Trip Stuff…

… that is probably of no interest to anyone but me, but I’m posting it anyway.

I’ve been pretty happy with how this trip has been working out.

Of course, there have been problems. The way my bank card provided a feast for a local bank machine was somewhat annoying, really. (And Marvin’s right to urge people to pee on the accursed things when they see them—though I was informed not only Bank1One but all newer bank machines in the USA are configured in this way, to magnetically destroy the stripe if the card is retained.)

But overall, meeting so many of the people I’ve been lucky enough to meet, both online and offline, has been really good for me. I do miss Lime, though we’re staying in touch by email and occasional phone calls, but she’s doing pretty well. Studying, as usual, for her upcoming exams. She has one coming within the next 12 hours. Of course, she’ll kick ass… But, even missing her, I’ve met some good friends, some I’ve known offline for a long time and some I’ve only known online; without exception, it’s been good meeting them all.

I’ve seen some really good live music (and probably will see more, I suspect), I’ve eaten some really wonderful food like Keisha’s cioppino—a kind of Italian fish-and-seaweed soup (or is it a stew? in Korean it’d definitely be a jjigae) and all kinds of neat things at my sister Annie’s house.

Last night Marvin treated me to some redneck comedians on DVD, and he and I and eventually Keisha had a good laugh. I also read a very interesting graphic novel yesterday called Red Son, telling the story of an alternate universe in which Superman, instead of landing in rural America, landed in Ukraine and ended up in Stalinist Russia. (I’ll have more to say about that later, though I will say now that I am quite curious what John Cleese will do with another such comic which he’s writing, in which Superman ends up in Britain.) I think once my student loans are paid off, and I’ve got a little more disposable income, I’ll try get into reading some graphic novels such as Watchmen, The Preacher, Hellboy, Sandman, and some of these alternate-world Superman pieces. But mark my words, I will have a lot to say about the Superman: Red Son piece, in a later post.

I’ve also amassed a certain amount of Korean foodstuffs from a couple of local places and I shall attempt a Duin Jang JjiGae some evening before I leave. I’m also planning on making a serving of YuBu ChoBab as a side dish. I wanted to make BeoSeot PanChan but all they had was dried mushrooms (of the kind I needed anyway) and they were dreadfully expensive. So I settled for only a couple of side dishes, and the hope that my soup comes out right. I also managed to buy some cheese, some grapevine leaves, and some couscous to bring back to my hovel in Korea. Let the Lebanese food flow!

Today Marvin has the afternoon off and we’ll meet Julia for lunch. And some evening this week before I go, there’s supposed to be some kind of dinner gathering with Adam &co.

Marvin and Keisha are wonderful hosts, very open and very generous and just fun to be around. Austin is getting pretty hot, though it’s a nice tolerable hot. Myoung Jae was so right in talking me, ever so long ago, into buying proper prescription sunglasses, as they’ve come in very handy on all my trips. Walking Bailey and Maggie (their two dogs) I got to see some more of the neighborhood today, but I was careful not to get lost. Yesterday in the heat of late afternoon I foolishly took Bailey for a walk and got lost, and she was ready to collapse once I finally got her home. But she didn’t hesitate to go for another walk with me today…

I’m taking pictures again, and I’ll try to be conscientious about it for the rest of this trip. I’ll post them to my photoblog (along with pics from my last trip, to India) once I get home to my apartment.

Right, it’s almost time for me to be ready to go out to meet Julia. Marvin’ll be here so, so I’ll finish this here.

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