A touched older lady talked with me on the bus today about religion, earth-worship, and "Indians", her anachronistic term for American natives.
Today was Coin Day — I found a penny and a nickel on two different buses, and a defaced penny at work. And yesterday was Stupid Day — almost everyone I noticed was making some sort of fool of themselves, notably an agonizingly obnoxious male student at the school’s computer lab, where I dropped by. I was able to hold my tongue, remembering my regret over my past scoldings.
Later on, yesterday also became Free Money Day. Shane sent me to help his friend Amir, whose Israeli parents (also yardwork clients of Shane’s) were hosting the catered open house for the "Winter Finance Conference", a yearly thing involving the University of Utah. My job: take the shoes of arriving guests (and arrange them downstairs) so they wouldn’t destroy the carpet (upstairs). I had first thought it was charity work, but before dropping me off with Amir, Shane notified me of a stipend…
Around… 66 guests came, mostly male, consisting of finance professors and some companions. There were a bunch of Americans and a good handful of Russians/Slavs (along with some central Europeans, presumably). There were about four Chinese-looking ladies and one man, along with a nondescript Asian man. There was one Korean woman, and what seemed like a Filipina accompanying a white guy. There were also several Spanish-speakers. I made only entryway smalltalk and met nobody… except for one Mark Seashore(?), an American who by chance was four months into his post at Hong Kong’s waterfront HKUST. He wasn’t sure if he should learn any Cantonese rather than Mandarin. He mentioned wanting to buy a car so he could reach Shek O more easily for surfing excursions.
Amir offered me some poison to drink early on, but I knew his intention was only kindness. He later brought me some food. The volume of the guests’ banter reached unexpected levels… but, unlike any other such "party" I’ve ever unluckily stumbled into, it appeared to be meaningful conversation from intelligent people, so the noise didn’t annoy me. I was there for three hours, but then right as the guests started leaving, Amir shuttered me out to his car to drop me back off with Shane, assuring me that the professors were sufficiently qualified to be able to find their shoes all right. So, I lost the chance to practice any Korean with the woman.
On the ride down (they lived up 39th, up past the freeway a bit), Amir suddenly thrust two twenties at me, counting the sum and asking me if "we were cool". It was about 30 more than I’d earned, 25 more than I’d expected, and 20 more than I wanted… but in the time it would’ve taken to properly phrase the words, "That’s a bit excessive," the moment would’ve grown awkward. Instead, I just accepted them and mumbled something about not really knowing how much Shane got paid for things.
I spent three fourths of it today on the BYU-I application fee. The BYU-P fee was still covered by my application from last summer. My current plan for a major is…… Asian Studies. Crunching numbers back in January, I figured that no amount of hard work would bring my grades up to the U of U medical school’s standards, since they count every class grade rather than only the final repeat, like BYU and LDSBC do. Oh well. Medicine is a good hobby subject, anyway.
Oh, I forgot… I think it was Tuesday that I talked with Seonmi.
She explained to my utter satisfaction the temperament of Korean girls… and the mistake of chasing them. She instructed me (if there is a next time) to not possess the girl, nor become too cold, nor reveal to her any intense emotion, but to know her from a distance, and bide my time between opportunities to favour her.
Of course, I pointed out to her that the longer the necessary time-frame, the more potential relationships would never reach maturity, and asked her if there were anybody besides coworkers who could spend enough time together to win a Korean girl. She admitted so.
…I repeated the ideas to my mom later, who added that the strictness of a girl’s requirements would certainly depend on whether the girl felt ready to marry (that is, her age).
…I guess that answered my earlier question, anyway… I never understood the culture or knew how to properly behave, and the one that I thought acted tangentially had in fact only done what was socially appropriate…]
How… surprising. I just… realized… that -ize is the original suffix, not -ise… with a few exceptions.]