Monday, 23 April 2012

April Showers

The hills rolled past my window on the bus to work this morning. The river was gushing; water was smashing against the rocks, the final remnants of a weekend of rain. April showers. It was more like a monsoon on Saturday, a whole day of rain, a stark contrast to the glorious sunshine that graced the Korean mountains last week. I’m back at school and it’s nearly the end of April. I can’t figure out whether time is going by too fast or too slow. Sometimes, it feels like I’ve been here forever, sometimes it feels like I’ve just arrived. I’m getting pretty burnt out at school. The same repetitive curriculum is starting to take its toll and dampen my creativity. It’s a sign that it’s nearly time to move on, and I suppose it is, in a sense. I have four months left here in Korea before Natalie and I board our plane for Thailand. I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally begin the travel odyssey that I’ve been mentally preparing myself for since I left America.

Natalie and I finalised our budget this weekend and whilst I won’t quote a figure, it’s clear that it’s pretty doable. I’ve spent more money here in Korea than I originally intended to but that shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll certainly be living more frugally over the next few months, not eating out as much, spending weekends hiking just outside of town, I’ve decided to give up alcohol for the rest of my time in Korea, not just for financial reasons but because I don’t want to waste away my weekends, I want to be out in the world during the day rather than staying up during the night and then waking up at a ridiculous time (anything after 9am is unacceptable).

Natalie is leaving at the end of the week and that will mark the end of her time with me in Korea. She won’t be back until a week or so before we leave for the big trip. It’ll be a long stretch of time apart, but the pay off will be worthwhile. This will give me some time to do a few things I’ve been planning to do. I’m going to write my second novel (I told myself I’d write one when I came here and to come home having finished two will make me feel pretty good). It’s loosely based on the time I spent living on Cape Cod, only it’s sort of; a murder mystery. I’ll be getting in lots of hiking, mainly locally but there are a few mountains in Seoul I want to check off before leaving Korea, and the big bad tallest mountain in Seoraksan, which I’ll probably conquer on my summer vacation.

This weekend we went to Chuncheon to pick up some presents for my sisters Birthday, and to get some Korean traditional things to take back to the UK. I’m sending my giant oversized bag that I came here with back to the UK with Natalie, and I’m filling it with everything that I have that I won’t be taking around the world with me. Mainly clothes, lots of books, some things I picked up in Japan and some other un-necessary items. The bus was packed on the way to Chuncheon and I was forced to stand up (something that hasn’t happened since autumn). It was hot and stuffy and a couple of nattering Koreans started to irritate me. The bus journey went quickly enough but it was pretty wet when we got to Chuncheon so we did what we had to do as quickly as we could. Sunday was a lazy day spent skyping people from home and running a few errands in town.

The weather is starting to brighten up again now and I’m sure we’re in for a pleasant week. Today is planning day at school and I’ll hopefully get most of my lesson plans sorted today, I often procrastinate though. I can’t help myself. I have kindergarten in less than an hour and I’m hoping the class is bubbly enough to wake me up. 

So, I guess that’s all there is to report for the time being. Here’s to hoping that the next four months go smoothly, and that I make the most of the time I have left here. Here’s also to sending Natalie off and looking forward to August when she’ll be back and we’ll be off on our adventure. 

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