The reader will be relieved to know that I do not feel so upset today. I had a half-decent rest. I even feel content with myself and the world.
Playing hooky from the evening Korean class was a good thing to do. Thankfully, the tutor readily accepted my excuse of illness because some virus is indeed going around, though I merely lied, not wishing to explain that I had had an upsetting day. Besides, the tutor already knows that I have a long and heavy work schedule on Wednesdays, and would not be surprised if I said I was not up to doing the lesson.
What is my decision as to how to proceed today? I stuck to my morning routine and eased into the day, avoiding thinking about the naughty students for a while. Then I decided to go meet them, as I am obliged to do as th teacher scheduled to be with them at 10:00. However, I will simply let them go on their way, and I shall stick to my original plan and go my way. Their plan is not my plan, since they did not discuss it with me and instead opted to hatch it up without consulting me then merely inform me what they were doing. Fine, they can do what they want I cannot spend social time with them, nor act as if the offense has not been done. I certainly do not want to share a meal on my own personal time today, and maybe not ever again. My decision is for me to carry on with my life.
It’s now just after six o’clock in the evening. Y just came in for
a quick visit, since we haven’t chatted for a while. She is fine, but she had
symptoms of hay fever while she was in the room. It is strange, as she has not
had hay fever though she was feeling ill a couple of weekends ago, and perhaps
that was from the yellow dust. No, she suddenly had a fit of sneezing while
sitting in my room, just like I get from time to time. I took an anti-histamine
tablet today, and it was my last remaining one from the packet. I have still
had itchy irritated eyes since I got home. Of course, the window is still open.
She doesn’t think my place is particularly dusty, though sometimes I think it
gets dusty quickly and I chase it down. The reason for our sneezing today is a
mystery. Y is doing well and she went to her old haunts in Gyeung-ju this past
weekend, which is why I haven’t seen her around.
I went to see the class on campus on time. The leader was standing there
in the plaza coordinating things, and trying to get the six women to come out
and get on their way. The five other guys were waiting in their vehicles. This
leader apologized to me, saying that some people didn’t want to do the outing.
I said the issue was that they had not said so before, and they had not
discussed it in class and put forward any alternatives. Finally, the six women
came outside from their classroom building.
They were dragging their heels and frowning, all of them. They didn’t
bother to say “hello” to me, but then they never do when I arrive to any class.
The leader called to one of the young ones reminding her to take me in her car.
They started talking about this in Korean, and did not acknowledge my presence
even though I was a subject of their talk. They kept frowning.
I felt justified and relieved to break away. I said, “Well, you have
your plan, and I have mine. I’m going through with my plan. I cannot have lunch
with you. Have fun,” then turned on my heel without waiting for a reply. One of
the girls showed surprise with a kind of “wha-at?” I did not bother to explain
myself. I did not want to give any more of my goodwill, generosity, duty and
time that day, such a perfect day for an outdoor excursion, in the company of
these sourpusses, so I beat it for the campus shuttle bus that was about to
The shuttle took me to a subway station, and I just took the subway for
one stop to go look for the village bus to take me to the sports complex where
I wanted to find the path to the reservoir. I had to enquire about it. A subway
worker told me the name of my destination and advised me just to walk, but
walking meant following the busy highway, so I asked a driver for the number of
the bus and waited. It soon came, and I found the place to get off. I should
have just continued down the river path from there, but it did not look very
familiar to me, and I wanted to look around the stadium and velodrome grounds.
I started taking pictures.
I just remembered to recharge the camera battery. After it has
recharged, I can upload pictures to show you. Rape flowers, forsythia,
periwinkles, violets, rhododendrons as well as fruit trees are all in bloom. I
even found a tulip garden.
was quite a warm sunny day, and even felt hot walking. I wore my new summer
hiking outfit of pants and vest, though I wore an old shirt. It was warm enough
that I did not need to wear a jacket. I hadn’t even brought one with me.
I poked around to see if there was any other trail head and tried to get
my bearings. I regretted not having hung on to the map I had been referring to
in the subway station. After wasting some time pounding pavement around the
sports center grounds, I came to the conclusion that it would be necessary to
take the river path south. I spied another hiker, a man about my age behind me,
and slowed down to ask him which side of the river to take. He pointed down the
side I was on and continued down the same path, so I estimated that he was
taking the same trek as I. I sort of followed him, and I noticed him turning
around to check on me behind him from time to time, evidently making sure that
I noticed the turns in the path, and eventually took the footbridge across the marshes.
I guess I could have walked down the other side, but I think it had been best
in terms of scenery to stay on the one I had chosen. The farmland along the
river was interesting.
The track appeared more and more familiar to me as I carried on, though
I had come from the opposite direction the last two times, and the distance
between the sports arenas and the actual lake seemed much farther than before.
When I found myself at the opposite end of the trail and leaving the lakeshore,
though, it was only 12:30. It had only taken about an hour since wandering
around the sports complex uselessly, and even having stopped to take photos and
admire birds and foliage. I guess I was going at a good clip.
After getting on
the trail in the woods where the bike path ended, I marched on passing the
elders up and down the steps that followed the shoreline. I passed my fellow
trekker and quasi guide, who indicated he was slow on the steps and let me
pass. I did the hike so efficiently, that I never felt hungry enough to stop
and eat along the way. I ate at a little country roadside table near the
Catholic museum of martyrs beyond the lakeside village just before one o’clock.
I never found the trail head where I had started this walk a couple of
times before with the Busan guide, C. I knew I must have passed it when I saw
the Catholic museum, so I know I had ended up on the right road. It was the
route of the village bus that we had taken before, and that I was hoping to
find to take me back to
In the end, I really enjoyed the hike. I got the space, scenery and
exercise that I had wanted and felt satisfied at the end.
Still full of energy, and thinking that it would be convenient to pick
up our new office printer on the way home, I went to a department store where Y
said there was a Canon brand one with scanner for under 40,000 won (around
$40). I bought one. It is a bit bulkier that what I would have preferred, but
it matched L and my budget and can do the job. Before I left, and with the
office situation in mind, I picked out another sheer scarf with which to veil
the starkly transparent front window panel of our office. (I also have a poster
in mind, if L likes it, which needs to be printed at the print shop.) I found
it simpler and less bother to simply take the printer directly to our office
and stow it there. The little village bus that goes from the campus stops by
that store, so it was easy. I even got a seat.
I dashed to the office, spoke to B in the hall, who critiqued my scarf décor.
She does not like it. It will have to do for the time being. She prefers the
poster concept and I think I do too.
Still thinking about finding a suitable plant to be placed at the lower
part of the window panel inside our office, I walked down the hill, day pack
still on and still all grubby with sweat, and decided that I had better just
continue on to the grocery store. First, I walked past to the store to look at
the fare on display at the flower shop. I didn’t see anything suitable to play
the office window role and no one was around anyway. I picked up a few items I
thought I would need at the store, and then decided to go back and buy a small
plant for the office table. Nobody around and answering my calls, I left a
couple of 1,000 notes on the work counter, and left with a budding red flower
potted plant. The plant is sitting on my dining table at home now, and little
ants are escaping the pot to explore my room.
Even though it was not a very long walk, my legs feel tired. I ate a
quick veggie stir fry with rice, and some grapes, and followed it with barley
tea. Since Y left the room, I have felt hungry again, so I might make an