Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Eight months and counting….

Growing up my mom must have told me a thousand times, “Enjoy being a kid, because once you’re an adult, you’ll be an adult for the rest of your life.” 

It might be simply that we are getting older, (gulp) but time seems to be flying by.  As children we only want to be adults, often for superficial reasons.  We can’t wait to have a driver’s license, get into rated-R movies, and drink alcohol legally. 

For as long as I can remember older people have always said that life goes by fast.  At some point Ryan and I must have become “older people,” (gulp again) because we couldn’t agree with them more. 

It’s been eight months since we arrived in Busan, wide-eyed and naïve to all that was in store for us.  It’s been said before, but even now as we’re searching city-wide for tortillas, hovering over the small two-burner stove in our kitchen, or trying desperately to find a website streaming the live (#1!) Ducks’ game, it will hit us: We live in Korea.  Even eight months after the fact it’s still hard to believe. 

By now we’ve adjusted to most of the local customs and the existing differences between Korean culture and our own.  We use two hands to give and receive anything as a way to demonstrate respect (a tradition which offends many if not followed) and aren’t surprised or agitated if we’re cut in line (lines don’t seem to exist here). We are well acquainted with the city and its public transportation and can easily get where we need to go.  Our tolerances for spicy food, kimchi, sweet pickles, the chance of a sugar dusting on all pastries (even garlic bread) and corn being unavoidable as a pizza topping have gone up considerably.

Our Korean continues to be very limited and we’ve mostly given up.  We’re able to get by between the little vocabulary we know, universal body language, helpful co-workers, and a city big enough to have many businesses with English speakers.  Although for reasons like that it often feels as though we’ve been here just a few months, when we look back over our time in Korea with all the places we’ve been and things we’ve done, it makes sense that it's been over an eight month span.  Even with that in mind it still feels that time is going by extremely quickly.  

Each week we go to school on Monday and somehow the next day is already Thursday.  We always wonder, how did that happen?  We are two thirds of the way done with a yearlong contract, and are happy to feel settled and comfortable in our temporary home.  One fear we had was that our year away would drag on.  So far it’s proven the opposite, with time moving at quite a fast pace.  Whether this fact is good or bad is hard to say.  There are definite pros about living here considering the freedom and adventure the opportunity has given us.  But of course we miss our home and all the people that make it.

We anticipate that the holidays will be hard.  Maybe the stretch of winter before we head home will be difficult as well.  But until then we’re here to enjoy our remaining time overseas, give our best to the most adorable students we’ve ever known, and continue to deepen our bond with each other.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post. Very wise. You've learned so much in such a (relatively) short
    period of time. Your time in S. Korea will inform and influence your whole lives. How many Americans have had the chance to live abroad for a year?
    I haven't. We are very proud of you both!