Back to the Future

24 Oct

Well, it happened.  I returned to visit the States, time passed ever so quickly, and before I knew it… it was time to come home… or return to Korea.  It seems the lines of what is home have become blurred a little bit.  But nonetheless, it happened.  At 11am on Tuesday I boarded a United Airline flight and ten short hours later… I was here… in tomorrow… in Korea.

The way here was mostly uneventful, departing from the San Francisco airport.  Boarding the plane, I had some casual conversation with a young man visiting South Korea who, it turns out, knows a teacher where I work!  Once seated in the plane I had a brief conversation with a sweet Korean woman returning from a 30 day visit to the States.  Unfortunately, her trip focused on visiting national parks.  With the government shutdown, for much of her journey this was not an option and her trip was utterly devastated.

Before the flight even took off, I was fortunate enough to move to a near empty row of seats.  I was content to make myself comfortable with two empty seat between me and the next passenger.  What a difference a little room makes on a long flight!  I was also given a tip by a fellow passenger.  She told me about a website called seatguru.com.  This site helps you pick the best seat on the plane.  A good resource indeed!

When I landed in Korea I easily found a bus that took me in the direction of home.  From there I took a taxi to return to Gyeonggi English Village.  When I got in the taxi, I offered where I needed to go using my best Korean (which is not very good).  The poor driver looked at me funny, then made a phone call and handed the phone to me.  It was his daughter… who apparently speaks English.  I told her in English where I wanted to go and returned the phone to her father.  Ah, too bad for me… but at least I made it back!

As I was walking through the English Village entrance way, two suitcases in tow, I saw a cute little face that looked familiar.  I soon recognized that it was a little girl from one of the classes I had taught the last two weeks before I left.  As sweet as can be, she ran up to me and gave me a big hug and wouldn’t let go of holding my hand.  It was the perfect welcome back.

My first night of Korea-time sleeping was…. not the best.  But, alas, all is well.

I spent most of my day today enjoying the amazing fall weather, unpacking and reacclimating myself to English Village.  It was good to see some familiar faces and connect with a few teachers.  I have also learned, typical to English Village, that much has changed since I left. Teachers have left, some unexpectedly, others have been promoted and programs are changing.  But that is the nature of the game here – change.  And for the most part, that is okay with me.

Tomorrow is my first day back at work.  There is an easy step and feel in the air.  In my absence Fall has snuck in and the village is adorned with Halloween lanterns.  I must admit, I already miss my fluffy towels and electric dryer back in the States.  That said, it’s still good to be back… 13 hours ahead of where I came from… in the present… in the future.

Photo of the hills surrounding English Village with hints of Fall color just starting to set in.