As I mentioned before, "What's supposed to happen is that I head off for a sweet vacation in Canada and everything stays exactly the way it was when I left. Nothing changes, there are no new developments and when I come back and ask people "What's new?" they say, "Nothing!"
Unfortunately, that's not the way things work. My trip back to Korea was a little bit rocky. I spent my last night in Canada with my brother in his backyard getting fairly loopy on Wobbly Pops - though Jeff was far more wobbly than I. I started saying I should be getting to bed around 2:30am, but he disagreed and suggested we drink eight more beers. Some time later we heard a massive BOOM and my brother said, "What the hell was that?" I, being all fuzzy and mellow, checked the sky above us and reported it wasn't thunder as there were no clouds. It wasn't until I was back in Korea that I learned about the massive propane explosion that forced (a bazillion?) people to evacuate their homes. I'm still sketchy on the numbers. The fire was quite a long ways away from us, but still SO loud. My brother didn't even remember hearing it until I e-mailed him from Korea.
We were late getting to the airport. Actually, we arrived just over an hour before my flight, but I was told I was too late to check in and I should report to the counter over yonder to re-book. I was (all fuzzy) and mellow about this news, "What? I should spend another day or two in Canada? Okkkkaaaayyyy!" My brother wasn't as easy-going, "I've come to the airport FIVE MINUTES before a flight and still got in! %^#&*!!"
Nevermind,...an Air Canada lady came to collect me and told me I should buy a lottery ticket, as it was a miracle I was going to get on. (What really happened was they'd given my seat away!! Bastards! But it all worked out fine because I got a BETTER seat anyhow! I was originally in 37C, but ended up in 31A! SCORE!) The flight was fine, except for the man in the mismatched clothes with the brutal cologne who sat a seat over from me. I'm fairly sure he was the Phantom Farter on board. However, I LOVE the new online entertainment system that lets you choose what movies or TV shows you get to watch! I watched an HBO comedy special on Dane Cook (who I'd never heard of before) that had me all LOL'ing. (But, sadly, not ROTFMOL'ing.) Still, I got not sleep on the flight, and I connected in Tokyo to Seoul and then bussed it to Seoul's bus terminal to take a five hour ride back here and arrived a full 28 hours later. I was drag-ass knock-down tired.
Funny thing about jet lag and exhaustion,...sometimes it causes insomnia. (Who'd'a thunk?) So I was still awake when I needed to start getting ready for work. I called my boss, and bless her heart - she said I could take an extra day off to rest.
And rest, I did.
The next day my phone rang before work and it was my boss. I thought she was calling to see if I'd recovered and was ready to head back into work. I had, pretty much - but, actually she was calling to give me a heads up that SHE SOLD THE SCHOOL! My NEW boss was going to be at work and she wanted to warn me so I wouldn't die of shock, or something like that.
So nothing's really the same. I've got a new boss - a MAN - who seems nice and gives me big smiles throughout the day. But, he doesn't speak English and he fills the Teachers's Room with Korean-Man-Smell (a mix of soju and garlic? Those who have ridden the subway here will know what I'm talking about.) They've also hired a new Korean teacher as well who came in for the first time yesterday. She's tall - and so far that's all I've got to say about her.
I feel misplaced and disjointed and wishing I was back in Canada.
I think I may have overstayed my welcome here.
That might not be true, really,...I still feel welcome here - my students were overjoyed at my return and the people in my neighbourhood (the people that I meet, when I'm waling down the street - they're the people that I meet each day) seem to have missed me while I was gone.
Still, when I think of the people I flew away from it feels like a Big Hand is shoving its way inside my chest to clutch and squish my heart and lungs.
That can't be good, eh?
Cafe Marché - Bird Rock/La Jolla
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