I’m Not Dead

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Or: A blog that you will expect to be about the North/South Korea thing, but is actually self-indulgent drivel about my life in limbo.

Apologies digital friends, for I have been a terrible blogger of late. Hopefully you’ll be so pleased by my timely return that you wont be too hurt, but whilst you’re making your mind up about what emotion to fling at me you can enjoy this charming “welcome back to my life” post! You lucky buggers, you.

Or: A blog that you will expect to be about the North/South Korea thing, but is actually self-indulgent drivel about my life in limbo.

Apologies digital friends, for I have been a terrible blogger of late. Hopefully you’ll be so pleased by my timely return that you wont be too hurt, but whilst you’re making your mind up about what emotion to fling at me you can enjoy this charming “welcome back to my life” post! You lucky buggers, you.

So, what have I been up to recently? Well first and foremost, I left Korea upon completion of my teaching contract to return to my beloved homeland. It is now a couple of months later and all of my English food and drink fantasies have been fulfilled, for which I should make special mention to my Mum, for cooking some incredible roast dinners which more than made up for a Christmas away from home, and to my dear friend Beffo, for bravely taking on 5 and a half bottles of Prosecco with me on the first night of my return. Very solid work on both accounts.

Lots of people have asked me what the weirdest thing about being back is, but the honest answer is that the weirdest thing is that nothing feels weird at all. Leading up to my return I expected everything to feel displaced, surreal and alien to what I had become used to. I thought I’d have trouble speaking English properly, that I wouldn’t be able to switch off my ESL teacher voice or that I’d consistently mistake strangers’ conversations with each other for them talking to me, so unused was I to hearing English spoken day to day. None of these things happened, which I suppose makes perfect sense considering that I spent 25 years here before my one away. The only thing that’s changed is that eating bread makes my stomach bloat up like a ruddy beach ball now, which is very depressing.

I’ve been home for just over a month, and today is pretty much the first day that I’ve had nothing to do. The moment I returned I threw myself into the imperative job of clothes shopping, which had hit situation critical in my last few months in Korea. One of life’s great pleasures is walking into shops knowing that, should you see something you like, you won’t have to contend with a furious, finger wagging ajumma loudly declaring “NO BIG SIZEEEEES!!” whenever you screw up sufficient courage to ask the location of the fitting room. The only downside to my newfound love for shopping is that high street clothes in England are expensive beyond all rational thought, and most of them are a bit odd. I can see myself re-igniting the ‘Adventures on the British High Street’ portion of this blog before the month is out.

The second most important job, next to clothing myself, was to inspect the wedding venue I had booking (via my Mum) whilst I was in Korea. I wasn’t worried about it, but realising that my Mum was we took a day trip to Yorkshire and (after a weird pub lunch and a lengthy inspection of all things matrimonial) all fears were put to bed. I doubt whether my adventures in wedding planning will make it to this blog, so you should just know that the venue is lovely, with any luck everything else will be lovely, and hopefully everyone will have a lovely time. Lovely stuff.

Sometime around this point I made my first visit to Leeds in over a year. For those who don’t know, this is the city I moved to for University, stayed in for as long as possible after graduating and plan to move back to in a few months time. You know Daisy’s monologue from the beginning of Spaced’s series two? Replace ‘Londinium’ with ‘Loidis’, marvel at how I know the archaic name for Leeds, and that’s how I feel about it. Anyway, excuse some particularly self-indulgent ramblings here, but I could not have hoped for a better welcome. Within five minutes of arriving I was attack-hugged within an inch of my life, then spent my evening catching up with my awesome friend, drinking 5 and a half bottles of awesome fizzy wine and watching awesomely awful musicals in her awesome apartment. The next day I woke up with a hangover of considerable proportions, eschewed makeup and decent clothes in favour of a walk in the rain for double-cream whipped eggs on toast then returned for what I thought would be a quiet nap in the awesome apartment, but was actually the awesome, incredible surprise of seeing everyone I know and love in one room. I cried, then showered, then ate my weight in Dime bar cookies and basked in how wonderful life can be when your friends are amazing. If anyone reads this who came, thank you, and thank you so much to the excellent folks who organised it.

Next I went on two week-long holidays with my Mum, one to land-of-contradictions Belgium and one to not-so-exciting-sounding-but-no-less-beautiful Pembrokeshire. I’ll probably write a proper, full length blog on Belgium at some point so won’t mention it much here, but suffice to say that it was an excellent trip filled with enough beer and chocolate to feed a small army. Wales, too, was lovely and reminded me quite how beautiful our homeland countryside can be. I saw a pheasant and a hawk and learned (thankfully not first-hand) that alpacas can spit poop from their mouths when they’re angry.

Now that I’m returned from lands afar and back in my kitchen, I look at my calendar and realise that I only have a couple of weeks to fill before I go to Rotterdam to visit my fiancé and eat a shedload of waffles. In the two weeks before I go the only pressing things I have to do are pass my driving theory test and be told how many of my wisdom teeth need unceremoniously whipping out…which hopefully means that there’ll be plenty of time for shopping, blogging and whatever else in between.

To borrow the immortal words of pop deity Britney Spears: I’m back, bitches.



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