Growing up is overrated…

8 Sep

In most peoples lives there comes a time when they realize that they have to grow up and face the world as a responsible adult… Of course, I believe that this is absolutely necessary… but growing up doesn’t have to mean stamping out the child within…


My alarm clock went off this morning at 8am… then again at 8.10… and then I mistakenly pressed off instead of snooze…(BIG surprise there i’m sure!)

Actual wake up time = 9am. (I would say that this is an improvement in my sleeping habits, but still way away from how I want to be when the new term starts.)


After having a hearty breakfast of Kimchi, savory mushroom mini-pancakes, grilled fish, meat and seaweed soup and rice I sat down in the living room to try and catch up with the missing chapters of my blog while Doull sat next to me playing my Pokemon Silver game.

Well… I say he was playing it… but actually I was playing it for him – we had got up to the last gym member (Clair?) and he was having difficulty beating her. Turns out that the perfect combination of my fighting skills and his instruction on when to use healing potions (and perhaps more so  his tenacity in not letting me go until the job was done) ensured a most triumphant victory!

After that and getting some more writing done, I had a quick-ish shower and got dressed before being persuaded to go out, by Doull, to play badminton with him. Of course Omma (being at home all of today) wasn’t exempt from this either – so together we trouped outside, badminton gear in tow, and searched for an appropriate place to start playing…

5 minutes later we had found a flat, quiet residential road on which to play but after another 15 decided to look for a better place as the wind in the area was too strong… Unfortunately we had no luck and so then decided to scrap the badminton and instead play basketball in a nearby playground complete with basketball hoop. On the way to the playground a very large van with black tinted windows pulled up beside us and the driver humbly asked Omma for directions and then as they were talking I couldn’t help but notice how perfect the driver’s teeth were.

I learned from Omma later that that sort of van was usually used by celebrities and models – the tinted windows allowed for them to get places without being recognized and, as such, avoid being mobbed by hundreds of screaming fans. Then, a little further down the road, Omma pointed out another large car as it went by and said that it was the kind of car that reporters used… I couldn’t help but wonder who may have been in that first car…


Once at the playground Doull wanted to play 2 against 1 – me and Omma on one team, Doull on the other. But this proved to be quite exhausting for both me and Omma as Doull is very small and very fast… The “being very small” for me was more of an issue because I know I am clumsy. I am also very big in comparison and so I was terrified of squishing the poor boy, should I trip up… (-_-;)

So instead of playing “teams” we changed to shooting hoops – first to get 15 wins!

Omma had difficulty at first, but with some A-grade coaching from her son she learned fast and started getting really good at making successful shots. I, on the other hand, was not having so much luck – at one point the score was 8 (Doull), 8 (Omma), 4 (me)… Pretty dire if you ask me… However, things started picking up and sure enough we leveled out at 11, 11, 11.

Strangely enough I was enjoying playing, especially (of course) when I was getting the ball in the hoop – It made me feel reasonably sporty.

It was a close call but in the end Omma won and the final score was 14, 15, 13.

On the way home I treated Doull to a drink from the local 7/11 store and bought myself a Welches sparkling grape drink too as a reward for having succeeded in entertaining the little cutie for a couple of hours.


Once home and sat comfortably in the living room, Doull set up his Mother’s laptop and transferred the just-downloaded “Harmony” (the movie I watched on the plane from Dubai to Incheon) via USB, to be watched. I knew better than to allow my full attention to go on the film – the first time I watched it, I was able to shed a few tears in the dimly lit cabin without anyone seeing, but this time Doull and Omma were there with me in full daylight and that would have been far too embarrassing…

Thus, while Doull and Omma sat on the floor directly in front of Omma’s laptop, I sat directly behind in front of my own, writing. The sadness of the movie didn’t totally escape me – sometimes I would watch a little and be forced to look away whilst blinking furiously and biting my tongue… Omma wasn’t so lucky – throughout the uber sad parts of the movie she sniffled quietly and constantly seemed to be wiping her eyes while Doull sat patiently and attentively between her legs facing the screen. Afterwards he said to me that he understood that the movie was sad, but he didn’t understand how it made his Mother cry. I just giggled and told him it was because he was a boy. This answer appeared to satisfy him.


After the movie I was once again taken out by Doull (accompanied by Omma) to the local swimming baths.

I was glad that I planned ahead and luckily had brought 2 swimming costumes with me to Korea – one for the pool (very conservative) and one from the beach (bought in Mexico but not too revealing).

Once at the baths I headed into the girls changing rooms and Doull into the boys changing rooms while Omma sat down patiently to watch over us in a section overlooking the pool (Omma apparently has a phobia of swimming in big bodies of water like swimming pools or the sea.).

As expected I had to take my shoes off when entering the changing rooms and place them on the shoe shelves next to the entrance (very similar to the setup in The Manza Onsen Hotel – the hotspring hotel I worked at in Japan nearly 3 years ago) but I was strangely surprised to learn that there were no changing sections and there were lots of nude Korean women wandering around (this I should have expected).

But, as they say – when in Rome…

So, no holds bared, I stripped down and popped my swimming cozzy on without thinking twice (again, this was something I learned to be accustomed to when in Japan so now it doesn’t bother at all). I then had a quick shower down, brushed and tied my hair back before covering it up with a swimming cap (compulsory for both sexes in Korean swimming baths as far as i’ve heard) and popped my goggles on over the top before heading out into the main pool area where Doull was already waiting for me…

It was far much fun than I expected and I actually felt like a big sister…

We went in the smaller, kind of ‘baby’ pool next to the main pool (there was some form of training going on in the main one) and instantly started a splash fight using legs, hands, arms, floats – whatever we could use really…

Occasionally I went underwater and swam to Doull, tickling and grabbing his feet so that when I resurfaced he was in fits of giggles. *evil grin*

I also sometimes (as he was running/swimming away from me) picked him up and out of the water, chanted as I swung him back and forth – “HANA (1), DUL (2), SET (3)!!!!!”, and threw him back in the pool with a splash – this also proved to be very entertaining for him despite his initial squeals of “AN-DWE~!” (Nuuu!) between fits of giggles.

We switched play several times – from splash fights to playing basket ball (using a small inflatable ball and our arms made into a hoop shape) to racing, to seeing how far we could swim underwater without coming up for air.

By the end of it (I think we were in the pool for a good hour at least) I was shattered and nearly fell asleep in the car on the way home, but it was totally worth it. 🙂


One Response to “Growing up is overrated…”

  1. Helen October 28, 2010 at 1:01 AM #

    another brilliant read, your homestay family seem wonderful. xx

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