Thursday, July 22, 2010

I haven't been good about posting lately

And that is really because I haven't had the time or energy to put together a coherent post. I really don't have anything to say of substance. I'm in this foreign land. I don't really know what I am doing here, and I feel like I am floating in a cloud, on autopilot, to get from day to day in one piece. I'm anxiety-ridden yet hopeful, exhausted yet excited. I keep pushing and don't think I have anything left to give. But I will keep giving what there is left.

Tonight we had our before vacation staff dinner. It was at a galbi restaurant, and while I will spare you my feelings on pork galbi, I will say that it was nice to get to know a few of the Korean teachers outside of work. It was also the first time I sat on the floor to eat, traditional Korean style. Word to the wise: it hurts my legs to sit for an hour on the floor under a small table. But that's beside the point. I was sitting at the same table with two of the teachers that are relatively close in age to me, and it struck me just how much we had in common. How human we all are. It may sound silly, but at work I am so busy, I see these people as my supervisors, my bosses, and people above me. Tonight I got a different view. Tonight I saw two young, beautiful, graceful Asian women with a sassy sense of humor and a child-like sense of wonder.

They held their chopsticks in suspense as they coyly asked me in broken English: "Do you have boyfriend?" It was kind of cute how they debated back and forth for a while in Korean who was going to ask me this, as if they were afraid to ask this ridiculously girly question. They both giggled as they asked too. What are we in? Seventh grade? Obviously. We're sitting on the floor, crossed legs, giggling. It's seventh grade all over again. After I told them no and that I would prefer to be alone most of the time, they both looked sort of horrified, shocked even. One of them takes this into consideration, and then agrees that when she's with someone she'd rather be alone but right now she's searching actively. I ask next, because I have nothing better to contribute to this awkwardly funny situation "Are you actively searching?" Both answer "Yes" without hesitation. They later ask me if I have contact lenses and why I don't wear them. Don't know what that was about, but I'm not going to read into it too much. I love how superficial this culture really is.

I say this because I have a sick fascination here with women and marriage across cultures. In Korea, I'm finding that it's almost religion that women expect to get married and have children at a certain age. And it's expected that educated women marry educated men so that they can stay home with the children while the man goes off to work. At least I think that's how it works.

It hit me today just how strong these two women were. This was the second meal today I've had with them. We also ate lunch in the same room at school earlier in the day. During lunch, there were four women, all in different stages of life, speaking Korean but I could feel the strong woman energy vibes shaking me to my core. The woman directly to the right of me was about six months pregnant, in her mid-thirties. So dignified. Across from her was a recent college graduate, next to her was a middle-aged woman sporting a wedding band. Across from her was a younger woman in between all of their ages, from what I can tell. They smiled, they laughed, they spoke a lot of Korean, but I could tell they were happy. I'm not making much sense here, but in my mind this picture sticks out for some reason. So many different lives, but one life under the school roof. We all have ONE ASPECT of our lives in common. For better or for worse.

This was not what I meant to say at all. Tonight I'm rambling because I'm in a rambling kind of mood. I had a point to all of this, but somewhere between dinner and bedtime I lost it. That's right folks, I must be going. I will find my point, hopefully, and post away at a later time.

There was also a moment during dinner where I asked about children, and if they had any. I was unsure of the answer and if it was even socially correct to do so, but I don't think it was too bad. One of the women replied "I'm a miss...I'm not married." I wanted to say, "That never stopped anyone in my country before" but I figured I had better hold my tongue on that one.
Post a Comment