Ek dink dit is die tweede moederland.

Sat Aug 2, 2003

I woke up this morning with a mysterious throbbing headache, which I attribute to the heat, although there are a myriad of other possible causes. I’m becoming increasingly aware of potential health hazards in my environment, including the water, which I believe is quite toxic no matter how many times you boil and filter it. Thank goodness I am still young and somewhat hardy, although I have been feeling a bit fragile of late. Well, no need to complain, let’s get to it.

On Thursday I spent some time outdoors around Kumchon, reading Tolstoy and eating fruit. This may sound macabre, but I have found that cemeteries are perfect places to retreat from the masses. They are not very creepy, being modeled after the dome-like royal tombs of the Silla period. Only the elite are buried in Korea, space of course being too limited for the average individual to afford this honour.

On Friday I spent the day with Brian and Mika, the South African couple from Durban I met at Wooribank. They are really the nicest people I’ve met in a long time. We went to Itaewon and ate lunch at Subway, which was crowded with foreigners craving innocuous Western food. Brian went out of his way to show me around Yongsan Electronics Market and introduce me to his connections. He know a lot about computers, and all things considered, I may opt for a desktop as opposed to a laptop, especially since desktops have gotten a lot smaller, yet more powerful. Anyways, it’s really great hanging out with them, they feel like family, and it’s cool they live just up the street. I’m going to watch videos at their place tonight, Mika is making milk-tart. How bizarre meeting more South Africans here than in Canada.

I was thinking about taking up Korean classes on Saturday, but it would mean going to Seoul, which is rather far. It would be a great way to network with other foreigners though, and also of course, try and communicate more effectively without playing charades the whole time. I wish I had more free time, but I do feel a bit yoked at the moment, oh well, it’s not forever, I’ve almost finished six months of my contract.

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