It amazes me that the government of Iran can get away with terrorizing people with such a blatant disregard for the rest of the world or humanity. The government's manipulative and childish ways only further prove its lack of power, focus, or contribution to modern society. It's hard to believe that the Persian empire once dominated Asia. I predict this regime will fall within the next seven years. Hopefully, sooner with pressure from countries around the world.
The family left for the weekend to Ji Ju Island. We packed light.
Our first stop was to a play on the life of Genghis Khan put on by a troupe of Mongolian horse riders with riding and weapons skills in tow.
My brother-in-law and his wife were cheering for Genghis Khan. I was like, "No Genghis! Die!"
He kicked everyone's ass and then had his army do tricks for everyone.
I was impressed with Genghis and his band of merry men. I got this picture and kissed the horse. It was sweaty from all the Genghis-ness. I whispered to him. "Genghis," I sniffed. "We meet again."
No one was working the fields, so we headed inside to catch some tea pots and paintings on display. I really liked this one. I think I'll do a version once I get situated in Cali.
I didn't. I didn't feel like standing on the roof either, so I laid down on a park bench.
I didn't get a chance to stare at the sky too long. We had to head off to this other island close by. We putted off in this cruiser.
Once we got to the mini-island, we took some family pics. I wanted a shot of me in front of this light house, so I climbed the mofo.
Then we got the family shot with ocean as background. That's an absolute must for Korean families.
I wanted a shot of me on top of this lava formation, but all the shots are too far away. I was too lazy to climb to the top twice though.
I preferred to join my little friend here. Family trips with the Kwon family are tiring. It's non-stop. Thankfully, we took a break after the island.
Sohee and I will be moving to Long Beach, CA in the coming weeks. I'll document the event as I drive a moving truck myself (Oh, yeah!), and get cheered on by my I-have-a-phobia-about driving-and-you can-forget-even-thinking-about-me-driving-a-truck wife. I think it'll be the event of the season. Of course, anything involving our crazy adventures together seems to be what I have the most fun experiencing in my life. I suppose that's why our marriage life seems so good to others, and, in actuality, is rather merry.
Is that true?
I think our happy life together is a product of us being a cross-cultural couple. You see, what you have to realize is that as a cross-cultural couple you're never quite sure about getting in a fight with your significant other, or letting one go past the "I want my way" stage, because how can you know that it's not just a misunderstanding of viewpoints based on upbringing, or a mistaken translation, or even just a misunderstood facial expression.
Sure, you can acknowledge that being asked to turn the fan off at night because you might be killed is a strange request, but, you can't really be mad about it after you find out that "fan death" is a significant contributor of death according to published newspapers in Korea, right?
And, who knows? Maybe your significant other was trying to enunciate a different phrase when she greets you in the evening with "Pimple!" and points to your face. Maybe she meant to say, "Please enjoy this nice rice dish with squid I have placed before you in a humble manner but first let me illustrate that I love and care about you by noticing your imperfections."
How can you truly be sure of the intention of anything when you're living with an alien?
Of course, my recognition that differences between two cultures can give rise to broader understanding and patience is not a new concept. Take a look at the greatest cross-cultural couple within recent human history: Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. These two were able to bring their countries to glasnost and the end of the Cold War. Sure, their policies may not have had this end in sight, but certain connections were made to result in the absolute breakdown of the Soviet Union, and a slow decay of the American sense of community and foreign policy.
Okay, bad example...
In all seriousness, the alienness of partners is something I propose is actually quite common for every couple regardless of race, religion, or sexual identity. Partners are simply different entities. Once we bring two people together we are bound to have serious disputes because of the naturally different way individuals perceive the world around them.
What is a beautiful evening shopping for a Balenciaga bag might be the pits of hell for an uninterested spouse. Likewise, a missing piece of leftover pizza might be the last straw for an overly stressed roommate. Take any such misunderstanding and trace it back to the sandbox of our childhoods, and we might find that what is present now, is simply a regurgitation of an initial interaction of two children -or mother and fallopian tube - that is being replayed on a continuous shuffle in our minds with the assorted characters of our lives. The roles of spouse, friend, lover, employee, attendant, friend, roommate, and other such identities within our consciousness are simply interchanged throughout our lives.
If we are to acknowledge that such an interplay of roles is in rotation within us, then wouldn't it make little difference what an argument is about? Does it really matter who ate the pizza? Are you really in the pits of hell? Is this really an argument? Am I really in a relationship with anyone but myself?
Before everyone fries their micro-processors and we go overly deep into dark waters, let's return back to the simplicity of difference. Every single person is different. Naturally, for a cross-cultural couple, this contrast is easier to acknowledge because the differences in physicality or speech patterns may be more apparent between them. Each is given a visual or auditory clue that what might be a disagreement could be a product of difference itself.
Now this is not to say that couples who are from the same country, sex, or regional dialect will be at a disadvantage in comparison. The differences between any two people is going to be infinite if one is able to recognize past surface indicators to the vast complexity of the brain itself, and how no two brains are going to process or send electrical and chemical messages in quite the same way.
Therefore, it's not the visual or auditory difference that makes a relationship any easier. It's simply that the mind is fooled into acknowledging that it doesn't know for an absolute fact the intentions of another human being. In other words, a cross-cultural couple's differences allow them to be suspicious of their thoughts. They stop believing in the reality that either party might know what the other intends.
Consequently, relationships with such an open policy are no different than anyone else's. We are all individuals relating in a world that is trying to assimilate sameness to make communication possible, and, who are simultaneously - at the heart of every conversation - different.
I have been taken hostage by my Korean family for the past couple days. I keep having one dinner function to go to and then another. Yesterday my aunt took Sohee and I to Boondang just outside of Seoul for grilled duck. I had had grilled duck before, but I was feeling a bit adventurous, so I decided to join in on the makkoli (Korean beer) celebration in honor of my birthday. Every member of the table was given a small bowl for drinking, my uncle poured with a perpetual smile on his face, and glasses were raised. We ended up drinking three bottles of the acidic drink before I could feel a slight haze come over me. The following bottle of soju didn't help. I wasn't quite drunk, but almost an hour later I had this instant hangover. My head was throbbing, and now, a whole 12 hours later, my head is still thumping a bit. I must be dehydrated. In any case, I wouldn't suggest drinking this stuff during humid summer days. I think that'll be my last time. I enjoyed being with my family, but I can't be having my head hurt. I'm too much of a softie for any kind of pain. That's why I'm looking forward to a nice dinner and movie tonight with friends. If libations ensue, you can bet I'll stay away from that Korean beer. Man! Massive headache.
I have started to write and think about how we'd film "Shoplifting..." I will put more storyboards out as they come to be. Right now I'm trying to figure out how music will be done. I might even have to film this sequence on a little digital camera to see if it works like I am seeing it in my head.
I spent today getting interviewed for a documentary. Then I had fish and chips at this place in Haebongcheon. I sat and read a bit. Then I thought about how I'll be back in California in less than five weeks. That scares me because I have to get an apartment and move our things from storage in Boulder by myself. I don't particularly like moving. I wonder what Long Beach will be like. I suppose it'll be the same as here. Like Dariusz Rawa said, "Wherever you go, there you are."
Later, I stopped over to visit a friend's apartment on the way home. It was your typical Korean ex-pat party. A play station was on in the background, while a varied group of foreigners from America and Canada sat sipping on rum and cokes. I was encouraged to join in. I was even given the choice of 7-up, since the host knew I wasn't big on drinking. I took the 7-up. Then people started talking about how I was making movies and criticized the books I was making into movies. Then one guy started talking about how people who see movies like mine are "suckers."
I thought that was really peculiar. I thought about arguing with these people. I didn't though. I would never see them again. They were also drunk, so I don't get into arguments with drunk people. I just thought they were douche bags in my head. Then I realized how people are quick to tear other people down if they feel intimidated, so I felt bad for them and disgusted and still thought they were douche bags, but in an even more pathetic way, so I left.
Now I am home sitting in the dark. I will go run around the track near my in-laws home. Then I'll watch Argentina beat Germany. Both will give me a different kind of pleasure. Running into the douche bags gave me pleasure too. I wouldn't have a story to tell about douche bags, unless I met them. That's why I figure douche bags exist. They make for good stories. They also usually say "preposterous" things that would be even funnier if they were trying to be "preposterous" on purpose.
I thought this thought as I texted Sogee: "rain coming. heart warm."
"What about yr dick?" she wrote back.
"yEs," I texted back.
I thought it was pretty good that she could see the truth behind my poetry. I wanted to say "dick" all along. Then I changed my mind. I felt sexual for a moment. Then I changed my mind. I thought being less sexual was what I was actually feeling. But she was right. I was really talking about my "dick."
I married the right person.