January 24, Hall of Mirrors

Busan expats are lovely and I joined an English woman on an adventure to the art museum. We spent hours lost in the mirrored lights.

A man with his son started a conversation in English with us.

“This place is beautiful, isn’t it?” He said with a Korean accent.

We agreed and dad tried to get his little puffer vested son to say hello to us in English.

“This is Johnny. Johnny, say hi!”

Johnny did not say hi and instead hid against his dad’s knees. I love dad leading his son by example: a second language is nothing to fear.

The day concluded at the same food court where I ate after my modeling gig and us two foreigners expressed delight in realizing we’re both on the older side.

Post 25 just hits different. I love the ever expanding group of 30-something women I’m collecting.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love my younger friends but…”

“No, I totally understand. I find my younger friends to be focused on dating which is fine but not my focus.” I added.

“Exactly. That’s why you’ll notice I haven’t brought it up. Just not my deal. If it happens it happens if it doesn’t, that’s fine too.”

She found the national week long teacher orientation to also be cliquey and somewhat ostracizing and is glad the expat community here is so friendly. However, she’s moving in March to a new city because if she can’t travel, she at least needs a new change of scenery. I would dub it the “COVID itch” but that sounds wrong.

After she tires of teaching (China, South America, and the Middle East are on her list) she wants to become a fitness instructor in her 40s.

When I arrived home after a successful afternoon, the Russian asked if he could join me for dinner.

It’s not like I could say no, the dining room table has 5 chairs.

He sat down and asked me about American accents:

“The other Americans I’ve talked to are hard to understand. Maybe they had a strong accent.”

“Or maybe I’m easier to understand because I’m a teacher.” I noted. Since he told me day one I talked too fast, I’ve brought my English down to non-native speed and vocabulary. It’s a second skin I easily slip into after nearly four years of ESL.

He was perfectly pleasant and we had a nice chat. But there is a curse on this house and I stay on my toes knowing he could flip any day. Maybe House Owner’s mom can come throw more salt in the corners for extra protection. And maybe throw some salt on 2021 just for good measure.

My time in this house and in this city are limited, corgis and strange men and roommate parties included, and I have a full list of adventures planned before my new chapter of 2021 begins.

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