Friday, September 26, 2008


and it all began with a field trip.

we spent the day on a cultural tour. it involved a tour of the OB brewery-including free beer for those of us in the family that are 1-of age & 2-like beer. there's only one of us that fit those criteria. then there was lunch. i won't elaborate on that. it wasn't great. and then a visit to the folk village which was nice but, just like last time, way too much dust/dirt for me.

and then we came home & i had a headache. one of those all consuming headaches where you pray that the end of the world will come just so your pain will end. don't know if it was the bus rides or the loud farmer's dance music or the fact that i forgot my allergy medicine or that i have managed to catch 1's nasty cold but my head was throbbing so much that curling up in my bed and not coming out for, like, 3 days sounded like a good idea. alas, it was not to be. tonight starts the friday night bowling league for 1. so off he went & left me with the headache of the century & 3 kids who acted like, for all intents and purposes, they were starving and hadn't been fed in 3 years. (damn, 3 must be my number tonight).

so i decided to brave the wild world of korean delivery. it's been advertised to me as being way much better than delivery in the states. if the mul man is any indication, i can buy that. i found an english menu & called the place. got an english speaker on the line. placed my order, gave my address & answered the questions. hung up & felt pretty good about myself. ran downstairs & opened the door. figured since korean delivery in on such a high plane, leaving the door open for a few minutes wouldn't cause any harm. after 30 minutes & no food, i ran down to check that the door was still open. and discovered, to my dismay, that 2 of the 3 bikes parked in the entryway are gone. fuck. only 1 of those missing bikes belonged to us. fucker. now i've got to go tell someone that their bike is stolen, it's my fault & now i've also got to buy a new one. fuckest.

i rang both the neighbors doorbells but apparently they were being antisocial as no one answered. i headed out to the porch to watch for the (still missing) delivery man. and the upstairs neighbor was on his porch. come to find out that, not only was the bike there on their behalf, but it wasn't even his. they don't have a car & apparently he was borrowing the bike from a friend to get himself to & from work. oh man. things just keep getting better! i'll be visiting the PX tomorrow to purchase a new bike. and probably a new lock b/c i'm sure the lock was on the bike when it took its walk.

biggest & the neighbor are cavassing the neighborhood right now. they've walked all around & are doing it again. thing is, there are so many alleys & little side streets that who knows where to even start? and it's been 2 hours since delivery now & still no food. so i'm thinking we got jacked by the korean delivery guy. man am i pissed.

biggest & neighbor just got back. no such luck. and apparently the food place is playing "no speak engrish". funny, since when i placed my order, i sure was speaking engrish & they sure seemed to understand me. seems someone needs to check their delivery guys scooter boxes. i'm betting they would find some bikes.

apparently this is what happens when i let my guard down. guess i'll need to put those walls back up now. assholes.

Monday, September 22, 2008


American Heritage Dictionary -
a·bom·i·na·tion (ə-bŏm'ə-nā'shən)
1. Abhorrence; disgust.
2. A cause of abhorrence or disgust.

and then there is this...

...i think not.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


it's just 3 little ones for now. apparently i'm really getting acclimated so things aren't as NEW! and EXCITING! as they once were. sigh. have we really almost been here a year?

1st off...the definite lack of stop signs. we live on a street corner that is 4 streets meeting with a little bitty dead end thrown off to the side for good measure. so almost like 5 points? there is not one stop sign...stop line...stop light...yield sign...whatever to be seen. i guess everything gets treated kind of like a 4 way stop? unless you're a cab. then it's every man for himself. oh! oh! or a bus! then you better move your ass! going down the little road to family mart, there are several more intersections the exact same way. russian roulette in a vehicle. ahh...korea.

2nd...our address. wtf is up with THAT? it consists of (town name) and then 6 numbers. so...say...smithville (ok, ok. kimville) 123456. oh, yeah, and F2 cause we're on the 2nd floor. no street name, no zip code. but apparently it works b/c that brings me to #3....

i called for water delivery the other day. it's on base so it's english speaking (can i get a whoo hoo?). i called them at 11:29. told them i needed 2 bottles of water, had two empty bottles to turn in & that i am at smithville...i mean...kimville 123456 F2. and the lady said they'd be here at 12:30ish. at 11:43-i kid you not-the phone rang & it was the water lady again. she called to tell me that the water man was at my downstairs door & it was locked? could i please come open it? cause, oh yeah, we have a big door downstairs with an electronic lock on it & then our regular door upstairs with **gasp!** regular keyed locks on it. so biggest ran down to open the door & bring the water up. but mr. mul (water in korean!) man wouldn't let him. so up they both came-biggest empty handed, MMM with both bottles. and off he went. i might could get used to that. i guess maybe it might make up for the lack of traffic signs.

an "everything is broken" post. but it will have to wait for a certain auspicious event taking place in the states that i'm going to have to miss. wouldn't want to spoil the surprise. so sad that i won't get to you guys!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

house pics

these will be new house pics. please excuse the mess as we are still unpacking.
view into the house from the front door:


view into kitchen from front door:


view down the hallway from the front door. straight ahead is the bathroom (duh), the doorway is biggest's room & turning left after the doorway but before the bathroom is a short hallway into middlest's room.


littlest's room:



middlest's room:


biggest's room:


view off the porch:


ever present rice paddies (in the distance):


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

languages...learned or inherent?

i'm curious about something. i'm sure there is someone out there to ask this but durned if i know who. i'll be putting in an email to an uncle of mine who teaches & is fluent in several different languages. just thought i'd put it out there on the internet & see if there are any other opinions.

i have taken 2 languages in my life-french & spanish. french was in 4th & 5th grades which was i can't count how many years ago. i have never once used it again except for last year when a phrase came spouting out of my mouth from nowhere & i had to call my french buddy to find out what i'd said. imagine my amazement when i found that i had said what i meant to say & said it properly. spanish was in highschool. 9th & 10th? or maybe 10th & 11th? shame that i can't remember. i have had opportunity to use it a bit since then...seems plenty of hispanics like car auctions &, hey!, i worked at that mexican car lot (owned by koreans...foreshadowing much?). but i never got anywhere near fluency & since i'm a control freak, i have a hard time attempting anything in the public eye that i am not 100% at. but i'd like to think that i can grasp a bit of what people are saying to me &, if i'm reading it, i can put some words together & come up with a fairly decent explanation some of the time.

1 took spanish in highschool with me. he wasn't ever much good at it (remember the time the sub caught you cheating?). his mom speaks tagalog & the hopes were that the spanish would assist him in learning her native language. he didn't follow through. he is simply an american with filipino background.

i am having the absolute hardest time with the language over here. i have a few (very few) words & even fewer phrases (that are actually just words over here). we're going to get into korean classes-not sure how much participation i'll be able to have due to littlest & her need for constant MAMA! attention. but we'll give it a shot. and, worst comes to worst, i'll try to suck off of what middlest & biggest learn. i'd really like to be able to communicate. our landlady rattles on at me in korean & i'm so totally lost so i just smile & nod & hope i'm not telling her it is ok to up our rent. 1, on the other hand, actually seems to understand a bit. we were sitting on the porch tonight & he was eavesdropping on a conversation taking place in the road. he was able to pick out some things. me, on the other hand, clueless.

someone on the baby board tonight posted a question about a french school for her son. her post included some french phrases. i didn't verify with her but i feel as if i knew what the phrases meant. somehow french & spanish makes sense to me. maybe it's because i'm a "word" person. i love words. i love finding out what they mean. i love learning new ones. i'll look up a word in a minute so that i can add it to my vocabulary. of course, this may have something to do with my ability to understand, in some part, the "romance" languages. it all goes back to latin roots & they just flow in my head. korean is not latin based. i'm not even sure what the base is but it sure isn't latin.

which leads me, in a roundabout way of course because i'm me, to my question. is language a learned skill or is it in some form inherent to your being? i'm not sure of my ancestry but i come from europe with a little indian (native american) thrown in for good measure. so is there a predilection in my being for some european languages? somewhere deep in my psyche is there a language button that gets pushed when i hear something with latin roots? that causes my brain to function in such a way that i can grasp some of what i hear? or does it all have to do with the fact that i love words, i have taken bits of two seperate languages in my time here on earth & that has allowed my mind the ability to process things that would otherwise seem like nothing more than babble?

is it the same case for 1? the fact that his ancestry is here in asia...does that give him an inherent understanding or at least slight grasp of some of what he hears? his interest was peaked when he first came here & purchased a phrase book, dictionary & children's flash cards. he looks things up on the internet all the time. he has a definite interest in this language of theirs. not to say i don't but his is definitely more in the moment than mine is. i would like to be able to communicate but i am not feeling pressed to learn like i feel i should.

i'm just very curious as to whether there is any sort of precedent for this question of mine. i'm not even sure i agree with the concept of inherent knowledge but i can't put my finger on any other reason for why 1 and i are so different with this subject but we've been in much the same places but for our ancestry.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


we're in the new place. and boy different!

for the past year, we've been in the middle of endless rice paddies with the lovely smell of cow poo to put us to sleep at night & wake us up in the morning. and it wasn't bad b/c i'm really a country girl at heart-i grew up in the middle of corn fields with a farm down the road so cow poo is nothing new! but it was kind of isolated, as was the "old" apartment. most of our neighbors were americans so it never did really seem that we were in a foreign country.

that has all changed now! we're at a crossroads that seems to be a shortcut so people & cars are moving day & night. the voices of the kids floating through the windows are in korean, not english. everything is (still, of course) labeled in korean but some have english labels this time around. our dishwasher is the little bittiest thing i've ever seen. and most of the cabinets are accessible without a step stool! (seems the "old" apartment was built for americans. and apparently the builders thought they were some tall americans!) this apartment is definitely korean which is a welcome change since i am definitely not a tall american.

a vast majority of our stuff is still in boxes & we can't figure out where most of it came from! we KNOW we didn't ship this much stuff over here. and i know it wouldn't have fit in 8 suitcases. but the good news is that the movers didn't pack us out (as we learned the day before the move) so we got rid of a big bunch of trash while frantically boxing things up. but frantic also means disorganized so the baby's hair hasn't been combed in 2 days b/c we can't find the comb. at least we found the diapers.

this will be part 2 of the korean adventure. i'm sure this will be even more of an adventure since we're right smack dab in the middle of things (and truly so far out of my comfort zone but you do what you have to do, right?). biggest & middlest have already set out on their first unaccompanied trip to the base & an overnight. we'll see them in the morning. now if i could just reach littlest a word besides "MAMA!!!" (and, yes, that is just how she says it over & over again), i might get some work done.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

what is it with this family?

it's ok if you laugh after you read this. just please don't do it within my earshot as i fear i may be well on my way to a nervous breakdown...similar to what i almost suffered last year ABOUT THIS TIME. yeah, check that emphasis, why don't you?

we're moving again. it will be a good thing in the end. we'll be closer to the base which means the biggest & middlest will be closer to their friends, 1 may get some exercise by walking to bowling & i may get some too by walking around with littlest.

we looked at the place last week with a different realtor than our regular. the landlady apparently liked us even though i allowed littlest to roam with her shoes on (oops) & was allowing the weiner provided he isn't a destructive weiner. which he isn't. bossy, noisy & a general pain in the butt, yes. destructive, no. she apparently declined another deposit on the place in hopes that we would take it. we wrangled the ethics of the whole thing-old realtor vs. new realtor...who to choose? and 1 finally called them both today. we've gone with the new realtor as she is the one who showed us the place. and the negotiations began. just for the heck of it, we asked if she would pay for our move (yes!), a washer & dryer (yes, again!), and when did all this need to happen? (ok, commence laughing now)

the answer? IMMEDIATELY. which makes sense as we are at the end of the month (ok, the beginning) & the lady has held the place for us for a week but c'mon now. why does everything in the past couple of years have to happen so dang fast? we're moving to korea! so sell 3/4 of your life right now! and do it while being a single mom with a clingon! and come on over with 8 suitcases, 3 kids, a weiner & a grandma! ok, so we did that. and i'm sure we'll be able to do this too, especially since someone will be packing us out & moving it all & it is only down the street as opposed to around the world but for pete's sake! give me a minute to get used to the whole idea! speed of light + banni = not compatible.

oh, and in case that wasn't enough for you, we still don't have new orders. which means that come midnight tomorrow night, we no longer have base access for anything. and neither do our cars. which means our access to american food & the library are shut down. the bank? nope! nothing! 1 won't even be able to get to work by himself. someone will have to sign him in in order for him to put in his time. so aggravating to have to rely on someone else just to get basic things done. hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later as we are not available to do that stuff friday since we'll be with the movers. and at the dentist.

dammit, i need a vacation.