Thursday, April 07, 2005

as of tomorrow

We're going to have to adopt a new strategy. I need to be asleep by midnight and up by seven. It's the only way to work around The Adjoshi Problem.

My morning started at 9AM today when the renovators showed up and began working on the floor above me. Loud hammerings, along with something that sounded either like a machine that could saw through concrete or a frighteningly loud, unnaturally long fart.

Adjoshi showed up around 9:30. He's paying the contractors to do the renovation, but-- you guessed it-- the control freak stripped down to his tee shirt and started helping them.

Around 10AM, I sniffed and noticed I hadn't taken a shower. Went to the bathroom. No water. I immediately realized what was happening and asked Adjoshi to turn the water back on for a few minutes so I could go through my morning ablutions. I then left, muttering something vague about being out for a couple hours. Adjoshi called me around noon, demanding to know whether I'd eaten lunch. I told him I hadn't, but would soon.

I've been shopping for more white sauce items. I'm taking some to a family this evening, and planning to make more for my buddy Jang-woong and his wife. I've been to the Hannam Market several times now*, and while everything there is overpriced, they do have items that are hard to find in normal Korean stores. I found oregano and fettucini, among other things.

Unfortunately, the market also stocks Nutella. This is bad, bad news.

Nutella is not an addiction for me.

Nutella is a religion.

For those of you who don't know, Nutella is a chocolate-hazelnut spread hailing from Europe. It's what happens when peanut butter undergoes one of those bizarre, gene-altering superhero transformations. I first encountered Nutella in France, then again in Switzerland. To my delight, I discovered that we Yanks sell it in obscenely huge plastic bottles at Costco.

I can eat large spoonfuls of Nutella straight out of the bottle. Nutella needs no bread because Nutella is the only truly self-complete substance in the universe, an eloquent rebuttal to the Buddhist notion of dependent co-arising: Nutella depends on nothing. It arises from itself.

But if, one day, I were to discover that Nutella was actually pasteurized shit teased out of the hemmorhoidal ass of some obscure Tibetan farm animal, that wouldn't faze me in the least. We eat shit, we return to shit, there is no avoiding shit. If everyone shat Nutella, the world would be a happier place.

Nutella has no flaw. There is no such thing as "too much" Nutella. Nutella surpasses, destroys, transcends all attempts at qualification. It is what Hindus call nirguna brahman: absolute reality without qualities. The Nutella you can talk about is not the true Nutella. Form is Nutella; Nutella is form. Hear, O Israel, the Lord, the Lord our God is Nutella. There is no Nutella but Nutella, and BigHominid is its prophet.

As the final chant at the end of the Heart Sutra goes:

nutella, nutella, para-nutella, parasam-nutella, nutella-svaha!
nutella, nutella, para-nutella, parasam-nutella, nutella-svaha!
nutella, nutella, para-nutella, parasam-nutella, nutella-svaha!

But I digress.

Starting tomorrow, I have to get up at 7AM and do whatever needs doing so I can escape my place by 9AM. I have no desire to hang there while work is going on and Adjoshi is pretending to be a construction foreman. From 9AM to about 7PM, I'd like to be out and about, so I'll just have to absent myself from all the banging, clanging, and machine-farting.

A monk (maybe Hyon Gak sunim) once noted that even the simplest forms of life will try to avoid suffering. He gave the classic science class example of the planarian in the petri dish that slides away from a drop of acid. I, like that flatworm, wish to slide away from my Adjoshi, so it's going to be necessary to find some cheap activities (other than PC-bahnging) to occupy my time.

Any ideas?

*Line 6, Hangang-jin Station, exit #2. Walk out, follow the bike path, cross under the bridge as it curves to the right, then immediately cross the footbridge and go downhill to the Volvo Building. The Hannam Market entrance is at ground level on your left, but leads underground.


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