Some pleasures exceed othersJune 19, 2007
As my time is wrapping up here in Korea, maybe earlier than I imagined, I’m buoyed by the fact that I have a home to return to. This is a circumstance I wasn’t so sure of. Now, as a vagabond, I should embrace the unknown a little better, I know. But… let’s just say that being torn out of these textured surroundings will be a little bit easier of a task if I have some sort of comfortable fabric to wrap myself in when it happens. Which is to say, I’ve officially begun mental preparations for leaving. Part of it has been doing the opposite of what Dominica is doing… For each thing I notice that I love each day, I’m trying to come up with something I don’t like so much. (today: I cannot stand how horribly drivers disrespect crosswalks/redlights – crossing the street is extremely dangerous, greenlights mean nothing, and the vaunted humanism of Korean Confucianism obviously does not extend to pedestrians).
Funny thing is, I’ve lately come upon some really nice new things here. A restaurant we affectionately call “the commune,” a coffee shop with air conditioning and wireless internet right around the corner, and last but most: CutiePie.
I’ve tried to befriend each and every cat I’ve come across in my 10 some months here. The only ones I’ve been blessed enough to touch are those obviously domesticated and living within someone’s shop. Basically, they can’t escape even if they want to. But then the other day, something magical happened on the way home from lunch at the “commune.” I saw two lovely cats sunning themselves on the wall next to the church behind my house. Entranced as I am in such occasions, I approached, mouth agape in childish giddiness. Dominica laughed as she always does, giggling at my hopelessness, and begging me to let the poor things sunbathe in peace. We both know well that cats really, really despise people here, perhaps even more than the people despise the cats, and that’s saying a lot. Their evasive technique is but one sign of the disdain they suffer from the two-legs, more tragic are the ever present absent tails, often times just gnarled nubs, testifying to some little shit’s devious deeds.
I understood Dominica’s compassion for these wee ones, but, childlike raffamuffin that I am, my catcuddling instincts are beyond my control. That, and I sensed something different in these guys. . . and I was right. Of the two, the one in back raced off, then stopped and looked on with curiosity. But the one closest to me merely slinked away slowly, with minimal effort. This alone was a first! Coming closer, I began to click my tongue, and the next thing you know, she starts walking my way. Success! I embraced her and stroked her bony back. My first befriended kitty. She’s cute, so I named her CutiePie… and the next day I came by the same place and got her some tuna. I haven’t seen her since and don’t know if I will again, but we’ll always have our two sweltering afternoons together. Sigh….