Last week or the week before--I can't be sure-- one of the girls on America's Top Model got a one from Tyra for not trying. Later, she's shown saying that Tyra didn't like her and wanted her to fall. One of the guys on the show told her that's not at all what she should take away from the experience.
I didn't ride my bike to work because I was running late. IMy bike's name is Silver Ester, because it's silver and it's almost a pun. (In case you were wondering.) I took a taxi and save five minutes. Granted that five minutes cost my three dollars and fifty cents. Not quite a dollar a minute, but close. Anyway, after work I stepped out of the building. That Anoying guy had left. or so I thought. Suddenly, he appeared behind me from nowhere and wanted to have a conversation.
Actually, conversation isn't what happens. He talks at you, testing your patience and kindness. Just the previous day he had been told again that his students don't understand him, that he needs to slow down and enunciate.
"I did, I did," He moaned.
I was in the office, listening to him and M. This conversation is a rehash of before. I shouldn't have said anything, but one grows wear of the same thing.
"Perhaps you're not doing what you are think you're doing, because your the only one in the office that has this problem."
Imagine a four-year old caught with his cookie hand in the cookie jar. That was the face he gave me.
Now we're back to walking home. He said this and then that, each of the things completely unrelated to the next and then he said, "The other day I wanted to take a taxi, so I said ' can you take me home?' The driver wouldn't do and I think it's because I'm white."
I was rendered speachless for a moment, and finally said, "Well, I've been in Korea six years, and never had that problem... Korea taught me enjoy being white."
This is not to say that I didn't enjoy it before, but here, being untanned and pasty pale is a good thing.
Later, I thought of all the things I wish I had said and later still I pondered my extreme annoyance. Part of it is he belives he was descriminated against at university (ten years to get a degree) and in getting a job (no really experience). Finally, I understood. Annoying Guy has made an artform out of protecting his ego. He's stuck and the hopes that maybe, after spending a few months abroad, he would unstick himself, get a clue and move on... not going to happen. Anyway, I've come up with the perfect thing to say:
No worries. He'll think that I'm refering to what the taxi driver did or whatever "issue" he has, not what's coming out of his mouth. Now, lets bow our heads in a moment of silence and contemplate the larger meaning....
The story idea experts suggest that you keep a journal beside your bed so you can write down ideas or dreams. I tried to follow this advice but I have a pleathora of dreams. It's part of my insominia. I have a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep, tend to wake up early, and when I do get sleep, it's filled with dreams.... dreams that my writer's mind won't let go. Yes, I revise my dreams.
If I wake up enough, I can stop, but when I'm sleeping but not sleeping the brain wants what it wants, and in my case plot and characters and belieability. Thus last night's dream was extremely strange. In the way of dreams there were three or five people of which I was one, and a lot of enormous spiders. The main characters ran around with our phones using wifi to locate the spiders and zap them, however, only wifi from space would kill the really big ones.
And so, for the most part, I and my friends ran around trying to connect to wifi from space. Connecting itself was easy. we just needed to find enough bars, but it was the find of those bars that sent us into building after building filled with spiders. But of course in the way of dreams, we ended up in the same room again and agian and that made perfect sense. Just as logical as wifi from space.
Anyway, if you're wondering how to vaquish giant spiders this halloween, now you know you need and app and five bars.
A while back I wrote about Princess, a cat I had back in elementary school. To make a very long story short, one day before kindergarten, I carried a semi-feral cat from school to my house, getting scratched all the way. The part of the story I didn't tell is what happened to her and all the pets I loved.
My mother was a hoarder, which I think I've mentioned a time or two in passing. When I was fourteen, I said goodbye to the last of my pets. The social worker took me to the animal shelter where I was forced to hand over my family's nine cats and two dogs. It was better for the cats and the dogs, I knew this, but I was heartbroken to see Goddy go. We were close. He used to meet me when I came home from school. There was dresser by the door "rescued" from someones trash. He'd jump on it, stand on his hind legs and touch his nose to my cheek. It was a lovely way to be welcomed home. Saying goodbye to him was hard, but not the hardest.
The Mythological Farm for Unwanted Pets:
Pa: Some jackass from town dropped another dog/cat from their car.
Ma: Did you call animal control.
Pa: I would've but it got in the way of Mitchel's tractor and he couldn't stop.
In a house where new pets were a constant novelty until that wore off and they were re-homed to the mythological farm, ran away or died of untreated illness-- our pets did not go to a vet. Without the coming and going of animals, Princess stayed and in the end it was we who moved away. I remember fighting with my mother, saying that we couldn't just leave without her. My mother said we'd come back to get her, which I knew was a lie, but I was kid and there was nothing I could do. What I kept seeing was Princess coming home to find home empty, her prowling the empty halls, mewing pitifully. All those nights she and my mother had watched movies, sharing a bag of cheese popcorn. As much as I loved Princess, she was my mother's cat. I didn't understand how Mom could just leave Princess when so much of her junk, trip after trip, was shoehorned floor to ceiling in a storage shed in much the same way my sisters, a Guinea pg, a hamster and I were stored in the living room of my mother's boyfriend's apartment. But my mother was a junk hoarder; her emotional attachment was to inanimate things.
Anti-pet abandoning syndrome has a lot to do with why I get a pet my first year in Korea or my second, third, fourth, fifth, even though I really, really wanted one. Adopting any pet is a commitment. Adopting a pet while living abroad is a commitment and three halves. That's also why, when Bear first appeared in the school parking lot, mewing pitifully, I offered him a few scratches and went home. Actually, most days I went home without even that. But week after week, no one did. Then I went on vacation. Then I came back to work for two days and then went to Vietnam. When I got back he was still hanging around the parking lot, just as unhappy as when he had first appeared. Hestill came when called, tail up, and purred at the touch. I thought, as I had before, I might get a cat carrier and some supplied and then take him home. But I was really just procrastinating. Bear put an end to that. He sat down in front of my friend's car and refused to move.
I had thought about taking Bear home, knew what a commitment it would be, but there he was and I was suddenly afraid that one day he wouldn't be there. That he'd be hit by a car or worse. I asked my friend if it would be all right to bring him in her car. She's Korean and has a very traditional attitude toward pets: what's the point. But she's always a good friend and she knows I love animals.
Bear who wasn't Bear yet, was happy to scooped up in my arms. I didn't think he would be, but he's a nice cat. He was not so happy about the car and tried to get away. I held him by the nap of the neck an prepared to get scratched. He Mewed and mewed and calmed as long as I petted him. He was less than ecstatic about the vet who wasn't exactly happy to have a stray cat show up at his office.The vet's assistance donned thick gloves, full body armor and a fencing mask to handle the nameless cat. Just kidding; it was only the gloves.
The vet checked his ears with a scope. I must say it was the strangest vet's visit ever. The vet pretended not to see the mites, moving quickly past them and assured me I couldn't catch the cat's ear yeast.
"You don't have to worry about it."
In Korean Cats are considered vermin like mice and rats, and also edible, though less so than dogs. Some vets won't treat cats.
Anyway, I explained what I wanted: to have the cat fixed and could they give him bath? Some vets offer grooming services and well, I wanted this cat to like me. I felt hat ambivalence toward the vet is the best I can ever hope for.
The vet said okay and also that he would keep Bear overnight and gave him a bath, and woulnd't charge me to do these two things. After getting fixed and all the other things, the cat came home and has been happy as any cat can be. He loves his kitty bed, his toys, and most of all, being next to me. He hates his ear medicine. He loves his chicken snack (laced with medicine, mawahhhaaaa.) and being brushed.
This is long, so to finish up, I took Bear back to the vet's. He mewed all the way and mewed some more in the waiting room. After removing his stitches and giving him his second shot without so much as a hiss, the the vet shook his head.
"I like this cat," the vet said, expressing his confusion as to why Bear had been abandoned. "I think many people will like this cat."
I smiled. "Yeah, he's a very good boy."
Mariel R. is an ESL teacher, horse trainer, writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. She lives in South Korea with two cats, three horses, a German Shepherd and 17 chickens.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Goldy in English) R.I.P February, 23, 2018