Thursday, September 27, 2012

There is nothing quite like being awakened in the middle of the night by the relentless shouts of a person completely lacking self-control. I'm talking, of course, about drunk people. Last night, a group of several drunk men and one gratingly loud young lady perched on our roof (so, maybe 30 feet or so from our open window), and, for at least an hour between 3:30 and 4:30 AM had drunk and gratingly loud interactions. After pregnancy reorganized my organs and motherhood rewired my brain, any time I wake up now, I do it to the fullest. I wake up wide awake. We closed our windows and cooled our air electronically, but somehow the group of revelers managed to get louder. I told Dan to go give them a good, 야! 하지마! (Hey! Stop!), but he thought better of it.

What I really wonder is why the guy squatting in the rooftop storage closet didn't tell them to shut up. A couple months ago, after putting the laundry out to dry, Joash and I started to notice this guy hanging out in a closet with the door cracked, watching TV. I just figured he was a lazy janitor. Then we noticed he'd installed some mosquito netting, leaving wide open his door so we could spy the bedding on the floor and some clothes hanging behind the TV. Then we noticed he'd carved a hole out of the door and installed some sort of circulation fan. Anyhow, I just wonder why this roof dweller didn't kick the drunk kids off his lawn.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A week ago we accidentally typhooned our toddler. After working through the weekend, Dan decided to take the Monday off, just as typhoon Sanba decided to take the Monday on. We usually do our weekly grocery shopping on Sunday, but it is never ideal after a long, full day in Sinchon, complete with two 1.5 hour commutes. We figured we'd go Monday after lunch at Taco Bell. But, of course, the typhoon.

So it was pouring the whole day. Maybe you saw the picture of our baby wrapped in a yellow trash bag, marketed as a poncho? We wrapped him last Monday, but the wind was such that its efficacy was severely compromised. So I picked him up, juggling an umbrella, and we all trudged through the storm. We made it to Home Plus, took a brief nap in the attached Baskin Robbins dining area and enjoyed the dry respite, but it was soon enough time to get back home. We made it just past the parking lot when a tunnel of wind whipped our umbrellas above our heads and more or less left us drenched. So, rather than break our umbrellas for one twenty minute walk in a rain storm, we put them away and used our strength of character to brave the weather. Joash seemed to know how important it was for him to comply, and I clutched him, tight as I could, on the whole haul home. It was then that we realized that if it had been called hurricane Sanba, we wouldn't have gone out at all. Funny how language affects your life choices.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Toddler!

He woke up early this morning (5:00) to prove it, and now he toddles.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Guess what we did from nine to noon? My baby slept! And I watched him! (Along with sundry episodes of B-List celebreality shows. If you are a random and/or questionably a celebrity, I will watch your reality show.) Before any mothers of sleepless children get discouraged by this three hour nap, take heart, it has never happened before, and I think it was directly related to yesterday's activities, which included accidentally auditioning for Korea's Got (Foreign) Talent. We spent the entire day crowded in two tiny adjacent rooms at KBS Studios.

I say that we accidentally auditioned because we thought we were just auditioning for a talent show like the Lotte World Talent Show with Foreign Friends, which we ridiculously won 2 years ago. We figured it would be similar enough and that we'd at least get some participation prizes. But, it was both more and less legitimate than that contest. More legitimate as there was an audition process with separate rounds and not just a sign up sheet. More legitimate as it would result in a live and then televised concert. Somewhat less legitimate because they admitted up front that they wanted fun people, not just good singers. There was lots of dancing and karaoke to Gangnam Style. Meanwhile, Dan played guitar and I sang this song by a Korean folk singer from the 90s. We were obviously out of place, and, depending on the situation, my personality ranges from moderate to crippling introversion. That's pretty much the opposite of fun. It is unfortunate that we didn't win any gift cards, less unfortunate that we don't have to do the concert. We met good people (including a Korean American friend of one of the performers who was unceremoniously roped into translating the entire event even though she had no professional affiliation with KBS, a 14 year old Korean Kiwi who showered Joash and us with polite attention, and a French girl with a Korean major), learned how to occupy a 13 month old for 7 hours in 3 square feet of wiggling space, and ate Pad Thai for lunch. I look forward to seeing if Joash makes it on TV.

We ended the night with late night (I mean, 9:30 is late for dinner, right?) takeout bulgogi and dwenjang jiggae, which, for whatever reason, the restaurant thought we'd want to cook ourselves, but isn't that just the way after a long day? Fresh food is better than immediate food, I guess.

This is obviously unrelated, but I guess it would feature on Joah's reality show. He helps sort laundry.

And then he helps hang it up.

Later he provides me with extra chores by pulling out percussive kitchen wares. I don't mind, though, because I am so excited about him acting like such a kid.

Freestyle crawling over to me.

So he could make this face. Somehow he learned to make a fake smile. He crinkles up his eyes and throws his mouth open when he thinks he's done something funny. And he has. And my laughter sets off a cyclical chain of events that keeps both of us laughing for at least several minutes at a time. It's perfect. I am only today beginning to think he is mimicking the face I make when I brace for him to accidentally hit me with something or kiss/bite me.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sometimes I Knit

It is likely that everyone reading this blog, aside from people here accidentally, knows that I knit things, but for whatever reason, I don't usually post any of it, except for on Facebook. At first, they had nothing to do with Korea or with weekend activities, but now this is just a baby blog anyway, and I actually knit a lot of baby things. So, maybe I will make my way back through the baby sweaters, socks, and hats and post them or maybe I'll just move forward from now. I knit Joash a soft and squishy cable sweater, and I am hoping it will propel summer into fall, if only by the power of suggestion.