Day 349

Sunday | February 10th, 2013

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We got up early this morning. Rather I did. Meow tried to stay up all night since she was still up at 02.00 when I went to bed. We had to be up around 06.00 to catch our train at 07.50 something. ‘What’s four hours?’ she thought. Four hours enough down time for me to rise and do anything. Four hours is a heavenly rest.

If I stayed up all night, I would be tired and sleep on the train. That is just over two hours and a lot of that spent uncomfortably holding my head in some contortion so I don’t screw up my neck (which I did once on the KTX and it was sore for more than two months).

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Because Gyeongju is Gyeongju and Gyeongju is a backwater tourist/college town the only way to get to the KTX station on a Sunday morning is to take a cab for the cost of dinner for two. And then we got there too early somehow and had fifteen minutes too many of extra wander around time. The station, for lunar new year, was surprisingly empty (above, left).

When we got to Seoul, of course this was the opposite and everyone was there clawing their way through the throngs to oblige relatives for meals and bowing. The subway was packed, the transfer station packed, the streets of Sadang packed … with snow and people and cars. (I wonder how I could tolerate Seoul for so many years.) In a shop window the bubble heads (above, right) seemed to overemphasize the bizarre banality of the whole trek.

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At MIL’s flat it was all joys with Happy-Go-Lucky (above) totally bonked out that we came AND we smelled interesting. We ate the usual holiday spread and MIL split some soju with me. We watched a lot of tv until FIL came by with his holiday gift of a big box of potatoes and a big box of sweet potatoes. And then watched him as he sat alone at the table to eat.

Money in envelopes changed owners. BIL complained that I wasn’t giving my iPhone 4 to him once I upgraded. It’s too bad that I hadn’t thought of that.

We watched more tv, everyone teased BIL about his secret girlfriend while hoping he will also get married already and move out of the house cause he’s like 36. We watched more tv, ate fruit, drank tea, and FIL left. We watched more tv, ate more food, and I never fell asleep like I have every single time I’ve been to MIL’s house.

This was noted because MIL and Meow kept telling me to nap, but I wasn’t tired. This is what happens when you no longer work 60 hours a week all the time. You actually stay awake and boring family gatherings.

Before too long, BIL and MIL took us back to Seoul Station so we could get home and let Naughty and Twitchy out to pee. It was a pretty good New Year.

The Daily Bullet

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