Besides a one-and-a-half hour practice session with the latest minidisc copy of what we’ve got recorded at the studio, tonight I met with Lime. She’s busy tomorrow night, though tomorrow’s a holiday all day for me… perhaps that’s a good thing, though, since I need to get a lot of practice in tomorrow: I head to the studio in Seoul, with Thai, on Wednesday, and have vague and faint hopes of finishing all my recording in one day, though I doubt it’s possible and won’t rush it.

But it was good to see Lime again. We talked about my growing doubts that writing and blogging and tooting the saxophone are enough to fulfill my need to bloody well do something in this world, something that improves life for others around me; we talked about the pictures of the American soldiers in Iraq, and of Malcolm X, and we also talked about her life in Canada, which was fascinating to me, and sometimes quite moving. I think I know how she became so grown-up.

We also watched a Korean movie called Untold Scandal, another film based on the novel that Dangerous Liasons and Valmont were both based on. We’d gone in search of the Spike Lee film Malcolm X, but it wasn’t in stock, and Lime realized that DVDs enabled me to see English subtitles on Korean films, so we opted for Scandal. It’s a good film, but each of us was reduced to peals of laughter at a couple of things. I find it endlessly amusing how she tries to cover my eyes everytime female nudity appears on the screen. It makes me laugh though I always manage to wriggle out of her “protection”. Another thing that made her laugh her guts out were my little comments on the plot, in Korean, as well as occasional attempts to re-translate the subtitles into Korean. For example, I translated, “Persimmon Knight!” into Korean as “감화랑!” (Gam Hwarang!) because I know that Knight is Hwarang in Korean—though it must have been a different word, or maybe my accent, that set her off laughing. There’s another point when a brokenhearted woman goes off to kill herself, and at that point I said, “불상해!” and “죽갰다!” (“Poor [her]!” and “[She’s] gonna die!”), which also set Lime off into uncontrollable laughter. She told me after that she usually doesn’t think of me in terms of whether or not I’m Korean, but at the moment I made those exclamations she suddenly noticed, “Oh yeah, he’s a foreigner.”

I had one of those moments with her too. We found a nice enough coffeeshop/bar and sat down and tried to decide what to have. She said beer would be a good idea because it was raining outside. This, I pointed out to her, was basically Korean logic. When it’s cold and rainy and crappy out, I feel like a hot drink. But Koreans I’ve talked to seem to find rainy weather goes well with alcohol. I think there’s a cultural association between rain and having a drink that we just don’t necessarily have. It was good to share a beer and just talk. But it’s true, liquor conks Lime out, just like she told me. It makes her sleepy. Funny, that.

Anyway, then I got in some practice at the practice room. It was good to be playing the sax again, and I don’t think I lost much during the two weeks away from it. Maybe that’s because I listened to our tracks off and on, or maybe it’s between I played along in my head a lot of the time, or maybe the sax has just become part of me after all these years? That’s probably it, because my flute technique was depressingly less intact… but I think I can pull off everything I absolutely need to on Wednesday, and practice will make perfect with the flute, as with all things.

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