I’m home late because the band had a rehearsal tonight. The band, it seems, has taken to having a rehearsal everynight, which is cool… for now, anyway. We’re playing a benefit gig for a help center for (I think) local workers at 3-D jobs (the 3 Ds being Difficult, Dirty, and Dangerous). We’re working on a few new songs; I need a flute for one, which means I am quite happy to know my baggage will be arriving at my house sometime tomorrow. All the presents and goodies in there share space with my leather jacket and my Western flute.
Tonight at the rehearsal I played my beautiful wooden flute a little, and watched the guys in the band doing strange musically experimental things with my tanpura. The limitations of the instrument are something I have found to irk trained musicians… who wants to just sit there and pluck 4 strings in sequence? Haha, that’s why they so often at concerts I’ve attended have just gotten a pretty local girl to come up on stage and play it. It’s like a piano with 4 keys, and anyone’s gonna get bored doing it for too long, but with trained musicians they’re less likely to just keep at it without trying something experimental.
I got a box of goodies from my parents which had Christmas presents and treats from my sister Marie and her husband Troy. Wonderful socks, spices, books, treats, shirts, Canadian-esque goodies like Saskatoon berry tea and chocolates, a ton of CDs my mom pirated for me from the library collection (including all kinds of Medieval and avant-garde music) and so on. Quite nice.
Last night, I had a fun chat on the bus with a medical student and then when I arrived in Jeonju I went straight to the public baths; afterward I ran into Shawn and his wife Young-Hyun, and they told me about a goodbye party for a local foreigner named Colin. I went to see if I could catch anyone still there, and had a good talk with Myoung Jae and Chull Sung (another of my co-workers).
Today, I woke to knocking on my door. I thought it was the baggage delivery guy, this guy at my door demanding 90,000 won (a little under $100 CDN or so) from me. I had no idea why, he was chronically unable to understand that if he spoke slower I’d understand him, and he wasn’t bloody well listening to me:
The conversation, in Korean, when something like this (though I am guessing at a lot of what the guy said):
Gord: Ok, uh, ok, so… if I pay you this money, you giving me my bag?
Guy: Yeah, yeah, but you don’t have the money. So…
Gord: You have my bag here with you?
Guy: Yes, I have my bag, I don’t need it. I won’t turn off your…
Gord: Okay. So I pay you and you giving me my bags? All three?
Guy: You go get the money and call me. I’ll come within a half hour, because I’ll stay in the neighborhood.
Gord: Good. I thought my bags were lost.
Guy (laughing): Aha. I don’t understand a goddamned thing you’re talking about, boy.
Gord: Thank goodness. Okay, I’ll go to the bank. See you in half an hour!
Guy: Okay, whatever. See you.
On the way, Sun Hwa called me and as we talked about the weird wakeup, I asked her whether what it said on the form was something to do with a customs tax or a delivery charge. If a customs charge was levied, okay, maybe I’d pay but if Korean Airlines tried to stick me with a delivery bill because of their screwup, I’d have been furious. So guess what? The guy wasn’t a delivery man at all, I realized after I read some of the form to Sun Hwa. She informed me it was about my house gas bill which was overdue (since I’d been away two months) and which was due to be turned off if I didn’t pay for it. What a mixup! Anyway, after a nice chat with her I called the guy and he came to absolve me of all my gas-fee debts.
Then I went to school, picked up my package and had a coffee with Myoung Jae, and then I went home. Shawn called and we went to the public bathhouse, which was nice and relaxing (though the Delhi smog still is giving me some aftereffects… I cough a LOT when I go in the sauna, even now. After the bathhouse I had dinner with Shawn and Young Hyun, and then went to band rehearsal. It was a pretty good rehearsal, and I noted happily that the guys are more gung-ho about practicing and doing it somewhat carefully… marking down metronome times, working up new songs, practicing in a certain, very constructive way, and so on.
Now, I think it’s time for bed. I need sleep and my throat is hurting enough to make me commit to a long sleep tonight. Tomorrow, I’ll finish the las bit I need to do to finish drafting my novel, and happily await my baggageafter coercing the delivery people to get it to me before 5pm, if possible. Maybe I’ll try decorate my house a little as well… this weekend that should be my project, I think, and then next week I can set into working on finishing my Taiping poems. But for now… sleeeeeeep.