Tonight, I wrote a long entry in my journal. My first since the Faculty Center Fire of April 1, when I lost most of my books and catalogs and objects that I cherish. I also watched the finale episode of Gilmore Girls. I missed the before, as life got in the way. I am sitting in my darkened room, because my light burned out. I am also listening to The Smiths’ Louder than Bombs album. Tonight is a good night. Not perfect, as life is. But it is a good night.
For the next few months, I will be in Seoul. Ruin indeed is the road to transformation. I applied for the research fellowship a week after the fire happened. I was just so heartbroken. I meant to apply for this fellowship at one point. But then, the fire was the push I needed to just do it. I didn’t know if I would get it, my interview was not great because Skype kept on getting cut off. But a month after, I heard word that I got accepted. I’m in. Five months in Seoul.
I was not a flawless transition. I missed my apartment. I missed my partner. I missed the food that my partner prepares. But it felt good being here. It felt good moving—learning new things, experiencing life in a different way. I’ve always known that I want to live in different places throughout my life. I moved to Manila when I was 16 to go to college. I moved to different cities since then. I even moved back home for a couple of years. A part of me feel so lost sometimes, not knowing where home really is. But a bigger part of me love this sense of freedom. I love moving around. I just do. And I do not see myself stopping.
I should be writing more about what I’m learning here. I failed two dictation quizzes in Korean, but earlier today I finally got a 7/10, a barely passing grade. The language was an adjustment but I think I’m getting the hang of learning it. I finally passed a dictation quiz, didn’t I? Maybe it will bet better. Or I certainly hope so. I’m really not the dictation type and I do not like the pressure and stress that apparently comes with the territory of Korean classroom experience. Well, things do get better, eventually.
The apartment is right above a metro station, which means noise. But it also means convenience. And the first week I had here was spent trying to make a homey place for myself. Now, I think it is. We’ve visited quite a number of museums and galleries that I know I should write about. And I say this a lot but I really hope I will get to it. I’m full of travel stories since 2012 and I am partly afraid that the stories and memories are slipping away from me. Or maybe things that I will never forget are the ones that really matter. I don’t really know. I will figure it out.
Maybe the stories will come out of me like Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way came out from him. Stories, memories, and disjuncts. Maybe I will write it. Maybe I won’t. Hopefully soon, or maybe not. Too many maybes. But for tonight, I’m listening to The Smiths. And it is a good night. And I hope there would be more nights like this. Or many nights where new memories are formed. Or maybe simply a night that I can call a good night.