Caveat: So Old

Yesterday dawned as the first truly cold day of winter – my phone reported to me that the outside temperature was -8°C (17°F). When the temperature drops, my sleeping is disrupted because of Korea's ondol heating system – the floors themselves are heated with hot water, radiator style. But, since I sleep on the floor…  well, when the floor becomes hot, that wakes me up – I don't understand how Koreans can sleep on hot surfaces, but they do: even when they use Western-style beds, they put heating pads on them for winter. I often have to migrate to my sofa in the winter for sleeping, because of the hot floor problem. I find sleeping on a hot floor unbearable.

Anyway, I had strange dreams because of my hot floor, before I woke up. 

I was in some global-warming future, I guess. That makes sense – the hot weather part. I was amid some sort of cluster of industrial warehouses, looking for a way home. I was lost, but I didn't feel any anxiety.

I was dreaming that I was very old. I was so old, it was the future. Buildings had forgotten the ground, and engineers had become heroes, who were remembered in parades. Televisions knew my name. I was so old that the future thrummed above me in the sky like a drone, and so old that my death was planted in the ground beneath my feet on the street, like the cracks in pavement that come about as the roots of trees burrow beneath. There were white plastic faucets sprouting from the walls, but they had no water. Only poetry would flow from the white faucets. I was so old, that the president was a child, so I finally was allowed to leave school. I stood in the street. I remember that I was wanting to make one last poem. I lived in all the cities, but all the cities were only one city, and their maps streamed and sparkled like liquid around me, like raindrops in beams of sunlight.

I woke up and tried to write it down, but even as I wrote it, it was like the end of 100 Years of Solitude, and it all faded away.

[daily log: walking, 6km]


I used to post, on This Here Blog Thingy™, a little item I called "Notes for Korean" – these were just an effort to record vocabulary I had run across or had some difficulty in puzzling out, and so I wanted to record it, mostly for my own future reference. I stopped doing it, first because of laziness but also because it didn't really seem to belong in a "blog." But I have decided that it was sufficiently useful to me, in the context of this blog's role as a personal aide-memoire, that I shouldn't worry about the latter, as long as I can overcome the former.  Hence, with very minimal fanfare, I resurrect my… 

Notes for Korean (finding meaning)

  • 뻔하다 = to almost do something, to barely escape doing something
    e.g. 달려오는 자전거에 부딭칠 뻔했다 (from my TOPIK in 30 Days vocab study book)
  • 보복운전 = retaliatory driver (meaning, a road rage person?)
  • 쩍벌남 = a "manspreader" (a guy who hogs space on a bus or train through a blatent open-legged posture – learned from my H2 class)
  • 편 = lit. side, but used in a periphrastic, "… to be on the side of…" to mean "… to tend towards… " or "… to lean towards… " in the sense of behavioral inclination, e.g. 나는 친구에게 서운한 일이 생각면 바로 이야기를 하는 이에요 = If my feelings are hurt by my friends I tend to tell them right away. (found my TOPIK in 30 Days vocab study book, but not explained there – I found explanation, of course, in KGfIL, the best Korean grammar book in the universe)