Goodbye Korea! Thank you

I’m into my final hours here in Korea and yes I’m excited to go and also sad at the same time. It’s been a wonderful ride and I am grateful for it all.

I think I have said everything I could about this transition and finally just want to say thank you to my readers and supporters. I know for sure my time in Korea would have been harder if I didn’t have this blog and community.

For all future updates on my life and adventures head over to the American-Joy blog. 🙂

My way of saying goodbye with the Girl Scouts singing “Taps”:

Task Rabbit to the rescue!

Getting to Incheon airport is going to be easy cause my friend (and his car) are taking me there. But since I don’t know anyone in Seattle, taking care of that end is going to be a challenge. Until I read about Taskrabbit in the New Yorker.

It’s the new startup where there are “rabbits” and people who ask for things to get done. The “rabbits” are background checked people who sign up to take on tasks other people request. For example some tasks range from needing help assembling Ikea furniture to doing one’s budget.

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The Last Night in Korea (for ForeignerJoy)

Today I went to my school to pay my housing bills and as I waited for my supervisor in the office the Vice President started to talk to me. No worries, she is a sweet older woman who has complimented me in the past. She wanted to know when I was leaving, and when I told her, “tomorrow” she was astonished. She even asked if that was next week’s tomorrow. She knew I had been in Korea five years and asked me if I had a boyfriend or was married. All questions that receive a “no” answer. But I reassured her I was fine and was heading back home to be a student to learn more about teaching.

We did hug goodbye.

I’m sitting here with three bags packed to the brim and can’t believe it’s my last night in Korea. Five years ago I came here with wide eyes and an open heart. I experienced so much, went through so many tribulations and made amazing memories. Now it’s ending minute by minute and the hardest part is knowing I will be far away from it all.

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The Last Week: Day 2

It’s all pretty much ready folks. I’ve made a pile of things next to my suitcase that I hope to stuff inside it. I’ve gone through the kitchen and cleared out stuff and put some things into a box.

By this time tomorrow it will be less than 30 hours in Korea, and then it’s bye bye. I think I have said all there is to say about how I feel. I’m just kind of ready now to hop on the plane, get Tom through to the other side and start things. I was happy to see Tom lick his water bottle feeder that is attached to his carrier. This gave me hope that he will hydrate himself during the flight, but then got me a little concerned he may need the bathroom. Ah well!

I also successfully registered for my first two classes as a graduate student! This gave me a lot of excitement for what’s to come. They are, “Linguistics for Language Teachers I” and “Adult Learners”. Two classes that I think will be a good start, and they meet on Tues and Weds. Student life, here I come!

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Day 3 : The Last Week

Maybe I will miss the warm sun rising over my little home here in Korea. It’s warmth carrying it’s way into my shoebox and warming things up from a cold night. You can watch the sun go past the sky by seeing the sun-rays go from one end of the wall to the other. It’s funny because Tom has a little pattern he follows. Around noon he comes out of the covers, where he was slumbering, and heads to the sunshine. I’ve also noticed around 2:30 he likes a spot on top of my suitcases that sit in the balcony.

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The Last Week: Day 4

Today was all about work, work, work. I got up and immediately went ahead with cleaning behind all the furniture. I found a lot of dust and cat hair all mangled together. Things in here sure do look a lot cleaner now. After I whisked through the living space I tackled the kitchen. Everything needed a good scrubbing including the refrigerator.

When I moved in to this place (two years ago) it wasn’t as clean as I’m making it now. But I know who is going to move in and I don’t really want to leave someone with a dirty place. It sucks to move in somewhere and then have to clean it to make it comfortable. I suppose I am putting money into my good karma bank!

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The Last Week: Day 5

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not traveling back to America, but moving. If I were traveling there then I wouldn’t need to send off six boxes and try to squeeze what is left into two suitcases. But because I am moving, I am sending everything I own to a faraway location.

Today I cleared out my living space and put it all into my suitcases. Turns out I’m going to need that third one. In the end things are starting to look more and more empty in my little apartment here. Someone came by and took the last bookshelf away. Also with all the boxes gone space is opening up.

I thought I would get to dusting behind furniture and cleaning out areas today but I think my motivation will come tomorrow. I’m meeting up with a friend for dinner as a one last goodbye.

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The Last Week: Day 6

Even though I don’t have to wake up early anymore to head into work, Tom still wakes me up. He does it gently by first meowing in my face and then laying his paw on my chin. Then he slowly drags his paw away so that his claws catch my skin and wake me up enough. It’s okay to get up early and feed him cause I can sleep in for the next two hours. Or when he wakes me up again for his treats. Who needs an alarm clock, when you have a cat?

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The Last Week: Day 7

It’s starting to hit me that I have just about a week left in Korea. All the memories and people I have met are going to be in a far away place when I go back home. When I ride the subway I can’t help but think that this would be my last time on the bustling train. As I walk past the usual shops in my neighborhood and hear the fruit stand lady shout, “Oranges, 3,000 won!” (In Korean) I know that I won’t hear that again.

I am not scared to be saying good bye to all this but I now really I understand it’s something I’m going to have to do. Korea has been my home for the past five years and I made it so. I adjusted to all the differences and nuances. I can read Korean fluently and work my way around a crowded busy street like slick butter. It’s time to wrap all this up and put in my memories.

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If these shoes could talk…

Those are a pair of shoes that I have worn every since I came to Korea. They have been my work shoes, because you change your shoes when you go to work here. I always said to myself I would get a different pair but I never bothered. They have seen me through 1 hagwon, 2 public schools and this last one. These shoes have taken me through a lot of drama and hard times, but also through fun experiences as well. I’m not going to take them back with me, so I suppose they can live here in Korea.

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