27.4.09

no plan is a good plan- as long as you can live with it


the day approaches with no slowing down or speeding up- i will be en route to cross the big puddle called atlantic on saturday. over three weeks in the british soil. what i would be doing? detail wise i cant really tell you because i dont know yet!

it seems be the common theme of my life really: no major plan, willing to ride. it wasnt always like this. for instance, when i was young, my parents pretty much stayed in one particular area of seoul and i knew of: home, school, after-school places such as arts program at this arts school thing and piano lesson place. piano lesson was a memorable thing. once a week, my granny took me and my brother across the town or something; the highlight of the trip would be the dinner-out on the road! on the midpoint.

i even remember going through the 80s in south korea, which was stained heavily with blood of political protesters and riot police. the riot police roughly translates as 'combat-police.' and we would be crossing right across one of the big universities and the heart of the city. i remember once we were stuck in the open-protest where the polices and students were hacking on one another with clubs and baseball bats, stones thrown, tear gases everywhere, molotiv cocktails burning. the bus stopped and we had to get out and run to the subway station, so that we wont be hit with a stray objects. it was a total chaos, people were running and jumping over the turn-stalls of the subway entrance. the subway ticket dude wasnt even there. people running running running. tears everywhere, you cant really see a thing because of smoke, if not tears. that was crazy. even beside that, i remember the endless transcriptions/radio broadcast from the bus rides, about the politicians and their accusers at the court. dark days, but honestly, beside the once-a-week city crossing, i didnt really see or hear anything extraordinary.

with that huge sidetrack, im finally back on the thought that somehow somewhere along the way, things changed drastically and i, whether i planned or not, am constantly moving around. i remember being in graduate school, if there was a two-wks period and may be some cash (most trips i took were well under 1500 USD; i did pretty well i think), i would just take off to a random place during semester. mark, during semester, not break or anything. haha. i was notorious. the day i handed in my rough draft of dissertation, i promptly packed and left to scotland for two weeks the morning after. gone.

during the summer breaks, since 2000 or so, i was away at least once or twice to different places. i covered most of europe and all major cities and places of north america and some of mexico. and i remember being real anxious and kinda scared when i took the first trip over the atlantic. that was to the city of leipzig. i randomly put in an application to juilliard-leipzig summer academy and they accepted- and even offered money. so i went. and even then, i made sure that i had some time to kill around the town and berlin. since then it's been an addiction.

it's funny, i remember planning every day during the earlier trips- where to go, how to go, what to do, where to eat, where to stay, etc etc etc. minute mapping. i never looked at the map when i actually arrived to a place because i already knew the town in my head conceptually! crazy.

and now, well,

i just dont really care about planning. im comfortable enough to just go for a ride, whatever happens happens. the things that really matter would be being who i am and just like a puppy, sniffing around the new town. now the first thing i tend to do is after dropping my bag, just take a route and start to walk. eventually i will be back to square one. wonderful. and there are even towns that i can recall the smallest trick routes and magical corners- last time i went to venice, i was the guide (it was my fourth time), and we took the backward route to get to st. marco. taking the left-bound roads from the train station, instead of seeing all the tourist signs and the hoards of people heading to st. marco, you go through all the small residential alleys and magically, the square just appears. it's really crazy. you dont even see it until.. that last turn to the astronomical clock! then it hits you on the face, full force, with the famous two pillars, doge's palace, st. marco, the water, everything!

and it's a nice surprise to wander. not just regarding the physical route one takes, but also in context of journeys and thoughts. if i was practical and serious, i wouldve gotten a job, somehow, somewhere, a serious job, while prepping for graduation. probably teaching in some small 4 year junior college or something. but it wasnt exactly what i wanted. how do i know? whenever i thought about it, i had to think about it. it never jumped out to me, never really felt natural. it did, however, feel like a 'sensible' thing to do. gag. no thanks. i will go make my coffees now, at 9.25 CAD/hr. haha.

but then all worked out- well kind of. this year is the year of banff it seems, and i could be doing a lot worse. including stuck at some small town doing the same thing everyday and teaching the little kings and queens of nowheres (im not trying to downplay the small town universities; im just saying there are more kids who does not know what the world is really like out there, just because they havent been out. since they havent seen, they have no idea what kinds of things their peers at their age may be capable of. comfort and predictability can be nurturing or more often DEADLY). whats after banff? i have zero clue.

i was having a short chat with two other girls today. one still in school, the other is trying to find the job that she would like. and me, well, monkey's determined to stay as long as she can as: undetermined (planwise), unpredictable (i will go to england in may, why not), unconcerned (im sure i wont starve).

one of the girls mentioned that i am brave to do it. it made me ponder. it's not bravery. it's not that i want to be eclectic and different. that crazy artsy type. all i know for now is that i need to be at this place, this person, to continue to live. all over the place and doing million different things. me and mr. salamander had this idea that perhaps i should start a subblog about all the different things i do for money (the legal ones anyways). a picture of me at work. which work? whichever one that pays today! hahaha.

im just living as i need to. nothing to prove to anyone. i wish i could prove something to someone, but i know i cant. no one's gonna believe anything if they dont want to, whether i want to prove it or not. so im watching the time pass by, and i have no real markers to put on, to remind myself about where i am, where i should be and what i should do. im just floating. like a thing of dirt in spring wind. sometimes annoying as it sticks to your eyes while on bicycle, sometimes kind of festive watching them dance in the sunlight. what would i be doing in england? i cannot tell you the answers that you may want to know- i have some good general ideas like music, waiting for godot, probably walks, coals fires toasts laughter plants dear friends and people who i will befriend should i be so lucky. lots of dovetailing, conversing, brewing tea, exchanges of all kinds of things. things that will start another tangent. nothing set. nothing parallel. just organic. perhaps lots of curves. for the company who loves curves of all sorts.

that should do for now.
that's a good plan.

i wish the time would pass faster, but it'll go as fast as it always have and it always will. i laugh at my own silliness and look into the next day with an anticipation- not a painful or oppressive anticipation, but like fizz in champagne glass- small, fine and continuous. surely, the departure day approaches. hooray. soon. sooner. then it would be 'now.'

how nice.

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