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Words, words, words

It was a relatively eventful weekend. On Friday night I decided I couldn’t wait any longer and started watching 24 Day 5 – and, as I was looking on IMDB for the name and credits of the actress who plays the new first lady, Martha Logan, (I think I recognised her from Frasier) I inadvertantly discovered that Edgar gets killed off later in the series. This serves as a warning when trying to find information about a TV series or film or book or whatever that your going to watch or read or whatever. I ignored this warning to look again when I thought I recognised (correctly, it turns out) one of the bad guys as the man who played the long-haired scientist in Arachnophobia.

On Saturday, the other foreign teachers I hang out with on Friday nights (although not this last Friday night) had a Christmas party, including a ‘secret santa’. A week or two ago, I drew the name of a girl I’d never met, so on Saturday I went to Seoul to finally get her a couple of books – The Summer Tree, book one of The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay and Windhaven by George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle. (While I was at it, I also bought myself some books – Salem’s Lot, Stephen King, Rum Punch, Elmore Leonard and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J K Rowling.) I had been invited by a Korean colleague to a party in her boyfriend’s town, but nothing came of that.

Given that I hate Christmas and all it stands for, and that I don’t feel a huge need to socialise every week, I wasn’t that enthusiastic about going. Consequently I spent a lot of the afternoon and evening just wandering round Seoul taking photos of the Christmas lights (ironically). I got a terse phone call from the guy who was co-hosting the party telling me I ought to be there – which didn’t do much for my mood. After heading to the Cheongyecheong (a man-made little river running through Seoul) to take a couple of shots I headed back to Ansan, all the while rehearsing arguments about why I hadn’t arrived earlier.

I got there at about 10:30 (the party had started at 4:30) and was greeted with the usual levels of friendliness from everyone there (the guy didn’t say much to me, but then we’ve not spoken much in the past, either). I gave my present to the appointed recipient and she seemed very happy with them – she reads sf and fantasy and hadn’t heard of the authors. I was given a kids toy weapon set, consisting of a bow, helmet, dagger and a sword that made swordy noises. I didn’t personally open it, barely touched it and left it at the hosts’ apartment. I was fearing just such a childish present that I wouldn’t know what to do with – another reason I wasn’t too keen on turning up.

Everyone was fairly drunk and shortly after my arrival we went to Beer Plus.

As I’d drawn close to Ansan I’d noticed it had started snowing – and sticking. The five-or-ten minute walk to the pub took about half-to-three-quarters of an hour because the snow was falling heavily and there was already an inch-or-two of snow on the ground, so everyone started having snowball fights. Except me, of course. I recorded several clips of the cold merriment – until my battery went flat, that is.

Having missed out on much of the imbibement of alcohol and having had my spirits dampened by the earlier events I wasn’t as merry as everyone else and went home early to watch some more 24.

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