Wednesday, June 30, 2010

An open letter

Dear Republic of Korea,

We need to talk. I've been married for a while now and I'm starting to figure out how to do conflict better. I can no longer ignore something that has been eating away at me since the day I arrived (such as a certain someone's infatuation with tennis raquets, cough cough). Bottling up feelings is unhealthy and I can't be controlled by them. I'm a strong, independent woman, dammit, and you're about to get a piece of my mind. You've been getting off too easy. Plus, this is all really your fault and I'm always right so you need to just sit down and listen.

Please, for the love of GOD and everything holy, have someone proofread your use of the English language.

Some people think your little phrases are adorable. I, however, am insenced. What set me off on this particular rampage was that I saw a national ad campaign for a pastry shop that advertised its "3th anniversary." While I understand that the ins and outs of ordinal numbers can be quite confusing, (why do we need those little mini-letters anyways? What did we do before Word autocorrected them for us?) anyone with a fluent knowledge of English could have picked up on that mistake. Heck, even some of my eight year olds would have told you that was wrong. I mean, I'm not calling you stupid, I'm just saying you're really dumb. And now you have gone and printed it. No, worse than that--you have printed it and then distributed it to your national chain of pastry shops.

And you know what makes it even worse? I know I am probably the only person to have noticed this. Well, and Chin-Hwa, who has to listen to me talk about these things at home.

I know I should have said something earlier. On my first day in the apartment, which was BRAND NEW, I was in the parking garage and saw something appalling. It wasn't a Hummer H3 and it wasn't roadkill. It was the fact that someone had painted the word "ENTERANCE" on countless pillars and poles. I laughed it off at the time and talked to my friends about it, but I should have put my foot down. Now the problem has just festered. I now realize the error of my ways, which are few, and the much larger missteps on your end.

Please respond accordingly,
Your friend, but nearly foe,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Travel Plans

I left the U.S. of A. on August 13th, 2009, and now I'm planning on making a return trip! Chin-Hwa and I are hoping to be back in the States for a one month vacation starting around July 20th. (The exact details are still up in the air, thanks to the Army, but you let us worry about that. All you have to do is get excited!) We're going to stay in the midwest (mostly because the midwestern summers are oh so enjoyable) and I want to see as many of you as possible! So if you have been desiring to return to Omaha in secret, don't be clandestine and wait no longer. If you really want to check out Kansas City's barbeque, make your plans.

I have a few things I will check on once I'm back:
1. Does the flag still have fifty stars? Or did Puerto Rico finally sneak in?
2. Does freedom still reign superior?
3. Is Wendy still afraid of thunderstorms?
4. Are refried beans truly a gift from the heavens?
5. Does Nickie still look like me?
6. Is Grandma's strawberry rhubarb jam still the jam?
7. Does David have facial hair?
8. Did Dad repaint the house again?
9. Does Mom still love free concerts?
10. If I make puppy chow, will Emily Kroenke sense it from afar and come to me?

If you would like to help me complete these missions, let me know. I will need some backup.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

World Cup

I find it to be more and more difficult to come up with things to say as I have become increasingly accustomed to life here. There are some things that seemed strange to me upon arrival that are now normalized. These things include:

1. Pressing a button on my restaurant table to call the server over so I can point to indicate what I need refilled. I usually throw in a smile, too, at no extra charge.

2. Old ladies pushing me to get on the subway cars. They are agressive and have really sharp elbows!

3. All of my students have cell phones. They are seven years old and have cell phones. And, to add to my amazement, their phones ring far more frequently than mine does. Wah wahhhh

All those things aside, one event that I could speak of if it wasn't so intensely boring is the World Cup. These games have captivated the entire Republic of Korea. This picture is Ji-Sung Park, Korea's best player. On game days, people will dress in red to match Korea's jerseys (it's just like Husker days! Except dull!) and watch the games. The most recent game aired at 3:30 a.m. here in Korea. Now, I'm no diehard sports fan. I would (and have) wake up at 3:30 for Harry Potter movies or books, but to watch a soccer game? No thanks.

Judging by the amount of cheering I heard through my apartment windows this morning, I am unique in this anti-soccer sentiment. Korean fans are dedicated, and, as previously mentioned, they do love their thunder sticks. Korea will now go on to the next level of play, much to my chagrin and everyone else's joy, and the captivation with soccer will continue.

I have one suggestion for soccer, in case it's reading this very blog: Please stop ending in ties. I don't care about subtle rules or the ins and outs of the game. I'm not looking for an explanation. I am hoping for a fabulous shoot out at the end of every tie, a la Mighty Ducks 2. Is that too much to ask?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

To David, on his birthday

Today is my little brother's 18th birthday, and I can't believe how time has gone. To help commemorate this day, a story:

My family always did road trips when I was growing up. We would go and buy sufficient amounts of candy, and Dad could pack anything into the trunk. Mom was in charge of music and always had good tunes. Our only problem was that we had a Toyota sedan. So David, Nickie, and I crammed into the back seat. Nickie and I always pulled rank and made David sit in the middle.

David was always a perfect angel as a child crammed into a small space for multiple What child could be? I mean, even I, a child who was perfect almost all of the time, would get antsy on drives to Chicago. He was okay until his Gameboy battery ran out. After that, it was time for his imagination to run wild. And his young brain always decided upon one explicit goal: "I must annoy Jackie."

David would literally poke me for hours. I always tried to ignore it and stay engrossed in my Babysitter's Club book, but he was so darn persistent. He would poke, poke, poke, poke, poke, all while quietly, a girl can only be so patient. After a few hours of this (or maybe a few minutes. You know how I tend to exaggerate) I knew I had to take action. Everyone has a breaking point. David found mine. So I threw him an elbow right in the sternum. David doubled over and moaned a pathetic moan. I tried to look innocent and explain my inner motivations.

You'll never guess who was punished.

It made perfect sense at the time. Now, I realize the error of my ways. No matter how gently one tries to elbow, it always hurts. There's no way to soften that blow.

The thing that was most frustrating during all of this was not that David was bothering me, it was that he was bothering me exclusively. He was sitting in between two sisters, both easily annoyed, and yet he focused his powers of irritation on me. Why, smaller David, why?