I've been trying to just keep an attitude of living like a monk, lately. A way of coping with feeling out of control of my home-life, and partly, too, a way of coping with my ongoing lack of "productivity" vis-a-vis my various "life projects."
I felt this monkish feeling very strongly as I huddled, this morning, awake before dawn, eating plain rice for breakfast in my unheated apartment.
People might ask, why is your apartment unheated? Because I'm afraid to ask my school (my employer, my landlord) to repair it. Two reasons: 1) the heating system is hugely expensive to operate, so I probably wouldn't use my heat much each even if it worked (the other foreign teacher, in another unit in this building, had a $600 heating bill last month); 2) my school doesn't really respond very well to requests for help – they tend to question why it is I have a right to complain about such things.
So, for the last month or so, since about a week after moving in to this new place, I've lived without heat. Most of the time, it doesn't bother me that much – I've always prefered to keep my living space cool in winter – but sometimes I have thought of investing in at least a little space heater. But then I remember I only have a few weeks left, here. Hopefully, whatever place I get in Ilsan will be like my previous places in Ilsan – well-maintained and problem-free. Also, of course, the cold time of year is nearly over.
Why am I eating plain rice? That's just a matter of … a lot of times, I like to have a "Korean breakfast" which is rice and kimchi, but it turns out, I have no kimchi, and I was lazy yesterday and didn't go to the store.
I look out at the foggy dawn, it reminds me of high school: living in Arcata, the foggy predawn when I would get up and do my homework and get ready for school – I never did homework except in the mornings.
I listen to Minnestoa Public Radio, streaming online, and forget where in the world I am. There's a "winter storm warning" for the Arrowhead (northern Minnesota). I miss Minnesota mostly for its natural features – it's understated geography, its seasons, its weather.