In art class today we started painting with colour and experimenting with colour theory.
We didn’t get around to applying these paints to canvas but rather spent the day mixing and making colour/shade strings. I took note of the results for future reference.
It almost felt like chemistry with the very precise percentages to mix each time.
Around halfway through through the class, we heard the telltale muted swish of rainfall outside.
One of my classmates was concerned. “They said it was only going to rain tonight.”
“Did you leave your windows open?” asked the instructor.
Most of us had, of course.
It cleared up enough for us to go home. I’d been contemplating going to the park to finish The White Tiger, the vibrant, shit-smeared, and impossible-to-put-down rollercoaster that is Aravind Adiga’s novel, but decided the skies might belch their sour water at any minute. Best to get home.
And so I dawdled in my apartment, made lunch, read, made tea – all the while waffling about whether or not I should go to the park behind my house for the sake of spending time outside. It was so humid and hot, the threat of rain still hanging, quite literally, over my head, that I didn’t want to move.
But I hated the thought of staying in my apartment all day again, as I’d done Saturday (although I’d packed the day with productive things such as tidying, exercising, cleaning out the air conditioner vents of 2+ prior tenants’ worth of body & pet skin/hair follicles, and wrecking general havoc on GTA V. I also tried in vain to download Journey but the PS3 network is blocking my transactions – for which I curse the company because I wanted to continue the spiritual desert sand journey I’d begun in Dune).
Eventually I decided to go to the park for as long as I could, potential rain be damned. I refilled my tea (infusing the last droplets of flavour from one of my precious White Chai teabags brought from home), grabbed my Kobo, and made the two minute trek to the park.
Nearly as soon as I left my house, some grandparents with their young granddaughter crossed my path. They caught sight of me and started talking quickly and calling their granddaughter (who was toddling down the hill 15 paces ahead if them).
I didn’t realize they were talking to me at first, but the grandmother walked right up to me, chattering away, and mimed taking a photo. She wanted a photo of me with her grandchild.
Juuuuust when you think you’re starting to fit in and feel like a local. I guess there are some places you’ll always feel, as an outsider, like something of a spectacle.
But as I agreed and knelt down at the toddler’s height and smiled for the camera, it felt less like being a zoo animal on display to be ogled at, and more like being at comic con where you dress up and everyone wants their photo with you. Except in Korea I am my own costume.
It confirmed at the least that it’s worthwhile to step outside your door every once in a while though, even if it looks like it’s going to rain, because random shit will happen like this that you could never have foreseen. Just entering yourself into a realm of variables makes your life more exciting. It’s one of the things I like best about travel.
It did rain in the end, so I only got half an hour out, but the fresh air was invigorating. Though humid, it had cooled down to a perfect balmy afternoon. And though I sought cover from the rain flecks falling with increasing speed, I compromised by happily brewing myself another cup of tea and listened to the rain outside.
There’s a sound that never changes no matter where you are in the world: the sigh of traffic speeding on wet pavement like the crash of a distant surf; the gurgle of wheels dipping into waterlogged potholes; the slap of the puddles against the asphalt as the cars splash by. I guarantee you will never feel homesick so long as you have these sounds of rain every once in a while.
And so it was that I spent my evening this way and finished off The White Tiger with yet another cup of tea. I might be becoming an old lady at the rate I enjoy these weekends in…