The Times They Are A Changin'

One of my favorite novels is Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. In the beginning of the story Lee describes the heavy, sticky summers of Maycomb, Alabama with truly delicious prose. "Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o'clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum." Ah, the romance of the written word. The summers in South Korea are ( I imagine) equally heavy and sticky as those in Alabama. But instead of gently wilting collars and sweat that smells like grandma's pastries, there is incorrigibly flat hair and shiny skin that I have determined to be nature's snarky nod to my circa 1990s adolescence. And heaven knows I'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would use the phrase 'soft teacake' to describe me after a summer's day in Seoul. More like a $1.50 slice of Costco cheese pizza. Gooey. Greasy. Crispy around the edges.

All of this to say that as August comes to a close, the oppressive heat and humidity are packing up their bags and heading for some other destination with residents they can happily beleaguer. And I am relieved. With the cooler months I will be better about my marathon training (can you REALLY expect me to run in Dante's 7th circle of hell?). I also anticipate radiate skin and fabulous hair. Lastly, I would like to report that this changing of seasons marks my sixth month anniversary. Six months in a country that has challenged me and soothed me in mysterious and not so mysterious ways. I feel morphed somehow from the person I was 5 1/2 months ago nervously waiting in the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to the person I am now sitting in front of my computer screen in Bundang click click clicking away. Of course that morphing is inevitable, and I embrace it. I would embrace it more, though, if it came with a free slice of pizza and a diet coke.