I know, I know, I have forever said to Korean people, "Wow! You make 떡뽁기? HOW? You're so talented/gifted/marvelous/somewhat like a god" and then they would reply "um, yeah, it's easy". But, today i finally did it! And yeah, it was kind of easy, but i feel accomplished, so there! I then helped my mom to make some Chinese style eggplant and greens and such. It was kind of really fun. I would cook if other people would prepare ingredients for me and clean up everything for me. I really would.
I'm still happy about my spicy rice cakes ^^
After dinner I went to kumdo and got a lot of sparring action in! I sparred a bit with Master Im and he fixed my hurri. The main problem I had was moving my whole body instead of just my back leg in order to position myself to strike and retreat.
It kind of angers me though because i like the japanese way of doing the practice drills better. This is purely because I'm familiar with it and the korean way seems like it's just doing it wrong, passing by on the wrong side, hitting one too many times during yungyup. Oh well...
After kumdo we headed to master Im's bar/restaurant where I hung out with the kumdo crowd, learned that a Mexican is the world champ of pacman and was called to the kitchen to meet Master Im's wife and be explained the differences between Chinese, Japanese and Korean architecture as well as a broad overview of Korean-Japanese relations.
Master Im: You study Chinese and Korean, so you probably don't like Japan and think the Japanese are bad.
Me: Well, no, but kind of yeah.
Master Im: I'm Korean and you think I shouldn't like Japanese, but I do because you know why? They're Korean.
So yes, I then had a very intriguing half hour lecture on the intricacies of why Japanese were Koreans and why Japanese thought Koreans should be Japanese but they're clearly Koreans and so are the Japanese. All this going back to the Three Kingdoms in Korea and the Tang dynasty and woah, there was lots of ink on that pad of paper.
You know what I hate? When you know someone likes you, because you can just tell when someone does, but you don't reciprocate said liking and so you feel kind of awkward and guilty.
Actually, remind me to write about my guilt complex later, it really came to the fore in my last 24 hours in Beijing.
As for the books I'm reading/have read.
I absolutely LOVED Lost Horizon. I finished it and wanted to pack up a bag, head to the Kunlun mountain range and search for the real Shangrila, not some stupidass Zhongdian renamed Xianggelila. Not gonna cut it.
That was one of those books that I really didn't want to leave the characters and was hoping to just read on.
I then read The Elephanta Suite by Paul Theroux, which was three stories about travelers/business men in India and how India changed/ruined them. It was very moving due to Theroux's story-telling ability and I enjoyed the read, though I don't know how accurate of a portrayal of India it was. Although Theroux does point out "reality has many facets", I would like someone's opinion on the book who has been to India.
I'm now reading Peony in Love by Lisa See, whose book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan I read the other year and was really touched by the story and intellectually stimulated by the topic, women in dynastic china. I loved the way See brought to life the women's script 女书 that was used secretly by them to communicate through weaving the simplified characters into cloth and I found her story of friendship betrayed, lost and found to be moving as well.
If anyone has book suggestions, I'm up for them. After all, Master Im asked the room "Who wants to practice tomorrow night?" and I raised my hand. He then he asked who would like to Saturday night and I raised my hand again. At this point I was slightly embarrassed and could only joke, "yeah, I'm a loser with no friends. Ooops"