Today is Sunday. For me, that means getting up at nine, having a slow breakfast and quiet time before going to church at 11:00. Church is about a 1 minute walk where I am greeted with smiling faces, and quick hello’s from little kids running around eager to practice English. I don’t yet understand much of what is being said, but I find the sense of community very valuable. The pastor and his wife speak some English, and they will always make sure I have a bible on the right page and that I’m fed, healthy and hugged.
Usually after the service, the whole congregation has lunch together, but today I met up with some of my old colleagues. The English teacher from Namyang, the art teacher and the music teacher, who attends the same church I do. The tradition is to have pizza whenever we meet in Dodong. The only pizza place in Dodong is Etiang. It is extremely overpriced, but it has nice ambience at least. A Combination Pizza, will set you back 23,000won ( roughly $23)…I won’t even divulge how much is charged for the coffee, which is mixed from a sachet with powder milk.
For this reason, I invited our party to my flat for coffee and Namagong chocolate (chocolate from South Africa). It wasn’t long before we were sharing the up and down challenges we faced during our time apart, while passing my guitar around, singing songs. It was the first time anyone but myself had been in my humble home since I got back. It was nice to feel the warmth of other people’s breath filling my livingroom. To hear their thoughts and share in their challenges. How kind of them to let me into their world for an afternoon. It was just the lozenge I needed to soothe my loneliness. It seems to me, these kinds of things only happen to me in Korea. Is it really just a cultural difference? Is it that Koreans are so much more capable of being in a community? To my dismay, the men were all over my apartment, perusing every room and commenting on everything from fixtures to furniture. Of course the fact that my bathroom now has a lightbulb and that my toiletseat doesn’t slip around under my bum anymore made up for my embarrassment. Mr Lee left, promising me a new lightbulb for the foyer (he had to use it to replace the bulb in my bathroom). Men are so handy! It would seem, that despite everything, I find myself in good company.