Saturday, 9 February 2013

Vacation, Cats, Cloud Atlas, and Being on Korean Television (sort of)

It's been a while since I posted something and I'm trying to think why that is. After all, I am on vacation so I should have lots of time to write stuff. Usually this time of year I find myself in South Africa, travelling from one place to another. However, this year, for the purpose of saving money I did not go to South Africa nor did a travel to any of the other countries here in Asia as I usually do. I'm happy that my decision has been fruitful, as I have now saved enough money for this coming semester's tuition fee. I'm starting a PhD program at a university here in Korea.

Since I have been saving a lot, I have not been doing many activities requiring much expenses. Being my vacation time I'm taking the opportunity to sleep in most mornings, I do some writing work in the afternoon, go to martial art training in the evening and come home to watch some things on my computer. I also do some reading.

Something interesting I did recently was that I visited a "cat cafe" in Korea. There are a number of these in Seoul. Cat cafes can basically be described as a cat-themed coffee shop. You pay a fixed amount, something like $8, and get a drink of your choice (e.g. coffee, tea, juice, etc.) and then hang out with cats. This particularly cafe I went to had an estimated 25 cats. There are all sorts of cat toys, platforms, tunnels, and humans for the cats to enjoy and copious amounts of food. It is indeed "cat heaven". I'm not allowed to have pets in my apartment, so this was a great way to get my feline fix!

I also went to see some movies recently -- the most memorable being Cloud Atlas. While books often make me want to see the film adaptation, I seldom have the opposite feeling. If I hadn't read a book, but did see the film adaptation of the book, I almost never feel an urge to go and buy the book on which the film is based. Cloud Atlas, however, did make me want to read the book and I might indeed do so still -- I just have too many other things on my reading list to make it an immediate priority.

There is one moment in the movie where a character writes to his lover saying: "an unfinished book is like an unfinished love affair". It really struck a chord with me, as I believe the opposite is very true as well. If you are in a relationship, it is important to let it run its course. Let the story come to completion. It might not be a happy ever after story, in fact it may even be a tragedy, but it is important for it to get to its end.

Half a story is not worth telling. 

The above is a little proverb I made up after watching the film and has become somewhat of a theme for me recently. It's about seeing things through to their end, about not starting anything lest I plan to complete it, about not doing things half-heartedly, about rethinking my priorities. It is also about going along for the ride, about enjoying the journey even though you may not know what the destination is, how the story will end. Yes, it is about relationships and allowing myself the space to just experience it, without torturing myself with worries if this is the one or not. 

In other news, the gym I train at literally made the Korean news as a human interest story with it's children's English Taekwon-Do program. I don't teach children so I wasn't really involved with any of this, but there is about 4 seconds of me towards the end of the insert. See below:

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