Saturday, April 08, 2006

Back in Seoul

So, here I sit, borrowing Amber's Mac, which I find a bit odd to use after a lifetime of PCs, back in Seoul.

The flight over was really, really long. I flew through Vancouver, so after five hours of flying there and an hour to change planes, I still had the 11 hour journey to Korea to get through. It gave me a lot of time to think, trying to figure out how I actually feel about my return to Korea - at one point, I was just sitting and trying to decide where I actually wanted that plane to be landing. Korea? Scotland? Back in Toronto? The last six months have been ridiculously chaotic for me and the one good thing about this move to Korea is that after months of introspection and constant analysis of absolutely everything in my life, at least right now I am doing something instead of just thinking about what I should do.

The flight in itself, while long and boring, had a few spectacular moments - for the first time in ages, I had a window seat and the view was spectacular. The view of the mountains flying into Vancouver, the view of the islands flying out. Alaska. Russia. Ice and snow. Amazing. I like flying over the far north because while it's on that ever lengthening list of places I would love to go and explore, realistically I am not likely to ever get THAT far north. And it is just beautiful.

At Incheon, we landed early, I cleared immigration in moments, and then my bags both showed up minutes after I arrived at the luggage belt. I don't think I have ever been off a plane and through the exit gate that quickly before. Mr. Joo, my new boss, picked me up and drove me to the apartment I will be staying at while waiting for mine to be ready. He seems nice and we managed to have some bizarre conversations. Whether this is the result of extreme jet lag, I don't know. Mr. Joo on Scottish people: "They are conservative people, but honest. I like them very much." On music: "The music of the 70s and 80s is better than hip hop. They were beautiful ballads and easier to understand."

So, he left me at Amber and Sean's apartment, to wait for them to return. I have to wait for him to clean my place - I had assumed this was because the last girl had just moved out, but it turns out there was a fire there a week ago and it has to be cleaned up and new furniture bought. Which is fine, but a bizzare thing to learn upon one's arrival. I had high hopes for knowing where I was - I saw the Carrefour and thought perhaps it was the one I knew, as Mr. Joo had suggested we were near Mokdong. That turns out not to be the case - which is good in terms of having a new neighbourhood to explore, but disappointing in that I felt good to think I knew where I was in the city in terms of subway access. However, I am sure given a week I will have that figured out anyway.

Amber and Sean are really nice and I went out with them for galbi. It was good to eat Korean food again. We chatted, drank some soju and rum & cokes, and watched a film, though to be honest, couldn't tell you what happened. I was in that horrible jet lagged place where you are just totally exhausted and yet somehow totally wired. They are off rock climbing today and I had intended to sleep in, but woke up at 7 and have been up since. I am actively attempting to rehydrate, after the dryness of flying combined with last night's drinking. I may be meeting up with another teacher, Julie, today, or I will have to go out and do some exploring of my own.

I am excited to be here, I think. I am sure that sounds silly and I wish I had a more concrete feeling about whether or not moving back was the right choice. I seem to go from elation at being back (like when I got an email from Val saying she'll be back in Korea for 10 days in May and suggesting a Ladies' Night at the Loft) to being really not so sure. I have a lot of confidence that all things will work out for the best, I just wish I had more idea how that was going to happen. I need to turn my brain off for a bit and go back to that zen bubble feeling I had in Korea last time - just let life happen. Go with the flow.

Leap and the net will appear, goes a Zen saying. I've leapt!

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