Wednesday, December 21, 2011

And then there were two...

...days left of teaching in Andong! Can you believe it? Can I believe it? Furnishings have been sold, final gatherings have been somewhat organized, favorite restaurants have been frequented, glasses have been raised, clothes have been piled neatly for packing purposes.  Perhaps most importantly, I only have to have two more showers-that-don't-stay-hot-very-long in the coldest bathroom ever. I think I have concluded that it is preferable to have a cold shower in a hot bathroom (hot, i.e., the tropics) than a hot-two-minutes-warm-one-minute-cool-cold-hurry-out in an ice cold bathroom. In fact, even a hot hot piping hot shower that would stay hot long enough to actually, say, wash and condition one's hair is still totally negated when the bathroom is ice. Two more mornings of this! I am sorry, new people who are coming to teach at Avalon, whoever you are, but you will be taking short showers for January and probably most of February. But hey, it's Korea, which means the sa-u-na and jimjjilbangs are just down the street.

I know the biggest news this week has nothing to do with our impending departure from Korea, but rather Kim Jong Il's departure from this mortal coil. (Granted, he did most of the coiling...) I talked about it with my students who were of a certain age/fluency, and they all mentioned economic worries before war worries. There is a little war worry, though. Sigh. Seriously, people, how many deaths will it take 'til you know that too many people have died? (as a certain wise troubadour once wrote)

Come to think of it, as long as I'm quoting wise troubadours: "And so this is Christmas..."

I am off to Cambodia this Christmas day. For those who didn't get the memo, Brian and I are ringing in 2012 with a Habitat for Humanity trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia, to be followed by a sojourn in southern China and the Yangtze River, and then a month in Thailand doing our CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults). Knowing we will be spending the bulk of this winter on the beach and in tropical climate cities has made it impossible for me to really settle into this freezing-bathroom, poorly insulated apartment that we were moved into on November 1st, or to happily hunker down in coat and scarves the way I would if I were actually spending the winter here. I am just ready to go be warm. And so we shall...after a few more slightly terrible Korean beers, and noraebang tunes, and one fine train ride from Andong to Seoul...and maybe even some farewell Outback cheese fries.

My second Korea stint draws to a close! And, I spent another year living out of the U.S. -- I'm allowed to move back to California now.


Kim Diaz said...

Godspeed! And, indeed, you ARE allowed to move back to California now!

Anonymous said...

Cold bathrooms reminds me of my time in Mexico. The Pacific Ocean is supposed to be warm, but San Juanico seemed like the coldest place I'd been since Joe City Arizona or Casper Wyo (5000 ft elev each). This was in April, by the way. The cold damp air cut right thru. The house didn't have any heat, and the windows were kept open to keep ventilated and avoid mold. There was a solar water heater, so the shower did have limited warm water. After a few days I discovered that running the shower for a few minutes even on days I didn't take a shower, kept the bathroom warm enough to do the morning prep. I mentioned how cold I felt in the house and the next evening, more than 6 blankets were piled up on my bed! The townspeople were sooo gracious and wanted to take care of "The Engineer" even though I was a gringo. I never felt like an outsider there in that village. But I did shiver a lot. So I can kind of relate to the cold bathroom and limited warm shower water. Anyway, have a good time in the warmer climes. Dad.