Singing Appliances, Potential Friends, and Kimchi

9 Nov

Oh hey there! No, dear friends and readers, I haven’t forgotten about you. Not much has been going on with me, but there are definitely interesting things I can still tell you.

First things first: I may not have mentioned that several appliances in the typical Korean home have a singing mechanism. When your rice is ready the cooker hums a little electronic-sounding tune. When your laundry is finished, the washer plays a ditty. When you turn the heater on or off, it makes a waking-up or going-to-sleep sound. Now, this is all fun and games until something goes wrong. At 1am a few nights ago, my upstairs neighbours had some sort of electrical malfunction, and whatever was playing the song wouldn’t shut up! The sound of buttons beeping would quiet the thing for a moment, then it would start up again. Finally it stopped, but by that time their baby was already awakened….

This brings me to the next thing I may have neglected to talk about so far: living in an apartment is different from living in a house. I know, NEWS FLASH! It seems odd, but until now I’ve only ever lived in a house. The thing I didn’t realize about apartment living is that neighbours are sneaky. Just when you’re falling asleep they decide to make noise. It doesn’t help that my upstairs neighbours have a newborn and a toddler who set each other off. Still, the bible says that you should love your neighbour as yourself, so I like to make a lot of noise for the people below shouldn’t complain.

Last Saturday was pretty special, since it was the KAC’s 11th Anniversary! We were busy bees getting ready for the celebration, which took place in the restaurant across from our office (in the same building). Mainly my role in the preparations was to bake! I also got to see Cindy again, as well as my (read: Jin Ju’s) IVEP alumnus friends, Bohyun and Yeoreum, and meet a lot of new people.

Perhaps the most exciting part was meeting four girls around my age (Canadian and American), who all work at an English center called Connexus. Connexus was originally a ministry of the KAC, before it exploded and became its own awesome entity.

Now, before I explain more about these ladies, I have an anecdote for you. The first person I ever met from New Brunswick was Rebecca, another SALTer who is now in Cambodia (check out her blog here!). The second person I ever met from NB was a girl named Janet (one of the girls I previously mentioned). I didn’t want to ask Janet “oh, do you know Rebecca?”, because we all know that’s an annoying question and usually the person you’re asking doesn’t know who you’re talking about anyways. Well, turns out I could have asked – because Janet and Rebecca are SISTERS! Does this strike anyone else as weird? Either the world is much smaller than we think it is, or God had a hand in this. (Probably both.)

To cut things short, the upshot of all this is that I’m seeing these ladies this weekend. After I brave the subway system by myself (an adventure in its own right), I’ll meet them and other Connexus staff for a retreat. Still don’t know quite how I warranted an invitation, but “excited” doesn’t even cover how I feel about it. It’ll be awesome to talk to people who know where I’m coming from culturally, and who might even get the occasional random sitcom reference!

In other news, it’s kimchi making-season. Yes, just as we dafty North Americans like to bake up a storm at Christmas, or clean our houses in the spring (at least in theory), Koreans everywhere (well, mostly in Korea) are getting the whole family together to make a winter’s worth of kimchi. And trust the Koreans to invent a fridge specifically for kimchi; you can set it for how long you want it to last – three months, six months, a year…. For some reason I find all this quite fascinating (despite my still ambivalent relationship to the food itself). I was invited to help Kyong Jung’s family at his mother’s house today, but alas, the weekend plans ended up overlapping. I was forced to make a choice and, once again, kimchi was pushed aside.

I’ll post more pictures and stories this coming week! Thanks for reading!


5 Responses to “Singing Appliances, Potential Friends, and Kimchi”

  1. Carol Wiens November 10, 2012 at 9:46 AM #

    Technically, I was the first person you met that lived in New Brunswick…..that’s right…..your darling (?) auntie from PoCo used to live in New Brunswick – in the north, where most people speak French. Fascinating???

    • Deborah November 11, 2012 at 7:45 PM #

      Oh yeah! I think in the annals of my memory I knew that. Thanks for reminding me, darling Aunt!! 🙂

  2. Mama November 10, 2012 at 12:40 AM #

    dafty? is that a word?

    • Deborah November 11, 2012 at 7:46 PM #

      Well if it’s not I vote we make it one.


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