Wow, it's so hard to believe I've been back in Korea for almost two months!!
It's been a strange month for me (aren't they all with me, though?)
My grandfather, Allan White passed away this month. He was 96 years old and he had a good life and his last years were pretty good. Aside from crippling arthritis that limited his mobility he was pretty damned healthy for his years. If I live to be anywhere near that age I'd be lucky to be as healthy as he was.
He wasn't an educated man but he kept learning things and reading throughout his life. He went to bed early, rose early, worked hard, went to church and had simple pleasures. He was kind and he lived simply. Many of the things that I hold as ideals of a good life, or a well-spent life, are based on how he lived. I try to measure my own life and ways of living against his yardstick.
Other things this month have been mainly the usual routine of getting settled. I moved my furniture back from a friend's apartment, so I have my kitchen gear and spices again. I bought some furniture, a sofa, a table and a funky Korean traditional painting of some crazy horses.
I didn't bother with a bed this time, I'm sleeping on a traditional Korean floor pad (called a 'yo') and I find it pretty comfortable. Last year I had a tiny apartment, about the size of a very small bedroom with an attached bathroom, so the bed took up most of my floor space.
This year my apartment is still small by Western standards, but it's probably twice the size of last year's digs. I have a decent size kitchen nook and with a table and a sofa I feel like I'm at home. Last year I felt like I was in jail because I only had a bed.
My buddy Keith and his girlfriend, Jill, came back to Busan this month. It looks like we might try to get out camping in September. There's a big Harvest Moon holiday coming up, but since everybody tries to go home for the holiday it'll probably be massively crazy trying to travel. We'll see what happens. I predict a drunken barbecue and maybe camping later in the fall, but who knows?
Keith floated a tentative plan to rent a space for a woodworking shop. We both enjoy woodworking but it's a bit messy and space-consuming to pursue in a small apartment. We've got a few tools between us. I've managed to assemble a relatively complete kit of basic woodworking handtools but haven't gotten a lot of use out of them yet. I started projects for a table and a bedframe and have them partially completed but my woodworking was curtailed by complaints from my downstairs neighbour about sawing noises, hehehe.
I'm really just getting settled away and I'm already two months in, it looks like I'll be here for a nice long while. I'm enjoying being a foreigner and everything that goes along with that. They say you can always go home but since I have no idea where that is and no place of my own anywhere I suppose that I'm happier living out here in the world.