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Tuesday, June 22nd, 2004
11:25 pm
The road to happiness lies in two simple principles: find what it is that interests you and that you can do well, and when you find it, put your whole soul into it -- every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have.
- John D. Rockefeller III

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Wednesday, May 12th, 2004
4:24 pm - why does it hurt so?
you know, i've been having doubts for quite a while and then when it actually happens..i'm not so sure i want it to happen.. i feel weak... like i can't stand to be alone... so i let him back in my life... but i know i really want him only as a friend... but i let him back... i don't think it's the right decision but i'm so scared to be on my own here... really scared...

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2:46 pm
i am something and everything you can never be...

i am me.

current mood: defiant
current music: Monte Montgomery - Little Wing ( : Just Rock Cast 24???? ??,???? ??????)

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Wednesday, April 28th, 2004
4:44 pm - they get in everywhere...
they're in my dreams now too.. students, that is... i had a wonderful nightmare last night about a certain student that made me angry yesterday... why does this happen to me?? do i care that much about my classes that i'll dream about them?? i don't wanna dream about my classes... and now that class wants to go drinking with me on Thursday night... i don't get it... one minute they tell me i can't speak english properly, the next they want to go drinking with me... so confusing and i hate it so much sometimes... i don't know what to do... probably i need psychiatric help or something... not good anyways... sometimes i hate my life...

current mood: sad
current music: Gamma Ray - Heavy Metal Universe ( : Just Rock Cast)

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Monday, March 15th, 2004
11:11 pm - OMG!!!
I thought I was free from it all. But apparently not.

I can watch McClouds Daughters here if I want. It starts at 11pm every Tuesday night. Channel 18 if you're ever in DaeJeon, Korea. Oh - with Korean subtitles.

I can't believe it.

I need therapy now.

current mood: shocked
current music: Joss Stone - Victim of a Foolish Heart

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5:42 pm - Photos!!!

Check it out!

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Wednesday, March 10th, 2004
3:37 pm - Yesterday... It was my first time...
Sounds ominous, doesn't it? Well, it was my first time. In a public bath. In Korea. True! I've been here almost four years and have never been to one of the many "famous" public baths/saunas/spas. However, Julie made me do it. Or else, I was just going to do it anyway. But it's always better to have moral support. And besides, Julie was going there anyway the same time, the same place, etc. so it was just a good idea to do it together. Mind you, she's been to the spas so many times that she can't count. She goes every week and sometimes twice a week. She's a spa-a-holic. Oh well. I wanna be one of them now, too. I loved it!

At first it was a bit wierd to see all the other naked women (no men, the are segregated bath houses but you can meet the men after the bath). So I should start the story. Well, we had to wait until Julie finished work (around 11pm) so we ended up at Spalees (the name of the public bath/spa/sauna that we went to) around 11.30pm. We also had two guys with us, so we decided to meet on the third floor after an hour or so. After we had finished our baths. We paid our money and got our 'pajamas' (you can sleep there) and went to change. We took our shoes off in one area then moved upstairs to the general baths. It was there that the lockers for clothes were. We took off our clothes and, me being all modest with my handtowel-size bathtowel, went into the bathing room. Well, it was late and I didn't expect so many people there. There were naked Korean women everywhere! Mind you, most of them were not a pretty sight being that they were old and wrinkly, but still! And then came the stares. Iksan is not used to foreigners, particularly in the public baths. But Julie and I did our thing. We had a shower first to get off all the dirt and so on that had accumulated over the day. This seemed pretty normal - normal showering procedures and all.

But after that, we chose to go into a spa. Now there were a few different spas to choose from - different temperatures ranging from about 5 degrees to almost 50 degrees, different water (one had a herbal tea mixed in), different water movements - soft bubbling, a waterfall, a firehydrant, and more; and of course, there were water exercise bikes to ride if you wanted. And then there were three saunas ranging from 47 to 86 degrees. And also a cold jet stream of water to cool yourself down with after you got out of a hot spa or sauna. So we did all the different areas for about an hour or so, then we had our real shower. This means we scrubbed our bodies with a lufah-like green material until we had gotten all the dead skin off, then took a nice shower and washed our hair and everything.

During all this time, we were totally naked. After being so selfconscious at first, I generally got used to it and was comfortable to walk around with other people staring at me naked. This is quite a big accomplishment for me. Usually I'm petrified if anyone other than my boyfriend sees me in that kind of state. I don't even like wearing swimmers. Or shorts.

Anyway, we finally got dressed in our pajamas and got ready to go meet the boys. We went upstairs and I was expecting just a room or something, but it was like a hotel. There were restaurants, places to sleep, more saunas (including ice cold ones at -20 degrees), internet cafes, music rooms, and best of all, a maseusse. Julie and I got a sports massage for just over an hour. It cost next to nothing and felt really good.

If we had wanted to, we could've stayed the night, but I needed to get back to Daejeon early the next day so we went home. The whole experience was really good and took almost four hours. I had an awesome sleep that night. I can't wait to do it again!

current mood: rejuvenated

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Saturday, March 6th, 2004
3:51 pm - A Nice Welcome Back...
I got a nice welcome back to Korea the day after I arrived. I had just got back from Singapore and the 33 degree humid heats there and Korea was relatively nice considering that it was just officially spring, but not enough to make it out of winter yet. It was hovering around zero degrees. Nice enough, not too cold, definitely not too hot. That was Thursday. I made it back to my apartment - which Julie had cleaned and organized for me while I was gone. Well, it was 90% done, anyway, which is fantastic because when I left it was just boxes and boxes and boxes. But you get that.

Anyways, back to the welcome back. The nice surprise with my apartment was great, possibly the highlight of my whole welcome back experience. So let's get to the other things. I couldn't figure out the hot water. So I took a cold shower. Nice. There was no gas so I couldn't make a cup of coffee. (Although I ended up working around it in the end, so I did get my coffee in the end.) I went to sleep on Thursday night with dreams of a beautiful spring on it's way.

I woke up on Friday morning with a sense of calm - well, my new apartment is right next to a small hill and it's at the side of the campus where there isn't much at all - but I took a quick look outside and almost did of shock. There was at least 30 cm of snow on the ground and these huge flakes were still falling down!! I couldn't believe it! But I thought it would clear up and I could go to Iksan and it would be all good. Alas, it *kept* snowing. And snowing. And snowing. And snowing. By Friday night the official snowfall was at 50 cm which was the most ever recorded in DaeJeon (well, they've only been recording for 100 years, but still, it's a fair bit of snow!). But seriously, it looked more than that. I decided to try to go to Iksan anyway. I went outside and ended up walking in snow that was up to my knees in places. Now, most Canadians would laugh at this, but it's the most snow I've ever seen.

I had to get to the train station and the only way I could get there was either by bus or by taxi. But, low and behold, the usual six-lane roads were down to two lanes (one in either direction) and there was not a taxi in sight. I walked to a more populated area (meaning more shops and restaurants) and still I couldn't get a taxi. It took almost an hour and a half to get a taxi and then another half an hour to get to the train station. That's almost two hours to get to the train station!! It usually only takes 25 minutes!! Oh well, such is life.

Anyway, the thing that got me, on the way to Iksan there was gradually less and less snow. By the time I got to Iksan, there was no snow. It's about 60kms from DaeJeon to Iksan. And I went from record-breaking snow to nothing. Strange but true.

More later~

current mood: amused
current music: sound of my fingers typing

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Sunday, February 22nd, 2004
5:21 am - weird dream
having issues sleeping right now... and i just had a really weird dream... i was working like in a mcdonalds or something as a manager (in korea) and one of my korean friends opened an english academy (this would be substitute boy)... but he wasn't good at english and he completely copied another academies teaching methods and it had this weird acronym - I.N.G.L.E.S. but it was really weird... and it was being taught in a really old truck - on an abandoned lot.... strange, indeed... and i had to keep going and helping out in the classes...

and i should be asleep now because i've only had a couple hours sleep and i need to get up early... so tired that i can't even think straight... but i can't really seem to sleep, either... had issues going to sleep and staying asleep.. why does this happen while i'm on vacation?? i'm supposed to be relaxing and enjoying myself but all that seems to be happening is that i'm getting more and more tired...

and now i've just had deja vu... i've had that a couple of times since i got to canberra... strange but true... i had it when i was in jindabyne with my brother and his family, too... at least i know my life is on track... that i'm getting deja vu again.. so i mustn't be doing anything too wrong... so that's good~

anyways, i should probably go back to bed... try to sleep... although i do know what will happen... if i do go back to sleep i will want to sleep forever.. not good... but i guess it can't be helped...

current mood: weird
current music: the sound of the fish tank being airated...

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Saturday, February 21st, 2004
2:30 pm - asha and moggly
ok... asha got a new pez dispenser yesterday... it was a moggly one (from the jungle book movie i think) and she was in love with it... then when it came time for us to leave the lodge yesterday she started saying that we had to go and get moggly from the water (the lake is about 800m away from the house).. we couldn't figure out how moggly had gotten to the water so we asked her how he did this... she said, "he ran away. he went down here and then he went all the way to the water." this is a pez toy we're talking about... i thought she might have thrown it off the deck, so i asked her to show me exactly where he went... she took me downstairs and showed me exactly where he went... and then she pointed out where he went into the water... anyway, this went on for a while, and she was getting quite upset... then she said he was in an airplane... moggly had gone to the airport and was flying back to canberra... so i thought that was ok... because we really had to get going and everyone was tired... i thought if moggly (yes, i play these games, too~) was going to meet us in canberra that we could meet him at the airport... but no, she changed her mind again and said that he'd run away and we had to get him from the water... by this time rick was a bit fed up with it all, and fiona was tired, so we just thought that if we could get asha into the car, it would be all good... fiona did that while rick and i went to search the lodge before we left... asha has a habit of hiding things and then forgetting where she put them... but it's so cute~ anyway, we couldn't find moggly so we searched the bags in the car and still couldn't find him... asha was strapped in, so we ended up just going because moggly could be anywhere...

as it turns out, moggly was in one of the bags and i found him when we got back to canberra.... so asha was happy again.. but hopefully she learnt her lesson - remember where you put things... but it was so cute~ moggly ran away... a pez dispenser ran away... so cute~~ :)

current mood: cheerful

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Thursday, February 12th, 2004
6:32 pm - JunHyuk's Eyes
I can't believe how close I've become to JunHyuk. And I can picture his eyes perfectly. Their adoring gaze, the uncertainty, the passion, the wonder, the awe, the pain, the stress, the trust and the love. Just some of the emotions that I can see in his eyes. But the most common ones are love and adoration. His eyes are perfect in every way - the left is different from the right, but they are in perfect unison, harmony with each other. Maybe he doesn't know it, but I can see his heart and soul so clearly when I look into his eyes. There is a certain degree of innocence and vulnerability there, as well. But it's mixed in perfectly with everything else to make JunHyuk's eyes a bottomless pool of swimming emotions. And it makes me love him so much more. It's scary to say that, but it's true. I love him. And I love his eyes. If I keep only one memory of JunHyuk for the rest of my life, it will be his eyes.

current mood: adoration
current music: Creed - Higher

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Tuesday, January 27th, 2004
11:19 am - The Hijacking of a Korean Family for Lunar New Year
Well, the title pretty much says it all. I hijacked Tom's family for Lunar New Year. Of course, he asked me to visit, but I definitely didn't expect everything that happened. Let's start with some background.

Korean Lunar New Year's is one of the biggest holidays in Korea (the other one is Thanksgiving). Everyone gets a five-day public holiday and they go to their hometowns to meet with all their family. If they do a special bow to their parents/grandparents they can get a lot of money. Just for bowing. An average Korean would get more than $600 from their family for doing the bow things. Amazing. And these families aren't rich, just average, normal families. Think about the rich families - how much would they get then? Anyway, this holiday is all about the family - you meet them all and play with them, eat a lot of special food (only made for the Lunar New Year), drink a lot of alcohol and sometimes go on a trip somewhere.

Anyway, Tom asked me to go to his hometown and meet his parents for just one night and then I could come back to Daejeon and play there for a day, then come back to Iksan. However, things changed a lot. For me to get to his hometown, I had to take two buses and a car, a total of about five hours traveling (that's a lot for Korea). But just after I got on the first bus he asked if I'd like to go to DongHae (an east coast beach town - apparently one of the most beautiful beaches in Korea), opportunity knocks! I answered! So I said that I'd love to go, because it was just a short ways away from where I was going anyway (at least, that's what it looked like on the map). Then he mentioned that it would be with his family. That's ok - he's an only child so I thought it would be just his parents. NO. It was with his father's family (think cousins, aunts, uncles, etc). Didn't realize about that until I got there. Oops. Oh well.

Continuing, I arrived at his house (they were all waiting for me) and they had prepared dinner for me and Tom. Nice. They had all eaten, so they were just talking. And then they moved so they could sit and watch me eat. Talk about being uncomfortable. Eight unfamiliar pairs of eyes just watching you eat. I couldn't eat. So I had to ask them to leave. It's a thing I have. I'm really nervous when I first eat with people. And to have Tom's family just sit around watching me. Very uncomfortable, but you get that. Not to mention that they were even more interested because I was a foreigner (yes, the joys of being me). But it all went well.

We left Tom's house around 9pm and we arrived in ImWon (near DongHae, but a nicer place to stay) around midnight. We're pretty tired because the roads were icy (yes, it was so cold!!) and the going was a bit slow. But we got to our hotel and went to the rooms that were absolutely freezing!! Okay, usually Korean houses, apartments, hotels, everything, are so warm in winter because of under floor heating. But this place was so cold!! But we couldn't find another place to go to, so we stayed there for the night. The older kids (4 of us) decided we needed to break the ice a little so we drank some OhShipSeJu (lit.: 50% Alcohol). It was all good~~

The next morning we were woken up by Tom's father. He wanted to go and eat breakfast. Raw fish. For breakfast. Okay, I like raw fish, but usually not for breakfast. But who was I to complain? So far I hadn't paid for a thing since I got off the bus in JeCheon so it was all good. We went to eat breakfast. Admittedly I ate more than I thought I would. It was a good thing. It's been a while since I'd eaten raw fish, so it was all good. Tom and I went for a walk along the beach while the rest of the family finished breakfast. It had taken almost an hour and a half by the time we went for a walk. But it was all good. The sea was truly beautiful - picture a winter ocean with clear blue skies, clear sea green water, a rock walkway with a lighthouse at the end. Not too many people around. Boats just sitting in the water waiting for spring time. The sounds of seagulls, the ocean, waves. Truly beautiful.

After breakfast we went for a drive, a long drive. I'm not sure where exactly we went, but it was looking at beaches, jetties, fishing villages. It was quite nice. Nothing much to report, except that it was really relaxing. After we got back to ImWon the parents went for raw fish for dinner (again) but I wanted to eat BulGoGi, so the "kids" went to eat that. It was good. That was almost it, until the parents came back to where we were staying (a minbak - like a condo) and we decided to play GoStop. This is a Korean card game - it's quite interesting, but a little difficult. Anyway, after we finished playing that, the older kids (read: me, Tom, YuSeok and YunHee) decided it was time to drink again. It was all good. The ice was breaking a little more. And we were tired, so we were looking forward to going home the next day.

We got woken up again to eat raw fish (I swear they are crazy about raw fish, it's all they ever ate on this trip!). We went and ate raw fish again. I ate just a little because I had been feeling a little sick the previous day from too much raw fish too early in the morning. I ate some porridge like stuff instead. Again, Tom and I escaped after eating for an hour. We took another walk along the beach - and this time we went to the big rock wall. Really nice. We saw a duck chasing a school of fish, catching them and eating them. It was so cool! I've never really seen that before - and the duck was so fast! It was incredible. Really good. It was a nice start to the day.

After the others had finished eating breakfast we went driving to some scenic spots, bought some fresh crabs (fresh as in just off the boat), we went to a museum - something to do with a local legend about a woman. Very interesting. We also went to a cave museum - there's some really famous caves in that area so we went to the museum because we couldn't go into the caves, it being winter and all. I was looking forward to going home. But my plans were changed. Again. We met up with more people from Tom's father's family. Another four people. And they decided to stay the night. I didn't want to stay, but it was unavoidable because I was their guest as such and I didn't want to be rude and just leave. So I stayed. Everyone went to eat raw fish (yes, again!) but Tom and I stayed in the room because we were tired. When everyone else got back, they decided it was time to eat some of the crabs. One of the boxes of crabs. Now, there were thirteen people eating crab. It took us more than an hour to eat the crabs. It was a crab party! This was the first time I had really eaten crab and it was so good. But I think I ate too much for a first time. But it was all good. Anyway, after the crab party the older "kids" went to their room (we were tired, so we wanted to sleep, or so we said). That room was cold, too! Even the water for the shower was cold. Oh well, finally we'd be going home the next day, so it's all good. We ended up drinking again (remember: an integral part of Korean culture is drinking!) and this time it was really good. We were totally comfortable with each other - even I started talking in Korean to people other than Tom. So it was all good. I even had a good talk with YunHee in Korean. About men, of course. But still it was good. But it also meant that the next morning we all had hangovers. Oops.

Anyway, everyone ate raw fish again in the morning. I couldn't eat, so it was ok. But this time we really were going home. I was feeling very average, but I made it through the day. We went to some more places along the way and it was all good, just tiring. I was getting so tired that I was getting cranky. Oops. But it was all good. We made it back to Tom's house by about 6pm. Then we went to his aunt's restaurant to eat dinner. Fish, again. How unpredictable. But it's all good. Anyway, we made it back to Daejeon by 11pm and I got back to Iksan around 3am. It's all good. And I got to meet Tom's family, so it's all good. Definitely an experience to remember. A good one.

So that's how I hijacked a Korean family for Lunar New Year. I was supposed to go for a day or two, but it ended up being four days. It's all good!!

current mood: happy
current music: MC Solaar - Temps mort

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Wednesday, December 31st, 2003
5:46 pm - why is it like this?
i'm supposed to be at hogmanay in edinburgh but i felt like absolute hell so i came back to motherwell with leita... and i know it's new year's eve and all but i feel like sleeping or curling up and watching a good movie.. i know people wouldn't expect that of me.. they'd expect me to out there partying it up and having a good time but i just don't feel like it... on the most important night of the year, i don't feel like partying... so sad... and now i'm here online just writing in my journal because there's nothing i'd rather do... or apparently so, anyways... i don't know what's wrong with me.. am i getting too old?? maybe that's it.. i've past my prime and i'm no good to anyone anymore... maybe that's it... who knows? all i know is that i don't feel so good and i don't really have a rational explanation at all.. all i can think of is to write here, listen to music and think about the laundry i have to do before i go tomorrow... sad life...

current mood: depressed
current music: Alan Parsons Project - I Wouldn't Wanna Be Like You

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Tuesday, December 30th, 2003
2:18 pm - FYI
I'm trying my best to keep you up-to-date but I'm so busy and now I'm on vacation and internet time is so expensive here. So I'm trying my best. I'm back-dating entries so that they're in the right order. Check the calender so you can find where I've back-dated. Happy reading~~!!!

current music: Sarah McLachlin - In the Arms of an Angel

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Friday, December 26th, 2003
10:51 pm - WE WILL ROCK YOU!!!
I went to see the musical "We Will Rock You" tonight. It was fantastic! It was my first musical but it was so good~! The storyline of the musical is basically just a tribute to Queen, but it is so good! The writers have incorporated all of Queen's greatest hits into the storyline so well that if they didn't sing the songs, it would seem really strange. I can't explain exactly how amazing it was~ Mind-blowing, really. It was long (about 3 hours) but it was worth it. If you ever get the chance to see it, you must see it!

The emotions that are brought out in the audience are amazing. Everyone went from just plain excited, to said, to roaring with laughter. And the actors involved the audience in the musical as well. It was very well done. Words can't describe how I felt while I watched it or even afterwards when I was still processing some of it. There were great references to current music artists, great artists of the past, infamous songs from a number of different bands (like the Eagles), sly comments about people and it seems like they tailored EVERYTHING to that particular performance. You could really tell that they were professionals. I would love to see it again, but I don't have time here. If I do get another chance, I'm definitely going! In fact, I want to see some more musicals. I can't believe that I've never seen a musical until now. I'm stupid. I should've gone a long time ago. Really.

It was just mind-blowing, amazing, fantastic, unbelievable! Words cannot descibe how I feel now~

current mood: excited
current music: R. Kelly - Ignition

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Saturday, December 20th, 2003
2:52 am - scary scary
sometimes i scare myself... i haven't really told anyone this because i scare myself so much.. but sometimes i black out for no apparent reason.. it usually happens at home and then i wake up on the floor.. sometimes i hit my head but it's nothing serious.. it usually happens anytime - there are no conditions (like drinking, smoke, or just waking up or getting up too quickly) and there seems to be no particular precondition or anything... so it's kinda scary that it happens for no reason.. but it happened tonight... in public... i wanted to die.. disappear because it was kinda embarrassing... i was out drinking with my friends sister and her boyfriend and it happened... i had only drunk two and half drinks so i wasn't drunk but i blacked out twice... and cara was so worried about me... and it was embarrassing to have to explain that it happens anytime anywhere but usually it happens at home so noone knows... it's only happened once in public before and it was just a little bit of dizziness... i passed it off as dizziness that time and it worked ok... noone suspected anything... but this time was more difficult because it happened two times... once inside the bar and once outside the bar.... so they couldn't say it was the heat or anything... it was so embarrassing... and scary...

the scarier thing is that i often/always have headaches.. and i think these things might be related... the headaches and black outs... so when i get really paranoid i start to think that i have something wrong with my brain.. like a tumor or something.. i'm seriously thinking about going to get a CT scan when i get back to korea just to check.... it's kind of worrying and i don't really want to tell anyone because they'll tell me to go to a doctor and i hate doctors... but it's so scary... i'm not sure what i should do... i'm just so scared...

current mood: scared
current music: jTL - Already One Year

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Thursday, December 18th, 2003
2:06 pm - The Man
I knew what was happening and I still did it. Sometimes it's strange how you can see things happening and not really care too much. Anyway, a scruffy looking older man (Irish I think) helped me find my bus. And then he wanted a favour - he only had Euros and he needed pounds to buy a bus ticket but the exchange wasn't open. He made a huge story about how he had to get to Ireland today with his two friends (backpacking girls) and he just wanted to change money. (You can guess where this is going, I bet.) Yeah, right. Like I couldn't see it coming. But I did it anyway. I can afford it at the moment. He probably needs the money for drugs or something, but he's the best con artist I've seen. He just kept everything so believable that I couldn't say no. The funniest thing is that I knew I was being conned but he wasn't smart enough to realize that I knew it. All I can think is that he must think I'm stupid or he's a really good con. I mean, I could definitely use the money but I think I'm just lucky he didn't rob me completely. Then I would've felt violated. But now I can only smile about it. I have such a better life. And definitely, infinitely, more hope for the future. In some strange way he reminds me of the homeless man in Canada. Both of them have helped me realize just how good my life is, how lucky I am, how I don't think I could ask for more. Well, of course I could, but I don't need to. I'm happy.

current mood: happy
current music: Wild Horses (I forget the artist)

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1:14 pm - Sound - Caffe Alba, Stansted Airport
Sound is a strange thing. I'm sitting in the corner of a cafe and I swear I can hear soft laughter and chatter coming from my pocket. I know there's nothing there, but I swear it sounds like it's coming from there. Maybe I'm going crazy. Or my hearing's getting better. But it's just so weird. And it's been happening for about 5 minutes. Strange.

current mood: weird

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7:45 am - Stansted Airport
Didn't get off to the greatest start today. Missed my bus because of a man (read -> The Man), so I missed my flight. But I got another flight later on so its all good. It cost me more money but that's only to be expected. At first I was a bit stressed and annoyed but I've dealt with that now. It didn't take me long either - to deal with it - I mean it was my fault and it happened. So there's nothing that I can do about it now. Besides, I've been reading my book "Sophie's World". It's fantastic~! It's about philosophy and learning about life. I'm really enjoying it, so it's all good. The more I think about today, the more lucky I feel. And special. *^^* The most interesting thing (albeit expected, I think) was when I checked my email. Tom said he loved me. Just throw another spanner in the works.... But it's all good.

current mood: happy

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Wednesday, December 17th, 2003
11:55 pm - Astor Victoria Hostel
At the hostel. They were quite nice but a little brisk. I felt like they expected me to know everything before I got there. But it was okay. I met a really nice man in my dorm room. Boris. An older man, perhaps mid-50s, but I think he's quite intelligent. He's Ukranian and he lives in Paris. He translates Russian, Ukranian and French. And his English is near perfect as well. We talked for more than an hour (probably two hours) and he had some interesting views on English, politics and world integration. And we agreed completely on the big city vs. small town atmosphere differences. He was also quite interested in my work which was good. He seemed very kind - he gave me half of his dinner (sandwiches, but still) and he gave me his alarm so I could get up in the morning. All in all a good experience.

current mood: impressed

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