From the BK to the SK
Since moving to Korea, I've learned some short cuts around my neighborhood that reduce my traveling time by about 5 minutes or so. I've figured out a shortcut to walk to the uni area, which is both good and bad, since now my favorite, 5 dollar coffee isn't as far of a walk as I first thought it was.
I have also figured out a shortcut to my fitness center, and though it is one huge hill, it's a nice release to take the backroads that snake through my neighborhood and help me to see things in a new way.
I noticed it for the first time late, late one night - maybe 10 p.m., and it snuck up on me like a thief on this barren street in the middle of the night. It stole my breath and my thoughts right from under my nose, bringing me to stop and leaving me in a trance-like state as I stood as the top of the hill and took it all in.
I've talked about the difference in the architecture between Europe and Asia; where Europe is beautiful and magical and enchanting, Asia is very straight foward. Its buildings are virtually identical in size, shape and color. Sometimes they remind of the desert, very dry, sandlike and in need of some water, something to shake them up and bring them to life.
Yet on this one particular night, I couldn't help but appreciate Korea and it had to offer.
It was like a bad smile, like a person who was just in some kind of fight and had some teeth missing. The buildings stood there, tall and dominating, the different apartments illuminating the night with their blaring white lights, scattered across the deep, black darkness. You know when you see someone with a terrible smile, and as much as you want to stop looking, you sometimes can't help but stare? It keeps you guessing, wondering who, what, where, when and why?
I couldn't help but stand at the top of this hill, staring at this ugly, half-toothed smile stretched so proudly across the darkness. I wondered how this moment, this feeling changed me from who I was just a second earlier to who I would be when I took my next step. I wondered what on earth made me so lucky, so fortunate to experience this moment and to relish in it. I wondered where had this scene been hiding in the past four months, or where had my eyes been looking that they couldn't see and appreciate the scene they were seeing right now. I wondered when my life became a compilation of these moments of appreciation, reflection and worldly power that fills your heart and keeps your blood pumping, craving for more. But most of all, I wondered why I was so lucky to experience all that I was experiencing and pondered th reasons of why I was incredibly indebted to moments like this - how I could ever re-pay them for all they taught me with their captivating silence, their strong and steady whisper?
It's an insane feeling, to have all these emotions rush through you like a river in the dead of the night, and in just a few minutes, walk away with a new perspective on the way you saw something just moments before.

And to end, I'd like to give a shout out to some of my newest fans - Quinton, Cameron and Samuel. I am definitely a more popular teacher from all they taught me about being a kid today, with the new games and movies and books and things I would have never known if I hadn't had the pleasure of babysitting them back spring. Thanks, guys!

12/25/2010 08:05

This is some of your best writing yet. It is an amazing journey you are on and I love you taking all of us with you with your beautiful thoughts you put into words on paper. Love Ya Dad

12/28/2010 18:50

Al, your writing just amazes me! I am so proud of you and love you so very much! Xoxoxo miss you mucho

12/29/2010 04:20

Alex this last blog was just amazing. So happy you planned something special with your friends Christmas Day. Miss you and love you. Margaret


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