Musings

Goodbye, Korea

I'm sitting at the airport, waiting to board my flight. I've said all my goodbyes, checked my bags, and am currently coping with the traumatizing loss of my Alien Registration Card. They took it away at immigration. I'm a little bit devastated.

Things I Will Miss About Korea

-3G on the subway
-being able to charge my phone literally anywhere, including bars
-bingsu
-elevator buttons that cancel if you press them again 
-key codes to apartments
-dweigi galbi
-dalk galbi
-all the galbis, really
-being invisible to sidewalk solicitors
-cheap contacts and glasses
-national health insurance
-drinking in public
-만원 ($10) shoes
-5천원 ($5) clothes
-천원 ($1) socks
-$16 salon haircuts 
-no tipping
-servicee
-busses that are timed to the second
-no last call
-ondol
-jjimjilbangs
-noraebangs
-multibangs
-McDonald's delivery
-feeling safe walking around at 2am
-this view


-a lot of other things that won't occur to me until I'm home

Smile Because It Happened

MY SUITCASES ARE CLOSED!! IT'S A MIRACLE!!!!

Oh god, I'm so relieved. Talk about stress.

Now I'm just cleaning my apartment and watching Doctor Who to avoid confronting my emotions. NBD.

Friday night was the big farewell tour. It was just about perfect. We started at a bar that we found our first weekend in Hongdae, when we were just wee K-babies. Then we went to a music lounge that has become a favorite haunt of the Seoulmates, followed by a stop at my favorite rock club and ending at The Park. It was Hongdae in a nutshell. The only thing missing was noraebang and the makgeolli man.

T-Minus 1 Week

One week from today, I will be in America.

It's funny how time seems to speed up when you least want it to. My week has been so chock-a-block full of dinner dates, errands, and packing that as soon as I get out of school I'm going nonstop until about now... which is 1am. I do have downtime in school, but that only serves to heighten my anxiety. There's not a lot of things that are worse for moving-related stress than having to sit idly in an office and think about all the things you could be doing. I'll try to write more once things calm down a bit (i.e. once I move out of my apartment on Sunday and into Coworker's house, where she graciously invited me to stay for the 2 days I'm homeless). But for now, just know that I'm stressed, excited, sad, happy, overwhelmed, and anxious. So, just all of the feelings, really.

Notes from Asiapalooza

I'm back! I'll post a full Flickr set of my pictures soon, but first, here are some notes from my trip.

I have:
-taken 10 flights in 9 days
-set foot in 5 countries

Restlessness

It's been a while since I wrote a nice long text wall here. I'm sure you've all missed it (hah).

I have just under 6 weeks left in Korea. Tomorrow marks eleven months since I set foot here. It's difficult to pinpoint how I've changed since that day, so I won't get into that now.

I can tell my time here is coming to an end because I'm getting restless. It's like a bubble sitting under my sternum. I've never been very good at enjoying the moment and not thinking about what comes next, and I'm guilty of it once again. I'm trying to focus on my remaining time here, but mentally I'm already getting ready for my next adventure.

It's been one of those days.

After hobbling around on crutches following an ankle sprain on Monday, getting a hard time from my (clueless) coteacher about taking more sick leave to see the orthopedist (as if I did it on purpose), being unable to go out with my friends tonight or do anything fun during our day off tomorrow due to aforementioned crutches, finding out that I have to teach another term of after school class, learning that one of my precious 10 (count them: ten) remaining weekends is being consumed by a "mandatory school staff retreat," and general anxiety about not having time to do everything I want before I leave, this weasel best expresses how I feel.  Please forgive the language.

Plastic Surgery in Korea

I'd like to direct your attention to a excellent piece of writing by my friend Maggie of Maggie Moo Does Korea. It's about the cult of beauty and obsession with plastic surgery in Korea. I've wanted to touch upon this issue myself, but Maggie's piece sums it up better than I ever could. Also, her blog is excellent in general and I suggest you check the rest of it out.

I Have So Many Feelings

I have a lot of feelings today.

First off: Big news. Huge.

I just bought my ticket back to America.

HOLY FLYING WORD-I-CANNOT-SAY.

I'll be flying into LAX on August 27th, at which point I will spent somewhere between one and two weeks with the parental units. After that, I'll be returning to Boston. Date TBA. So that's threatening to set off a small panic attack.

Moreover, today marks my 9-month anniversary in Korea. I am officially 3-quarters of the way through my year here. So that's stirring up a lot of mixed emotions.

Eight Months, Future Plans, and Other Difficult Things

Saturday marked my eighth month in Korea. Let's just stop for a minute to consider the ramifications of that. I have been living in Korea for three quarters of a year. I only have 4 months left here. That realization came with a double-edged fear:

A: OH GOD. I only have 4 months left here. I still have so much to do!
B: OH GOD. I only have 4 months left here. What ON EARTH am I going to do when I get back?

I've started working on mitigating part A by planning trips around Korea and making a point to participate in as many shenanigans with my friends as possible.

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