So it occurs to me that I have a grading coming up.
(Actually it didn’t occur to me so much as it occurred to one of the instructors, who mentioned it in Taekwon Do class the other day.)
I thought I’d tell you about the pattern I’ve learnt for it, because I have to be able to tell the person grading me all about it. It’s called Chon-Ji Tul.
Chon-Ji Tul literally translates to heaven and the earth. It’s split into two parts, one representing heaven and the other earth. Chon-Ji Tul is understood as sort of a creation story, or the beginning of human history, which is why it’s the first pattern us 9th Gups learn.
It has 19 movements. I pretty much always get stuck on number 9, when the switch over from the first half to the second half begins.
Other things I get stuck on? Talking to strangers at bus stops. I’m not a particularly approachable person (I think) and so it always surprises the hell out of me when a stranger decides to chat with me.
The other day I was waiting on a bench waiting for my bus to arrive. A woman in her early 30’s came storming down the road and flopped into the seat next to me. She was rugged up for the winter cold with a multi coloured scarf and a cute knitted cap.
She turned to me, barely making eye contact, before blurting out:
“You know when you’re at a boys house, and he’s acting like a twat, and so you leave and then you feel bad for leaving, and so you text him and tell him you’re sorry but you had to take off and then he doesn’t reply?!”
No ‘I thought. I’ve never been in that situation.
“Yup” I said.
“What’s WITH that?!” She exploded.
Crap. I hadn’t realised that there was going to be a test. “I’ve got no idea. Maybe he didn’t realise that he was exhibiting wankerish behaviour. Guys are idiots sometimes.”
We settled into a companionable silence. I mused about why I always end up griping about guys and relationships with my female friends – and now a complete stranger in the bus stop. I wondered if I should now be dishing the goss about my relationship.
“So.” She said a little while later. “What’s the difference between a man and a boy?”
I said the first thing that popped into my head. “About 20 years.”
She roared with laughter. Obviously she liked that.
“Very good. I was going to say a marriage, a mortgage, and a kid.”
I didn’t know what kind of guy she was dating, but I know if I was out looking for a man I wouldn’t be picking one with a pre-existing marriage or kid. Maybe that changes as you get older though.
Before the bus arrived she had lectured me on how boys (no mention of men) weren’t worth it. About how everything else in a boys life comes before a serious relationship. And god forbid if you even say the words ‘serious’ ‘relationship’ and commitment’. She went on to fume about about how they never texted when they should.
Too right. I thought. They don’t text, they don’t email, and they hardly ever say the right thing.
When the bus arrived she sat down the front, and I scaled my way to the back. Her negativity seemed to be catching and I was going for dinner and bowling with Louise and Karlie.
I was not in the mood to spend my night sitting in a corner bitching about guys. Instead I ate pizza, got a strike on my first go, and lost the game by about 100 points to Chris.
Later on I sat back and took a sip of my ginger beer and honey vodka before finally asking the question that had been on my mind the whole night:
“So what is the difference between a man and a boy, and why do we bother with them?”