Well our time here in the ROK is seriously winding down. Something like 77 days left? (But who’s counting? Moms?) My giddiness over being in the homestretch (IPAs…I’m coming home!) is overshadowed by how quickly time is passing. When people from home ask if I’m excited that August is so close, I’m unfailingly overwhelmed by the never-ending list of things that need to happen before then. This includes but is not limited to:
- Visiting at least three places that I haven’t visited in Korea (like Jeju!)
- Crossing off a few random but important things on my Korea bucket list (live octopus damnit)
- Organizing and financing trips to Thailand and Hong Kong (traveling pre-final-departure from Korea).
- Planning and executing weeks of English summer camps.
- Navigating the Korean bank system so I can get my due money when I leave.
- Extending my visa so Korea doesn’t detain me on my way out.
- Deciding where I’m going immediately after Korea (Europe for two weeks? Europe for two months? Straight home?)
- Arranging undecided journey.
- Buying a ticket out of Korea, Destination: Still Unknown.
- Packing up all the crap that can’t come to Europe with me.
- Figuring out how to send home all the crap I will have packed.
- Finding a job so I don’t have to turn tricks when I return to the U.S.
- This is the list that never ends….it goes on and on my friends….
Not to mention my many mundane daily responsibilities like:
- Keeping up with this blog.
- Teaching my increasingly cute students for whom I’m already beginning to feel terribly nostalgic.
- Figuring out how to do the absolute least amount of work it requires to entertain my multilevel English Club for two hours every week.
- Planning for June’s onslaught of open classes and avoiding the spazzy teachers with whom I’m
- Surviving the climbing temperatures and the daily mental warfare they wage on me (humidity makes me a bitch).
- Saving my dollars for all the traveling I want to do in the next few months.
- Saving my dollars so that I can afford shelter and transportation when I get back to the U.S.
- Feeding, bathing and clothing myself at least once every 24 hours.
I know, Oh, woe is me. Wherever shall I vacation after my extended vacation in Asia? Which global metropolis shall I choose to lounge in for a few months? Shall we take the Ferrari or the Lamborghini tonight dear? Godddddd, my life is such a drag. I know. But there’s a lot up in the air and it’s an important lot and I’m a supermegaworrier. Ironically, the “unknown” has made going home way, way scarier than coming to Korea ever was. So the answer to, “Are you excited?” is, “Exci-wha-I-ye-no-what?”
For example, this weekend we visited the DMZ. It was a day of complete and total Bad-Assery. Erin and I spent the time on the tour bus in between stops excitedly discussing how to rub this super awesome adventure in everyone’s faces. But when I finally got home from Seoul, my body crippled by the late-night, early-morning boozing and the perpetual subway-tunnel-stair-scaling, I spent my Monday holiday in an deep exhaustion coma where I lost all motivation to brag about anything to anyone. I don’t even know what Erin did; I was too tired to touch my computer and find out.
Now it’s Wednesday but also kind of Friday because we don’t have to go to regular school the rest of the week. “What is this chick complaining about then?” you’re asking. This Thursday and Friday I am being dragged kicking and cursing to a teaching workshop held by our Office of Education. I am pissy about this because of that number up there, 77 days. 77 days I will be here, including weekends and vacation time, so really I only have about 40-50 days lefts of teaching, and I have to attend a stupid two-day teachers workshop. Again, I’m sure your asking, “So? Isn’t it nice to get out of work? That your Office of Ed is doing something for you?”
Under some circumstances I might say yes. But since this is completely mandatory with miserable assigned roommates and miserable assigned bus seats and miserable assigned social activities, the answer is NO. NO NO NO NO. I am not happy about having to go to this stupid workshop to learn stupid things and be all social and friendly with people who I will NEVER EVER see again because I am leaving in 77 DAYS. Am I being a big rotten crybaby? Of course. But I’ve done my job here and I’ve done it well for the last nine and half months, the Office of Ed shouldn’t be wasting money and resources on people who aren’t renewing. Plus two days away from home is two less days to deal with those awful To-Do lists up there.
Anyway, all of that is why this week you might only see this lousy rant on TWD. And why in the coming weeks you can expect quality posts like, “Thing #14 I Will Miss About Korea” and “Thing #22 I Will Not Miss About Korea”. I apologize in advance.
To make it up to you, I leave you with this, a photo of a statue I discovered last week at my visiting school. I have walked past this statue four times a week for the last nine months and only the other day did I notice it.