Day 305

Friday | December 28th, 2012

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Meow woke me up this morning to tell me about how a new law was passed which states that if someone slips on the snow and gets hurt in front of your building they can sue you for not clearing the way. ‘I know,’ I said in my sleep. ‘2MB did that.’ This is her way of trying to get me to get up and shovel snow. But it doesn’t really snow here, sometimes we get a few centimeters, but unless I’m on a mountain, snow is kinda freak anomaly.

But I was sleeping and thinking about how stupid it was to wake me to say that I had to go shovel snow because 1) it doesn’t really snow in Gyeongju—I asked JW and someone else when we moved here; 2) if it does snow, it’s not much and won’t last; 3) this isn’t Seoul, where it has been cold and snowy, this is Gyeongju where it’s just cold; 4) I’ve never shoveled snow before, why should I do it now?

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Later Meow came back again to talk about snow shoveling and that snow was everywhere and covered everything. I didn’t believe her. So it wasn’t until I got up that I got a sense of what she was on about (above). There was a lot of snow. Even more important, this is the first time I’ve lived in not-an-apartment, so we do actually have responsibility to keep the way outside our protective people defying wall clear.

Meow and I went back and forth over shoveling snow. ‘Who goes outside to shovel snow while it’s still snowing?’ Our neighbors, says Meow. I didn’t want Meow going out in the snow while it was snowing to shovel snow out of guilt (or because the neighbors were doing it). I wanted her to stay inside and rest and beat her flu. I wanted her to wait and I would shovel the snow when I got back from work. But she couldn’t, wouldn’t wait, and I had to let her go.

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I thought getting to work would take forever and with a laptop on my shoulder even longer than that. So, I left much, much earlier than I usually do (above, all). Walking was easy as the powder was fresh and I got a lot of traction off of it. I slipped a few times where it was packed in or wet, but I didn’t fall down.

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In the lab, I watched the snow come down for a long time cover more and more of the building where my office is (hero image, top). I gave some tests, then I walked back home, but the stormy quality I’d braved to get to work had already passed and now it was just inconvenience snow. Piles of murky slush splashing up from cars and buses. Drifts packed higher by desperate, human shoveling (while it was still snowing most likely).

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At home, most of what I would have needed to shovel had already been neighbor attacked. All I did was play with the dogs for a while and my version of play was not to wrestle with toys like we normally do. I kept picking Naughty up and throwing him into the garden where the snow was still deep. Each time he pattered out, I would scoop him up under the pretense of love and petting only to throw him back into the snow and laugh at his fear of the white stuff. Then I made snowballs and threw them. Twitchy tried to catch them until I beamed her in the face (every year, someone somewhere has to take a snowball in the face). This soured the games for her and as she ran from me, I pelted her with more snowballs. Naughty was a different story, he kept sniffing after the impacted snowballs like there was some special Daddy juice for him to snort.

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I did my shoveling on top of the outside bathroom (above). Earlier in the day a neighbor had told Meow that she needed to clear it otherwise it would be a problem. I don’t see how unless it compacted, froze, then slowly melted over the wall into the neighbor’s between the house and wall area. Anyway, I needed to feel like I did my part in the shovelings of the day, so this was what I cleared off. It ended sort of abruptly when I was almost finished and when tossing maybe the fourth to last load of snow, the shovel slipped out of my hands and went down into the courtyard.

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Looking back at my house from on high (above, left), I like it more and more. It seems though, that when clearing snow off of the top of the bathroom, that simply tossing it over the side wasn’t a particularly smart thing as then not only did I have to find the thrown shovel, but also re-clear the path to the gate and make sure that the cupboard with all the dog walking gear could be accessed (above, middle).

Finally, when I went inside, the last shot of the day (above, right): snow, a hanok, a doorway covered in plastic, and a Jindo. I don’t know what could be more Korean than that.

The Daily Bullet

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