There have been moments of overwhelm when I found myself thinking, one week down, fifty-one more to go.
I miss my friends back home the most in the evenings, when they’re of course asleep 😛
This morning, after stumbling through my still unfamiliar offistel apartment and its digitally controlled devices with directions I don’t understand even when google-translated (“river”=strong?) and stepping out into soft morning light of another day in the city, I’m glad that people make eye-contact on the streets and some even smile.
When everyone is anonymous, and you don’t understand a word anyone is saying, it’s easy to feel love and optimism for humanity.
(As opposed to when you’ve lived in a small town for too long and you know everyone and their dirt :P)
On Saturday I went with my fellow foreign teachers to Yeouido Park. We rented old bikes for next to nothing and took a leisurely ride around the park, weaving through people darting in all directions, ladies handing out pamphlets (“Church? Jesus?”), rowdy kids taking spills, couples on rollerblades. We found statues, ponds covered in lily pads, an arboretum of “traditional trees.” We picnicked under a willow, slowly peeling oranges while we gossiped and mused. Men in business suits walked by us, stopping over us as we ate kit-kat bars and nodding approvingly- of what, exactly, I can only guess.
The skyscrapers in front of us had helicopter landing pads. We were the only foreigners around.
I found a place near work this morning that makes a decent americano for only 1,500 won ($1.50). Construction noise made it impossible to sit outside for long but there was also an old, nervous calico hunting in the bushes. A startled bird took off, its wingspan strange to my eyes.