Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Down-to-Earth -- That's me


LG_housewarming
Originally uploaded by seaniz.

I hate Korea. I love Korea. Well, I'm still here so I guess you could say I love Korea more than I hate it (coming up on 2 years of teaching here now). Top on my list for the things I love is the way the people here traditionally live, sleep, eat, and read on the floor! Not everybody but plenty of folk here:

  • Eat at a small table while sitting on the floor (See the Picture Above).
  • Sleep on the floor.
  • Watch TV on the floor.
  • Write, Read, conduct classes on the floor.


What do you do when you want to throw a big dinner party but you can't find a long enough table or enough chairs? Put a couple of these short tables together and have a great time. The floor is awesome! It's like a huge bed with no squeaky springs and nothing to fall off of, or bang your head into (unless you are drunk and trying to do a cartwheel I guess). I wish I'd discovered this idea when I was 13 and cursing my parents for not buying me a new mattress. I had to put up with the same mattress from about age 3 to 17, and it was a squeaky uncomfortable urine-stained piece of shit. My back ached almost every day that I can recall from age 13 until I moved out with my buddy Kevin and bought a futon. Strangely enough whenever my back got messed up I cured it by sleeping on the floor. So why didn't I just ditch that rusty urine-stained rag and sleep on the floor everynight? I guess I just couldn't accept the idea of sleeping on the floor.

Now things are different. I sleep on the floor (on a Yo -- a Korean style bed that's about 4cm thick). I have dinner on the floor. I still have dinner in front of the TV, but I also watch TV on the floor. Sometimes I sit on the couch, but to be honest I like the floor better. I'm sitting on the floor right now as I type this post. Sometimes my legs get a bit stiff sitting cross-legged but as I recall my ass used to fall asleep when I used a chair too.

Why don't people siesta at work in North America? Probably because they have trouble with the idea of sleeping without a bed. I have a siesta almost every day at school. When my students go home I dust off my floor and enjoy the comfort of the world's biggest mattress -- a lovely hardwood floor.

By the by, I'm seriously thinking about not smoking at all tomorrow. If I stick to my current program of 4 cigs a day I'll have to buy a new pack tomorrow, so that means smoking for 5 more days minimum. If you see me tomorrow you'd better duck and run I'm gonna be on a short, short fuse.

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