Last week I connected with some of my mom's friends-- a sweet old Catholic nun and her tiny Catholic nun sidekick. They brought me some stuff for my place: a rice cooker, dishes, towels, etc., but the highlights were three cans of Spam and a Jesus mug. A new place can't truly feel like home until you've been spammed and mugged. Hahha I feel like my dad would make that joke-- dad, are you reading this? I don't think everyone will think we're funny.
It's snowing balls here. There are some weird weather patterns where it's slightly warmer for a few days and then really cold again. Apparently there's some scientific explanation for this having to do with atmospheric pressure and such yadda yadda, but let me tell you I am le tired of the teasing and this cold! Living in Austin and San Diego have made me le weak to it. I've been sick since last weekend, and I struggled to keep my voice teaching this week, and Saturday night it all culminated in a crazy congested coughing fevered mess. All my foreign friends are taking their turn with this flu thing. It may be the new environment, or it may be the Yellow Dust from China-- wind picks up dust from Mongolia/China and sweeps it over to Korea, giving the sky a dark orange haze and causing people breathing problems (asthma, sore throat, etc). The surgical masks come out en masse on bad days.
It's common for men and women to live with their parents until they get married, thus the abundance of DVDbangs and Love Motels. DVDbangs are rooms you can rent by the movie; yes, people go there in groups to watch movies, but also yes, couples go there for some short-term privacy. There's a wide assortment of such establishments, and they've all agreed to the same disguises, for example, a brothel will be marked by two barber poles (legit hair salons will be marked by just one). I wonder how many naive quests for haircuts have turned into... a night Jesus' mug would frown upon.
One of my co-teachers has been with her boyfriend for five years. He wants to get married and her parents want her to get married, but she's stalling because she doesn't want to be pressured to have kids right away. The only way she can keep from being a mother is to keep from being a wife. My co and her bf aren't engaged, but she does wear a ring. Here boyfriends and girlfriends give each other couple rings. It doesn't necessarily reflect the seriousness of the relationship, just that you're in one. Some of the kids at our middle school have them, and I've seen them advertised in jewelry stores. Recently, on March 14, it was White Day-- the counterpart to Valentine's Day. On VDay, the women give the men presents, and on WDay, the men give the women presents. I thought the US was supposed to be the main perpetrator of made-up holidays and gift-giving occasions? One of my favorites is Festivus, as made famous on Seinfeld. Festivus, celebrated on Dec 23, features an Aluminum Pole, Feats of Strength, and an Airing of Grievances, where everyone sits around the dinner table and tells each other how they've disappointed them in the last year. Also, any easily explainable phenomenon you can call a Festivus Miracle. "It's snowing?" "Yes, because it's precipitating, and it's cold." "It's a Festivus Miracle!" I wonder if with the Yellow Dust it can snow yellow snow? You know what they say about yellow snow.