Saturday, August 30, 2008

is there more?

this is me in front of a big palace near Seoul.

what else can I blog about?  I have no idea ... I think I've run out of ideas of things to write on so I'll just type and see what come out ... deal?  Ok!

so the other night coming home from taekwondo I fell of my bike and got banged up a little.  My ego is more wounded than anything else.  there I am riding in front of the bus stop, not going fast or anything and my chain slips, I miss my footing and tumble on the ground letting out some kind of yelp while doing this.  mind you this is in the middle of the street.  while I'm gathering myself my bag has wrapped itself around my arms and I'm having quite a difficult time standing up.  also to note is my crash happened in the middle of the road and the light is green.  it's a rather less traveled road so I was only mildly worried but still worried for the odd chance an insane cab driver will come by.  so anyways, I laugh at myself and ride home.  I'm 27 and still falling off my bike, what the hell I say!

Work is work.  That's all I have to say about that.  I'm trying to find joy in what I do no matter how difficult it can be.  I love it when I can laugh at my kids, they are truly cute and funny but sometimes I'm just so focused on teaching them English I miss the fact that they are to be enjoyed as they have become a part of my life.

I just got my red belt in taekwondo and broke three boards the other night.  Each board is about an inch think so apparently I'm getting stronger and better.  I take my black belt test in October, it's really short, I only have to do 2 forms and some sparring.  Easy I think.  We'll see how it goes I guess.    

Friday, August 22, 2008

home sweet home

so I've made it back from a sweet vaca and am in the full swing of things back in Korea.  The trip home was perfect ... yes it could have been much longer but I found it was just the right amount of time to see everyone, almost everyone, and do what I needed to do to recharge my batteries.  

I did experience a little reverse culture shock arriving in Atlanta ... after a long flight no less ... it wasn't really the language that was overwhelming but more so the various shapes, sizes, and looks of people.  America is so, so diverse.  I loved it.  I loved seeing that.  Like it was a fresh view of my home, this is what it is ... it's messy and people are everywhere but it's beautiful in it's own way.  

Jetlag wasn't too bad traveling to the west.  A couple of hours of sleep lost at night but overall a rather smooth transition.  Coming back to Korea was a different story.  Probably a combo of things: jetlag, the culture, the new apartment.  All of it.  

It was nearly like I was never gone.  Like one year didn't even happen.  Much was the same except for new marriages and new babies.  It made me miss that comfortable pocket I lived in back in the US.  I love that pocket.  Here it feels like a constant, not abrasive but constant struggle and fight to adjust.  I've read in cross-cultural adjustment that the Asian culture is the most difficult to adjust to, it would take at least 5 years.  Going home it took all of 20 mins to fall into line again.  

So ... what did I learn from my first year in Korea?  I learned how to fight.  And I'm not talking about taekwondo ... which I test for back belt in October by the way ... I speak of simply being aggressive with people.  I usually a laid back person but here if you are laid back, from work to the grocery store ... you'll get pushed around a bit.  So you've got to learn to push back, get pissed, if only inwardly ... and speak your mind.  

I learned how important my family is.  How much I love them.  How much I love my friends.  And, oddly enough how much in all my traveling and globe trotting ... how much I do want to settle down and start my own thing with a girl and start a family.  I would like to think I'm becoming a better and stronger man by being here ... maybe I am maybe I'm not ... I guess time will judge.  But I do believe that "oppositions can either break or solidify a man."  Perhaps it's both for a time but in the end a more solid and strong man emerges.