great Saturday. Saturday I got to go to the movies. I got to eat popcorn. I got to sample some fantastic Vietnamese food. I got to build a stronger friendship with the two other teachers at my school. I got to meet other foreigners, all Canadian and I am reminded that even though we have a large country, we are the same, in some small way.

It was the kindess of the evening. The generosity of the people who to them, it was just a night of poker. For me, it was a bit of a light. It was a little home. And I left, amongst a monsoon to get to a cab, so grateful for their friendliness, pledging to myself that someday, I would return the favour to another new arrival.


Popular posts from this blog


My regular journaling has significantly improved my mood.

I've been taking some time, twice a week, to polish existing content as well as develop my floating ideas into a more concrete outline.

I've felt this focus for the last 6 weeks that I can't really describe properly. It's as though I've shifted my thinking totally. Writing is my craft. It's what I do, who I am, how I exist. It's like my mojo.

So, I guess, I've gotten my mojo back. My focus, my purpose, my essence.

And it feels good. It feels right. And I am almost understanding more now why the best writing of the best writers happens when they are older, more polished, more experienced, more rough around the edges.

When all the youthful spark has been extinguished and what's left, is the determined embers, that will not go softly, that will not die out. That will continue, fervently glowing, creating warmth and not just drawing attention from its flicker, but pulling people in by it's so…

Room with a view

We've been in our new home for 10 weeks nos and it's feeling more like home than ever.Every day, I sit down at my desk to the most inspiring view.A collection of stories is building. This space makes it easy to gather my thoughts.I've been consumed with a few work projects and am looking forward to collecting my thoughts soon.Writers club is still going ... I was on a bit of a hiatus but hope to get into my routine for fall. For now, boat gazing is helping.

One thing

It's that time of year again. That time when we all decide to become a little more of our better selves.

It's a good time of year to commit to something, even if just to say you're going to try to make it happen. And, even if things don't change and perhaps you even fail at whatever you were resolving, it's actually just the action of pledging change that really brings the most benefit.

And so, this year, as I'm sure most writers are pledging, I pledge to WRITE. MORE.

Not necessarily blog more. But write more. Keep the act of it going. Commit to treating it as my craft instead of my hobby. Promising to keep it a hobby at heart but a skill in practice.

I've started a daily journal again - one page per day -- of anything, really mostly a rundown of what I did that day. Or heck, even a bit of stream of consciousness of what's banging around in the old head that day.

I also bought another daily Q&A book that, if I'm successful, will carry me across…