It is about that time again that I shove off, piss off, get lost, vanish. Choose what you will. In two weeks, your favorite vagabond will be back in the professional setting after three and a half months of visiting you, my friends and family (though I never made it to Ashland or NYC). I have suffered from strep and laryngitis in recent weeks as a result of conversing, eating and drinking with my people. I also gained fifteen pounds from a glut of meat and cheese and good beer. No way would I trade this summer—and its minor drawbacks—for anything. Routine, kimbap and kimchi will get me back to my Korean self.
This is just the way of it, though: vacation is never as relaxing as it should be. And is always excessive in its vices. Amidst the surplus of food and spirits, I have reconnected with many important people and strengthened other bonds—most importantly, with my nieces and nephew. Inevitably, with the lifestyle I choose, others have fallen by the wayside. However, I made some new and potentially important—not to mention, unexpected—connections. Having gone down this path of expatriation before, I know better how to keep these relationships close, even at such great distances.
Despite the great time I have had tending to these relationships, I find myself looking forward to my upcoming two year stint in the Hermit Kingdom. I went on a bit of a shopping spree recently to shore up my pile of reading for the next six months (I have no idea how the hell I’m going to get all those books back there). I have accomplished a good base of progress on the novel, but need the structure of work and far fewer local friends (AKA: distractions) in order to catch up on my reading and writing. One day, finding this balance will not be such a challenge. And I won’t have to go half way around the world in order to get the ideal job.
And this will be the ideal job in terms of hours. 16 classroom hours a week. With that kind of schedule, not only will my teaching effectiveness increase, I will be able to devote more time to the aforementioned reading and writing. The writing will also include higher frequency (resulting in shorter entries for those readers who are on the go) and more humor (or humour, for you Canucks) unless I am off on some excursion that requires 3000 words. It has been put upon me—and I gladly accept the challenge—to find the extraordinary in the mundane, making some descriptions that would be accessible to my nephew; this was a request from my brother, so they could both become more involved in what I am doing “ovah theyah.” I will start with entries every second week and see how it goes.
To remind myself of humility—lest I go too cocksure into this next job—, I will next week recount some comedy from my first job in Korea, nearly two years ago. Also, I will post a few pictures from other people’s cameras. If you have any good photos, please send them to me via email in the next few days. Also, note that comments can be made on the website; feel free to tell me to shut up (though I probably won’t listen) or that I am a hack (though I already know that) or that I am handsome (at least it’s better than being handless).