the guilt of waste and the consolation of benevolence and burgers

Posted: January 28, 2011 in domestication, expatriate, marriage, wife, husband, house

Spent most of the day yesterday cursing the waste of many things we bought but never used—namely, the ping-pong paddles.  In addition, there are things that are still worth something that have not found new homes, like the nice computer chair and the speakers.  However, as a distraction from these thoughts of waste, I sense a Calvin-ball game (see Calvin & Hobbes comic to complete your life) being hatched in Nic’s mind this morning when she says we should hold on to the paddles so we can use the cavern that is our furniture-less apartment to play some whacky game.  My wife’s whimsicality makes surprising and well-timed manifestations.

There are still boxes to mail…

And furniture to move to Sharon’s house.  Also, yesterday, I made a nice little gratis package as a housewarming gift to Sharon.  Everyone needs TP and screwdrivers and tealights and mini-blenders and miscellaneous beach items.

Yesterday’s clearing and divestitures: I cleaned out all cupboards in the kitchen, and cleared out the remaining shoes for donation to the shoeless.

More divestiture: we are taking the final ride on the famous autobikes to be eulogized tomorrow.  Mine (Maxine) was a work-horse, carting me 18k each way to work for two and a half years and whisking me to outlying areas around Busan.  Nic’s autobike (Scooter) had a lighter workload of 7k each way for only a year and a half.  We are getting 1.5 million KRW (~1,346 USD) for both.  Considering the convenience they’ve provided (not to mention the adventures and near-death experiences), the investment was worth it.

I got a chance to talk extensively to my brothers Lars and Diron back in the States via Skype.  Being that they have kids and all that fun stuff, I am grateful to have had the one-on-one time that is so difficult to pin down with working family folk.

When I was near the end of the to-do list composed by Nic, I couldn’t stop moving lest I notice how lonely things can get with out “stuff.”  I consoled myself about the increasing emptiness of uncanny echoes and monstrous dust buffaloes that roam free on the great plains of the bare living/dining room by filling the air with one last homecooked meal.  After finishing the remaining ¼ bottle of brandy with 7up…

…I grabbed the remaining ¾  pound of ground beef, the last ¾ of ground pork from Sarah’s freezer and started to hatch my recipe.  We have a few things left in the “walk-in” so I wanted to use what we have left.  Though we failed the Top Chef challenge of using all the grains (which are now in a bag with all our spices for donation to Nic’s friend, Shannon, in whose apartment we will be staying on our last night in Korea since Shannon is on vacation), I grated four small russet potatoes (skins on, squeezed and pressed to get rid of excess water) and a large carrot and mixed them together.  With ¼ cup canola oil, I mixed both meats with ¼ teaspoon each of red pepper, paprika, sea salt, black pepper, cumin, coriander, sage, thyme, basil, oregano, and crushed fennel seed.  Then I brought both mixtures together with one raw scrambled egg and made burger patties.  The result was 8 or 10 patties bursting with flavor.  We’ll eat well for days and maybe even give a few patties to Sharon and her family; it’s always tough to make a homecooked meal when in the midst of moving.

Today, off to sell the bikes (I may weep), turn in my Korean coins at the bank for paper beer money (everybody hates the lush that counts out his loose change for the can of booze he’s purchasing), and mail the first and second wave of boxes back to the motherland (I may say Good riddance), second to last Russian teahouse party (I may dance at Monday’s last one), last batch of cayenne-pepper popcorn (I may sneeze).

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