Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wake up Andy Warhol

In January there was this great exhibit in Insadong called "Wake up Andy Warhol". I had no idea who that artist was until I came accross this:

It is basically one of the emblems of pop art/culture in the 60s.

Warhol would paint things and people that defined American culture - from Marilyn Monroe or John Lennon, to a bottle of Coca-Cola.

"What's great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too.

A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it."
– The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: (From A to B and Back Again), 1975

It was interesting to see that exhibit in South Korea, in the middle of a buddhist/gift shops area.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Blood diamonds

Have you ever heard about blood diamonds? Did you know it involves the mass killing of populations, trainning of child soldiers and slavery so that people can say "I love you" with a diamond ring?

December 2003. Montreal.

I was riding the subway with Carmen - a Rwandese friend studying politics with me at McGill.

We had a heated debate over world issues and she suddenly rose her voice. People were staring at us. Back then, I felt embarrassed. Now I think she should have shouted. I just had no idea what she was talking about.

"How come the Ivory Coast is exporting diamonds when there are NONE over there?"

True. Remember the civil war in Sierra Leone? The bloodbath of the 90s?

What about Liberian president Charles G. Taylor and the RUF insurgency in Sierra Leone? Rings a bell? If not, read about it. I am right now. Seriously. It's totally inhumane. Like so many things in this world, granted.

Tonight I saw the most powerful movie ever produced on the topic. I was crying so hard, even after it was over. "Blood Diamonds". They really are.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Run baby, run

This is ridiculous. I spent the whole week looking forward to Friday night, just to get home, go to bed early and get some rest. I caught a cold and I taught from 9am until 8pm/10pm every single day. That's not even including class prep, writing exams and grading.

AND I had open classes on Tuesday and Wednesday - that's when the parents attend the class and then you talk to each of them about their kid. A real blast. So I'm officially wiped.

Yet I went out to dinner and bought the most delicious dark choco cookies "Le Petit Ecolier".

The brand brought back so many memories. Now that I think about it, last year was really great! Except of course that I used to eat like a pig when I was in France. Really.

Bread every day. Cheese; goat, mamirolle, brebiou, brie, camembert, bleu, comté.
Huge steaks. Even wild boar in a pear sauce.
Table d'hote almost every night.
Incredible desserts such as Charlotte a la chataigne and countless coulis.
Les petits lardons partout.
And of course the addictive saucisson and patés.
Smoked salmon with cream cheese.
Moules et frites.

We drank like you wouldn't believe. Vins d'alsace was my favourite. And let’s not forgot the tasty Pineau des Charentes. And beer. - although girls don't really drink beer in traditional France. French people just drink wine. The school would provide wine for lunch in the teachers' room. Yes. I know.

I recall riding my scooter through the breathtaking sceneries of the Mountains of Ardeche. A 20 minutes ride every day, with my visor wide open even during winter... just to feel the fresh breeze on my face.

My job was easy and everyone praised me. We'd meet for l'appéro amost every night with Cedric, Paolo, Sylvain and JP. It was so much fun. Cedric would cook cajun food.

And Patrick and I would have these endless nights, philosophing until the morning came. It was harmless and just so nice.

People would take me to the mountains. Cedric, JP and I had a memorable camping at the Chateau de Rochebonne - on top of a mountain, sitting by an abandoned castle, loving the view of the valley while enjoying a bonfire and some delicious saucisses merguez. What more could I ask for?

I remember walking all the way home a couple of times. It took me about two hours and a half. I had to go through mountains and the forest. Just me. Silence. Tress. Nature. Lovely. I'd get back to the moulinage all cold and happy. Made me feel lighter.

Got lost a couple of times. Some hunters took me back home. The same hunter that had killed a wild boar on our property and left a bloodbath behind them. They brought up a piece of meat in a plastic bag... all warm and bloody.

Roxy was the best. She was the love of my life! The most adorable Labrador in the world. She'd come with me every time I went for a walk. Which was every day. She guarded the huge mansion (it was gigantic!) when I was there all by myself.

Every night i'd go for a walk. There were no lights on the street. It was a small village with only one big road in the middle. We'd walk for at least an hour in the dark. First on the road, then we'd come back through the dark woods.

It's funny how I knew my way by heart. It was dark as hell and yet I could tell when there was a huge rock on the ground, a small river or anything, really. It was this big moment of silence before going to bed. I miss this so much.

Imagine going from this to Seoul. A cold city filled with skyscrapers. Strangers. In St-Christol everyone knew each other.

And the trips, oh the trips! France is probably one of the only countries in this world that has so many holidays!

I've been to Barcelona and partied with some German students on spring break and this cute guy studying medicine in Philly.

I went to Italy with my students and I literally acted like one of them.

I spent a week-end in London with Annabella and this was awesome. I also went to Paris a couple of times to hang out with her and we always had so much fun! Especially that night at her friend's place - this huge and classy house "en banlieue" where we stayed up until 7am. Good times!

And then this week skiing in the French Alps for New Year's! Oh my! Did we celebrate. And the sceneries were breathtaking! I'll never forget those.

As I was about to leave, Corinne lent me the keys to her apartment in Montpellier. I spent a few days there. Her place was by the beach. Oh it was incredible!

There’s just so many memories. So many. It makes me smile just to think about it. My last day teaching there my students took me outside and all my students showed up. They had brought cake, soft drinks and a farewell card and we played Jeopardy. They were adorable. Especially Sarah, the American student there. She’s just lovely!

Wow. I just shared a big chunk of my life here. I feel good. Yet it seems pointless.

I should go to bed now. Did I tell y’all that Danny got me this keychain with the emblem of Jejudo? How cute is this kid?!

This week-end I don’t wanna do anything. Last week-end was hectic – went out with Sunny on Friday night, dentist Saturday morning, shopping in the afternoon, dinner and movies with Ben that night, Sunday had lunch with Erika and then went to the gym, had dinner with Sunny and ended up grading and writing tests until midnight.

Ok here’s my list for this week-end:
- sleep in
- learn some Korean (I bought books and a cd last week-end!!)
- clean my place and wash the dishes
- meet up with Erika to plan our trip to Busan (for Lunar New year!)
- go to the gym with Kyungah and maybe the movies after
- grade papers and diaries
- play guitar and piano
- Catch up with my emails (sorrrryyyyy!!!) and read my bro’s blog
- Get over my cold

Ok. Ok. Ok. Too much. Computer… can’t process… need…… sleep…..aaaaaaaah!! Run baby, run!
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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

It's not rape; it's marriage!

"Should husbands be allowed to rape their wives? Yes, says the [Thai] Justice Ministry. And for the sake of gender equality, it will allow the wives to rape their husbands, too."

"This draft is the ministry's response to years of pressure from human rights groups to redress gender violence and inequality in Thai law. It ends up being farcical because of the ministry's mechanical approach to justice and its refusal to tackle the heart of the matter, which is the oppression of women."

Check out the article (and the Bangkok Post) here

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

US Soldier raping an old Korean woman

My friend Erika has this line she tells guys in bars and it goes a little something like this: "Military? Don't even bother!"

Remember a previous post on foreign loosers in Korea? I quickly described the night scene in Seoul and how (too) many wasted non-koreans act like total assoholes while trying the fuck the whole world. It seriouly disgusts me. Plus it ruins it for everyone else.

So guess what happened last week! A 23-year-old US Soldier raped and beated up a 63-year-old Korean woman. In the morning. In Mapo neighborhood. How sick is that?!

I know, I know, similar shit probably happens every minute around the world ... what is wrong with people?!
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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Veni, vidi, vixi

My brother is the most awesome person I know and I love him so much. He's sooooo smart, funny, open-minded, cute, artistic, nature-lover, sensitive... he's got it all! Moreover, he is a fabulous writer and for y'all francophones out there I urge you to check out his blog that he just started

He's in Bangkok right now.

It would take forever to tell y'all about him but he's a 28-year-old man with a wonderful heart and a beautiful mind.

Has done internships in Kenya, Mali, worked for the European Union in Brussels, worked on an environmental project in Mexico, was part of the supervising team for the last elections in Haiti. Smart as he is, he's also done an internship at the National Assembly in Quebec and that's not even the start of it. He writes wonderfully and he knows so much about everything... it always blows my mind. And it will blow yours too.
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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

One world at a time

That's what Thoreau answered when asked about the hereafter. Not bad, eh?

Today I saw the most hilarious thing! Well, Korea is always a surprising place. And I love it because Koreans are SO proud of everything that has anything to do with their culture! Except maybe the family relationships cauz parents are often control freaks in denial. But they always do so for the good of their offspring.


They just finished building those HUGE Hyperion towers in front of my school and like 5mins walk from my place (remember Nico how impressed you were by the enormous buildings when you got off the subway station?) There's multi-colored lights coming from the ground at night... it feels like walking on little rainbow drops. Seriously.

They're luxurious flats that cost over three million bucks a piece (yes, I live in the neighborhood that has the 98th tallest building in the world and... it's apartments!) and/so of course they're opening all sorts of commercial stores like Starbucks, Purely Decadent (not bad... soy ice cream), etc.

And today there was a big opening for a Gimbap place. Gimbap is Korean sushi; vegetables, ham and eggs rolled up in rice and seaweed. But you should have seen how they celebrated for the occasion!

There were ballons outside, lights and two chicks dressed pretty sexy, dancing and singing for the WHOLE DAY! It's like minus two outside. They were there when we left work at 8pm. And they're dancing their ass off!! I mean dirty dancing, but kinda trashy too because... well it was on the street. I was shocked.

First of all because we never see this in America (and by America I mean North America! Sorry USA but it's quite ethnocentric to refer to yourself as "America"!!!) And just because it's kinda degrading for women. I'll post a video soon. Although it's bad quality, you'll see what I mean.

There were also a bunch of flowers at the entrance of the store with giant ribbons on each bouquet.

I learned that this is typically Korean too. When you friend opens a new store, you send a gigantic bouquet with your name on a pink ribbon. It's a kind of showing off, like "look how how many friends i've got! Come into my shop because if I know that many people, then I must sell good stuff!"

Korea is all about appearances. Shallow, yes, but that's life.

I also discovered last week-end that Korean drycleaners/dressmakers are like little Chinese sweatshops: the place is tiny and there touns of people working in there, right next to each other. That was in Edae but Kyungah told me it's like that everywhere. Shocking.

Saturday night we shot some pool with Jin, Ben and Rachelle but we hard the hardest time finding a regular pool table; Korean pool tables don't have pockets! Well, it's probably this game where you only have red and whites balls, but anyway, we found ONE in a room filled with maybe 10 tables. And those places don't seel mekju (beer) so we could only have sodas.

Oh and now I have proof that some Korean children take a bus home at the language academy at MIDNIGHT on friday night! Took a picture of one of the bus, Highest21 is the name of the school. Can you believe this?! I complain if I have to leave school at 10pm!

Tonight we had sushi for Christine's Birthday and now i'm totally full. Sucks cauz I'm getting up early tomorrow again and teaching until 10pm. Arrrrg.

Oh and this private i'm teaching at school (Jake, from Sunny's class)... well, we met again today and he's really adorable but I think he has a learning disability.

It sucks because his mom told the school that after our first session he came home totally confident that he could read! She said he wouldn't let go of his English book and she said he's gaining self-confidence because I encourage him a lot. Good.

But today I got the feeling he's immediately forgetting everything as soon as we're done with it. Nevertheless, it's priceless to see his face when he gets the right answer!

He's so funny this little chubby kid, stretching out between two yawns while his big belly came out of his shirt and he was drueling like a baby. He's just a kid. I don't know. I hope I'll be able to help him a little. Sunny said everyone is making fun of him in class. That's awful.

But hey! I carry the sun in a golden cup, the moon in a silver bag...

Which reminds me: I recently came across pictures of my "journey" in France last year and I was totally AMAZED to see the breathtaking sceneries of my trip with Patrick in the French Alps for New Year's!!!

Is it just me, or that's how paradise must look like?!

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The sun in a golden cup

Eric and Danny always have this effect on me. They're those 11-year-old boys I teach from 7:30pm until 10pm on Tuesday/Thursday; they just make me feel so peaceful.

It's their attitude, so naive and so careless but yet interested. They're in school from 8am until 3pm. Then they quickly grab a bite to eat and head to their grammar class which starts at 4pm. They finish their day with me. I really feel for them. But they are so adorable and they listen to me and participate in an active, yet quiet way. I just really like being with them.

My ABC class is also enjoyable because those kids don't speak English at all so you can feel everything through their eyes! It's just fills my heart with a lot of emotions!

They're so cute, pointing at the door and screaming "DOORE!!", looking at me with question marks in their eyes when they're puzzled, bursting into laughter when I make my impression of a bee to remind them of the sound "Z", looking all proud and throwing out their chest as they approve of my decision to give them a hundred!

But actually I love all those little monsters because each of them brings something to my class and the complicity we have established is priceless.

So tonight when I heard Carla Bruni's new album after class, I was in a fantastic mood, dancing around in my apartment. You may recall her first album and the song that made her famous
Quelqu'un m'a dit
Que tu m'aimais encore
Serait-ce possible alors?

Well this one is entirely in English and i'm totally hung up on the groovy beat of "Those dancing days are gone"
Come, let me sing into your ear
Those dancing days are gone
I carry the sun in a golden cup
The moon in a silver bag

There's just so many things going on in my head right now. Two 4-day holidays coming up in February so I gota find out on which beach we'll lay our sore bodies on (intensive is killing me!) Moreover, I've got less than 5 months left here so I must figure out what i'm going to do. And that's tormenting me.

Then there's all the existential questions, trying to define life and myself. I know! In order to be zen I must stop clustering my brain with those pointless questions, but it's just torturing me.

Plus I just feel really good right now so my mind is racing.

Last night I had quite an extensive dream in which grandma appeared and I hugged her and it felt so great. She totally reassured me. I know it was my imagination, but it was comforting.

The funny thing is that when I asked her why she took so long to tell me she's alright, she tried to reason me, saying how much fun she's having up there, chatting with old friends and catching up with both her husbands.

And then she said that she's the president of the association of the dead people (or something like that) and that was hilarious because until the day she died, she was the president of an association defending the rights of the elderly and she couldn't stop bragging about it! So I woke up crying like a moron while smiling through my tears.

Sarang hae, je vous aime

ps: excellent book for the francos out there, "Lady L." by Romain Gary
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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Between two crunches

I just got one question: What the heck is up with cell phones at the gym?!

I'm running on the treadmill and here she is, right next to me, walking and speaking on her handphone.

Then I turn around and that guy's cell is ringing.

As i'm running while watching a soccer game and listening to music (pointing at the irony here), I am once again distracted by the loud voice of what appears to be a big shot businessman arguing on his phone.

Are we soooo important, so indispensable, that we can't let the machine get the message while we're trapped on a room full of sweaty people for about 2 hours?! This is just incredible.

What's also incredible is to get hit on by very muscular Korean staff at the gym.

Here I am, all covered with sweat and out of breath, my pink headband literally soaking, trying to get my tighs in shape, and both trainers come around.

What's your name? How old are you? Between two leg movements I answer. Don't blame me for not entertaining them (although I probably am...), but they keep going. I'm just shy to have a conversation in that condition. Where are you from? You're really beautiful.

I don't know why, and maybe it's just me, but being told that i'm pretty in those moments doesn't sound charming at all... no matter how sexy and fit the guy is! And no matter if there's two of them....

Once again I realize that being white in Korea is indeed a ticket to heaven. You're beautiful even at your worst. I personally think Koreans are beautiful, but that's of course subjective ;)
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Thursday, January 11, 2007

L'innocence de l'âme

When I got to Seoul I had a purpose, a reason to be here: I was going to teach English and discover a strange city, a different culture. Moreover, there were indications all over the place - restaurant signs, pharmacies, hospitals, bus stops.

But when I was born, no one told me what i'm supposed to do or what's the purpose of life. Maybe I was told, and then forgot?

What if i'm doing the wrong thing? What if i'm not doing what I'm supposed to do?

Why are some things so hard? Why would the almighty "test" us? When I test my students, I give them at least a week notice and they know what they're supposed to do. They have the tools to study.

It's not fair. And what if nothing is fair? And there's nothing we can do about it?

Why is everything so mysterious?

We are so powerless. We will all die in the end. Everything is a mystery. Everything is ephemeral. We are a whole bunch of ignorants.

And tonight I miss my grandma so much. I know I couldn't see her even if she was still alive because I'm so far from home but the thought that i'll never see her again literally ripped my heart when it crossed my mind while teaching tonight. It makes me feel completely vulnerable and weak.

Her being alive gave sense to our memories because we shared them and we could recall them together. All those moments when no one was around and we talked, laughed, argued, everything.

But with her gone, it's just me who remembers and no other memories will ever be built with that person. And yet those memories feel so incomplete.

What I wouldn't give to just sit next to her, to see her smile brightening up her face, to listen to her babbling about the past, rambling on about her accomplishments.

It's just cruel.
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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mona Lisa's smile

I must admit it: buying this dog would be cruel and selfish. It was love at first sight, yes, but I shouldn't let passion ruin this puppy's life ;) After all, i'd have to give him up a few months later. I can't do that.

Meanwhile it made me realize that I REALLY wish I had a house in the countryside with my dog and my "significant other";) Right now I only got an apartment in Seoul and living in a big city is too "cold" for me. And i'm all alone.

Speaking of which, the weather is getting cooler and we got a minus 3 this morning. Normally I wouldn't know this but I started teaching intensive classes on January 2nd so, until the end of the month, I have to be at work at 9am and teach until 8 or 10pm. I'm really busy with grading, class prep, writing tests. ..

Plus I had an open class for my ABC class on Tuesday and it was exhausting! On the bright side the parents totally loved me and one of them actually said that her daughter used to hate English academies but now she's just in love with me! That really made my day.

Lately i've been hung up on "The Legends of Soul" with Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding, it's just awesome! Makes me wanna sing my soul out every single night!!! Need my whisky and cigarette mama, oh mama!!!

My membership at Seo's gym ends this week so I went for the last time on Tuesday and got my stuff. Twyla talked me into joining the "Apple Gym" and I went tonight... oh my!

First of all i'm really excited because there doesn't seem to be creepy guys that might follow me around. Moreover, the gym is awesome and so huge and high-tech (like 50 treadmils with a tv on each one, same for the 40 stationary bikes)! Am feeling really good about this.

But man! Being WHITE in Korea is just a ticket to heaven... seriously! People treat me so nice, I get compliments all the time ("oooooh!!! beautiPul!!!!") and free stuff and discounts... While I definitely enjoy it all because it makes me feel good about myself, I don't think it's fair to Koreans...

I got the big discount for the gym, but they wanted to charge 100 000 extra wons to my Korean friend Kyungah (Kelly) just because... she didn't deserve a discount I guess??? That's pretty shocking. Fortunately she got the deal in the end, thanks to hard-ass Twyla!

Ok i'm officialy wiped.

I watched "Le bye bye de Rock et Belles Oreilles", it was HILARIOUS!!! I especially liked the part where they do the news for deaf and muted people... and I loved hearing the big fat Quebecois accent! Plus I got "La marche de l'empereur" and a movie about racism in the US, "Crash" so i'll probably watch these soon.

Again, y'all oughta see "Baghdad Cafe", "3 needles", "Everyone says I love you", "Thank you for smoking" and ... uh... well "The Notebook" are the only ones I can think of right now.

Can't wait for the week-end! Going out for dinner, to the movies, cleaning up my place, hiking, maybe shopping and wandering around in Edae? I ate the most delicious pizza/spaghetti last week-end, it was priceless! Now i'm in the mood for French food!

And no, i'm NOT going to Vietnam because my school won't let me take 3 weeks off in a semester (I spent two weeks in Quebec). But i'm thinking about going somewhere sunny and paradisiac in March so let me know if you have any suggestions! I might go to Vietnam on my own, but I was thinking about Fidji? Philippines? Thailand i've already been. Maybe Australia?

I also really want to go to Hong-Kong and Tokyo for a week-end before I leave. It's just cool to go to China or Japan for two days when back home it's like a big deal planning a trip over there ;)

Yes yes yes... i am procrastinating once again. Don't wanna grade diaries!!! Oh, speaking of which you have to read what two of my kids wrote about me!!! I was sooooooooo touched!!!! But... who wouldn't? Those kids are just so adorable!

Amy (she's 10 years old and super good! See how she didn't make that many grammar mistakes? ):
I studied English with Kat, Danny, Vanessa, Steve, Rick and Twyla. It was great fun to learn English with them. When my level was LG6 I wondered who will be my new teacher.

Now my favorite teacher is Anne-MArie. Your blond curly hair is pretty.

You have a sweet smelling flower and fruit. I like it. Your smile is very cute. You are nice, kind and careful.

When I was puzzled, you helped me with pleasure. I feel my English level is going up. I thank you for your help.

I'm so happy to spend a pleasant hour studying with you. Teacher, it's hard to write my diary all by myself but i'll do my best.

What luck I met you! Teacher, what is your favorite teacher?

Chris (his whole thing was funny):
Anne-Mary is LG6 teacher. She is very good teacher. She is similar to the Mona Lisa. She is Canadian. She is a little bit tall. Her class is little hard because she said "don't speaking Korean!"

Rick is LG4 teacher. He is very exciting teacher. He is similar to monkey and he is so tall. His size is like a monster. His class is always laughing class. I like him. He is very nice teacher.

Danny is LG1 teacher. He is very interesting. He teaches my next door. He is similar to Harry Potter. His size is ordinary.

Christine is parade teacher (no idea what that is!) She is exciting class too. She is similar to Indian. She is little small. Her class is exciting and good.

Ok, now I can sleep tight ;)
Oh and the school got me a private student, 2 hours/week and I feel so bad for him! He doesn't know phonics at all, can barely say his name, so i'll coach him hoping he'll improve a little cauz all the kids make fun of him in Sunny's class!!!

Never thought i'd be here at 23 years old! Miss y'all though, and really miss my grandma too.
Sweet dreams.
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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Would you?

4am, one of those moments that remind you how true you are to yourself (and values)! Ben and I just finished watching Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" and...
Well, that's not the point.

Today I went to my dentist appointment in Yeouido (what's up with the hole in my tooth doc?) and then spent a great day with Kelly in Sinchon. Really awesome!

First of all, let me tell y'all that IT SNOWED, and big time!
I was wearing my new hat eveywhere including at that surprising store where they sell clothes by the pound! You just pick whatever shirt you want, put it on the scale and it's 3000won per 100gr!!! Can you believe that?!

But I need your insight - I fell in love with that adorable puppy and I was just about to buy it when Peter told me to wait 72 hours because it's an important decision.

Should I get him for my remaining 5 months in Seoul? I literally fell in love with him!!!!!

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Won the pool

I just wanted to share this wonderful (or "won the pool" as Koreans say) moonlight. Saw it on my way home, it was nice and comforting... just standing there between two skyscraper.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Step up

I found out tonight that i'm exactly like a guy when it comes to dealing with emotions - or actually, dealing with problems. I just don't know what to say, how to put my feelings into words and I just pull away as far as I can.

Trying to save myself? To spare the other person's feelings? Or I am just afraid of confrontations? Not quite sure.

But here's what happened.

Chris has been my really best friend since i've been here. We've pretty much done everything together, hung out all the time and talked about everything. No boundaries. She's Korean and we met when she was still and English teacher.

Then she became part of the staff. For the first couple of months things stayed the same and we still had a lot of fun together.

But then stress and pressure from work started to grow on her and she totally changed. What I know is that it seemed like she wasn't happy at all and she became really negative.

So I tried talking to her about it but it wasn't easy. You never want to hurt close friends. And she kept saying that she hasn't changed. So I slowly pulled away.

When I came back to Montreal from my grandma's funerals, she was really helpful but a lot of shit happened at work and I kept hearing stories about her doing crappy stuff to other people.

What do you do when a close friend pisses another friend off? Even if it has nothing to do with you, you ARE affected by it. Just like the way some people treated my grandma like shit made my sister, brother and I totally mad.

But then I got here and she was at the airport in the middle of the night. And she was crying. I knew that I meant a lot to her, and she really meant a lot to me too! So I thought maybe things would change. Maybe I had been paranoied about her becoming someone else.

But then I was standing in front of my apartment at 5am, exhausted from jetlag and the long trip, and she was ramblong with all those stories from work and about Twyla and teachers... She kept doing that for the next couple of days so again, I pulled away.

My smiles were cold. I didn't always greet her. My eyes were avoiding hers. I was avoiding her.


Probably because I was really uncomfortable. Of course. My best friend was turning into that person I didn't have anything in common anymore, no more fun either, that person who kept complaining about work, bitching about other staff, telling me word for word conversations she had had earlier in the day.

I realized that I wasn't feeling good after we'd hang up the phone or leave each other. She was so damn negative that it was affecting me. I was listening to her stories thinking "ok drop it. i want to go now" while nodding along.

I hated myself for feeling that way about someone I truly loved and cared about. I felt really guilty and thought I was doing womething wrong.

On the other hand I had other people around telling me how she's changed, how she had pissed them off, how she even made a friend cry. My head was messed up.

So tonight she said she wanted to talk to Twyla. I dunno why but eveyone ended up meeting at my place and it was actually funny because we spent about an hour and a half just talking about meaningless stuff because none of us wanted to get to the akward part.

But somehow we got there. And somehow she immediately picked on me.

I was speechless, my mind was racing but I didn't know how the words would come out. I just really blank out when people confront me. Fortunately what I said made a lot of sense and Twyla took control of the conversation for the most part.

While a lot of people have issues with Chris because of the way she handles work situations, I personally was just struggling with the fact that i'm losing a close friend because she's turning into that fake and negative person I don't feel comfortable being around anymore.

The paradox of course being that Christine has a wonderful heart, she's funny and spontaneous and a delight to be with - but it's all covered with a new facade she has to put up for work. And now it's affecting her as a person.

I don't know. That's what I was able to conclude.

Ironically while Twyla told her very hurtful stuff (but in a very nice way), Christine thanked her for her honesty and she seemed alrite.

But then she turned to me and her eyes were like two giant thunderstorms. She said she'd never expect that from me, that I really hurt her. She said I had been really cold and it truly hurt her.

I tried to explain to it's just how I deal with things. It's not an excuse, sure, but that's who I am. And yes, she's important to me. I've tried talking to her, but I guess I didn't have the serious talk. I tried avoiding her because I knew she was in denial and I didn't want to deal with that.

Yeah, I could have handled it much better, but I screwed up. And Twyla said that's just true: I tend to isolate myself when things get rough. And that's ok. Eventually i'll learn to deal with emotions but now I don't and that's who I am.

But of course you know me. I lost myself in apologies and felt horribly guilty. She was just staring at me with that look.

It reminded me of something Andreane made me realise back in high school: the more you let yourself love someone, the more capable you are of hating them.

Christine was really mad because I really hurt her. She didn't really mind Twyla or Kelly because it was obvious that they didn't care anymore - to them, she was completely changed and the connection they had before was now broken.

But as for me, it was like a betrayal.

I'm really trying to analyze all this right now and I think... well... i'm done with the guilt thing. I spent my whole life feeling guilty for no reason at all. I spent all those years letting people making me feel guilty without even rationalizing and seeing that I had done nothing wrong! Not this time.

Yes, I could have dealt with the situation in a much better way. I am truly sorry that I hurt her. Really sorry. And I still really love the Christine that I once knew. But that's how I feel now, and that's just the way it is. I ain't got to apologize for anything!

But this sucks.
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