My real reason for being here is that I’m an ambassador for milk. Dairy in general, but milk in the main. Through some trick of light they consider me tall and say it often. Truthfully I’m no taller than many, and there’s even a yr7 girl who’s a inch shorter than me but also is conned. So I always say, drink milk and you’ll be as tall as me. The milk supplyship beached about the same time I did. “Soul milk” is says, I see on it’s roof, from the 3rd storey hallway above — midmorning.
Mrs chan or chun, I’m not really sure – on the desk next to me is in on the deal, but she forgets to drink hers. There were four little 200ml carts backed up on her desk. Yes, they do something heavy duty ultraheat or nuke it here – but no milk is s’posed to stand at room temp for up to four days. She pushed one on me — there were a lot of people around – what could I do? As ambassador, if I decline they lose faith.
I grinned and said loudly, probably too loudly in hindsight, “Sure Mrs.Chaan, I’ll drink that delicious milk”.
It’d chunked up pretty bad. I held my nose and had to squeeze the container flat to get the bulk of it out. I scoped a ninety percent rate of reassured facial expressions, but I’m sick as a dog now.

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I know I rag on the place a lot, but truth is, I’d do that anywhere. One thing that’s really good is that there’s an astonishingly small amount of broken glass on the street. A fella notices that kind of thing when he gets a new set of wheelz (see below). And it’s good to be able to leave aforementioned wheelz outside any old joint and know with 99.99% certainty (it’s a dead-cert) that they’ll be there when I come back out. I bought a bike-lock but there not much need for it. I don’t take it for granted that nothing’ll be pinched, but I’m yet to personally see any behaviour of that sort.
There’s a bigger bike than mine just leaning untethered against some cyclone-fence down on the street – it’s been there for half a week (including the heavy rain on saturday) and it’s not even near a house.
In Seoul the air quality ain’t fantastic this time of year, what with the gobi desert on holidays here, but by rights, a city of 12mil or more should be drowning in litter – yet there’s not that much of it at all really. Bucky was telling me that the govt was concerned that the people were generating too much garbage – and taking up too much landfill, so their reduction stratedgy was Take Away the Bins. They did – and funnily enough, it worked. It really is difficult to find a bin in the city.

*   *   *

And I sure as hell can’t complain. People are overwhelmingly, ridiculously nice to me. I can’t tell if it’s just Whitey, or if they’re just nice, full-stop — but from a ‘I am the centre of my own world’ POV, I don’t care which it is. I regularly go into joints and still can’t speak almost none of the language – and they are the ones who apologise when we don’t immediately understand eachother. Try and get that in Western Europe.
I got a 15buck pair of Levis the other day but before I’d even decided to get anything they were offering me coffee. Today I got a packet of crayons and they gave me a bit of dok (spongy rice cakey thing).

*   *   *

Total fanks to my Ma for sending the box thru full o da good shit:
– coffee pot. I don’t know what they do in Brazil, but as far as I know, the Italians are the best coffee makers in the world and Australia is lucky enough to have a whole bunch of Italians and therefore good coffee and coffee-making hardware. [Lengthy post due to first real caffiene buzuzz in ages.]
– Hubba Bubba – big bubbles, no troubles.
– blutak. There is no blutak in this country. Same and same with celophane — I need something to put over the inhumane lighting in this joint.
– deodourant – because unlike the locals, I do sweat.
– D.T. Suzuki’s Zen and Japanese Culture because it’s one of my fav books.

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