9.27.2007

Beginning to be Back.

Well, I've been home for 11 days now. It's been busy too: lots of visiting, eating, driving, adjusting. I'm living with the rents for now which has been pretty good for the most part, considering I used to absolutely hate the thought of staying there for extended periods of time. I suppose the bottom line is that I can't afford to move out yet until I have a job lined up...

Speaking of which, job searching in itself is like a job...I've been applying for whatever openings there are at the local school districts in Holland and Grand Rapids as well as to whatever other appealing jobs I've come across. I also interviewed with a child care center for a head teacher position. When I asked about the compensation she said, "well, I start head teachers at $7.25/hr, but since you have a bachelor's degree I'll start you at $7.50". I almost spat in her face.

Korea sometimes seems like a distant memory, and I can feel it slipping from my grasp already. As much as I was looking forward to coming home for the variety of food, I definitely miss the convenience and the tastes of Korean food. I like having a car and driving again, but I hate having to be dependent on it. I catch myself doing little bows to people and using the Korean "uh" in response to people, I don't even know if I did that so much while I was actually in Korea, but it's somehow trickled into my vocabulary.

As far as what's next, I'm still unsure. I'm not sure where I want to go to school. I have to find out what the best option is considering how long it will take, where I'm living/working, and how much it will cost. Those three things are so inter-dependent on each other. I'm not going to choose where to live until I have a job and I can't really start going to school until either 2nd semester or next fall...so I'm still at square 1.

Until then, I'm going to enjoy myself in sunny Florida. I'm in the Detroit airport actually. I had a very early flight from Grand Rapids and hardly slept last night due to fretting over my maid of honor speech...

Will post piccies when I return.

9.15.2007

Dear Korea,

It's the eve before my departure and I'm feeling both sad and excited about leaving you. This year has been filled with highs and lows, new friends, self-discoveries, direction, challenges, and above all, growth.

As a person, I know I've grown more independent and have very much learned to enjoy living by myself. I've also learned it's probably better that I cook only for myself rather than for others and that I don't mind washing dishes or sweeping the floors but hate doing laundry and dusting.
I now realize I buy more groceries than I need, and the same goes for clothes and accessories. I can safely say that having dance parties with a glass of red is one of my favorite pastimes, as is practicing yoga moves I don't actually know and attempting to be a push up master.

Oh Korea, there are so many things I will miss about you: your smells, your drivers, your variety in food, your ability to form lines, your ability to walk in straight lines, your bikers, your hikers and of course your unbelievable and unwavering understanding that I look like you but can't actually utter more than a few words in your native tongue.

All jokes aside, I will miss many things about you: some of the smells (barbeque's, ginseng), the food (despite the lack of variety, I will forever miss yachey Kimbap for $1.50 - I heart you yachey Kimbap), $6 sauna Sundays, cheap transportation (still hate how the Ko's drive though), accessible hiking, mountains in general, friends - of course, and my kiddos.

Until our paths meet again, which I foresee in the future although uncertain of when or under what circumstances, I very much look forward to returning to you, my motherland. Stay safe now, don't let those Chinese, Japanese and North Korean's or hell, even Al Queda shake you up. I'm excited for you to learn and understand and maybe even accept the diversity of other cultures within your own and anticipate changes a brewing.

Warmly,
Kim Joo Mee

9.10.2007

With my feet hardly hitting land, I'm breathing...

It's been a nutty, quick, chaotic, fun, (insert any adjective other than calm) past week and a half. I've finished work and said sad goodbyes to my kiddos and my co-teachers. Tears were shed, gifts were given and received, a ridiculous amount of beef was consumed, Hong Kong was visited, shopping was shopped, islands were hopped, delicious foods were eaten and big Buddha's were seen.

I finished work on August 31st and went to Daegu to stay with Myung Mi and her family for two days. The weather was crappy but we went temple tromping in Milyang and ate ridiculous amounts of food, like 5 full meals in one day. My tummy was about to bust.

A few days were spent in Seoul, buying last minute prezzies and seeing some friends from home. I heart Seoul. It has such a fresh and renewed sense of energy, I suppose the same as any big city. It's always a welcome surprise from the normal and constant rigamorole of Gimhae.

Hong Kong was great. A city that boasts sky scrapers and an amazing variety of food that my pallet partied with. I stayed with Eric and So Hang which was so generous of them. I permed my hair, something I swore I'd NEVER DO AGAIN. But alas, I did, and it's fun and different. I shopped at H&M (I shouldn't have, I don't need anymore things and definitely don't have room for them). Overall, a wonderful trip. Pictures will up soon so I'll post the link then.

---*---*---*---*---*---*---

Back in Korea now.
Heading to Pohang for more farewells. Saying goodbye can be very exhausting.
Home on Sunday. Be prepared for it. BAM and Bye bye.

9.03.2007

I'm...

...in Incheon (Seoul) airport, about to board for Hong Kong.
...officially unemployed
...officially homeless
...going home in 12 days
...going to Florida in 23 days
...happy.

Don't let the negative undertones confuse you; I am in the utmost of good spirits today.

I didn't realize it was Labor Day yesterday until a friend mentioned it last night. This was even after my father wrote about the annual family get-together I was missing. I didn't clue in. I excuse myself by saying I'm on vacation. I hope everyone at home had a lovely time off work, unless you know, you had to work, then I just wish you all a Happy (late) Labor Day. I hope drinks were poured, barbeque's eaten, camping camped, marshmallows smored?? ha. Marshmallows. Rice crispies. mmm...

G'day for now.