Changer les Idées / Have a change of ideas

Finally I will be moving out of the 하숙집 where I have been living for the past ~5 months. Cumulatively, I have come to live in the area of 신촌 (Sinchon) for around 9 months now – if you were to include my time spent in Yonsei University during my exchange in 2008. I feel it is certainly time for a change now, which corresponds precisely with the changing of seasons. Spring can’t come soon enough..

This is the first truly cold winter that I have experienced, and cold it was! I believe that 2010’s Christmas was the coldest in 37 years in S. Korea. And I also remember seeing that the -17.8 C that occurred was the coldest registered since 2002, which happened just a few short weeks ago. I also just read that today was the most snow in over 100 years to have fallen in the province of Gangwon (East Coast of Korea), a “snow bomb” of sorts.

Anyhow, returning to my original subject, I view this as one step in the process of ‘moving up’ for lack of a better phrase. I have had enough of the mosquitos in my room, full bathrooms, mishaps of the owners waking me up at 7:40 AM on the weekends, mysterious and sneaky floor-mates, etc.

On another note, I just gave my 2nd iPhone (1st generation) to my brother to use in China; I already purchased a brand new 3GS (3rd generation) and offered it to my sister to use in the USA. Now I am left with a very simplistic Korean ‘Sky’ phone that is overpriced in its billing cycle, a bit frustrating I have to say. But to be honest, 상관이 없어요 – it really doesn’t matter. Materialistic things are not what make us happy, well explained in a New York Times article, entitled “But Will it Make You Happy?” You may find the article here:

I highly recommend a reading.

The thought that I take with me from the article is the following: “Give away some of your stuff,” the author advises. “See how it feels.”

I have to say that it feels pretty good. And I realize that it is liberating to separate ourselves from material possessions, and not define our livelihoods by their use and/or purchase. We are more than our car or what type of clothes that we wear, as hard as it is for us (definitely me) to conceive.

With that in mind, I will go to bed to face another challenging week. Korean final of level 3 in Ehwa University, will be quite a miracle if I pass it!

Moving on Saturday to live with my good friend Kristof! Here we go Seoul!

– Matthew 매튜

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