Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Need to Jump Back in the Blool.

Well, the weather finally turned and today's temperatures required a winter coat. I like it. Tonight's temperatures mean mittens and a scarf even. Bring it. Last I checked, there was a 30% chance that we may even have some snow tomorrow night which almost never happens here. I'd like for it to just blizzard once this winter. I'd love to have a snow day. I haven't had one in about a decade or so.

I haven't felt terribly bloggy these days. Have you noticed? If I don't just dive the hell back in, this month's blog tally is going to be pitiful. So here's something that I was thinking about today.

While I was in Canada this past summer I got scolded at mealtime on more than one occasion. My gaffe was to serve myself up some food with the utensil that I had been using to eat with. *Gasp!* This gesture was something that I didn't even think about, so when I heard "Hey!" I didn't know what I was being yelled at for. I remembered all of that last night while I was sitting around a table with seven Koreans eating out of two big pots of delicious kimchi jjigae. The various bowls of panchan were all communal as well, and it was pretty common for our chopsticks and spoons to have traffic collisions. I can't even remember anymore if the spit swapping via utensils freaked me out when I first came here. it's probably not the best means of keeping oneself from catching a cold, but ah well. There is one cup at the water machine at my school and all the kids drink out of it everyday. I think the idea might be that you pour the water to your open mouth without actually placing your lips upon it, but I know for sure the kids haven't been taught this yet. So I wonder if my family would be freaked out having a meal over here.

A couple weeks ago I was sitting on a rock listening to some tunes and enjoying the afternoon sun. This grandmother was walking toward me and as she got close I smiled at her and she smiled back with a mouthful of gold teeth. I watched her as she passed by and it was only when she was a good distance away that I keyed into the fact she was carrying a massive red plastic basin on her head. I smiled and shook my head. This was definitely something I would have noticed first off years ago, my brain would have been "Wow, man - that's a big thing she's balancing on her head. I could never balance that on my head. I wonder what's in that thing on her head. Is it heavy? If I run up and tickle her, will she drop it?" But now I'm apparently not even registering the existence of strange big things on little grandmas' heads. I may be assimilating. I might be Borg.

But, not quite.
Sometimes I feel like I'm living in In-Between Land. I couldn't stop myself from acting different back in Canada. I caught myself smothering "anyong haseyos" on the way out of stores, and my friends teased me because my Canadian "eh's" have been replaced by Korean "uh's," (which take the place of "mmm's" and "mmm-hmmms" we use to let the speaker know we're following what they're saying.) I tossed my basket of whatever up on the conveyor belt at a couple stores and was served up with a nice "wtf?" look from the cashiers. I'd totally forgotten that the customer unloads their goods back home.

It's the little things that creep out unconsciously that I find pretty interesting. Or maybe it's just all the cold medication I've ingested. Damned communal cups.

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