Sunday, October 28, 2012

Konichiwa from Tokyo-Narita

I'm sitting here at the Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan. I'm on my way back to Korea after having had a one week visit back in Oregon. I've plopped down on the ground to charge my phone, which I'm using to write this very blog entry. People are giving me some pretty strange looks-I guess sitting along the wall of a busy walkway isn't conventional around here. But I don't care. In watching the passing people in return.

Passing me now is a campus couple. A campus couple in Korea is a couple wearing the same thing- the same sweatshirt, same hat or sometime even the same shoes. I guess they have campus couples in Japan too! Or maybe they are also headed back to Korea.

Stewardesses pass, either having just arrived off a flight or heading toward one that is departing. If they work for an Asian airline, you would never know the difference because of their high level of professionalism.

As I typed the above sentences, I heard the lyrics, "God bless America" being sung. When I looked up it was two, what I can only guess to be American hipster guys. They could use some voice work.

I hear various languages. Some people are in a rush, some are taking their time. Some look tired, some confused, some excited, and some like zombies.

Oh! A guy just passed with a grey mustache- one of those that are long and curl upward.

And there goes a girl running past! Hope she makes her flight.

Anyway, airports are an interesting place. I think that's what I'm getting at. If embraced, they can be an exciting part of traveling. They always make me feel nostalgic, probably why I suddenly had the urge to blog.

I also want to share some special memories from my visit home.

Will add photo descriptions later!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ahn nyeong from... Seoul!

I recently re-read my last post and laughed at my certainty for leaving Korea. The yearning for change was met with a giant whirlwind that swiftly picked me up and has yet to spit me out. But did I leave Korea? No. Well at least not yet.

I am not settled and for a long while, nor was I grounded. But luckily, after a much needed, restful Sunday filled with a whole lot of reflecting and introspection, I seem to have found something strong and sturdy to hang onto. It comes from within myself and despite this crazy vortex that is life, I have regained some stability, something that can be difficult to grasp when you are not settled.

So what's been going on lately? Here are some highlights!

Last month, I celebrated my last day of two years teaching at a public school in Anyang City. Some 900 students at this school will remain in my heart forever. 

Literally that same day, I moved from Anyang City to Sangdo, Seoul to teach university students at Chungang University. 

This is my old apartment. Empty. 

This is the neighborhood surrounding Chungang University. Feels wonderful experiencing campus life again, especially with a different perspective. 

Cake on the roof at my friend, Barbie's, brunch party.

I celebrated Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) by making Songpyeon, a traditional Korean rice cake. 

Welcoming Fall with a bike ride along the Han River. 

HI Seoul Festival- The neon is people hanging from the City Hall building while fireworks are released from the roof. Only in Korea, I tell ya... and I mean that in the best of ways. 

Ridge Climbing at Bukhan Mountain. Feeling pretty tough! 

I met Shannon in Gangreung City for some Gangreung (not to be confused with Gangnam) style type action. Not pictured- belting our hearts out to 90's music, including Alanis Morisette, at a singing room. We documented it with sound clips not pictures and if you're lucky, we sent you one! 

Hiking at Dobong Mountain- Fall is my favorite time in the states and also my favorite time in Korea. But in the two places, the season is completely different. Here, it's marked by bright blue skies, perfectly seen from the top of Seoul's mountains. 

My current status in Seoul is temporary and I have big news to share about the future! But it's getting late, so I'll have to come back for another post later. Til' then, byebye bloggie world.