Tuesday, December 16, 2014

home alive

My worst nightmare came true as I made my way home well after midnight tonight: the steep, hilly, slippery route back to my yeogwan was completely and utterly un-fucking-salted. At one point, I locked my legs and started sliding heavily toward the street, where cars were whizzing by even during the witching hour. As I slid, it felt almost as though some movers in San Francisco had lost control of a piano, which was now starting down a steep hill. I came to a halt, luckily, and all was well once I began to walk on the ice- and slush-free street itself, but the first half of that walk was a living hell.

Someone needs to design an ass-mounted airbag that, when it deploys, explodes into a balloon version of a La-Z-Boy recliner. Consequence-free slipping! No more falling on your ass and breaking your tailbone! For much of my walk, I crept along by sliding my feet in near-millimeter increments, shuffling forward tentatively and fearfully, negotiating dangerous staircases with painstaking slowness, inwardly cringing every time a group of skinny Koreans would gallop around and past me, perfectly balanced and oblivious to the gelid danger beneath their feet. I took comfort, though, in sharing my struggle with one especially tall, gangly Korean guy who obviously had the same fear of falling. For a few minutes, he and I created a comic tableau as we each tried to negotiate a particularly smooth and steep part of the brick-covered sidewalk at the bottom of our college's jung-mun (central gate) exit. There were long moments during which each of us simply stood stock still, doing nothing but contemplating our next move, like rock climbers figuring out the riddle of the hidden footholds and handholds above them. An outsider would have found this hilarious.

I'll be bringing my walking stick along with me for tomorrow's trip to the campus, and on Wednesday, after I leave the Golden Goose in Daechi-dong, I'm going to hunt down a goddamn hiking store and buy myself some snow cleats. If I recall correctly, the Dongdaemun neighborhood, which is walking distance from where I live, has plenty of sporting-goods stores. I ought to be able to find something somewhere.



daeguowl said...

Can probably get them in either Emart or Homeplus but if not then there are a bunch of hiking stores near hwehyeon between Shinsegae Dept Store and Seoul Station.

Kevin Kim said...

Do you think Lotte Mart might sell them? I'm heading to a nearby Lotte Mart this evening to pick up basil and some other things.

Laudator Temporis Acti said...

"An ass-mounted airbag that, when it deploys, explodes into a balloon version of a La-Z-Boy recliner" -- you should apply for a patent on this useful invention.