I’m a chapter in a book. No idea what it is about cos it is all in Korean but who cares? I’m a chapter in a book.
I love Korea.
There is really no other way to say it. I love this quirky, adorable, brutally honest, sometimes smelly, awesome stationary providing country. The food is delicious and sinfully cheap, Soju is my soul mate and whether it is stiflingly hot in summer or freezing cold in winter I love the place. And no other country has put me in a book.
It has been four years since my last visit and longer still since I lived here. But it is just like returning home. And boy do I love being at home, even if it is only for a week.
This is my first actual full time holiday in three years. Don’t get me wrong I’ve taken time off from work in the past years but it has been to attend uni classes or to do major research essay. This time, this week it is all about having fun and relaxation…and a little about drinking.
It was minus 12 when I arrive. Minus, people MINUS. So of course when it is ridiculously cold I embrace the ridiculous, dress like the Michelin Man, grab a bottle of Soju and sign up for a Hapkido lesson.
I’ve been wanting to do has a refresher Hapkido class for a while, specifically I wanted to relearn form. Form is a kind of a rhythmic sequence of Hapkido kicking, punching and defense moves. Most all form is great exercise and really relaxing. When I can’t sleep and am wound up by things I have seen and heard in the field, doing a short form pattern has a surprising way of calming me down.
Despite my black belt, I didn’t want to do kicking or punching or falling or wrist-locks cos, lets face it I’m a tad older than I was seven years ago when I earned it. Walking to the dojung with my friend we discussed how we are adults, and that we just had to be firm with our Sabunim (Hapkido Master) and that we just wanted to do form, nothing else.
Sabunim is a force of nature. He is a master in several martial arts, studied his Masters in Australia, speaks fluent English, is learning Mandarin, and he wrote a book (of which I am a chapter). He is not someone that you easily say no to. And we didn’t. Within seconds we were donning our uniforms and obeying his every instruction. It was fantastic.
I was hopeless of course, my kicks were wonky, my self-defense more like self-destruction but it was hilarious. I haven’t giggled so much in ages. As usual Sabunim was right.
I will be sure to tell him so when I can walk again.