Monday, November 16, 2009
It's been awhile since I've written anything here. I have a lot of things I could write about, positive and negative, but I haven't really been in the mood to share. I'm not exactly in a writing mood right now either, but I have some downtime at school and a story to share, so here goes.

My co-teacher and her family have been very kind to me, so a few weeks ago I offered to invite them out to dinner, my treat. The date was postponed a couple of weeks, but it finally happened this past Saturday.

We started out at a shabu-shabu restaurant, with 5 people: my co-teacher, her husband, her daughter, one of her brothers, and me. We ate some delicious shabu-shabu and drank some soju. It was a pretty good meal, although in a rare display, I was actually have a little bit of trouble with the soju. I think I can blame Friday night for that...

Anyway, the food was good, and afterward we went up to my co-teacher and her husband's apartment. To be honest, in many ways, it really wasn't anything special. We just sat around, ate some more, chatted about random things, and played drinking games. Eventually my co-teacher's other brother showed up. I had met him briefly one time before, but I had a chance to interact with him a bit more this time. Both of her brothers are pretty cool, and they do their best to communicate with me despite limited English ability, which I appreciate.

This continued until pretty late, and I eventually started to feel pretty tired, so they let me go to sleep in one of the side rooms. Then I think the people who were still up played some Wii Sports. Late the next morning, everybody woke up, we had some breakfast, and then I went home with my co-teacher's brothers in a taxi. And that was that.

As I said above, on the surface this experience might not seem like anything special, but it was actually pretty important to me.


Well, I've been in Korea for about 3 months now, yeah? Especially the past few weeks, I've really been feeling like an outsider here at times. And I suppose that's only natural, because I am an outsider here. And because of my living and working situation, I think I feel it here even more than I did in Japan.

So, to chill with my co-teacher's family for a night, and feel almost like a part of her family for that time was a pretty big deal for me. It reminded me that despite Korea not being my home, it's still possible to feel at home here.

Really, I wouldn't say I'm homesick. If you asked me right now if I'd like to stay here another year, I'd say yes. I've having a good experience overall. But some days are better or worse than others, and that's something that's probably amplified a little bit here. Today I'm feeling a little down, but I'm sure something will come along to cheer me up.

And frankly, despite what I've been feeling recently, I know I've felt like an outsider before even in my home country, probably to an even greater extent than I feel it here now. So, I know I can survive this feeling. The key is to keep moving forward, and that is something that I know I can manage.


Angie said...

Hey Henry! Interesting post. I hope life is treating you well! Nick and I are enjoying ourselves in Indiana. Nick has one more semester of grad school and I am a high school science teacher. Take care!