“What I found appealing in life abroad was the inevitable sense of helplessness it would inspire. Equally exciting would be the work involved in overcoming that helplessness. There would be a goal involved, and I liked having goals.”
–David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day
|Finn and I always grab cookies after school at our neighborhood bakery.|
|Finn and one of his teachers at school|
Finn has adjusted wonderfully to his new life. He has a new best friend, Abigail (he calls her Dabi-dail, and I'm certain this is why she adores him), and they're in class together at school. They play together in the afternoons after naps. Dabi-dail's father is British, and his mother Chinese. Dabi-dail only speaks Mandarin, but seems to understand English. She and Finn are truly the best and closest of any two-year-olds I've ever known. It warms my heart.
Every Wednesday, we go to a Play Cafe, a wonderful place where moms sit and sip coffee, and toddlers run around to their hearts content. A train circles every hour, which they get to ride in, and there are enough toys to keep them busy for a lifetime. Last week, I took a video of Finn and Dabi-dail jumping on the trampoline there. "DO-YAK! DO-YAK!" they kept chanting to each other. I asked Jade, Dabi-dail's mom, if it was Mandarin. Never heard it, she said. Later that night, I showed Whit the video. Wait a minute, he says, pulling out our trusty Korean dictionary.
"Doyak: Jump," it states, plain as day. Finn and Abby are already speaking Korean, and Korean words that we don't even know.
Whit is busy with his job. He teaches in the afternoons, and is usually home by dinner. He's getting back into the swing of teaching and this week is already giving mid-terms. Wow, time is flying!
|My new jogging stroller|
|Nice to see the husband in a tie again|
Every Tuesday evening I have yoga classes in my neighborhood. My new friend Shauna teaches them, and she's truly an asset to our expat community. I'm learning to bend, stretch, and challenge myself in new ways, and it gives me an hour and a half of quiet meditation every Tuesday. I feel very lucky to have this quiet time to myself once a week.
I started a book club this month, and Monday night was our first meeting. I wasn't sure who would show up--I only know a handful of people. But we had nearly 10 women, from all walks of life, to come and decide on our first book. Expats are interesting, like-minded people and conversation was easy and entertaining. I can already tell that these women are going to be some kind of special for me.
I work in the mornings until I pick Finn up from school, and any time I can squeeze in an hour or two in the afternoons and evenings. I am working for BikeToursDirect, a great company based out of Chattanooga, Tenn., that is connecting people to local bike tours all over the world. Just this month, my boss informed us he was going to give us 3 weeks of paid bike tours anywhere in the world every year. All expenses paid. (I'm currently planning a fall trip with a co-worker somewhere in Asia).
Next weekend, we're moving to a bigger place after spending a couple months in a tiny one-bedroom. We've made it work fine, but we are really excited to move into this new place and make it our home. And lucky for us, it's just in the building next door.
Life is busy and full for us here in Korea. I think it's hard for some people to imagine us living over here, wondering what we do and how we get by. But it's a wonderful place, with warm people and fiery food. We do feel challenged on a daily basis, and sometimes it is frustrating when you can't just ask someone for exactly what you want. But there is something so nice about living in a culture very different from where you came from, and learning to accept it, and then embrace it, and then seeing your own life and world in a very different light.