Goodbye, Year One. 안녕, Year Two.

I have been in the faintly kimchi-scented arms of Korea for a year now. Over a year, really, but my second year’s contract started on Sunday and it feels like I just got on the plane in Seattle, all teary and very accepting of the free white wine to begin this journey. So, naturally, I used the historical records of the age, Twitter, to check out this past year. Shall we?

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I remember arriving with Steven and our cab driver was going 152kph and I was so jetlagged that I didn’t care and there were so many bugs and what are these letters that look like a pre-Tetris nightmare IS THIS EVEN A LANGUAGE and I slept. Image

 

I still feel this way about k-pop videos…but also a fondness for their frighteningly robot cuteness and underage smiles.Image

 

Little did I know this would not be the first time this happened…ImageImageImageImage

Coworker: hey guys, I have a goodbye breakfast I made for everyone, come get some bagels BUT IT WAS LIKE A COUP, Y’ALL AND I JUST WANTED A FREE BAGEL AND IT WAS A TRAP.

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Also, unfortunately, something I’ve had to get very used to hearing. Koreans are very matter of fact when you’re not measuring up to their ideas of beauty. “what is wrong with your hair?” “teacher, you are so fat” and it is so just…factual. Not intentionally rude…it’s like they are just informing me “the earth is round and so are you.”

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And so I began my love affair with why adult students are 235% better than kid students. 

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You guys. There was so much shouting in this meeting. I straight up grabbed Roy-Gene’s leg and was squeezing tears out of my eyes to keep from laughing at the ridiculous, unnecessary drama. 

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Playing a zombie was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my personal life. Fake blood, contacts, blood condoms and new friends. 

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Look! Skills I learned in Korea!

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Sometimes you are all really, really far away and this country considers hugs to be kisses. AKA you do not hug someone unless they are your best friend or you’ve been dating for 164+ episodes of a Korean drama (see below). Image

BUT THEIR PARENTS WERE KEEPING THEM APART AND HE WAS SO RICH AND SHE WAS SO POOR AND AND AND…

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Bailey got low, low, low, low…but I was wearing Nikes. No Reeboks. 

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That’s free advice for you. Use it. 

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Another day in the life. 

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THE BEST start to vacation and feeling like I was conquering the world that ended with me pulling a Bridesmaids in Ilana’s bathroom…and I played all the characters…

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Yay! I got an apartment! Shit! The cleaning ladies stole $100+ worth of my stuff and threw most of it away. Image

This could just be an overall statement about Korean guys in general, but this specifically was a boyband at a k-pop concert that my friend Marty got me tickets to. It was so magical. There was so much guyliner that it was like Pirates of the Caribbean #24

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Korean apartment life, guys. 

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And now we’re to the present–where I’m now pretty much like a boxing badass and I sweat through all of the clothes. I’m feeling like I’m finally discovering this non-skinny powerful body of mine. And I get to hit things to get it. It’s great. 

I have met the most glorious people here. And not a day goes by that I don’t think of my friends in Arkansas. My family at home. My Tulsans. I use Apple exorbitant patience skills. And ORU chaplain face. And my dad’s “the work is finished when it’s finished” life advice. I’m home for a blink in June in all 3 of those places and if we can connect, I want to. Korea is where I’m finding more bits to myself and I’m so honored to call it home for (at least) one more year. 

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