Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Limping Miguki

That would be me (Miguki means American). Why am I limping, you ask? Well, let me tell you...

When I checked my facebook this afternoon, I saw that some friends had invited me to join them for sushi and thought hanging out with friends might cheer me up a bit after my lousy morning. Naturally I neglected to look at the date on the invitation. Had I looked, I would have seen that sushi night was yesterday.

I had Jackie, one of my Korean coworkers, write down in Hangeul the location of the bank downtown where I was to meet my friends. I figured this way my crappy American pronunciation of Korean words wouldn't get me lost. When the cab dropped me off, however, no one was there (of course, since we were supposed to meet last night). I waited for beyond a reasonable amount of time. Then, when no one showed up, I decided that perhaps I was at the wrong bank and went looking for the right one (second mistake of the evening).

Over the course of the next hour and a half, I got progressively more and more lost. Where does the limp come in? Oh, that delightful bit occurred about half an hour into my adventure when I managed to twist my bad ankle. It's now about twice as big as it should be and hurts like heck. I started trying to find a cab after the ankle incident, but I was so lost in back streets that there were no cabs to be found. When I finally did find one, he couldn't understand where I was asking him to take me and dropped me off in the busier section of downtown (where cabs are prevalent), free of charge (at least I had that much going for me). Did I mention that I still don't have a cell phone, so calling for help was not an option?

Eventually I was lucky enough to find a cab driver who spoke fluent English and corrected my pronunciation so that hopefully I will not confuse any future drivers. He was very kind and dropped me off at the Lotte Mart, where I picked up a few special groceries and then limped miserably home. I decided that after a day like today, I earned a special grilled cheese sandwich dinner with some coffee ice cream. Grilled cheese may not sound special, but when you consider that the cheese cost over $5 and the butter over $3, plus the cost of bread, it becomes the equivalent of a nice meal in a restaurant here.

I am now going to enjoy my decadent ice cream treat while I ice my ankle and watch Friends (my new second-favorite show). I hope tomorrow goes a lot smoother. I also hope my adorable kindergartners don't further damage my poor ankle!

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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"