The first of the year turned out to be one giant spaz attack. I somehow managed to cut my fingers 3 times while dealing with the laundry. You might not think that laundry is particularly dangerous but it is when it involves coordinated movement between two hands. I just kept somehow cutting my fingers on my own finger nails. They aren’t even long or jagged! I really have no idea how I managed that. Since none of the blood got on my clean clothing it wasn’t a big deal until I started coking dinner. Onion in open cuts is decidedly irritating.
Salsa boy knows what an internet addict I am. He set up the internet to be activated for December 14th so that when we came back from our epic road trip I would be able to happily connect. No such luck. They screwed up and said they didn’t have the apartment number so they couldn’t do it. It’s such crap–we live in a gated community, they would have had to stop in the office anyways and the office would have given them the apartment number and key since we did a key release. Whatever, so we gave them the apartment number and they said they’d be there yesterday. I waited at home all day yesterday and of course, no freaking internet person came. Salsa boy spent about 4 hours on hold and being given the run around between last night and today. Now the soonest they can get it in is the 4th of January–nearly 3 weeks later.
I’ve been debating for the past month whether or not to keep blogging. The thing is, I like writing even if no one is reading it. I have a shelf full of journals to attest to that fact. So I will keep blogging. Once I’m employed I will buy a domain name and change this blog to Alex’s Adventures.
To catch up, in the past month I:
-Went on a road trip from New York to Virginia to North Carolina to Florida to Texas.
-Met my SUPER CUTE NEPHEW!
-GOT ENGAGED to Salsa Boy!
-Moved to Austin (with Salsa Boy)
-Applied for jobs
-Went to my very first theme park (Disney Land and then HARRY POTTER WORLD!!)
-Struggled not to hurt myself accidentally
From 9am until about lunch I feel like a happy camper. It’s as if I’ve just woken up from a nap in which I elected to wear my pajamas. After lunch I start descending into what my mother calls ‘uber bitch mode.’ Basically, my body is whining that it’s the middle of the night and why oh why won’t I go to bed already? It becomes physically painful. I heroically persevere (and annoy everyone around me while I do so) until bedtime when I attempt to sleep. Then my body says ‘but it’s the middle of the afternoon! Get up lazy bones and go for a walk or something.’ Stupid internal clock.
Culture shock is much easier than last time. I still hand money the Korean way but I’m not surprised when store clerks speak to me in English. However, I do get startled when I hear English conversations around me as I’m used to just having white noise or god forbid, k-pop.
I woke up at 8am this morning which was completely unnecessary considering that it takes maybe 30 minutes to get to the airport and my flight is at 2:20pm. Everything was packed and scrubbed in my apartment, I even cooked myself some eggs for breakfast! Upon strolling to the curb with my enormous suitcases a cab rolled to a stop and the very kind driver helped me load them into the car. We chatted in Korean and English (his English was excellent) for the entire ride and my travel anxiety was at an all time low.
I had a feeling it was going to be one of those days as I repeatedly dropped things in the bathroom this morning. Luckily, the only permanent damage was to my favorite eye shadow which shattered into a million pieces and made a ridiculous mess.
Despite my reservations, I made it through the day without even painfully bumping into a desk or spilling my coffee! My students (with the exception of one slightly evil 6th grade class) were bummed that I am leaving and my desk had a small mountain of farewell notes and little presents.
I will admit it–I had fully prepared to spend my Thursday evening holed up in my apartment with a bowl of instant ramen and a book. However, my lovely co-workers had other ideas for me! As a thank you for doing the English club they took me out to Vietnamese style shabu shabu and then a coffee shop to sit and chat over our drinks. The oldest member in our group commented half jokingly about how lame we were–no drinking or noraebang! Let’s face it, what elementary school teacher wants to go have a wild night knowing they have to deal with small children early in the morning?
I’ve been dreading making this announcement for months but here it is–on December 1st I will head back to the US for the indefinite future.
It was a difficult decision. I love the nomad lifestyle and the never ending adventures but I have a new nephew I want to see–not to mention the rest of my family and friends.
Perhaps I’ll go back to the States and be horribly sick of it in 18 months or utterly jobless. Regardless, at one point I’m sure I’ll end up back on the road and blogging.
Today we got to leave school at “2” to do some staff bonding. I’m not sure why they planned to have us leave at 2 since everyone teaches until 2:10 on Monday and then have to get the students cleaning and such. In any case, instead of grading papers and lesson planning we managed to head out by 3 to Naewan Temple (Naewansa) for a bit of “hiking” followed by food. Excited by the prospect of a bit of light hiking I brought out my full North Face gear and layered up. We arrived at the gate where most of the teachers promptly decided it was too cold to hike (??!) and drove around to the temple. We walked maybe 200 meters. I would have preferred to walk with the few teachers that did but not speaking much Korean I was confused about what was going on sort of thrust back into a car. I didn’t mind terribly, it was still ridiculously gorgeous. Observe:
Yesterday, I was chatting away with my dad on Skype at the PC bang. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Only about 15 minutes into the conversation, the college student who runs the desk came over to ask me something. This is unprecedented. Even though he tried to speak slowly, I only really caught the words ‘chat,’ ‘talk,’ and ‘other foreigner.’ I figured that I was bothering the other foreigner (who I hadn’t noticed) with my chatting so I asked if chatting was okay. I had no idea what he was saying back to me only he kept mentioning the other foreigner. I stand up and realize that sitting on the other side of the divider is another foreigner, albeit he doesn’t look like an English speaker. I ask the guy if my chatting is bothering him anyway and he shakes his head. I go back to being confused. Just to make sure I’m not bothering anyone I tell my dad that I have to go (which was a little sad because we were having a nice chat) and hang up.