Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Days in Korea: 48 --- Pairs of socks worn: 0

That's right, I've worn no socks. I bought some cheapo foam flip flops at the beach while I was in Australia, and I've worn them since day 1 in Korea. I started because it was so hot when I arrived, and because tradition calls for one to remove their shoes upon entering a residence, i.e. dorm or house. Kicking off/stepping into flipflops is much easier than taking off/lacing up shoes every time I pass a threshold. I've got some sweet Chaco sandals coming soon which are quality sandals made for river rafting, hiking, outdoors stuff. The cheapo ones are starting to wear out. I'm not sure I can keep my record perfect through the winter, Pohang isn't Honolulu. It shouldn't get below freezing(often) even in December, so we'll see.

Everything is going normally, as usual. Before Chuseok, I put my cell phone battery in the freezer. Why? Lithium batteries live much longer if you put them in the freezer when they're not in use. A battery charged at 40% in a freezer loses only 2% capacity in a year, whereas a fully charged one in a drawer loses ten times that. See? I had though to do this ahead of time, but never bothered to put it into the freezer until just before Chuseok. I popped it in just before we left, slightly in a rush. I didn't bother to put it in a container or label it or anything. Stupid, I know- I told myself I'd do that when I got back. However, I discovered a few days after I got back that it was missing. I could get angry at whoever chucked my battery, but I can see how it could happen. On one hand, nobody should be touching other people's stuff in the freezer. On the other hand, somebody could have though that somebody just put a piece of trash in the freezer just for giggles. My cell phone is a piece of junk, but I plan to keep using it until it dies or I have some other convincing reason to switch. Thanks to it being a piece of junk, a new(ish) battery for it is $5 on ebay. Oooh... I should make sure that gets in the box with the sandals, as I definitely want to have a cell phone when I arrive at the airport in the US.

Speaking of coming back to the US, I'm looking for a place to stay for the Christmas break. Due to extra ticket costs and space issues at my parents apartment, I probably won't be staying with them over the break. I'm looking for people in TX who'd like a house guest for Christmas. I know several families that would gladly have me, but I'll see if anyone wants to volunteer before I invite myself.

In other news, I'm glad I got my room and board money out when I did, because the US dollar fell quite a bit in the past few weeks. When I came, 1 dollar = 941 won. Now, it's only 915 won. I don't know what's going on with the dollar, but something is messed up- Americans can't make jokes about Canadian money, as it's now worth more than ours. Looks like mediocrity is its own reward, America. We're getting edged out by motivated countries that don't put up with as much of the bureaucratic infighting that we're drowning in right now. I wonder if we'll ever recover, I'd hate to look back on history and see that America was just a flash, really great for a while but fizzled out quickly. America is a youngster compared to many other nations/cultures. Again, I'm wondering if I wouldn't be better off somewhere else. I think Satan has gotten too good of a grip on the US.

I'm thinking more about Australia. They're hiring like mad, especially in the mining sector. This sort of clicked when I remembered that the only school that offers a Master's program for welding engineers is the Colorado School of Mines. Am I thinking of going for a Masters? Maaaybe. Almost certainly not. I mean, it's not like I need a master's degree to improve my job prospects. Almost certainly not. If my goal is to get out the country by going to Australia, taking a master's program in the US doesn't make much sense. The way that lined up stood out to me, though.

Anyway, it's late and I need to go peek under the refrigerator before I order that new cell phone battery. Maybe it just fell out when somebody was getting at their food. Goodnight.
Edit: It was there. Either God put it there, or someone heard me talking about it and put it back. Maybe both.

Note to self: Send postcards to people. There, now it's public, it'd be embarrassing to forget now.

1 comment:

Caitlin said...

Hey Ned, more power to you. Personally, I think that going the whole semester without having to wear socks or shoes would be amazing. Wish we could do it here in MI.