Well, as of two days ago, I have been back in Korea.
Needless to say, I arrived back here with a lot less excitement than I came back in August. It makes sense, seeing as Korea was this Adventure-land to me when I hadn’t yet taught. I don’t want to seem off-putting, but while I’ll be sad to not be living abroad anymore, I will be fairly glad to not be teaching any longer. With the right combination of visits home and time, I’m fairly certain I could get better at this living abroad thing, but… the thing I am less confident about is how I feel about the teaching.
Anyway, I just had a visit home! It was really good. I needed it like none other. I was seriously at the point where I just spent a weekend night reading a book and either crying or on the verge of it. Some people don’t get very homesick…apparently I do at times. Wednesday the 22nd I got up and took a Taxi to the airport. I was standby, but they don’t oversell tickets here the way they do all the time in the states so I was easily able to make it on the flight. I watched 4 movies in the plane: Be My Pet (this cute but strange Korean film), Moneyball, Crazy, Stupid, Love, and another movie that escapes me at the moment.
Arriving back on US soil was a hectic but relieving experience. No longer would I get stares back in my direction for speaking English, at least for a week!!
My wonderful bff Morgan picked me up from the airport. It was SO good to see her. She even treated me to Taco Bell (She knows I owe her like a bazillion dollars by now) and we made our way back. Her Dad owes me Pork Ribs when I get home still 🙂
Thursday I woke up at a wonderfully not-too-early hour, and largely did nothing with the beginning of the day, which was wonderful. Mom and I walked Smokey, and got car stuff figured out (One of hers and my sister’s were messed up) I went grocery shopping, and got to see our next Publix (it is fairly pricey but nice) and finally I saw Morgan later that day and she stayed the night.
Friday Morgan and I went to Hendersonville and I got a few things from Gap with her 😀 I got to see the Iron lady, which was awesome! And sad. I cried because of the movie and because of all the emotions surrounding my visit home.. Morgan and I enjoyed putting on Korean style face masks that night. Essentially they are made to moisturize your face, but I can’t think of a foreigner who hasn’t put them on just to look like a crazed serial killer.
Saturday I ran that morning and then had several friends over in the evening. I was so happy to see them. We had pizza and cake, and played one of my favorite games, Repeat or You’re Obsolete. Some very interesting dance moves resulted from playing this game. 😀
Sunday I hung out with Kate at the beginning of the day. I am happy for her and proud of her, but I am also sad that she will be moving to another state (Iowa?) in August, which is before I’ll get back from Korea. She made breakfast for the both of us. Morgan came over for a bit too and we all visited. Later that afternoon I went to small group. I love the Denleys. So much. They are a wonderful and inspiring couple whose faith I would like to emulate. I met the newbies and enjoyed a super delicious meal of Chicken, Mashed potatoes, and rolls (My request!)
Monday I got up (later than intended) and met Emmanuelle for breakfast at Waffle House. I then went to campus and I met with some people at the library. Unfortunately my former supervisor wasn’t there, but I saw a bunch of other people and spoke with them. I went in the English department and while I wasn’t able to talk with my Shakespeare professor, I did get to talk with my Keats professor and he again reminded me of his willingness to write a letter of recommendation in the future. 🙂 I got a teeth cleaning which felt great and was needed. I went to a walk-in clinic and got some nasal spray and stuff for allergies. That night I FINALLY got a milkshake from Steak n’ Shake and it was amazing…with Nikki and Morgan. Nikki stayed the night, but unfortunately she was only able to stay until 2 p.m. the next day as her mother wasn’t doing very well. We walked Smokey and talked before she had to leave.
That evening I had dinner with Dad at Blackhorse. We tried a new Pizza for both of us, but didn’t really like it all that much. I believe sometimes it pays to just stick with what you know you like. After that I suggested going to Lifeway, where Dad bought me two devotional books and one regular book. He took me home after I went into Walmart for a minute.
All of a sudden it was Wednesday, the day before my last day! Time seriously passed by so quickly. After Morgan stayed the night and we got up really late, I missed voting in the Primary election (but as it turned out, I missed it by like 2 days so no harm was really done). Then I went and got a hairtrim, and got a highlight redone at the front but a little thicker. (I like it, but I don’t know how others felt)
I then got this amazing massage at Eden Day Spa. Oh man, how I needed that massage. The girl’s name was Lindy, and she was really good. I paid for an hour body massage, but my shoulders, back, and neck were so messed up we decided it was best to focus on them rather than my legs and feet. I am so sad that she’ll have graduated by the time I get back. As soon as I get back to the U.S. I plan to schedule another one ASAP.
We visited with Nanny that night, later than expected because I took so long to get home from my errands. They now have 9 dogs if I understood her correctly! They’re all small dogs except for their old collie Bonnie and only 5 of those are inside (and even then they keep them in baby pens) but still! Their dogs were incredibly sweet and Nanny’s chicken spaghetti was very good. I miss seeing them. At the time I didn’t always like when Nanny took care of us but now I wish I had talked more with Nanny instead of keeping to myself so much.
Thursday I woke up and had been reading for a bit when Mom came in. She lamented that we hadn’t spent much time together. I was a little annoyed that she was trying to get something together last minute before I was about to meet Dad at his house to go bike riding. She scratched my back again and we talked before eating breakfast outside (the weather was gorgeous) and drinking coffee. I was glad I was finally honest about my frustrations in not having talked about that stuff earlier with Mom, but sad that we didn’t do anything until the last day. I met with Dad, and we biked at this place called the Greenway, about 45 minutes away from Dad’s house. It was 4 miles flat, and we went to the end and back, thereby bicycling 8 miles. We ate Lunch at this place 15 minutes away that had pretty good food.I got an order of Catfish, but my favorite was this Goo-Goo Cluster inspired dessert, covered in (maybe a bit much) Chocolate and served with Ice Cream beside it 🙂 mmmm it was SOOOO good. Gosh I miss home already. Then after Dad took me back it was time to meet Martha, though I could have easily taken a nap. I met her at Don Pancho’s and I got some Nachos with Beef for Takeout. We talked for a while, and after some cell phone/plane ticket mishaps (I didn’t have a phone during my visit so I was always needing my friends’ and in the instance with Martha my Mom had been trying to get in touch with me but couldn’t since I didn’t text her using Martha’s number until we were finished eating) That night Mom and I went and got pedicures. My toenails still look fantastic from that. It was maybe my 3rd or 4th pedicure ever. The ladies there were from an Asian country(my mind is blank) and both of them wished me good luck. We went to Books-A-Million after that and I met a very sociable guy who worked there and was very friendly. I ultimately ended up getting East of Eden, a book I’ve heard is good countless times. We went home after that, and by this time it was 10:00. Morgan came over around 10:30 and was a great help packing and talking with me. After she left I was decided not to sleep because I was afraid of oversleeping. I set an alarm for 4am, but ended up not needing it since I never went to bed.
Dad took me to the airport again. We talked a little bit on the way up there, but not a lot because both of us were pretty tired. It was a bittersweet ending to my nice trip. I know that these next 6 months will go by in a blink, as he said, but maybe I’m more suited for life in the States than I thought. If I can, I would love to live abroad again in the future, but maybe not in Asia. Anway, I had a lovely visit home 🙂