from the Korean Army to being published

the blog of an "ex-patriot" writer in Korea

Entry #44: Changes

with 2 comments

I’ve been thrown off the momentum I had been riding throughout my vacation. I’ve only managed to write two pages since last Friday. This idleness is primarily the result of moving. I’ve finally left my beloved Nakseongdae, a place that I’ve called home in one sense or another for the greater part of the past six years. I’ve developed a strong attachment to the neighborhood and while it was hard to leave, it was time.

Packing, moving, unpacking, and setting up my new accommodations have taken up a great part of my time but it’s more than that. It’s the change that has thrown me off track. I’m not good at handling change. I’ve never been. I don’t know where to go to eat or drink and, most importantly, I don’t know where to go to write. Even now, I’ve returned to my old coffee shop to write because I don’t know where else to go.

I’m a very particular person with particular needs. I can only write when certain conditions are met, conditions I cannot re-create at home and haven’t been able to find in my new neighborhood despite the abundance of coffee shops in the area. A decent-sized smoking section is a must because I chain smoke when I write, and there has to be plenty of electrical outlets so I don’t have to vie for a seat every time I come. I need to be surrounded by people but also to be left alone and so franchise coffee shops are preferable. Also, the price of a cup of Americano has to be reasonable because it’s essentially the price of rent I pay for writing space nearly every day.

I realize as I’m writing this that this coffee shop is not too far from my new place but coming all this way breaks one of my cardinal rules of not straying from the general vicinity of my home when it can be helped. I only have one class tomorrow morning so I’ll give my new neighborhood one more chance before I concede that the daily trek here can’t be helped.

* I know that I overuse the word ‘trek’ but, being hopelessly lazy, it’s how everything feels. Leaving the house is where my definition of the word begins and a fifteen minute walk is when I begin to feel psychologically distressed.


Written by Young

May 3, 2012 at 10:02 pm

2 Responses

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  1. “Leaving the house is where my definition of the word begins and a fifteen minute walk is when I begin to feel psychologically distressed.”

    Damn, dude. You need to challenge some of the local mountains, argue with their sanshin, and do a bit of obnoxious “Ya-ho!”-ing. Nakseongdae is not far from Gwanak-san, which is a nice hike if you go on a non-crowded day and pay no mind to all the soju bottles strewn about.


    May 4, 2012 at 2:39 am

    • I’ve done Gwanak-san a couple of times when I was a grad student. I love nature but not the effort it takes to go to enjoy it. Probably my most enjoyable trip to Gwanak-san was with an ex many years ago but it was because of the company and the makgeolli at the top.


      May 6, 2012 at 12:36 am

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