Wednesday, April 13, 2005

incoming! postal scrotum and a thank you

The Maven writes, with regard to my previous post:

7 a.m.??

Have you thought that perhaps your uncle is trying to aggravate you into losing your cool and leaving earlier than at the end of the month? Seems very passive-aggressive. Oh, and family or no family, I'd be spiking my beverages in the fridge with laxatives at this point! I bow down to your fortitude and your steely willpower in not flipping out at this point!!!

I like the beverage-spiking idea.

As for my uncle's diabolical plan... nah, he's not the type. Objectively speaking, he's been very tolerant of the fact that I've been behind, and I mean way behind, with rent. He also provided me this place, which is huge by Seoul standards, knowing full well that I wouldn't be giving him a "key deposit" of several thousand dollars. While it's true that I've met Koreans who think a relative shouldn't charge a relative anything (Gongk-jja-ro haeya-ji! It should be for free!), I'd actually feel uncomfortable with the knowledge that I owe nothing.

This isn't to excuse my Adjoshi's behavior (adjoshi often translates as "uncle," but it's also a generic term for older male relatives and guys on the street... my Adjoshi is actually my mother's cousin). I still think he's a control freak, but he doesn't arrive on the scene until around 9AM, if I'm not mistaken, and I don't think he's ordering these guys to start so early. As with construction workers, the renovators probably want an early start and early end to a grueling day of work. I'm just shocked that they're coming at 7AM. Another hour earlier, and they will be on a construction worker's schedule. Maybe they're trying to avoid Adjoshi, too...?

The renovators might be nearly finished with the plumbing upstairs, actually. When I came by the house around 1:45PM to give the Dacom dude my modems yesterday, the water was running in my place. I checked.

One of the biggest inconveniences of not having water is being unable to shower after a Namsan hike. For this reason, I've been timing the hikes to end rather late, so that everyone is gone and my water is back on line. If, however, the renovators are no longer shutting off the water, then I can resume the occasional morning or afternoon hike, and and feel obliged to come back from my hike at 10PM, eat dinner at 10:30PM, and try to sleep around midnight.

Before I move on to another email I received, check this out. I was howling.

Jason W writes in about Min-sung's tics:

Hey Kevin,

Lots of kids develop tics like Min-sung as a reaction to stressful situations/ said the tic stopped when he was doing super-heroic fighting, which just might be his personal way to get some release from the pressure cooker that is Korean childhood.

Most of the time these tics are outgrown, but if it stays with him it could actually be a low-level form of Tourette's Syndrome (no, it doesn't just make you scream "MOTHERFUCKER" during church). Anyhow, I don't think he has much to worry about outside of the inevitable harassment from classmates.

I had 'em as a kid and they eventually went away before Jr. high. It was just something my head did, and fighting it felt like trying not to scratch a really big itch. But as time went on the itch decreased. Really, the biggest problem they ended up causing was constant teasing from other kids. The best thing to do for him is to keep showing him sympathy, let him know that he's a good kid, and maybe allow him to run amok every once in a while to let him get rid of the excess energy.

My $.02,


I already emailed Jason a personal reply; let me say publicly that I sincerely hope this is all it is-- a phase, an anomaly, and nothing more. Min-sung's not just a pleasure to teach; he's almost become my godson, and I'm growing closer to his family. If this turns out to be a serious problem, it'll destroy me. A good little kid like that doesn't deserve the fates I've been wildly contemplating. So if it turns out my concern is misplaced, then all the better. More tomorrow, when I visit him again.

Lastly, a big thanks to Justin Yoshida for heeding the call and floating me some PayPal love. If 19 other people did likewise, I wouldn't have to worry about that Osaka plane ticket. The Smoo office told me today that they won't allow me to crib an advance, though they are thinking over my options.

In the meantime: to you, noble Justin, I bequeath my golden hemorrhoids.


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