log: a little lost

벌레 일지 WORMDATE: L4: 1,841 – 245,158: 8 – 2,265: 54%

I’m a little ahead in my class and have to wait until September 3rd for the next module to open. That’s okay. Gives me some free time. I’m liking the class. Lots of alleles, genes, chromosomes, and mutations. That sort of thing. So far, aside from other things, we’ve spent a fair amount of time on antibiotics and antibiotic resistance, and on antagonistic pleiotropy.

It’s an interesting class. I’m really liking the digital worksheets. With those, it’s less recalling the information that we’ve been taught and more being given a bunch of raw data and applying what we’ve learned to make some sense of it. That’s pretty fun. It’s almost like making a diagnosis. And I like when I feel that escalating difficulty — that sort of being asked to think in new ways with and about the information we’re given.

Aside from that we’ve had our first (I think) typhoon of the season. There will be more. Those winds feel strange. In Toronto, the wind is basically cold. In Cali, when you get that hot wind, it’s airborne murder. You know fire is coming. But the typhoon wind is liquid. It feels so hot and humid its almost like being in a water current. If a Cali wind feels like being under a hair drier, this wind feels like holding your face a same distance over a boiling kettle.

The typhoon came and went. Some flooding. We’re not in a flood-prone area so I think the only thing that need concern us is landslides — insofar as I’m going to bother being concerned about those, which I’m not. It happens, it happens, and not much I can do to stop it. For us, basically, as long as we avoid doing anything particularly stupid during a typhoon, we’re good. Like, basically, don’t go into the woods to exercise during one.

I did go a day after it passed. Wore my old work-boots down because it can get pretty slippery on those trails. I’m not one of those people who is into working out in work-boots. (Apparently that’s a thing some people do – in gyms no less!) Anyway, it was fine but on the way out, those boots got pretty muddied up. And because we’ve had pretty steady rain since, last night, I decided to avoid the mud.

I hit up a different and slightly more civilized exercise zone. This one has machines but lacks pull-up bars. I improvised with a children’s play area. I’m not proud. But it worked okay.

I’m not sure exactly what happened on my way home. Decided to try to take a scenic route home and got myself . . . “Lost” is a bit strong. I knew where I was and where I had to get to, just not really how to do that. I knew I’d be able to find my way home eventually. So I wasn’t lost. Momentarily misplaced is more like it. The momentarily part was for over two hours.

I could have solved the situation much faster but I view backtracking as defeat (FORWARD COMRADES!) and I enjoy being misplaced. I tend to lean into the drift. See where I end up.

Even if I was in my workout clothes, which, for my money, are about the worst and most impractical clothes for an urban environment, I was really happy to be misplaced again.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been lost. Not because I know my way around so well but because the pandemic conditions have favored efficiency. Just hasn’t been a time to go wandering around and ending up God knows where with God knows who dong God knows what. It’s been an era of get where you’re going, limit your time and exposure to other people, and get back home. For the past almost two years, I just can’t justify getting recreationally lost. But by accident? Well, shit happens. It’s been a while. And I love it! It scratched an itch.

Now, the thing about a thing that looks like this

is that on the ground it looks like this

and the way Busan is built in general (very much not a grid) and areas like this in particular, is the quickest way to end up where you don’t want to go is to take the most logical and seemingly direct route in that direction. Doing that will get you turned around and upside down in a hurry. You sort of have to massage your way through it.

But really you just have to know where you’re going and the only way to learn that is through getting lost, taking a lot of dead ends, and just learning the layout. Oh, and it is a lot of hills. Like, a lot. Somehow, if you walk 10km in any direction, 8 of them will be up a mountain.

It’s a bit difficult to explain but one of my favorite things about big Korean cities is that navigating them on foot requires thinking in three dimensions. There’s north, west, east, and south but also a lot of up and down. Neither Toronto or LA require that style of thinking.

Having wandered into some neighborhoods I was not previously aware of but am very interested in -though ghost-towned, in its density and action potential, one reminded me a lot of Jamsil-dong in Seoul– I eventually found my way to the beach. Empty as I’ve ever seen it.

On the beach, I met a stray human. A Korean fellow from Seoul, an insomniac train driver, who was in Busan to “refresh his condition”, plays guitar, plays on a football team full of foreigners, and very badly wants to get out of Korea and move anywhere but especially to Germany. He believes foreigners are more free, not as uptight as Koreans, and just enjoy life more. He’s one of those people who lived their whole life right, did what they were supposed to, got what they were supposed to, looked at it, and concluded — What the fuck? None of this what I wanted and it’s all killing me. Nice enough guy. We walked to the end of the beach together, discussing these sorts of things then parted ways. I hope he gets where he needs to be and finds whatever it is he’s looking for. No guides on that journey.

Back in my hood, I met my cat friends, and offered them water, which, being cats, they totally turned their noses up at, although, after the offer, the mother cat deigned to let me stroke her for the first time — as if to say she appreciated the thought, if not the gift. I promised them I’d have some treats for them next time we met. Hopefully, those will meet their exacting standards. Fucking cats, swear to God . . .

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