July 3rd, 2011
In 2005 I went to a conference, a graduate student conference, organized by Wilmar, a doctoral student at the University of Hawai'i. Later, at WAC I found that an upperclasswoman (who became a good friend) was actually Wilmar's wife. Wilmar finished his Ph.D. and is now living and working in Indonesia (his native country) and this week he's got a conference here in Seoul. Today was the day I could meet him and take him around, but it was raining buckets. It was raining so badly the police were directing the intersections and I was worried they'd be run over. It was raining so badly I saw a manhole cover that was knocked off because the water was spurting and gurgling up the hole as it tried to make its way down the too-full culvert. Seriously it was a geyser on the sidewalk! And the buses at the curb were driving through water a good 12 inches high—no one waited anywhere near the bus stop—they sprinted over from under buildings when the bus was stopped.
Wilmar and I went around old parts of Seoul, toured 경복궁 Gyeongbok Palace, then the National Folk Museum had a really disappointing lunch and I helped him shop for some Korean food stuff to take back to Indonesia for his wife, Feriyal, and his family.