Korea Update: So close…

I got my paperwork in from Alistair yesterday. Today I went and applied for my visa.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 4.15.37 PM

It’s funny how little summary sentences like that completely leave out everything in the middle. This is the main reason I want to keep a daily blog in Korea. There’s sure to be certain big things that happen, like visits to historic places and the inevitable absurdly different culture. (Kimchi? Did you mean kimcheeseburger, because that’s about the extent of my Korean food knowledge…)

But I don’t want to forget the little things that come in the middle, the daily life that, even in a country foreign to my own, is sure to become mundane eventually. Celebrating the mundane is difficult, but being able to look back on and remember the small details, the little victories and defeats of each day, well. Hopefully that will add something to the experience.

What that something might be, I haven’t the slightest.But then, I’ve never done this before.

The small details of the week I was referring to earlier are these (in no particular order):

-It is hot. Absurdly, mind-meltingly hot in Atlanta. And my car has no air conditioner. And although I’m staying with my sister and brother-in-law rent-free in the exciting metropolis of not-quite-Marietta-not-quite-Woodstock, Georgia, (an excellent arrangement for me, if not them), every time I get into my car to go to Atlanta, I look forward to a miserable, dripping wet, stifling, hour-long ride into the city. I say dripping wet because leaving every window down and blasting hot air on oneself does nothing to stop the cascading floods of sweat pooling in the leather interior. You heard it here first, folks. It’s sexy.

-The inhuman heat and long ride are coupled with insane traffic. Standstill, kill-everyone-in-sight traffic. It’s funny, I always used to say traffic didn’t bother me, because I’m usually more than happy to just sit and listen to audiobooks and wait it out. Those statements came from the old me, though. The me with an air conditioner. How young and naive and, let’s be honest, completely idiotic she was. Bless her. Atlanta traffic with no air conditioner is not the environment that instills empathy and goodwill towards your fellow man, take it from a highway screamer. Also, have you noticed people are idiots and they shouldn’t be allowed on the road? Yeah, me too.

-Nowhere in Downtown Atlanta has its own parking. I mean nowhere. Every single place, even the UPS store, even Bank of America, even the Korean Consulate (my three stops today), rely on bloody paid Public Parking with bloody eight stories of hot ass concrete and bloody $5 minimum fees. It’s a fresh hell, especially in the summer. Or perhaps that’s my heat-induced anger talking.

As you may have seen in my last post, patience is not high on my list of held virtues. Neither is temperance, or, let’s face it, any of the others. So this waiting nonsense has been particularly hard on my motivation and general temper. But at last it (seems) like the waiting is coming to an end, and now that it’s here, it’s daunting. In less than a month, I will be living in a new country, 13 hours ahead of my current home, where every street sign and restaurant menu is in a language I can barely grasp the alphabet of. I will know no one, I will be untrained and inexperienced at my job, and I will be on my own.

Am I scared? Yes. I’m not sociopathic. But it’s a strange fear. It’s a fear that says: yes, this is different, and it’s scary. But sameness is scarier.

As Proust says, (yeah I’m quoting Proust, I’m #literary #educated #adeptatgoogling):

“The thirst for something other than what we have…to bring something new, even if it is worse, some emotion, some sorrow; when our sensibility, which happiness has silenced like an idle harp, wants to resonate under some hand, even a rough one, and even if it might be broken by it.”
― Marcel ProustSwann’s Way

More posts soon,


One thought on “Korea Update: So close…

  1. ewrinc

    “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine
    “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson
    “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

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