Monday, 11 June 2012

The Shape of Things to Come

It’s June now. Did you notice? I did. I seem to be becoming more aware of the date on a daily basis. With only ten weeks left until I leave Korea I can’t’ help but countdown. It’s not like I’m wishing the rest of my time away, quite the opposite, I’m trying to make the most of the time I have left. I’ve said this one thousand times now, but, it is hard not to keep counting down the days in glee as Natalie’s arrival approaches and as each day comes closer to the day when I’ll be free of any irksome obligations and responsibilities and I finally hit that road.

School is still busy. Whilst the second semester has been a lot harder than the first I’ve gotten to know the kids a lot better and I’ve certainly become more confident with the materials that I prepare for my classes. It’s still a pretty easy life, albeit a sometimes stressful one, stressful because it’s hard to know what is going on. Most people seem to know when their vacations are going to be now, and what days their summer camps are but I’m still in the dark. Not only am I busier this semester but so is my co-teacher and that has left me even less informed than I used to be, although, I’ve gotten better at judging things and working things out for myself.

I’ve been trying to decide what I’ll do with my two weeks off (whenever they may arrive) and I’ve decided that I’m going to do a temple stay in the countryside just outside of Daegu. Daegu is a city somewhere in the middle of the country, nearer the south than the north and the temple is about an hour outside of the city in the countryside. I’ll probably only do a two-day temple stay there and then maybe I’ll head out to the cultural heritage sites near the east coast. I’ve never meditated before and don’t really know much about Buddhist rituals so it’ll be worth the early mornings to have the experience.

School should break up somewhere around mid-July and then if my camps are anything like everyone else’s I’ll have two weeks of working camp in late-July and then have the start of August off and come back for the first week of the new semester before packing my things and heading off with Natalie to new horizons. Speculatively. I don’t know how anyone can do this gig for much longer than a year. Perhaps it’s just me and my innate desire to always be moving on and doing something different, I always get itchy feet whenever I’m in one place for too long.

This weekend I went hiking with Nathanael. We hiked Changan Mountain again but this time we went up a different trail, a trail I much preferred as it felt more rustic, it was all overgrown and smelt of pine which reminded me of Maurice’s Campground on Cape Cod. We sat on a picnic table halfway up the trail for quite some time talking about this and that. It was peaceful and it was great to get out of my apartment for a while. We exchanged stories of the hikes we enjoyed in our home countries and thoughts of the New Forest flooded my mind. David and I used to go hiking every Wednesday (that we both had off of work) in the forest and I miss it immensely. Natalie lives in the New Forest and my memories of our time there make me realise how in love I am with that place. Oh, how sentimental. It’s strange how travel makes you think of home in totally new lights, totally new perspectives. I look forward to rediscovering it.

Next weekend we’ll be heading to Seoul. I’ve got to pick up the malaria tablets I was supposed to pick up last time, and I’ll also get my Hepatitis B booster vaccination. The joy. Nathanael’s coming along and we’re going to go to a night market, I’ll hopefully pick up a bag for the big trip. I’m thinking about a 40L. There’s also an Iranian restaurant in Hyehwa that I’m pretty stoked about.

I’ve been in a pensive mood recently. June has been quiet and nothing major has happened. Time has been spent planning lessons, giving classes, and just hanging out in Sachang on the weekends. I’ve done a lot of writing, a fair amount of socialising and a lot of relaxing. I plan to do some more exciting things in the coming weeks so there will be a little more for me to blog about but I thought I’d better update so you lovely folks know that I’m still here, I’m still breathing and I’m still enjoying myself. 

My bus was late today for the first time since I've been in Korea. I wondered what was up as the bus lady was just speaking gobbledygook at me. It turns out the bus I would have usually taken broke down as I saw it being toed away as I pulled up into town. I guess I can forgive them for that. Well, the smell of the fish and chips that I'm cooking is beckoning me. I'll see you out there, somewhere...

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