Tonight we'll have a wine and cheese night at my house. I can't even eat cheese, but I'm excited to have company, and have a good time. Maybe I inherited the hospitality gene from Mom -- nothing pleases me so well as seeing people around me having a good time (especially if it's partly my doing -- through hospitality, or through suggesting an activity, or [best of all] through recommending a restaurant. For some reason, taking a person to a restaurant I know of, and seeing them really enjoy the food/dish, gives me inordinate, almost inappropriate amounts of pleasure.)
That's really enough to make me happy, right there: some people at my house, some nice conversation, some laughs, and some good food. Wine is the best conversation drink, bar none. Beer is too loud, and lends itself to binge drinking. Hard liquors either must be drunk too slowly, or lead too quickly to drunkenness, and, once drunk on hard liquor, people make bad decisions, and have odd moods (for example, the "let's see what happens if I throw X at Y!" mood). Wine's taste is rich and subtle, good to be savoured (especially red wine), which means it gets sipped rather than gulped. Add to that the way alcohol lowers a person's inhibitions, and you have more honest and interesting conversation than coffee or tea (because they're alcohol free, people's defenses never quite drop). Plus, wine is a happy drunk. People don't start throwing things or swearing or punching when they've had wine.
It doesn't take much to make me happy. Wine and a friend will do. So will wearing my leather-soled doc marten boots and walking in Lotte Department store, where the floors are polished stone, and where I can slide for almost three meters after a short running start. (Yep. That's me. The grown man sliding around on the department store floor like a little kid on an ice patch. Stare if you want, but don't tell me to stop, because I won't. And if you don't like it, just look at the grin on my face and reflect upon whether I'm really hurting anyone. Yay me!)
In other "I love this country" news, the folks at the bakery where I grab a bite every morning on my way to work figured out that the cinnamon buns they make are my favourite thing they serve (Ha! Diagram THAT sentence!). The cinnamon buns are not as good as the ones at Kent Pastry and Bakery, but anything cinnamon is better than no cinnamon. Problem was, their baking schedule had the cinnamon buns ready about five minutes too late for my morning schedule: the only time they were ready by the time I came through was on days when I was already late for work. One day, I came in to find no cinnamon buns, and used the best Korean I knew to say "Nine o'clock. . . cinnamon buns. . . please! Cinnamon buns, ummm, delicious!" The lady gave me a knowing "isn't he cute" smile -- she's been seeing me come in there regularly for more than a year now -- and answered in Korean.
Since then, every morning, the cinnamon buns have been on display by the time I pop in for munchies. I can't even communicate with these people (other than "Have a nice day!" "Do you want a bag?" "Two thousand won, please!" and "Nine o'clock . . . cinnamon buns. . . please! Cinnamon buns, ummm, delicious!") and they're going out of their way, if only just a little, to make my day better. People are great.
And that's all it takes to make me happy, really. Add in a good book to read and good music to listen to, and enough personal time to write stories and poems, and I'll love life, whatever else is happening.
This also makes me happy.
His name is Micah P. Hinson. Beneath the Rose