Monday, September 29, 2008

At the speed of palli palli

It's certainly been a full, eventful first month here in Seoul.
Every time I would think of something new to blog, something else would demand my -urgent-undivided- attention. Par for the course in being here, and settling in.

To give you an idea, here's a brief...
oh.. look another email saying I need to be somewhere in an hour...
Ok, but first I will give a brief run-down, play-by-play, week-by-week of the events of the last month.
Wait, there's someone at the door wanting me to sign something....

ok. back. Hi. :)

Remember my last entry post-Chuseok that said everything was calming down? I think Fate heard me and wanted to teach me a lesson...
Life until that point had been quite hectic as previously implied--between living in a hotel (loong story), getting used to life, drowning in paperwork between multiple agencies, and um, finding breakfast... things were kinda crazy busy. Palli palli--everyone wants things yesterday (or within the next hour, if you please)... and it's often not deferrable.

The move (South Seoul):
After pressing 'publish' on my last entry, I got a some good news about my paperwork being processed (again, a long story) and not an hour after that, I was to be ready to process more paperwork and move into my actual apartment here within the hour (as opposed to the 'Pretty Woman' setup I was currently in... ha. Am I the only one amused by that? Probably). So, I rush all over the university with the ever patient and always helpful department secretary... 2 hours later I was in my new home. With a bed. Sans bedsheets. Stayed in the hotel for another night packing, then the next morning schlepped all my stuff on my own 2 blocks back and forth. Up the hill, down the hill, up the hill, etc. Then checked out of the hotel with my month-long tab :P
Went to Lotte Mart after that to procure some bed sheets. If you like western style 'simple' bed sheets, bring them from home. I was familiar with the floor-style quilts, so I thought the ajummas were showing me those, but alas... bedding here for mattresses (which is what I had in the new place) is thick and quilted. So I bought a 'set.' Schlepped it back on the subway.... minutae... of daily life... right here. Just getting a grip on how to 'run my own household' married to what's available to buy is something that I needed to wrap my head around (the bedsheet thing being just but one example).

The AKS conference (East Seoul):
Right after that, I presented a paper at the Academy of Korean Studies World Congress at the Sheraton Walkerhill in Seoul (Sept 21-24).
Pictures are here on my flickr>>

Came back from the conference, and took the time to procure more household essentials spotted on Craigslist Seoul... as there's always someone leaving the country and needing to sell off their household stuff.

X-Media Lab (West Seoul):
Right after that, I attended the X-Media Lab Seoul at the Digital Media City (DMC) on the other side of town. It was a fruitful day of meeting industry people and getting some leads on people I would like to interview from the local and global community. Saw metaverse buddies again, which was cool.
Pictures here on flickr>>

NIIED orientation day celebration (North East Seoul):
THE NEXT DAY... was the celebration for grantees of the Korean Government Scholarships at Kyunghee University. It brought together all fellows of this award from all over the world for orientation and celebration. It was very United Nations-esque.
In the evening, I met with current and past award holders as well... and it was really interesting to hear their stories (and encouraging!).
Pictures on flickr>>

And that more or less brings me to today. After a long month of ups and downs, the details of which this blog is mostly immune due to its capacity (and mine;) (see twitter and FB etc)... I hope to be on the upswing of things big and little... and do the research I set out to do... though I could write a really long paper on the workings of bureaucracy... ah, but for another time. ^^

And now, onto another task...

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