Thursday, December 08, 2005

He Came, He Saw, He Conquered

He Came

Friday, 2 December 2005. It was almost 5 o'clock in the morning and yet sleep eluded me like a convict who broke out of prison. I wrote to my friends that I was so fidgety and snappy that I don't know what else to do. I woke up around 12 noon, with a splitting headache. Half of me wanted to puke out of suspense, the other half wanting to sprint right away to the airport. I took my sweet time walking back and forth in the house, doing idle things like logging online and watching TV, not actually accomplishing anything sane at all.

My motherly room mate prodded me to be in the airport at least two hours before he arrives. Around 2 pm, our cleaning lady pressured me to get ready. I told her that I had to meet my former classmate first before I go to the airport. I got a series of naggings instead - telling me that I should be dressed, that I should be in the airport early, bla bla bla.

Finally at 7:30, I arrived in Incheon International Airport, looked for McDonald's where we agreed to meet. I decided to have dinner there as I could not remember taking any nutrients the whole day. Probably because of too much agitation, I was able to eat one whole burger (which is a rare occasion, as I barely finish a burger all by myself), an apple pie, a hot fudge brownie and sundae cone. Yes, more calories to churn the already brewing up tension inside my stomach. I even drank soda, which was like a sacrilege to my diet.

His plane landed at 8:50. I fidgeted in McDo and begun to visit the smoking lounge more often. Came 9:30, I started to panic. I called my friend O and she assured me that since BF told me he doesn't have much luggage with him, immigration stuff and check out time would probably take a few minutes, which made me assume that he would be out by 9:10.

By 9:50 I was almost dying. Morbid thoughts entered my head. I started to walk back and forth in front of McDo when suddenly a few minutes past 9:55, I saw someone who resembles my boyfriend. It was him. I ran up to him and he embraced me right away. Actually, carried me because I was diminutive compared to his height.

The travel en route to the hotel where he booked in my favor (it's closer to my apartment) was pretty smooth. Holding his hand while seated in the bus, I thought that everything was just a dream. It was just like a few weeks ago, we were talking about his plans to visit here in Korea. We talked about things that normal couple discussed - things we would do when we get the chance to be together... this and that. And suddenly, in the comfort of the airport limousine bus, all the doubts, the fears simply evaporated.

It snowed the day he arrived. Mr K told us later on that it is a good sign. A good luck premonition.

He Saw

His first night went well. Although bone tired, we managed to have a decent conversation. The following day we went out to have brunch and decided that we go to War Memorial Park. I knew he's still pretty tired (he was sleep deprived for more than 30 hours, which made a lot of sense because he flew for almost 13 hours) but nevertheless, that didn't stop him from exploring Seoul. We took lots of pictures.

Came dinner time, we went to meet my good friends, The Kims, who hosted a dinner in honor of his visit. My friend O and her hubby, Mr. K, were so hospitable that I knew BF felt so at home with them. O sent a message later on that she thought BF was a keeper and that I should never let go of him. Likewise, she told me that she and her husband said a little prayer for the both of us that night. There's no doubt that they too loved the BF. BF told me later on that he found the couple dignified, warm, very hospitable and I am lucky to have a family like them in this strange land.

The following days saw us exploring Seoul with gusto while holding hands.

He took shots of the places we visited. We went to a lot of musems and art galleries, places that I so wanted to explore myself (but never got the chance because I was either bored or depressed because I don't have anyone to hold hands with), the Gyeongbok Palace (the seat of power during the early pre-Samsung and Hyundai era), the Namdaemun market (famous for its handcrafted Korean stuff). We also waddled through the mile long stretch from the East Gate (Namdaemun entrance) to Cityhall, to Gwanghamun (where the US Embassy is located, thought he should know where it is, in case of emergency) to King Sejong Memorial Arts Center.

We also watched Harry Potter 4 in Yongsan CGV, the only place I used to hang out before as a loner. At last, after imagining it for some months, I got to experience how it feels to watch a movie with someone I really love, holding my hand or caressing my hair while I leaned on his shoulders during those boring movie scenes.

Trying Korean dish was a very easy feat with him. He loves food and boy he does. An easy person that he is, he gave in to everything I asked him to try: even those octopus kimchi, which was, by the way, taste so incredibly strange that I felt like fainting infront of him.

He Conquered

We had a blast, as he puts it, would be an understatement.

Seeing him in person, realizing that he is as lovable in person as he is online would come short as an oxymoron. He is everything that I dreamt of him to be. Exactly what he said he is. It's a good thing that I never had high expectations of him though. I took his words as a sacred assertion of what I should expect him to be and that made things even greater when we finally met. That, is all that matters and made me love him even more.

He came in Korea, he saw what he needed to see (even saw how clumsy I walk, stumbling here and there). And he, beyond question, conquered my heart, which happened to be a little pickle-minded in the past. Now, I am abso-freakin-lutely sure, he is The One.

On my way home from the airport, I tried not to cry. As I said earlier, everything was like a dream. In the scorching heat of the winter sun inside the bus, I felt the same way again. Six days and five nights whooshed like lightning. Indeed, time flies so fast when you are having fun.

I tried not to be lonely. I tried to focus on the days that we had, albeit a tad short, we did have a tremendous time together. I also tried not to count on how long it will take for us to permanently spend our lives together. It won't be a while, that is for sure.

I have nothing else to write, probably because my head is still too clouded with the great times that I spent with him. Perhaps I should say:

So, this is how it feels to be truly in love.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Bad Teacher

Today is my last day in the Hagwon. The Wonjangnim told me last Monday that they need someone to work fulltime, which I can not, for obvious reasons. It was fine with me. I know that the Great Provider will give me another job next week. That I never doubt.

School dragged like a boring movie. I wanted to pull the string of time to wind it at 5:40 pm so that I can just go to the movies and watch "Blackout".

I went to the Hagwon an hour and a half before classes start. I played with the kids for the last time.

Soon, I got tired playing with the kids. I decided to teach them the running man and Roger Rabbit. The kids followed suit and we just danced our spirits away.

Before we knew it, standing there by the door, in all his splendor, was the Wonjang. He asked me to fix the tables and get ready for my class. I knew it. Now he doesn't regret firing me. Am so worth it. HAHAHHAHAH! I just don't give a fucking care!

I said goodbye to my first class, composed of snotty 10 year olds. One almost cried. I gave them my celphone number so that they can buzz me whenever they feel like talking to me. That comforted them a bit.

One of the girls, Emily, gave me a friendship ring. So sweet of her. She told me that she will miss me because am the only teacher who played hula with them. Haha! Talk about second childhood. If only Emily knew.

My second and third classes went fairly well. No emotional goodbyes. Nothing. They are bunch of retards anyway.

The last class was something else. My energy, having been consumed earlier with all those games and dancing, has dwindled around 5:00 pm. I was not in the mood to teach anymore. I was not even in the mood to tell these kids that it's our last day together. Heck, I don't care anymore if they get the shock of their lives when they meet the new teacher next week.

I decided to teach them how to curse in English. Oh no, I did not mean to. I swear, I did not start it.

Paul, the perennial late comer, started it all. He asked me what "damn you" means. I explained. Soon, he was asking me what "motherfucker", "shithead", "fuck you" and a lot other curses I never heard of before. I was shocked! I don't really curse, you know. Except only when I am upset.

I asked him where he learned all these words. Apparently, he's been watching too much WWF, that wrestling show. Gosh! It has to stop! Now am worried for my son. He likes watching it too.

I told Paul that these are really mean words and that he should never never say any of it. He just ignored me. He wrote down all the words and started to recite them aloud. I wanted to kick him in the shin but thought better about it. I should have not entertained his questions at all.

I gave them something to do. That made Paul busy for quite some time. Then Noel, the silent one, innocently told me that their American neighbor, whenever he gets drunk, would yell: "Fuck you Koreans!" I wanted to roll on the floor laughing. I tried to keep a straight face though (which was so damn hard to do). Noel seemed so ignorant about the whole thing. Paul started to explain something to him in Korean. I told Paul to shut up! Really! This kid is a different case of ADHD. I am just so glad to be out of this school.

I changed the topic, but Noel prodded me to teach him what to say back to this neighbor. All right, I gave in. I told him that the next time he hears their American neighbor curse them, he should yell back: "Fuck loser! Get outta here!" Noel dutifully wrote it down. I don't hate Americans, okay?

Do I hear Pink Floyd's The Wall in the background?

"We don’t need no education.
We don’t need no thought control.
No dark sarcasm in the classroom.
Teacher, leave those kids alone.
Hey, teacher, leave those kids alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall..."

I'm a baaaaaaaaaaaad baaaaaaaaaad teacher....

Saturday, February 05, 2005

A Little Something About Me

Born some summer years ago, The Wandering Deity is your classic example of a lady with multiple moods, mostly wandering moods, hence, the moniker.

After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education (with major in English), the Wandering Deity opted to join the dog eat dog race of the corporate world. For almost 12 years, she held various positions in the Human Resources, Publications, Training, Legal, and Administrative Management divisions of several multinational firms in Makati City, Philippines.

An adventurous kindred that she is, the monotonous life of corporate realm made her realize that she is missing some big challenges in life- a break actually. Thus, upon getting an invitation from a dear friend to teach in Korea, the Deity packed her bag, abandoned her desire to continue the climb to the corporate ladder and conquered Korea with gusto.

And boy oh boy, was it fun! The challenge of the academic life, the one thing that she has forsaken all these years hit her with such impact that on her first few months here in Korea, she could barely breathe to cope with the thrill of actually practicing what she had learned back in college.

But then again, despite the academic marathon, the nagging pursuit for something else persisted- the passion for beautiful things and everything nice. It's a great thing that Korea has such an abundant supply of boutiques and malls and markets where you can grab fabulous shrilly stuff in such discounted prices (only if you know how to haggle well).

The Deity, being a fashion enthusiast herself since time immemorial finds the Korea shopping experience essentially exhilarating, as such she was enticed to share such empiricism to fulfill another passion-writing.

As such, the Deity, from this day onward, will write just about anything under the sun that amuses her, not just about the latest vogue though, mind you.

As her quest for the authentic meaning of life and genuine leather earring is yet to be satiated, she will take time browsing all shopping corners around metro Korea and at the same time share pieces of rambling about anything: fashion to boys/girls; skincare to heartaches; beauty tips to dating; and just about the classic human confusions.