Dec 18 (Fri): I really didn’t too much. As usual, I did my 90 min Bikram yoga, showered and came back to home sweet home. Innisfree was having a “buy six get one free” campaign for facial mask sheets so I bought 6. Mum saw it and took one once I came back home. I said, “every time when I ask you if there is anything you want me to buy on way home, you said there’s nothing and now you take from me…” Mum accused me that I am being cheap over a mask sheet worth $1.30. Maybe I am.
Dec 19 (Sat): Had a weekend work shift until 2 pm. I really did not do much though – I just reviewed my job application and submitted it. Talked with a good friend of mine. We have a lot to catch up. She said we should meet before the Christmas, but we will have to see. Came back home, do nothing but watched two movies. The 39 Steps (2008’s BBC remake version) and 24 Hour Party People.
The 39 Steps was fine – I know it has received massive amount of negative reviews, I liked it. It felt like watching an old black-and-white classic adventure movie with fast paced plots. And on the top of that, they got a good-looking man as a main character. Which is a big plus. Yup, like a critic wrote, this guy is a male-version Audrey Hepburn (I don’t know whether this is a good thing or bad thing). Maybe I’ll check the Hitchcock version too.
24 Hour Party People is enjoyable for fans of late 70/s-80’s music, new wave, post-punk, synth pop, New Order/Joy Division or Manchester music scene. If no, you might find this movie really, really strange and boring. Fortunately I am the former and I enjoyed it. But still, the ending was very random.
Dec 20 (Sun): Woke up at 1:30 ish. I had a brunch meeting but due to the lack of participants, it was cancelled. Met Kevin to get my hookah coal tray and screen at Seolleung station. Then I went to my aunt’s house by subway. I started to read Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945. To my knowledge, I ordered a paperback used book on Amazon. For some reason, the seller sent me a big-ass heavy hardcover edition, originally used for some library in US. It’s good that I got something more than I paid in terms of value, but it is impossible to carry it in my bag and read on my commute.
As I get off to transfer subway line, a Korean man about 50-60 years old talked to me in English: “Er, philo? Greek? Latin?” I always get confused whenever this happen. Is he one of those random annoying scary people found at subway stations? Do I have to speak in English or Korean? Did he mistake me as an Asian American/Canadian/British who speaks no Korean? South Korea is not the country of best diversity, and many elders just do not get it when Asian-looking person does not speak Asian language. Some of them even get emotional when Asian-American/Canadian/British speaks in English. So I made a safe bet – answering in Korean.
“No, it’s written in English.” “Oh, I see.” Since he and I were all on our way to transfer, he kept following me and asking this and that in slightly broken English. Oh, I get it: maybe he wants to practice English. So I started to mix my answer in English and Korean. He said he had been living in France and Belgium for about 10 years; he came back to South Korea around 2002. As you might already know, South Koreans have this English fever; so he, too, decided to give it a go, especially because having a French base is a good advantage for learning English. He seemed like a studious guy, regularly checking BBC news, Le Monde and Figaro: he also had some knowledge of Greek and Latin, and he continuously asked “how’s my English?”
We eventually started talking about my workplace. He said he knows a professor at the university’s theology school. Turns out, that professor is a husband of a program director/business professor whom I work with. The conversation was not continued because I had to get off. But wow, what a small world.
My aunt’s house is not actually a “house.” It is a building located a bit away from the main street of one of Seoul’s downtown areas. The building is originally built for offices, but my aunt’s family decided to change the top floor as their living space. The only drawback is…it’s freezing cold in winter. The construction worker did not think it as the living space, so the heating system is designed for office building, where you don’t sit on the floor. My mom and I decided it’s not the best idea to visit them on winter – don’t get us wrong, we love them a lot and their cute shi tzu.
My aunt’s husband is from Kyoungsang Do, a southern state of Korea, nearby the ocean. So I had a chance to eat a piece of grilled shark meat. Disappointingly, it was not the funky new taste. It was just like a big piece of white fish with salt. But still an experience.
So overall, not a bad weekend, I reckon.