What a turbulent week or so. I'm using "turbulent" in the random sense of the word, rather than the chaotic sense. The former's meaning being more connotatively neutral than the latter.
There are too many things to list, but let's start with last week Wednesday. It was a public holiday in Korea on account of elections. I used this opportunity to travel to Suwon, a city about two hours out of Seoul, to meet with a professor from Kyunghee University to talk about PhD possibilities. The meeting went well, but if I do plan to study there it will only happen next year, as they only take in PhD candidates in the beginning if the year. There are a number of reasons I am considering Kyunghee University; one pertinent one is that classes are only on one, mostly two days a week, which will hopefully allow me to both work and study.
Over the weekend I met with some friends that came to visit Korea from the United States and Canada. We stayed out late, causing me to miss the last subway home. I had to borrow money to take a taxi home.
The next morning (Sunday) I hosted a Hapkido self-defense workshop, presented by a friend of mine. That evening I finished composing two exam papers and spent most of this week working on papers and giving exams. (This week was midterm exam week at the university where I work.)
On Tuesday night I went to see a Korean theatre performance. I know the director, so she gave me two complimentary tickets. Something that wasn't planned was that my companion came back with me to my place.
Wednesday night I had a dinner appointment with a friend. We had Indian food. I felt a little guilty for not eating much. I was told not to, in preparation for what was to follow the next day.
Thursday I went for my annual health check-up, paid for by my employer. It is quite a comprehensive check-up; although I decided to opt-out of the X-rays and CT-scans. I had X-rays taken last year during the annual check-up and do not believe that I need another one just yet. Exposure to too much radiation is a health risk in itself. I also opted out of the endoscopy. It just felt too invasive a procedure to have. In Korea many people die of stomach cancer, so I guess a regular endoscopy is prudent, but I do not have the same consistent spicy diet and eat lots of fibre, so I don't think going for a regular endoscopy is crucial for me. Something that was not on the list, but which is something that I guess I need to get is a prostate check. I didn't get it taken this year either, but I think that starting next year it ought to be on my health check-up list. I'm just at that age now. I'll be getting the results from all the tests back next week Wednesday. I also went to the dentist. I need to go back for a follow-up visit next week to fix a filling from years back that fell out recently.
Thursday night at the martial art class I had a really good session. I trained hard during the Taekwon-Do class and stayed for the grappling class where I had a second good workout too. I think the short nap I took in the afternoon was the cause for my extra zest. This week is midterm exam week, so I had extra time and could afford a quick afternoon nap. I think I may need to try and work it into my schedule, especially on those days that I train in the evenings. I've long ago learned the value of power naps, but often feel guilty for taking them -- part of my father's work ethic; he didn't approve of sleeping during the day.
Speaking of my Dad, he got a mobile phone. Getting a mobile phone may not sound that spectacular, until you realize that he is an invalid that cannot speak. It makes for a one sided conversation, but at least I can now call him, and give him a synoptic account of my life here in Korea. I've phoned him now for the second time--I phoned him last week as well. It is not a very long conversation, more of a monologue. Nonetheless, I get the sense that it is valuable to him. Our relationship had never been a very strong one and after his crippling incident his inability to speak did not allow hope for much of a future growth in our relationship either; not to mention the fact that I live in another country. His new mobile phone may actually help in a small way. In a few minutes I can share with him some of the things I do. Like tonight I told most of the stuff I wrote in this blog post. Up until now he had always heard about my life second-hand, from one of my brothers.
During the week I also met with another friend from Cairo. All my closest Korean friends seem to live abroad: Egypt, America, the Philippines.
Well, it is nearly time for bed.