you make me live pt. 2

Last night while we waited for our table at Fat Heads, the notable establishment where you can get a pierogi and kielbasa sausage sandwhich named after the neighborhood, a person in a Care Bear suit flashed my aunt through the front window. This is why I like family outings. This and the recounting of youthful drunken adventures. Rum and coke and sunburns.

I had ideas that I would do productive things while I was home; mostly I have gone shopping. Savored being in a place that drinking multiple full mugs of coffee is not kooky foreigner behavior.

I have learned some things about myself in the past sixth months. One is that I’m not as much of a loner as I once liked to think. Apparently I need to run my mouth at someone. Another is that while I may be infected with travel bug, I haven’t got an expat in me.

I think a lot about whether I would feel different if by chance certain things were different: if I were in a city, if I had made Korean friends my age, if I had been in a homestay that spoke more English, in a school without my least favorite sonsengnim, if my first coteacher, who is great, hadn’t left two weeks after I got there, if my mom hadn’t gotten sick. I think a lot about whether my experience is about me or if it’s about circumstance. I suppose that I believe an experience is what you make of it. But I believe I’ve made a lot of my experience and still managed to be unhappy.

So here I am, halfway through my grant, on New Year’s Eve day; it would be appropriate to do a retrospective, to project goals for the future, to think about what comes after Korea.

But I just yelled to the kitchen from the living room “Is the bathroom upstairs free?” and got the answer “Charge you ten bucks,” so right now I’m just going to enjoy that silly play on words and jump in front of my lazy sister to the shower.


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