We moved into our house a week ago, and they just delivered our air freight. Our one-story house is huge, the size of two duplexes put together, and we could have used a GPS to find our way around the first few days. The reason for the large house is that we’re expected to do a lot of entertaining. This won’t start for a while, though, until we’ve received our household effects, which will help to fill the place up, and our maid has returned from vacation in the Philippines.
After the men who delivered our air freight left, we realized we were missing the power cord to our TV. Fortunately, the power cord to the printer fit it, so we switched the cord back and forth. We hoped the TV cord would arrive with our household effects…Two days later, the deliverers came back with the cord, saying they’d found it in the bottom of one of the boxes. I’ve got to hand it to them for taking the trouble to come back.
I’ve had my share of frustrating moments as I’ve been trying to learn my way around and figure out how to accomplish things differently than I’m used to. Frustrations large and small caused me to get positively pissed off the other night. Having just finished a book about a Polish teenager who survived being in a ghetto, Auschwitz, and Bergen-Belsen, though, helped put things in perspective! So did the following experience. Last Saturday, a group of us traveled to a special high school to help North Korean teenagers with their English. The girl I worked with looked 13 but was actually 19 years old, and all of them were short. We were told not to ask about their past, but to focus on their future. One Korean-speaking volunteer did ask. She found out that the girl she helped had no parents left, and no money to bribe the guards at the North Korean border with China The girl made a dash for it during a changing of the guard, wasn’t hit by a hail of gunfire, then worked day and night for seven months in China (where she was illegal and would have been returned to North Korea if found, and faced either execution or their gulag) until she had enough money saved to get to South Korea. South Korea treats refugees well and does its best to assimilate them. These kids are survivors.
Yesterday I went with some friends to the Ice Museum. They lend you a parka, then let you wander through a permanent display of ice sculptures, including a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom with a toilet I wouldn't want to sit on for fear of getting frozen stuck, a bar made of ice, an ice pagoda, dragon, children, and a penguin. I’ve never seen another museum like it.