Saturday, April 27, 2019

I almost forgot myself

When my coworkers asked me their usual ritual Friday question—"What're you doing this weekend?"—I blurted out that I'd be training back to Yangpyeong to get some more of that amazing tangsuyuk I'd had last week. But after saying that, I realized I was back to my austerity program, in which I try to live thirty days without spending anything, so I knew I wouldn't be able to take the subway anywhere. Dejected, I updated my weekend plans, telling my coworkers I'd be out walking locally. Which is not a bad thing, given how much I enjoy walking. I'm stepping out in a few minutes, in fact, to walk out to the Jamshil Bridge and back.

I had mentioned, when I started the austerity, that it was liberating to realize I didn't need to have my wallet along with me. (I've since revised that thought because I've come to understand that there are, in fact, scenarios in which having a wallet—with all those ID cards and other items—can actually be helpful. So after a day of prancing around walletlessly, I went back to keeping my wallet in my pocket.) This is the flip side of austerity: it may be liberating not to rely on one's wallet, but it's also restricting insofar as you can't make impulse purchases, use cabs or public transportation, or do anything that requires being plugged into the economy. I'm feeling the pinch right now because I just ran out of Kleenex in the office. Unable to purchase a new box of Kleenex, I'm obliged to come home, grab an extra box there, and bring it to the office, praying that I don't now run out of Kleenex at home.

Anyway, I'm stuck in my austerity program for another twenty days. Once I get to payday on May 16, I'll probably do this austerity thing again, taking a few days to purchase material for meals, training out to Yangpyeong for some deliciousness, then living out the rest of the pay period without spending anything. It's going to be the only way to ensure I can send $3500 home every month until the end of this year, assuming the plan is still to zero out my major debt by this coming December.

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