I played more tennis this week. I'm starting to get all kinds of stiff. Ken and I played two sets and I felt like I was some kind of woodshed tool that needed extra WD40 and was married to the Tin Man. I think I'm going to have to start running on off days and do a bit of yoga to keep me limber enough to run with Dorothy.
Aside from tennis, I have started my Korean language classes. I have this great group of gals that are keeping me on my toes with all the multiple languages and wonderful wit and glamour they have among them. I had to work overtime just to try and take in the Korean alphabet and keep up with the Spanish, French, Cantonese, and Japanese that came my way. Add to that an instructor who takes to hitting me when I write a Korean character incorrectly and you have a recipe for something I might enjoy a little too much.
"No," my teacher said, with a wallop to my shoulder. "Left to right."
I would have asked her if she had a whip if I had the Korean language proficiency to be that naughty.
I took a bus this week. I was amazed with its efficiency. Who would think to have electronic fares that could be deducted from toll cards or magnetic strips attached to your phones? The Koreans are truly technologically advanced when it comes to cell phones and public transport.
Buses are like their own subways - single seats line either side of the walkway to leave room for the standing-room-only passengers. I don't say a word. I put my head against the pane of glass to my left. I feel a draft from the sliding window pulled slightly open in front of me. I look at it and notice a small hammer above its latch. It's held into place by a circular fish eye. I can only assume it would be used to smash open a window should we be sandwiched in some car wreck that the person who decided all buses needed a hammer in this particular location could imagine. I try to envision this inventor's story. I think of Frida Kahlo. I see one of her paintings for a moment before Selma Hayack is waving at me. A mix of pollution and cold air comb over my face. I breathe deeply. Korea, I think.
I was accosted by this drunk man on my way to meet Loren and Taka. I tried to get a picture of him and the friend that was holding him, but the friend bolted away when I pulled out my camera. It's a shame. I really wanted to make a tee shirt with their picture that said: "True men aren't afraid to hold each other" or "Men get drunk to hold each other in public" or both.
Loren, Taka, and I are not afraid of that. Well, at least Loren and I aren't. Taka was having a lot of fun on Saturday.
If he was an actor in his dreams, I wouldn't be surprised. His facial expressions made me want to keep taking his picture.
I like taking photos of So Gee and beautiful desserts. Each melts as easily as a Buddhist monk who shushes me when I talk in a Buddhist Temple.
This is the Abbot at Hwa Gye Sah. He is the first person I ever met at the temple.
After meditation, I spent about a half hour watching a young girl and her father chase each other around a tree. The Abbot watched with me from a small, plastic chair that was situated at the front of the temple next to some spare remnants of ramen that may have fallen from a lunch devoured earlier in the day. I never spoke to the Abbot. He nodded to me at one time. Then he left. I was alone. I saw a pigeon. I thought about Stacy. I was like, "Wow, this pigeon is pudgy." Then I took its picture.
It was really camera shy. I managed to get her good side though. It took a lot of bobbing and weaving. I felt like Boom Boom Mancini. He is a boxer from Youngstown, Ohio. Noah told me that. Loren was the one who told me that he's known for killing a Korean boxer.
"That's interesting," I said.
I didn't say anything after that. We were at a restaurant. We were eating some vanilla and chocolate gelatos. I liked how they had a sprig of mint on each scoop.
"How do they grow that?" I asked. "It's so little."
"I don't know," Loren said.