Anonymous of Holland            -A Dutchman in Korea-

    Helo welcom 2 my websight

As of Now – Prologue

Ik ben recentelijk begonnen aan een nieuw verhaal. Het was de bedoeling dat het een short story zou worden, maar het lijkt er op dat 'ie langer uit gaat vallen. Omdat er als gevolg een grotere kans bestaat dat hij nooit af zal komen, post ik alvast wat ik tot zo ver heb geschreven.
Also, this means this is just the first draft, so expect some things to change by the time I actually finish it.

As of Now
Prologue

When I opened my eyes she was there, as she always was, gently holding my hand.
"Are you alright?" she asked in that soft, caring voice that was not unlike what I'd imagine an angel to sound like. I didn't answer her. "Did you have a bad dream again?"
I shook my head.
I had though. Of course I had. I'd been having the same dream every night for months now. I was strapped down to a hospital bed, flinging and wailing my arms around; trying to keep two shadowy figures who I assumed must have been doctors away from me. In the end, I never could stop them. And they injected me with something that made me wake up covered in sweat, bolstering a massive headache.
She could probably tell I was lying just by looking at the transpiration on my forehead. Yet she didn't push the issue any further. That was one of the things I liked about her: she knew exactly how my mind worked. She knew that, if she let it go now, I would probably tell her about what happened at breakfast tomorrow while, if she kept nagging me about it right now, I'd probably be inclined not to bring it up again for weeks. It's quite rare to find a woman as clever as her, I thought to myself while she was soothingly rubbing my back, eyes closed and her head resting on my shoulder. Her long, brown hair flowed across my chest like a river.
"I, uh.." I started, hesitantly.
Her lips parted slowly and deliberately: "Shhh."
Her hand made her way from my back to my chest and she softly pushed me into the mattress. Her lips parted again, but this time she didn't make a sound. I kissed her passionately as I ran my hands down her slender body, losing myself within her deep brown eyes.

When I woke up again, she was still there, as she always was. She was standing in the opening connecting the bedroom to the living room of our apartment. Rent in Seoul was no joke, but between her office job and my semi-permanent spot doing the background art for a monthly manga, we got around quite decently. I had always felt embarrassed about not being the primary earner of the household, as Korea, much like many other countries, had an unwritten but zealously enforced social rule that the man of the house should be the one bringing home the money. In fact, there existed such a stigma on it that we've had to lie about my profession several times since we had gotten together. Soo-Min's mother is still under the impression that I'm a lawyer specializing in foreign affairs.
It's easy to tell them something like that, of course. To most Koreans, seeing a white man together with a Korean woman paints a picture almost automatically; something we didn't mind to play in to. I don't think Soo-Min was ever ashamed of me though. In fact she was the one who encouraged me to go on with it when Daewon, one of the biggest manga publishers in Korea, invited me for an interview. I didn't get the job I wanted, which was writing the script for one of their ongoing series, but apparently they saw something in the location sketches I brought with me in order to better pitch the story. Either that, or they were in desperate need of someone who could draw a tree. My own opinion tends to gravitate towards the latter, but Soo-Min has always believed in my ability to properly illustrate any surroundings, so I suppose there might be some truth in the former anyway.
"Hey!"
A slice of cucumber hit me right in the face.
"I won't let you fall back asleep!"
I grunted some indecipherable words as I stretched out my arms high above my head and one of them made an audible popping sound.
"Ugh..I'm getting old," I stated dryly, turning my head and hearing the familiar pops again.
I rested my head in my palm, rubbing the gunk from my eyes.
"Don't be silly," Soo-Min said energetically, and she walked back into the kitchen to finish making breakfast. "It'll be done in like five minutes, so hurry up!" she shouted on her way out.
I was getting old though. I was pushing forty and the unhealthy hours I was living due to my work had added another five years to my appearance. In stark contrast, Soo-Min was only twenty-six, beautiful, and in the prime of her life. I often wondered about what a girl like her could possibly see in a geezer like myself, but found myself scared to dwell on it for too long; afraid the dream might pop if I analyzed it too much. It didn't help that I couldn't list one thing about myself that would be worthwhile to anyone, of course. At least, nothing that didn't have something to do with Soo-Min in one way or another. I was proud that I was doing what I wanted to do with my life, but it was Soo-Min's job that enabled me to; I was proud of my apartment and all the exclusive items I had filled it with, but most of them were presents I got from Soo-Min; I was also proud of"? I just realized I wasn't actually listing anything about myself that I was proud of: just the things I had accomplished. Honestly, I don't think I had anything to be proud of. I was a good boyfriend to Soo-Min, of course, but anyone who had a girlfriend like that would no doubt try their best to keep her and treat her well. Hell, I don't even th"?
"Leon Oppa!"
I should stop thinking so much about the past and start paying some attention to the present, I thought.
"I'm coming!"
I jumped out of bed and threw on my bathrobe. It was a big, fuzzy, black robe with a Star Wars logo on the front and 'Star Wars: The Old Republic' embroided on the back. Yet another item I wouldn't have been able to afford if it weren't for Soo-Min's job.
As soon as I stepped out of the bedroom, the smell of curry penetrated my nostrils. How Koreans could start every day with a full hot meal was a mystery to me. I tried bunkering down some spoonfuls of the stuff every now and then, but my stomach always got upset almost instantly, resulting in me generally eating nothing but cereal while Soo-Min had to eat alone.
When I came to the dinner table, I was surprised. My bowl of cereal was already on the table, opposite of where my girlfriend was sitting. She smiled and pointed at the empty chair.
"Go on then, have a seat."
I looked at her and raised an eyebrow. "Hey…aren't you going to try to convince me to eat with you for 20 minutes first?" This is what she usually did. Understandably, of course, since it made her look like some giant glutton, feasting on a full meal while her boyfriend was just sitting there eating milk and cereal.
"Don't have the time today, honey, they need me at the office."
Wait…what day was it? I somehow had the feeling that it was Saturday, but I guess that wouldn't make sense since we'd never be up this early. But if it wasn't Saturday, then.. "Why am I up?" I said out loud.
Soo-Min gave me a puzzled look.
"What do you mean?"
"Don't you usually just go to work without waking me? What's special about today?"
"You don't remember?"
She got up, walked around the table, and put her hand on my cheek, caressing it softly.
"It's..kind of scary how you keep forgetting things, love."
I could hear her voice was breaki
ng up.
"Ah, I..uh..I'm sure it's nothing." I said in an obviously uncertain tone, "You know what I'm like: always forgetting things."
She started sobbing beside me. I put my arm around her waist and pulled her close.
"Soo-Min." I whispered to her, "I'm alright, don't worry. You don't need to burden yourself on Oppa's account. I just..you know..it's probably the stress."
I wiped her tears with my thumb and gave her a kiss on the forehead. She forced a small smile.

"I'm sorry," she exhaled timidly, "it's only natural for me to worry about you, oppa."
"I should be taking care of you, young lady, not the other way around. I feel fine."
Soo-Min sat back down and started eating her curry.
"But seriously…am I supposed to be doing something today?"

 my eyes she was there, as she always was, gently holding my hand.

"Are you alright?" she asked in that soft, caring voice that was not unlike what I'd imagine an angel to sound like. I didn't answer her. "Did you have a bad dream again?"

I
shook my head.

I had though. Of course I had. I'd been having the same dream every night for months now. I was strapped down to a hospital bed, flinging and wailing my arms around; trying to keep two shadowy figures who I assumed must have been doctors away from me. In the end, I never could stop them. And they injected me with something that made me wake up covered in sweat, bolstering a massive headache.

She could probably tell I was lying just by looking at the transpiration on my forehead. Yet she didn't push the issue any further. That was one of the things I liked about her: she knew exactly how my mind worked. She knew that, if she let it go now, I would probably tell her about what happened at breakfast tomorrow while, if she kept nagging me about it right now, I'd probably be inclined not to bring it up again for weeks. It's quite rare to find a woman as clever as her, I thought to myself while she was soothingly rubbing my back, eyes closed and her head resting on my shoulder. Her long, brown hair flowed across my chest like a river.

"I, uh.." I started, hesitantly.

Her lips parted slowly and deliberately: "Shhh."

Her hand made her way from my back to my chest and she softly pushed me into the mattress. Her lips parted again, but this time she didn't make a sound. I kissed her passionately as I ran my hands down her slender body, losing myself within her deep brown eyes.

 

 

When I woke up again, she was still there, as she always was. She was standing in the opening connecting the bedroom to the living room of our apartment. Rent in Seoul was no joke, but between her office job and my semi-permanent spot doing the background art for a monthly manga, we got around quite decently. I had always felt embarrassed about not being the primary earner of the household, as Korea, much like many other countries, had an unwritten but zealously enforced social rule that the man of the house should be the one bringing home the money. In fact, there existed such a stigma on it that we've had to lie about my profession several times since we had gotten together. Soo-In's mother is still under the impression that I'm a lawyer specializing in foreign affairs.

It's easy to tell them something like that, of course. To most Koreans, seeing a white man together with a Korean woman paints a picture almost automatically; something we didn't mind to play in to. I don't think Soo-In was ever ashamed of me though. In fact she was the one who encouraged me to go on with it when Daewon, one of the biggest manga publishers in Korea, invited me for an interview. I didn't get the job I wanted, which was writing the script for one of their ongoing series, but apparently they saw something in the location sketches I brought with me in order to better pitch the story. Either that, or they were in desperate need of someone who could draw a tree. My own opinion tends to gravitate towards the latter, but Soo-In has always believed in my ability to properly illustrate any surroundings, so I suppose there might be some truth in the former anyway.

"Hey!"

A slice of cucumber hit me right in the face.

"I won't let you fall back asleep!"

I grunted some indecipherable words as I stretched out my arms high above my head and one of them made an audible popping sound.

"Ugh..I'm getting old," I stated dryly, turning my head and hearing the familiar pops again.

I rested my head in my palm, rubbing the gunk from my eyes.

"Don't be silly," Soo-In said energetically, and she walked back into the kitchen to finish making breakfast. "It'll be done in like five minutes, so hurry up!" she shouted on her way out.

I was getting old though. I was pushing forty and the unhealthy hours I was living due to my work had added another five years to my appearance. In stark contrast, Soo-In was only twenty-six, beautiful, and in the prime of her life. I often wondered about what a girl like her could possibly see in a geezer like myself, but found myself scared to dwell on it for too long; afraid the dream might pop if I analyzed it too much. It didn't help that I couldn't list one thing about myself that would be worthwhile to anyone, of course. At least, nothing that didn't have something to do with Soo-In in one way or another. I was proud that I was doing what I wanted to do with my life, but it was Soo-In's job that enabled me to; I was proud of my apartment and all the exclusive items I had filled it with, but most of them were presents I got from Soo-In; I was also proud of"? I just realized I wasn't actually listing anything about myself that I was proud of: just the things I had accomplished. Honestly, I don't think I had anything to be proud of. I was a good boyfriend to Soo-In, of course, but anyone who had a girlfriend like that would no doubt try their best to keep her and treat her well. Hell, I don't even th"?

"Leon Oppa!"

I should stop thinking so much about the past and start paying some attention to the present, I thought.

"I'm coming!"

I jumped out of bed and threw on my bathrobe. It was a big, fuzzy, black robe with a Star Wars logo on the front and 'Star Wars: The Old Republic' embroided on the back. Yet another item I wouldn't have been able to afford if it weren't for Soo-In's job.

As soon as I stepped out of the bedroom, the smell of curry penetrated my nostrils. How Koreans could start every day with a full hot meal was a mystery to me. I tried bunkering down some spoonfuls of the stuff every now and then, but my stomach always got upset almost instantly, resulting in me generally eating nothing but cereal while Soo-In had to eat alone.

When I came to the dinner table, I was surprised. My bowl of cereal was already on the table, opposite of where my girlfriend was sitting. She smiled and pointed at the empty chair.

"Go on then, have a seat."

I looked at her and raised an eyebrow. "Hey…aren't you going to try to convince me to eat with you for 20 minutes first?" This is what she usually did. Understandably, of course, since it made her look like some giant glutton, feasting on a full meal while her boyfriend was just sitting there eating milk and cereal.

"Don't have the time today, honey, they need me at the office."

Wait…what day was it? I somehow had the feeling that it was Saturday, but I guess that wouldn't make sense since we'd never be up this early. But if it wasn't Saturday, then.. "Why am I up?" I said out loud.

Soo-In gave me a puzzled look.
"What do you mean?"

"Don't you usually just go to work without waking me? What's special about today?"

"You don't remember?"

She got up, walked around the table, and put her hand on my cheek, caressing it softly.

"It's..kind of scary how you keep forgetting things, love."

I could hear her voice was breaking up.

"Ah, I..uh..I'm sure it's nothing." I said in an obviously uncertain tone, "You know what I'm like: always forgetting things."

She started sobbing beside me. I put my arm around her waist and pulled her close.

"Soo-In." I whispered to her, "I'm alright, don't worry. You don't need to burden yourself on Oppa's account. I just..you know..it's probably the stress."
I wiped her tears with my thumb and gave her a kiss on the forehead. She forced a small smile.

"I'm sorry," she exhaled timidly, "it's only natural for me to worry about you, oppa."

"I
should be taking care of you, young lady, not the other way around. I feel fine."

Soo-In sat back down and started eating her curry.

"But seriously…am I supposed to be doing something today?"

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This entry was posted on 11 February 2011 by in Original Content, Stories.

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From #temples to #churches.

#church #Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul #religion #Christian #Christianity #cross #Korean #spooky #spoopy #filter #woods #교회 #무서워 #서울 #기독교 I had a great time working with #SBS on their new program #내방안내서 in the beautiful #Mihwangsa #temple. I'm sure that @zazimusic has made @haemin_sunim proud with their song based on his book, #멈추면비로소보이는것들.
며칠동안 #미황사 에서 시간을 보내는 게 큰 인상을 주었고 만난 사람들 너무 친절하게 챙겨서 감사하는 말 밖에 못 한다.
다들 #수고했어.

#Korea #SouthKorea #tv #filming #television #tvshow #Koreantv #Buddhism #Buddha #traditional #절 #불교 #텔레비전 #쇼 #촬영 #버라이어티 #발송 I came back to #Seoul yesterday. Waking up to the sound of cars passing under my window and people shouting instead of the sound of the waves rolling over the beach and bugs chirping, I realized again that a part of me hates this city, no matter how much I love it. Now I understand why #혜민스님 makes the trip back to #미황사 so often even though he lives in Seoul as well.

For people living in a big city like this, it's important to #slowdown and not get caught and lose yourself in the flow of things. Life in the #countryside and in a #temple is so different, so much more #empty, but so much more fulfilling.

#Korea #SouthKorea #Mihwangsa #color #peace #reflection #religion #Buddhism #Buddha #tranquility #traditional #절 #평화 #불교 #해남 #108배 #전통 #역사 #생각 #자성 #내이야기 #미황사 에서 사흘밖에 안 보냈는데, 그래도 #생각 을 많이 바뀌었다. #성찰 하면서 내 한국 생활도 생각하고 한국 사람들의 #촌 을 생각하면서 왜 한국이랑 사랑에 빠졌는지 다시 깨달았어요. 한국에서 사는 것이 선물이니까.. 잘 살아야지.

#절라도 #절라남도 #절 #평화 #불교 #해남 #혜민스님 #Korea #SouthKorea #Temple #Shrine #tranquility #peace #reflection #religion #Buddhism #Buddha #혜민스님 의 #미황사 에서 #멈추면비로소보이는것들 많다. #절 의 #평화 를 느끼고 마음을 비우면서 깊은 생각도 하고 한국 생활을 #감사 하는 생각도 많고.. 한국이 역시 #아름다운 나라입니다. 
Another gorgeous #sunset at #Mihwangsa #temple.
I am so thankful to #SBS and 혜민스님 for letting us stay here.
Just like the title of his book, there are many things you can only see when you #slow down. Staying at the temple and talking with the staff has taught me once again that Korea is an amazing country, and I couldn't be happier to be here. 
#nofilter #Korea #SouthKorea #island #traditional #tranquility #nature #wood #meditation Everything is more beautiful in #Jeollanamdo, even a #sunset.

#nature #Korea #SouthKorea #sea #island #절라도 #절라남도 #바다 #섬 #자연 #일몰
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