So I’m back. My wife and I, back to the land of her birth, the land of my girth.
[Aside (get used to them): I gained about 6kgs from my university weight (walking around looking for spiders in forest is an underrated exercise regime) when I was here last. Then I gained 7 more when I returned to NZ for three and a half years of staring at high school kids in bewilderment at whatever sociopathic utterance just escaped their lips. However, three months of the patented “Shit, I’m going back to a country where they don’t hesitate to point out how fat you are” panic workout plan, and I’m back down to the original weight I was when arriving back in NZ in 2008…and plan to go further once I find a gym here]
It was a brutal last couple of weeks in NZ, as the To Do list spiraled into a To Do novella, and you realised just how much assorted crap you accumulate in all the nooks and crannies of your house, put aside with solemn vows that “This will come in handy one day” and then taken out again with exasperated curses of “Why the hell do I still have this piece of crap?” and flung into yet another big black rubbish bag.
With the sending money and getting visas and selling goods on Trade Me and cleaning the apartment before the inspection and packing up separate boxes for air freight (need immediately) and shipping (two months later is cool) and buying several boxes of Greggs spices and so on, some things go lost in the shuffle. I never got round to getting my international drivers license, not that I plan on buying a car that soon. I didn’t buy a three year supply of that skin-toned Clearasil stuff that I like for combating the once-every-two-month gloriously angry mega-pimple that takes up residence on my face and mesmerizes all that are foolish enough to glance in its direction.But we got here and we have money and we’re safe. Yay.
Spent three nights in Singapore on the way over (NZ = warm and wet, Singapore = hot and humid, Seoul = freezing and dry, so we basically had a very expensive trip to a sauna) and I kind of fell in love with the city. Maybe in a one-night-stand, give-out-out-a-fake-number-in-the-morning kind of way – we saw a punnet of 10 strawberries for $16 NZ dollars, for God’s sake! – but my is it a beautiful little fling while it lasts. Beautiful waterfront, lots of architecture porn, easy to get around, lots of great food. It’s a very limited type of vacation spot – urban grazing with additional ethnic enclaves to wander around and large shopping malls to burn money in – but it hit the right note at the right time and that’s alright by me.
My favorite part was just sitting back on the short water cruise along Singapore River on a Saturday night and seeing the throngs of people eat and drink and be happy. No wait, my absolute favorite thing was my wife absolutely devouring a chilli crab at Jumbo Seafood (I don’t eat crab as a rule because it’s a bloody pain in the arse and I don’t think it tastes amazing enough to be worth all that cracking and sucking and poking. Not that I am against cracking and sucking and poking in other realms of human endeavour), and a couple of elderly American ladies watching in astonishment as this petite Korean woman turned into a Tasmanian Devil for half and hour. So cute.
Anyway, now that I’m back in Korea, the main focus of this blog will be reviews of Korean dishes I eat, movie theatres I visit and any other interesting things I stumble across, as well as gripes and moans and observations expected of a coddled Westerner living in a particularly Asian country. I work at a university here, but won’t be discussing that on this blog, because I don’t think it is fair to be discussing my students while they are still in my class. Though you may find a few posts crop up discussing the wonders of teaching high school in NZ now that I am safely situated far enough away to be reflective and constructive.