Happy New Year! Last night I stayed up long enough to witness the New Year, and then I headed for bed. No big parties for me. I watched a bit of TV, but otherwise I celebrated quietly. This is the first year in ages that Dick Clark did not usher in the new year on ABC’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve”, a New Year’s staple. Regis Philbin sat in for him. The show was pretty much dedicated to Dick this year. I only watched for about 10 minutes. When I was young I remember faithfully watching the ABC, NBC and CBS New Year’s Eve TV celebrations every year. Now I have very little interest in watching network television. I must be getting old. At 12:00 a.m. some people set off some firecrackers near our apartment building. At first I wondered whether I heard gunfire (you never know in a big city!) but then I realized the calendar had turned to 2005 and people were celebrating outside. Welcome to the New Year!
This break has done wonders for me. Life slowed down tremendously during the time between Christmas and New Year. I needed that. Even though I went in to work to study Korean each day, it still felt like a vacation to me. I was able to spend the day with my wife and son. The weather was gorgeous. It is January 1st, but today felt like mid-September just before fall hits. It was clear and sunny but not cold at all. I heard that it may have hit 60+ degrees today. I’m glad…although I grew up in cold climates I don’t really like snow. People do crazy things in the snow, and it makes life a lot more inconvenient. I do enjoy winter sports like skiing, but as long as the snow stays in the mountains I’m happy. Today we headed to the mall to do a little New Year’s shopping. The mall was packed with shoppers. We ate at a little hole-in-the-wall Philly-style Greek-Italian restaurant. It was greasy but delicious. I doubt we’ll have many of those in Korea. American restaurants abound–so I hear–but there aren’t too many mom-and-pop American style restaurants in Seoul. We’ll see.
The break is over soon, and I am sad. I really enjoy having time to work and study and play at my leisure. On Monday the grind will start again.