Saturday, November 1, 2008
Thoughts on Leaving...
I was talking to my friend, Dee, recently and we were remarking how it is sometimes difficult to organize one's thoughts in Korea. Perhaps it's the weird working hours, the remaining traces of culture shock, or perhaps it's the after affects of consuming so much fermented cabbage. Whatever the source, it's been a tough couple of months in terms of trying to be a coherent human being.
I'll have more reflections to make and more complete thoughts to relate upon my return to Canada. Heck, I might even be able to find the time to properly blog about Hiroshima, our trip to the DMZ and all of the other madness that has occurred since extending our contract past our original finish date of August 30th, to October 29th.
So, where am I at? Right now, I'm sitting at Holly's Coffee in Gangnam. Steph and I are staying with a gracious friend in her wee apartment and she's being good enough to babysit our things while we venture of to South East Asia. Tomorrow morning, we'll be meeting some friends for brunch before heading to the airport for a 1 am arrival in Bangkok and a subsequent flight to Ko Samui four hours after we touch down. We'll be lacking sleep, but when we wake up, we'll be on a beach with friends, beer, sun, and CNN showing some hopeful results in a certain election on November 4th.
In the meantime, it wouldn't feel right leaving Korea without dropping a line here - another promise to write more, and a bit of a goodbye.
But, as for Korea, it's only a goodbye for now. I will be back in the new year. I am currently choosing between 3 really good offers, all of them unique and intriguing. Lots to consider. In the meantime, I can look back on 14 months here and know that there are more words required to adequately comment on my time, but for now I can say what I said to my mom and dad this morning over skype: I have learned more about teaching, more about a foreign culture, more about people, and more about myself. My time here hasn't been perfect and it hasn't always been a holiday. It's a been a year and a bit in the life - different in places and shockingly similar in others. I miss my family now, and I will miss some people that I've met here, while at the same time being very happy to let other things go.
Such is life. I've learned, and hopefully, being a teacher, I have also effectively given something back to some of the children that I can't imagine my daily routine being without. My world has become a little bit smaller and a whole lot larger at the same time. I'll be in touch soon.