Sunday, March 16, 2008

"Holy Polaris!"

Tonight I went downtown with my new friend Nina to hang out with another new friend, Kristin. The three of us enjoyed a delicious fully-loaded baked potato dinner, a bottle of wine, and the classic, hilarious 1969 film Batman. That film is so cheesy, but that just makes it all the better. It was terrific fun mocking all the pathetic dialogue and "special effects", and of course, rooting for the bad guys. As much as I love Koreans, it was great to hang out with a British girl and another American and be able to speak in complete sentences sans charades.

Today officially marks the end of my third week in Korea. In this short amount of time I've been introduced to dozens of new dishes (most of them delicious), learned to decipher Korean nutrition information on packaged foods, learned to communicate with people in grocery stores, made several new friends, discovered that I really like teaching, and even learned to use Korean appliances. I have yet to humiliate myself in a public place, and I have not committed any cultural offences. On top of all that, my boss likes me, and I her. I'd say I'm off to a simply smashing start!

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"