2009 is one twelfth over.
I tend to waste more discretionary money in the earlier half of the year. In 2006, of course, I tripped to Seoul. In 2007, I spent a few hundred in long calls to Korea (before realising the price), then went to Canada in June. In 2008, I loaned some money, bought a skateboard, and eventually started my two martial arts classes. And today, I paid tuition for a Saturday Korean class… and the next trip remains tenuously on the agenda.
I saw this Korean class in the local Korean newspaper which was given me on Thursday by my new friend Seonmi. Two Thursdays ago, I and she went to McDonald’s after school (she’s an ESL student at SLCC), and on Monday she lent me two Korean English-learning books of hers. She’s married, but I’m so relieved to have a Korean friend again…
I see many foreigners; my intersection by that college is something of a focal point. On Tuesday, I met two Somalian guys, two from Bangladesh (who’d come through Nepal), and a Mexican. On Wednesday I crossed what seemed like a Burmese girl, and on Thursday there were two probably Somalian ladies and two Thai women, as well as a Liberian girl.
Also on Wednesday, I visited the U of U campus and spent some time at their library. In my afternoon shift, a policeman came to me and asked if I’d seen a Latino in a red car bothering any kids, according to a complaint they’d received. I hadn’t seen him. In the evening I visited my cousin Brandon for some ping pong, as well as Ann Marie Smith, who lives near him. Ann Marie has recently begun receiving chemotherapy. It was a lovely and entertaining visit, just like in the old days. I saw all her children except Monica (now married) and Camille. Vivian had the same warm glow I remembered, and I found out about her band, "The Mollies" (she sings back-up).
So… one of Seonmi’s books teaches English via the e-mail correspondence of an apparently non-fictional Korean couple. The girl was in Korea, the guy stateside. Her cute Konglish pledges of affection to him were so familiar to me, as if I were reading my old chat history… and I struggled to hurry through to the end to see what happened (they didn’t split up). After that book, I was tempted to wish some more idle, selfish wishes… that I could go back, and once again… need somebody who needed me…
……Moments, anyway, are for living, not for going back to……
………But… why did she have to leave…?
…It’s old, anyway; over. Long-gone. The memory is still alive, and very strong sometimes, but… if I ever wish for her now, it’s only a wish for her happiness.
…Well, I can’t say I’ve been waiting for her — at least, since last winter or spring or summer I haven’t been waiting. If I had found another, I would have tried to be happy with her.
…Well, I have met a few that perhaps I could have followed up with. If the situation forced itself, I guess I could be content with one of them. But to myself, I just don’t care enough about them, and the effort isn’t worth it… -_-
Anyway, so, the Korean class. It was o.k. It felt great to be back in a language classroom, and more great to see all the Koreans there. Most of the classes were for young kids. There were four others in my adult class, including two mixed Koreans, one American-raised Korean, and one older guy ("Steve") who had taught English in Korea. He was bright and well-studied, but he reminded me of Sarah from my Apgujeong school, KEC, also an older student. I really admire their spirit, but it just seems a little more difficult for them. I really, desperately hope I don’t end up in that situation, as an old learner who might never really be fluent.
But it will surely come unless I stop learning languages. Time is a giant, crushing wheel. There’s no escape, and so any attempt of escape is pointless. Rather than to be avoided, denied, or saved up, time was designed to be spent in the very instance of its acquisition. And age, well… Old age itself is a classroom, a school designed for the remembrance of wisdom and the forgetting of folly. Old age is the lowering basket of a catapult aimed at eternity.
Ah, death. Are you near, or far? I really don’t know… In previous years, I felt sure that I had plenty of time left here. I don’t feel so now… Maybe this trip will be my last. Maybe I’m on borrowed time… leftover time…
Well, I’m glad for my life. It’s been nice. I feel rich, and blessed; I was given the greatest treasure. I was given a testimony of the gospel. My two eyes aren’t clear — I need glasses — but I feel I can see a tremendous distance with my mind. I’m so grateful to have been freed from the oppression of the many lies and much confusion I see around me daily. I’ve been freed from fear… and in the end, I would give up my life and all things before I surrendered this testimony.
Jesus God’s son has spoken again. Hear him, pious Islam. Hear him, high-minded Christianity. Hear him, you who look to spirits, you children of the earth, and you carefully guarded atheists. Hear him, all mankind:
Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh;And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth.And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant;They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.
This life is our opportunity to find God, the God beyond all opinion; and if we will, today is our chance.
I saw tonight two consecutive travelling shows referencing Mongolia. The first one went all over Asia retracing Marco Polo, and the second was exclusively in Mongolia. The second also included a short segment about a Mongolian guy who had studied at the U of U and had met his wife at BYU.
I called the trip "tenuous", but I really think I ought to do it this year.]