Raspberry Wine, Korean Indie Music Labels, and Japan

Basically I am cutting and pasting from an email to a friend here.

Let’s see. The folk village I went to on Saturday with my friend was fun. Pictures coming soon, probably tomorrow.

Will be buying a digicam this week, probably.

Today one of my old students — who is now someone else’s student, a little girl names Su Yeon — brought me a nice big bottle of bok bun ja sent by her mom! (Raspberry wine, purportedly with powerful effects on a man’s virility… which I can neither confirm nor deny.) She didn’t even bring one for her new teacher, only for me! Hahaha. Amazing. I also got presents from two friends who went to Japan… some sake and beer from Young Ja, and a beautiful handkerchief from Sun Hee (one of the girls in the office at work). Liquor and things from Japan… nice.

Everyone’s going to Japan these days. My own trip to Japan is booked… August 16th-19th, it looks like. I am a little excited, but I know I’ll be very busy before then so I am trying not to think too much about it.

I am getting even more excited about wintering in India (I had to use that verb, I’ve never wintered anywhere before), and it looks like this house thing is a really strong possibility, though I want to hear a little more next week from my friend Hadden before I book a plane ticket to New Delhi.

I also heard some good news today from Thai, the drummer in my band: there’s apparently a wel-thought of record label in Seoul offering to help back and distribute Dabang band’s next CD. I am happy about this. So I am trying to write some new songs for the band.

I’ve just written a very short story for my sister’s work organization, the Mennonite Central Committee’s In Exile For A While refugee experience simulation for young people. It’s a very interesting educational program, where young people get a taste of what it’s like to be a refugee, in the hopes of making them more aware of world issues and their own relation to them. (My story might be too harsh, but anyway when the final draft is done I will post it here. I’m thinking of redeveloping it into a plot in my novel…)

That’s most of my news. Oooooh, wait, one more thing!

Finally, I have a fan in Korea… I mean, someone who reads my blog loyally, without actually having met me first or being coerced into doing so by me. She emailed me the other day:

Hi, Gord ~

I guess right now you’re asking yourself, “who the hell is this girl?”
I’m Sun Hwa. I happened to read your blog, which fascinated me while
browsing through the blogs on The Korean Blog List site. The reason why I’m
especially interested in ya blog is that not only your story is great, but
also you’re living in my hometown, Ik-San, where I grew up and my parents
still live. even I’ve been to Ik-San last week.

I mean, I’m just happy to see you living in Ik-San, blogging and writing
about Ik-San so people who read your blog could have a chance to recognize
where Ik-san is or what Ik-San is like.

Ik-San is kinda small town. when people ask me where I come from, I tell
them “I’m from Ik-San” ……reaction of 8 people out of 10 is “where is
Ik-san”. they have no idea about Ik-San.

to make it simple, I just say, near by Jeonju. it’s a shame that most
people don’t know about my small but lovely hometown. due to my job, I live
in Seoul, yet I’d love to move back to Ik-San if there is a good job for

We’ve emailed a few times and I must say I think Sun Hwa, or Judy (her English name) is quite a nice young lady. Perhaps we shall have a coffee sometime, since Seoul is only a few hours away and I usually go there once every few months (or more… and Dabang Band is supposed to play a gig there in September, too!).

Anyway, I am pleased. But also tired. I must go off to bed now, for tomorrow is a busy, busy day.

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