Archive for October, 2012

Last week, in my Travel Literature class, we talked about train experiences… and that got me thinking about my experiences with public transportation in general.

My first time on public transportation was in Korea… surprisingly… especially since I grew up in New York.  Maybe it’s because I grew up in a suburban part of NY?

Anyway, Korea makes me sleep for some reason- everywhere I go, everything I do, I feel sleepy.  Perhaps it was because I was so comfortable and happy (and ate extremely well).  I don’t really know.. but I do know that I sure slept really well in Korea… including in public. HAHA.

So, one of my most embarrassing sleeping moments ever was on the KTX from 광명 Gwangmyeong to 부산 Busan.  I was so sleepy and tired that I just didn’t have enough energy to play this checkerboard flicking game with my little host brother.  My host father suggested that we switch seats and that he would play with him- sounded like a fine idea to me.  My host father insisted that I watch the alien movie Paul on his laptop instead.  I told him that he didn’t have to set it up because I was just going to sleep and not watch it.  However… he kept telling me that it was a really great and funny movie and that it would help me stay awake.  Fine… so I let him play the movie.

I think I was about 5 minutes into the movie when I was out cold.  I don’t really remember falling asleep. O_o

BUT I do remember waking up…

When I woke up, the movie had 15 minutes or so left, the guy next to me (he was an American!) was leaning over and watching the movie (was he watching the entire time??), and I apparently slept on his shoulder the entire time.

DUDE- I was so embarrassed.  When I realized that I was sleeping on him, I sat up and looked at him hoping he would give me eye contact so I could apologize… but he just glanced at me and went back to watching the movie.  So awkward… omg I had to sit for the next 15 minutes waiting for him to finish the movie… and the worst part is… MY HOST FAMILY AND AUDRA WERE WATCHING THIS.  😦 When I looked over (they sat diagonally from me), my host dad was laughing!  And then after we got off the KTX, my host dad told me that I was so funny.

Man… I was entertainment for them…

This wasn’t the only time either-

Another time, Audra and I were going home from school and we took the usual bus.  Since our bus ride was pretty long, we usually sat in the back (if we were lucky enough to get seats) and napped.  Well, this one particular time, I nodded off for a couple of minutes and I guess my head rolled onto the shoulder of the man on my right.  When I came out of my brief nap, I looked up and the man was just staring at me.  I probably said a record amount of 죄송합니다 to him.  I was afraid that he’d be all pissy about it because he was wearing a pretty spiffy suit… and I just slept on it like a pillow.  But… he just smiled and laughed and said 괜찬아.  He was on the bus for a little bit longer… so we just sat there awkwardly.  I looked over at Audra to … I don’t know… try to ease the embarrassment?  But she was still napping.  After this little episode, I always either sat against a window or in those single seats…

I’m glad that I didn’t get a serious yelling from these people that I slept on… but I’ve learned to be more careful when napping in public!

(Boy do I wish I was napping on Yoochun’s shoulder!)

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Protected: Waiting for the Moment

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There are times when I feel lost and confused.

Today is one of those days.

There are times when I have a lone tear traveling down my cheek.

Today is one of those days.

There are times when I feel light-headed.

Today is one of those days.

There are times when I have no desire to do anything.

Today is one of those days.

There are times when I do not care.

Today is one of those days.

There are times when I feel like taking a permanent nap.

Today is one of those days.

There are times when I miss you.

Today is one of those days.

There are times when I think about you.

Today is one of those days.

There are times.

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I’ve always seen shows like Law & Order: SVU, or news reports that showcase the vulnerability of women to society.  And for some reason, I always thought I was not vulnerable like these women.  However, we all are subject to the evils of society, no matter our gender, race, religion, etc.

Yesterday, I got to work half an hour early, so I decided to relax on a bench nearby.  The weather was nice and the air was refreshing.  A few minutes in, a passerby came across my path and we exchanged a courteous hello.  However, this passerby continued to talk to me afterwards, inquiring me about whether I was Chinese or not, what I was doing in the area, what school I go to, where I am from, etc, etc.  I felt a little strange talking to this man, but for some reason, I didn’t listen to my gut instinct.  He kept holding me in a conversation and at some point, I started to feel weird and wanted to walk away.  I think he noticed it and asked me when I took my lunch break so that we could have lunch together.  I didn’t want to talk to him anymore, so I told him I didn’t know and started to get up.  And so he asked me for my number afterwards… I told him that I don’t give out my number and he said “That’s fine, I totally understand… a woman by yourself… a little scared sometimes.”  As I got my stuff together, he commented on how pretty my dress was and forced his business card on me and told me to call him anytime.

There are no words to describe how scared I was.  He was a 40-something year old Hispanic man asking me for my number and commenting on my dress… that was when I knew something was really, really wrong and I needed to go.  I was afraid that he was going to find me during the lunch hours so I did not even leave the building for my entire work day.  And it just so happened that I got out of work late yesterday… so when I was leaving, there were no people around and it was semi-dark.  There was this uncomfortable feeling in my body that I had as I walked to the bus stop alone.  I felt like I was being watched… that someone was tracing my steps.  I even took a different path out of the building to get to the bus stop… but that didn’t seem to ease my nerves too much.  When I got to the bus stop, I found out that the next bus wasn’t coming til half an hour later and I just felt so weird sitting there by myself.  Every person who walked by made me nervous.  And so I had my mom on the phone with me all the way home… It was too weird yesterday…

The only other time I had a weird experience was roughly two years ago when I was in Flushing with my mom looking at DVDs to buy when an old Hispanic man grabbed my butt.  Since it was Flushing, it was packed with people and suddenly I felt a hand rubbing my butt cheek and I turned around and the Hispanic guy smiled and immediately walked away.  After this experience, I became afraid of closeness.  I’m still scared of people getting really close to me, especially strangers in large crowds of people.

As the fear started to grow as I was talking to the Hispanic guy in the park, I was reminded of the old Hispanic man who grabbed my butt.  There’s really no way to describe the strangeness of everything without being the person in the situation.

For the past couple of weeks, I would sit on the bench outside to clear my mind of stress before I went in to work.  Now, I’m afraid I can’t do that anymore.  It’s not even like I have someone to walk to or leave work with.  I’d feel safer if I had someone beside me.  Honestly, it’s too dangerous these days for young women to walk the streets by themselves.  I didn’t realize how scary it can be… even during the day.

It will probably take me a few weeks to get over this.  Well, I really don’t know how long it will take.  I just hope that I will never see this man again.  For the next few weeks though, I will be paranoid- I just know it.  I’m afraid of him getting there early to watch when I arrive, to watch where I go, to watch what I do, to watch me.  I only feel safe when I am in the office because I know that he cannot get past the receptionist.  It’s just… when I arrive to work, leave for lunch break, and leave work.

I am saddened by the fact that we basically have to close ourselves off from the world, from each other.  In order to be safe and protect ourselves, we have to isolate ourselves.

What has lowered the bar in our society, among our people?

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Last week was just hectic.  This week is still pretty mind boggling… and next week will continue to murder me alive.  This semester has been so tiring and busy that I am a little shocked and clueless as to how I should handle everything.  I’ve had crazy schedules before but I’ve never had so much to do that I have to give up sleep and eating regularly.  Of course, I know it’s not good when my schedule dominates over my health… but what can I do?  Speaking of health, I’m pretty sure these past two weeks have contributed to the hives that have appeared on my face and arms!  It started last night… and when I woke up this morning, I WAS SO UGLY.  And I have a networking event tonight… so I’ve been trying to tone the hives down.  They went down a little… but I still feel weird.

Any who, in times like these, I want to escape- from reality, from life, from myself.  I think about dropping everything and just running away to somewhere far and exotic, losing myself to my youth.  However, time and money are obstacles.  Also, even though escaping is what I want to do, I know I cannot just do that because I have responsibilities… running away on my own will would just be selfish.

Since physically escaping is out of the question… I’ve turned to something I call, The Internet Escape.  This is when I come on my blog (here!) and lose myself in my ideas, mind, and soul.  This platform is no simple blog to me… it’s my escape.  I come here to reflect about 20% of the time (30% at a secret location and 50% in the shower…).

Blogging is one of the activities that I absolutely love because it helps organize my ideas and my blog acts as my confidant.  If I had no work to do, I’d spend A LOT more time on blogging.  It’s hard to describe, but I feel safe and comfortable with expressing my ideas via my blog.  And it’s certainly very important to feel this way at your escape location.

As I said earlier, I’ve been having some hard times with everything lately and I think it’s time I escape for a little while.  So, hello internet escape~  HERE I COME.

haha~~ silliness aside, I know many people are stressed with their everyday lives too and sometimes it’s so difficult to find the right outlet… I recommend trying different outlets and figuring out which works best for you.  I’ve tried a whole range and I found blogging my favorite and it has not failed to help me relax a bit.


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