Now I am back near Seoul, back "home" (my Sept. 2011 to Sept. 2013 home).
In the week I was "AFK" (Away From this Keyboard), two people underwent surgeries, as I mentioned in post-98. Both are fine. My sister is now out of the hospital, six days after surgery. My friend Jared is still recovering in the hospital, four days after surgery, but is doing remarkably well.
I visited Jared in the hospital Saturday into Sunday. The visit was a little surreal. The hospital-area I was in (a place for recovering patients to recuperate) felt like part airport and part prison. It is a tight-running ship, though, and a highly-modern facility, the equivalent to the best in the world, I think -- not that I know much about hospitals. It also has some great views, from the 10th floor, of Ilsan.
At the hospital, I saw his boss-friend Curt (whom I'd met once before) and his friend Grace (whom I'd heard about many times, but not met). Grace is amazing: She lived in Korea till age 10, then moved to Canada till age 24, and then returned to Korea for the past decade or so. She is the rare example of a Korean who is, from my judgement after interacting with her for five hours on Saturday, absolutely-totally native-level fluent in both languages.
Jared's surgery made him unable to talk very well. He wrote messages on paper, usually, including many jokes. One was unintentional. Let me relate it here. The subject of Jared's desktop computer came up. He'd gotten it at Costco. I said "It was really cheap, wasn't it?" He started writing his answer on his notepad, with Grace and I looking on. I had developed the habit of reading each word as he wrote it. "I -- got -- it -- with -- pants." Pants? He quickly scribbled something again. Oh! It was actually p-o-i-n-t-s. He got the computer with points (i.e., buy enough and you get something free). The 'o' and 'i' blended together in the poorly-lit room. The ridiculousness of getting a desktop computer "with pants" (buy a pair of pants, get a computer free!) made us laugh, Jared included.