I lost seven thousand won today…
I have officially turned one year older since my last post. I am no longer a quarter of a century old. Though, to be quite honest, I often forget how old I am due to Koreans having a different system of keeping track of their age. They are one-years-old when they are born, and then everyone turns a year older in the new year. Which means if I were to go by the Korean system I would be 27, and on January 1st I would turn 28? Yeah, I still don’t get it… there are times in this country when someone asks me how old I am (trust me, it happens a lot) and I have to think about it really hard, because sometimes I can’t remember.
I don’t think I will be forgetting my 26th birthday anytime soon though. Not only did fb give my secret away to my students (I may or may not sometimes have fb up during my break times at school… I am a hard worker, leave me alone!) when an invite to an event popped up and said, “Melody’s 26th Birthday!” … “Umm… Ms. Welton, I think I know how old you are.” I turned to see one of my girls smiling at me as she got out her notebook to start her morning work. MAN, I was able to keep it a secret ALL YEAR. Back to “not only did” (top of the paragraph), but I also had an amazing two full days celebrating my birthday (times zones, parties, love it), which is so cool, who wants just one day? It should be your birthday week!
There was this one summer back in college when I had to go home and live with the parents again (oh, the dorms…). I found a way to cope with my loss of independence (okay, my parents were very trusting, I really didn’t lose that much) through bike riding. I met my friend, Chris Howarth (you are so cool), every morning to go bike riding down a trail that ran through the heart of our small town.
I met him on a borrowed bike from the fam, since my purple ten-speed bike from my younger years always had something wrong with it. The day after I bought it I am not sure if a sibling was jealous or a hummingbird was really mad, but it had what could be described as sharp nail marks all down its brand new painted surface. It made me so sad to look at. It also had a flat tire for about five years and I didn’t know how to change it.
After that summer of bike riding love I took a bike my dad found in one of his empty apartments (that he rents out) back with me back to Kalamazoo with the hopes of riding more, then I realized how dangerous the area I lived in was (a gang fight may or may not have broken out over my car, men leaping, me screaming, fun times). That dream died.
Then I came to Korea. Last summer I discovered that you can rent bikes near the Han River by the hour. I made different people go riding with me every Saturday (for some reason the same people didn’t want to spend EVERY saturday waking up early to beat the crowd…weird!), it is my ultimate favorite thing to do in Seoul.
I kept telling myself that I needed to buy a bike. I wanted to buy a bike. I found the PERFECT bike. I named her driving miss daisy (I like uncapitalized names, don’t hate). I took a picture of her on my iPhone (which has successfully been returned to me! did you hear??? LOVE KOREA) and showed anyone who would look at me. This is her! And yet… I didn’t go buy her. I thought about the college loans I still had to pay off, and my next credit card bill. And so, I didn’t buy her.
THEN I GOT HER! Along with many other amazing gifts from family and friends (my awesome plaid scarf from a best friend back home who had no idea I was doing a plaid themed birthday, a colorful apron from mama k -by the way, what are you trying to say? I need to learn how to cook?!- beautiful jewelry my momma bought for me to support women who made them in Uganda, an inspirational artistic book from my sista, cards, flowers, pencil cases, magnets, nail kits… SHOOT what more could a girl ask for?).
I am ridiculously blessed!
the seven thousand won fell out of my back pocket when I took driving miss daisy out for her first spin today (it finally stopped raining!). I was looking forward to buying some pizza school pizza with that, but totally worth it ^^.