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Monday, May 4, 2009

Pigu and Kimchichigae 5/4/09

RoseE writes:

"Dearest Mum,

Typing on Korean computers is a haphazard business, so I think we may end up being picture-less again. Sorry!

I will do my best to call that evening. The time change makes my head spin.

So I was in the middle of writing Dad a letter while I waited for Sis. M. to be done e-mailing, and then we sprinted out the door and I left the letter in the photo place where we were. And it's on the other end of town--clear on the other end, way out of our area. So I'm re-writing today, minus the original letter for reference. I'm so sorry!

You'll be happy to know that I am sore, too. Saturday was Sports Conference in Pusan Stake. The whole stake and all the missionaries (including the Andersons, the senior couple who work in the office) went up to this BIG dirt field at, I don't know, a university or something?, and played games all day. Some of it was fun -- like pigu, which is a Korean form of dodgeball that just gets darn crazy and in which I scored the shot to tie the game. Some of it was annoying, like the fact that the t-ball game was organized as "Men's game first, then women's game after if there's time," which of course there wasn't. Dang Confuscian society. T-ball is apparently too manly a sport to let the sisters play it in Korea. But pigu was women-only, and it was dang brutal. And the elders put together a cheering section/chorus line for us, so I forgave them a little bit for not letting me play t-ball. The missionaries all had to run a relay race--I ran my stretch and then stopped caring about who won, because I was dang tired and wanted to go to sleep in the shade.

Oh, the shade was really cool. It was trees. The roof over the spectators' seating was just a frame onto which all these trees had been trained, so it was just this thick leafy roof with some purple flowers left in it from their blooming season a few weeks ago. Neat!

So that was cool.

Last P-Day, we roommates went for a good long shop in Seomeyon, which is the underground mall at a subway stop by our house. I discovered the following things: my feet are too big for Korea (really. There is not a shoe to go on my foot in the whole country. So in a few months when you get a plaintive letter asking for shoes, it's not because I just really miss American shoes -- it will be because my shoes have big holes in them and there are no replacements to be had).

I also got a STAMP! In Korea, everybody has a little wooden stamp that is just their very own, and they use it to stamp letters and bills and official documents and things. So I got one at a little shop where you just tell the shop owner what you want your stamp to say and how you want it arranged, and you pick out a stamper, and then you come back in ten minutes and it's ready to go. My stamp has a fish for a handle and a little magnetic cover, and when it stamps it imprints my English and French names, written in Hangul, circled around the hanja for "History." It's really cool, but I'm not very good at stamping with it yet. Lots of practice.

Tuesday I went on my very first split. I went down to the city of Masan, Southwest of Pusan, and spent a day working with Sister Kim Yoon Ha. This was a good experience -- she was really nice, and we had a good time. But I missed my companion and roommates so much I was close to tears the whole time, and I was nauseous all day from nerves, dehydration, motion sickness (the busses in Masan are INSANE), and kimchichigae, which I had never eaten before. So that was not so good, really.(By the bye, dehydration is a real concern here because the tap water is not safe to drink, so there are no drinking fountains anywhere. This is bothering the heck out of me. There are little water dispensers in banks and post offices, and bottled water can be purchased at every corner store, but I just want a drinking fountain, man. Gosh.)

So when all was said and done, I was glad to get home to Pusan and chill out in Zone Conference, at which I finally got my new missionary tags with my name written in both English and Korean: Sisterer Hadden. Really. I can understand mispelling my last name, but my title? Really? So I'm waiting for new ones and still wearing my MTC tag in the meantime. *sigh*

Yesterday, Sunday, I just sang my brains out. First Sis. M. and I had to sing a duet for a baptismal service. (My insanely-talented soprano roommates are very pleased that I know the alto part to just about everything; it makes last-minute musical numbers easy to do.) Then while the baptizer and baptizee were changing, the ward made us sing again. Really. The bishop took a vote. And then we ran like heck over to our other ward for our last musical fireside, in which we four roommates did a quartet number (again, last minute). It was a lot of fun.

Um, Teancum . . . oh, gosh, I can't remember the name of the website I went to for Doctor Who episodes. Oh, yes, I do. It was It's a huge archive of links to all sorts of shows. Just look under "TV Shows" and "Doctor Who" and you should find a darn good collection.

So . . . I think that's my letter for the week, 'cuz we've got to run eat lunch and then go to MeWorld, which is a) an amusement park we can see from our apartment and b) a very strange name for an amusement park in a Confuscian culture. But then again, UsWorld is not very catchy.

I love you and I'll talk to you on Sunday! Or, for you, Saturday! Dang that international date line!Oh, and your Mothers' Day Present is in the mail but will probably come late. Sorry!

I love you! A lot!


1 comment:

  1. Sadly, there are no drinking fountains in England. I only saw two the whole time I was there - one was in the temple, and for the life of me I can't remember where the other one was. I think it may have been the stake center - both places which were designed by Americans. Really quite sad.

    The name stamp sounds amazing!

    I received your letter today, and shall write you back very soon.

    (Do people in Korea use mortar and pestles? If they do, whether metal or stone or wood or whatnot, if you would buy me one, I'd pay for it and for the shipping back to America. After all, I own five of them now, and long to enlarge my international collection. Plus I actually use them. Just write and let me know - I'll remind you of this in a physical letter, too).