Tuesday, September 28, 2010

1 Year Later

It seems a little hard to believe, but while I was hanging out in the Jakarta airport Sunday the one year anniversary of my moving to Korea slipped by. I do have some pictures and stories about Indonesia that I plan to post, but I figured some sort of 1-year post was in order.

Sadly, I don't feel I have any profound thoughts to offer the clamoring public. I occasionally get asked why I came to Korea and I've never really come up w/ a good answer. That isn't at all to imply I regret coming here, just that I never really had a set plan in which spending time in Korea was a necessary prerequisite. Things just kind of worked out and here I am.

When I first set foot in Korea, in transit from Japan to Russia, my very first impression was seeing a Dunking Donuts in the airport covered in hangul and thinking I was pretty much hitting the reset button on my foreign country experience and effectively destroying any progress I'd made towards figuring out what I'd been doing in Japan. Shortly thereafter, I had my first taste of Korean food and concluded it wasn't just resetting but handicapping myself as well.

In the year since, I feel I've done a fair job of exploring Korea. I still haven't been to Busan or the DMZ, but I've covered a lot of the random stuff scattered between.

I can't speak Korean as well as I'd like (foreign languages are hard), but I can have a rudimentary conversation with someone willing to deal w/ my limited vocab and warped intonations.

I don't have a huge circle of friends, but there are a few people here I'd go out of my way to see again (which is about as well as I've done at any other stop along the way).

Work is still weird, but there are the occasional rewards and I haven't lost the motivation to keep trying.

All in all, I can't complain (though sometimes I still do). And I have to admit that it was comforting to hear the meaningless chatter of Korean upon landing in Seoul. And dozing on the bus, I woke up and recognized the buildings as we drove past. And I was happy to home (or as home as anywhere outside of Nevada has ever been).

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