Today in Seoul 49: Seven Weeks

December 3, 2016

This is my 49th post from Seoul — 7 weeks. I was surprised by both numbers, and suddenly aware of other things marking the passage of time. A woman at the gym today asked where I was from, and I got the whole phrase out: “처는 미국사람 이에요.” I’m an American. She responded in Korean, then translated: “Your English speaks very well.” Outside, I missed the crosswalk light, so I took a shortcut: take the escalator down into a nearby subway exit, cross to the exit on the other side of the street, take the elevator up. I joined an older couple on the elevator. The man asked where I was from. “처는 미국사람 이에요,” I said again. They both lit up with delight. “USA,”: he said. I have the TV on in the background, listening to the sound of the language. The news is showing the crowd gathering for tonight’s Presidential protest — the sixth Saturday in a row. President Park’s offer to resign earlier this week wasn’t enough to call them off. I pick out numbers from the commentary — the announcers must be speculating about the size of the crowd. It’s Saturday — laundry day. The last couple weeks, we’ve taken it to the dryer at the laundromat down the street where we washed our bedding of bedbugs. Today I hung it on the drying rack in front of the TV. The bedbugs came back — those of you who’ve dealt with them knew they would — but I think we’re finally winning. Soon, like that nearby restaurant, we’ll be able to boast we’re bug free. Janet and a new Korean friend went to a cooking class today at a Buddhist temple food center. Janet came home with a beautiful cookbook, written in English. She’s out walking at the moment in Seollung Park, the site of the royal tombs and my first big walk here, the day after the USA election. The trees there have lost almost all their leaves. It’s been seven weeks, and fall is turning to winter.