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A few trivial issues

I haven’t been posting much recently – I’ve been busy, which is a fact I don’t much like … but I like what I’ve been doing. Right now I’m at a coffe shop at Heogi station waiting for others to arrive – in about an hour.

My roleplaying game is now back up and running. The guy I met in London who was always consistent in taking part has been doing so again; the other chap, who dropped out to deal with other stuff, has said he’s going to start posting again; and the GM and one of the players from my Seoul WHFRPG have joined the campaign (although they haven’t yet joined the other characters – I’m hoping to have them meet up a little way down the line). I feel I’ve been posting in the game less than I should have, especially when other people post everyday, but I’ve contributed quite a lot in the last week or so. And this is time I might ordinarily have used to blog.

I’ve just come from What the Book? in Itaewon where I picked up The Breadwinner and Parvana’s Journey by Deborah Ellis, two young adult books about a girl’s experiences in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan; I also got The Secrets of Jin-Shei by Alma Alexander. The first two novels are the subject of our next bookgroup discussion, the other, the one after that. I haven’t made the swiftest of progress on my current reading material, a book of Korean folk tales, but I always find it harder to read collections of stories or poetry than novels.

My Korean classes are going OK. I’m more or less understanding how sentences are put together. My main problem in class is not recognising some of the words used: when presented with a flashcard of a cinema, say, I have to look through the handouts I’ve been given or my Korean-English dictionary. So I’ve been spending some time copying out words in Hangeul. It hasn’t helped that much.

Over the past few weeks I’ve bought a Monopoly game (from Glasgow, via eBay) and a Scrabble set (from Bandi and Luni’s at the Coex centre). I haven’t actually used them yet. I keep meaning to invite my colleagues and one or two of the other foreign teachers I know, but I never do. I suppose I chicken out of it because I’m afraid they won’t want to.

I think it’s a direct product of the fact that I work with some of these people that I feel myself becoming more and more distant from them and wary of them. I don’t like talking to people at work – for two reasons: it takes time for me to warm into a conversation, so I’d like it to last a decent length of time; if all that’s on offer is a few minutes here and there, I’d rather not bother. Secondly, I don’t like talking in front of an audience. Meaning, that while I don’t mind saying certain things and behaving in a certain way (once warmed up, of course) while with certain people, if there are other people around able to listen in, then I’m just not going to.

This largely isn’t (or doesn’t feel like) a matter of choice – my brain just ceases to function properly in these situations. Shyness is having something to say but being afraid to; much of the time my mind doesn’t offer up anything for to say – I just watch and listen and carry on my internal dialogue.

I think this is also the reason I haven’t spoken to Sue at all in the past couple of weeks, although I can’t honestly say I’m that bothered about it.

It was in relation to my mentioning this last point that a friend recently e-mailed me to say I should have counselling. They said it tactfully, of course. I haven’t actually replied to that, so they probably think I was offended. I suppose this is my response.

Counselling is something I’ve thought about on and off over the years, but it’s something I’ve never had. A few years ago in Runcorn, I had an appointment to see an NHS counsellor, but then I moved to Bath for my degree. Towards the end of my time in London I asked my doctor for a referral to a psychologist to seek a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. Then I moved away from London. (Is there a pattern there, do you think?)

It’s a moot point how useful these things could be, but they certainly couldn’t hurt. They’re things I’m open(-ish) to trying in the future, but it’s a case of having the time, possibly the money, and the direct motivation. I’ve been thinking that I don’t want to settle down in Britain again (and therefore have access to these things) until I can make a living as a writer – and that is certainly some way down the road.

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