Today marks 4 months since I arrived in Korea. I still stop myself sometimes to think “wow amalia you’re STILL here”. but the time is going by pretty fast, just like everyone said it would. I feel like it was a few days ago I was sitting in this exact chair looking out the window and just wishing for the mountain to turn green and the sun to come out. Now all the windows are open, students are running around outside, the mountain and the trees are green, and I’m drinking ice coffee (Iceuh-Copi) as it is called.
It is so hot. And it’s hot indoors and outdoors. The a/c is only turned on in extreme situations and for short periods of time. The air is heavy and still pretty dry compared to Florida. I wish we were by the sea so the breeze could be cool and ocean-y, but we are way inland and the air is warm and dusty.
In the past weeks I’ve been pretty occupied. I went to Gyeongju and visited the ancient tombs of the Silla kingdom, I hiked a mountain and almost died on the way down*, got yelled at by a Korean landlord, made a pretty killer sangria at Vanessa’s Mexican birthday party, spent a couple weekends in Seoul, went to a bar in Jecheon and beat some locals at darts, tried pig feet, taught my students to say “hangry”, made friends with my neighbour who’s obsessed with his plants and fishtanks, purchased tickets to Bali for August, became an expert airbnb researcher, went disco-bowling, ripped my favorite jeans, and spent a lot of time lesson planning.
In addition to all of that, I’ve been making enormous progress on the drawing in my kitchen/living room. Ive been working on it for about two months and its been really nice to come home from work and just scribble on the wall for a couple hours. It’s something from my “old life” that I can hold on to, so I dont feel like everything is different. I guess when I finish this wall I can wallpaper something else.
It’s only been four months,and I can sense myself becoming more and more Korean. I am already wondering how weird it will be to return to the US. I’ve gotten used to bowing to everyone, taking my shoes off indoors, making sure my shoulders are covered, drinking mango beer at the 7/11, and accepting everything with two hands. I don’t even remember how to use a fork I don’t think…
Mom does Trader Joe’s sell Kimchi????
*Kay: Six years ago I said I’d never go hiking again, that was a big lie.