Just so you know, I was pathetic about taking pictures on my vacation. Starting tomorrow I'll start to post a few, and I'm sending e-mail requests to other people to share their pictures with me,...so if they get around to it, I'll share with you as well.
I fell asleep tonight around nine and woke up after midnight with stinging pink eyes, so slept a bit more until after 2:00am. Then I went to meet my friends and bestow gifts upon them. They seemed pleased, which pleased me.
My first four days in Canada were spent in Niagara Falls (which I affectionately call Viagara Balls) at my mother's house and I SHOPPED! But I was selfish, and dropped about a thousand dollars on me and me alone. With no new clothes in two and a half years, I was overdue. My favourite purchase was a wool and sheepskin coat for winter. I want it to be winter now so I can wear it! Otherwise I have to take all four pairs of jeans in to be tapered and taken in. Korean tailors are EXCELLENT and I urge everyone in Korea wearing ill-fitting clothes to visit their local tailor and have everything custom-fit for absolutely minimal charge.
Other than those first four days, though, I had no time for shopping. I was at my family's cottage for 12 days. It's in Muskoka, for those of you who know where that is. Let's just call it "Heaven" for simplicity's sake.
I'll tell you more so soon, but right now I'm thinking about souvenirs. All my students wanted one, and I placated them with an "amado" (maybe) so they wouldn't bug me. But alas- I have nothing to give them. I soon figured out that even if I shopped at the dollar store, buying a little gift for everyone was going to cost me over a hundred bucks and take up precious suitcase space. So tough. As far as I'm concerned, I'M their present.
I started thinking, back in Canada, what I had of value in Korea. Cat. Degree and Transcripts. Ummmmm. A handful of friends. I considered not coming back. I got to thinking how I shouldered this trip out of my own pocket and my boss has gotten away with not paying outgoing or incoming teacher air fare for 2 years now. Plus the guilt trip I had before leaving was so crappy. I really didn't want to buy gifts for my co-workers. When I left Elizabeth wasn't even speaking to me (and likewise) so it seems stupid to give her a present.
Back with my friends in Canada, I contemplated how easy things were with them. I could speak my mind freely without fear of judgment or argument. My friends could say what they wanted, give me the finger, tell me to "shut the fuck up," and it was all taken in stride with good humour. Come backs. Yo' mamma. But that's not the case here. Working with my co-workers has been DIFFICULT, and my vacation home hasn't re-fuelled and re-freshed me. It's made utterly apparent what a challenge it's been, and I'm TIRED.
I gave in and bought them gifts. Maple tea and ice-wine. Lovely.
But I now know if I make it the last 10 months of my contract here, I'm quite the champion. We'll see.
For now, Vive le Vacation.
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