The weather is starting to get nicer, and we’ve had some enjoyable outdoor time recently, including a big back-to-school barbeque over the weekend. While neither Neko nor Panda is old enough to be going to school, Neko enjoyed chasing all the bigger kids around and petting the two puppies that made an appearance at the fete.
In other “neighborhood” news, the embassy has gradually been repainting the exteriors of all the embassy homes. Our corner of the neighborhood is still dominated by the standard issue white-on-white or white-with-grey, but more and more houses are getting a colonial makeover. The colors chosen look like they’d do well on a Cape Cod or New England colonial rowhouse, and they are making the otherwise bland facades of these mid-century attached ranch homes pretty cute. I’d love it if they painted ours in the Colonial Blue, muted Brick or Light Fir green colors, but it would be just our luck that they’d paint us in the rather gross hospital mint green or the khaki. I doubt we’ll come up for repainting before we reach the end of the tour, but it’s nice to get directions to friend’s houses with that extra helpful element of “it’s the red one.”
We hired a new nanny because I’ve gone back to work part time, she’s new to working for Americans and from the Philippines, so we’re getting treated to all the quirks of breaking in a new employee and the strong cultural differences that haven’t mellowed out yet. One of the more amusing ones is her tendency to tell Neko that she looks “sexy” in any particular outfit. I’ve heard this from other Americans before, but was still weirded out by that particular Philippino-ism. Apparently it is a light form of ‘cute’ there, unlike how it is used in American English. Less amusing is her tendency to call me “Madam,” which makes me feel ancient and imposing, like Lady Crawley, the Dowager Duchess of Grantham, or Cruella DeVille or something. Blech.
Neko’s gotten to do a few distinctly Korean things in the past few months, even though Panda’s arrival put a crimp in our ability to get out and about easily. She hung out with the Pororo characters at Pororo Park and eats Galbi like a maniac, when she can get it. Panda mostly hides from the paparazzi by snuggling up in the Ergo or napping at home, but as she approaches her 4 month birthday, she’s getting more interested in the world around her, so she’ll probably be vying for the attentions of the masses soon.
We’ll be having a few visitors in the next two weeks, so I anticipate a lot of time seeing sites and eating tasty Korean food. In October we’ve planned a mini-break to the East Coast (where we can watch the sun rise over the Pacific, if we wake up early enough), so we’ll get to experience some regional cooking, and enjoy the outdoors at one of the more popular national parks in the country. This is the kind of thing I was really looking forward to in coming to Korea, as Bangladesh had little opportunity for weekend outings, so I’m excited about this one.
Otherwise, things are pretty quiet here, we live in Little America, so there’s not much to report on.