Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Tuesday, Day 21 (minus 16 to PST)


Exactly 3 weeks and 16 hours ago, I was hanging out with my friends Jenn and Greg, the night before I departed to South Korea. I miss them bunches!

Today is a hot day. I took the lloooooooooooong way to work, an extra 20 minutes, just walking around, and seeing what my eyes could see. In fact, I stopped into a little clothing outlet, and before I could say anything to her, she say, "Everything too small!" and gestering her hands to the exaggerated small size. Wow, did that make me feel big or what! And all I wanted was a little vest to cover up my shoulders. Boy..

I can't wait to upload my pictures tonight. I've got plenty, and I'll take more on route to walking home after work. I was worried the cleaning people that come in early to clean the school may think to picking it up--but alas, they're are righteous people here! (Plus, I'm sure they know who the 'foreigner's desk is' and that I would have squacked if anything was missing.)

I've finally catered my website to how I like it. I like learning html, but it's a bit of a pain, and very time-consuming to tweek the little things without formal education on writing the darn computer language.

I think I'll end today's entry with a little notable:
I remember how groggy I felt when I got off that airplane and onto collecting my baggage at the Incheon airport. I couldn't believe I was near Seoul. I could believe I was in South Korea! I weather was muggy, and I bet I wasn't the only foreigner lost and sleepy after such a long flight, and only 3 or 4 hours of shut-eye.

I met a Korean expat that kept me company while we waited for our baggage, and checked into immigration with our passports. I felt reassurance knowing that I wouldn't quite be shocked by the language barrier, the foreign faces, and my first encounter with the strange writing that I would finally see in the flesh, called Hangul. I had studied at least a handful of hours on Hangul, but that didn't prepare me for being overwhelmed by understanding NOTHING!

Then came meeting Kal, my director's brother and the Vice-President of the school. He took me to eat my first bowl of seaweek--which I choked down! 5 hours of driving later, when I was told about an hour and a half; nearly 85% of that driving I was asleep...we finally arrived in Daegu.

The ladies greeted me, and I met Ellen, Angelina, Kelly and Susan for the first time, along with the school, and the very location that I would eventually call home. What an experience.

Now, today, three weeks later, I am feeling more comfortable in my skin, and these foreign surroundings are becoming less foreign by the day. I greet my school and the ladies with a smile, and I reward myself when I remember a Korean word, and it's meaning--and somehow get the pronounciation right.

Such is the nastalgia of my first days here in South Korea, and it will always remain bittersweet in my mind.
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