Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Love, and Eating Dogs

Hello all.

Well, my life continues to be as crazily busy as ever, but I'm still pretty much loving it. My biggest problem at the moment is that I'm not getting enough sleep. 4-5 hours of sleep has become a typical night for me, and it's starting to wear me down like those stubby little erasers on my students' pencils.

Fortunately every weekend I get recharged by this beautiful little whirlwind of a human being. Claire continues to impress me in just about every possible way. She's sweet and caring when I'm stressed out, understanding when I'm tired, hilarious when I need something to laugh about, and brilliant in the most unimpeded, sensible, and downright adorable way. Her little aphorisms are really quite beautiful. We were having a discussion about homophobia the other day, and she said to me: "what people don't understand is that gay is just love. That's all." What a delightfully simple and profound way to put it. She teaches me that sometimes the simplest answers really are the best ones.

Last week I had to work on Saturday, which was my sixth day straight of working from morning till night, so Claire drove all the way from Hickland to pick me up. She had to work on Sunday but she called in sick so we could hole up in her apartment, make breakfast, leaf through her artwork, smoke a joint, laugh a lot, play with her dog, make out on the carpet, and simply enjoy each other's company. She never skips work, so the fact that she did it for me without my even so much as hinting that I wanted her to made me feel very special indeed.

I told her that my brother was obsessed with the Elton John song Benny and the Jets and she told me she had done a print based on it which was lying somewhere in the giant room full of her art. We spent nearly an hour sifting through her drawings, paintings, and charcoal sketches to find the print, which she gave to me so I could pass it along to the bro. It was most sweet of her. There's a picture of it to your right, surrounded by my brother's French homework.

I was teaching my students the word "taboo" in class today, and I asked them for examples of taboos in both Canadian and Korean culture. The first Korean example one of my students came up was "same-sex marriage," followed closely by "same-sex relationships," which he described as "impossible." It was hard to stifle my feelings on the subject, but I succeeded admirably in issuing a non-commital "interesting. Well, in Canada same-sex marriage is the law, but it's still a controversial subject." (gotta love my growing ability to fake neutrality).

This was followed by the Canadian example of "eating dog."
"Hmmm," I replied. "That's an excellent example. Eating dog is definitely taboo in Canada." Then I paused.
"Wait, you mean....you really do eat dogs in Korea?"
I had figured this kind of thing was the stuff of rumour and stereotype, or at the very least the sort of food they might feed only to the very poor. But maybe not.
"Yes," my student answered. "Dog is my favourite food."

Wow. Remind me never to move to Korea. I couldn't help but cringe at the idea of Claire's sweet little strawberry blond mutt lying on a plate next to kimchee and rice in some little village outside Seoul. Ugh.

Time for bed.

Hope all's well with you all. Sorry I have been so absent in Blogland lately. I'll make a reappearance as soon as I get the chance.



by Nome at 11:19 PM
9 mews

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