It's Monday night and, true to form, I've found myself in yet another overpriced coffee shop watching hundreds of people scamper past the window. If it weren't for the fact that these lattes are so not worth what I'm paying for them, I'm positive I'd hang out in coffee shops every night of the week. People watching never, ever gets old. I'm going to be known as the creepy foreigner who stares out of second story windows if I'm not careful.
I know I ended my last post with how comfortable and happy I am here, so I'm hesitant to mention it again lest I sound like a broken record. Nevertheless, this blog isn't just for hilarious stories; I'm trying to record my adventure exactly as it unfolds, which unfortunately means you're going to have to read about how much I love it here. Just be glad I'm in love with a country and not a person - you'd get awfully sick of reading about how "his smile takes my breath away." At least Korea's not sappy and lame. :)
I'm still delightfully surprised at how quickly I snapped into life here. The only other time that something in my life made this much sense was when I moved to Oxford. The first time I set foot on Miami's campus my senior year of high school, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I belonged there. College was absolutely not the easiest four years of my life, but I never once questioned whether I had made the right choice. Through everything, I knew that Oxford was where I was meant to be, and I never regretted the decision to go there. I know I've only been here two weeks (today's the two week anniversary! asa!), but I already know that I fit here. I'm sure it will be impossibly hard at times, but I'm equally sure I'm never going to regret this. Moving to Korea might not always be a walk in the park, but it will always be exactly what I was meant to do.
Last night, I had my first Bible study at Jubilee. The people in my Bible study are really great, and I'm so excited about studying with them for however long this group lasts. They were incredibly welcoming, and they laughed pretty much every time I tried to tell a story (not in a rude way - I'm often funnier than I intend to be). When the group left, I stayed and talked to the leader for a little while, and she told me that she could just see peace on me. Now, if you know me, "peaceful" is typically the last adjective anyone would use to describe me, but it's really how I feel here. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I didn't have a single prayer request to write down. I feel like God's been providing before I even realize what I need, and I'm just along for the ride. Maybe this is what it's like when you find yourself right smack in the middle of His will? It's funny how we exert so much effort fighting to plan out our own lives, but if we let go, things start to work out for themselves. If only I could translate that into other areas of my life, we'd be smooth sailing.
This weekend was a whole lot of fun. On Friday night, I went bowling with some people from Jubilee. When my Cincinnati crew used to go bowling, we never took it seriously (I'm thinking specifically of the time when one of the boys shattered the light at the end of the lane), but my new friends here consider bowling, like, a sport or something. They broke up the teams based on skill and every pin was a HUGE deal. The teams were super-competitive... and also insanely encouraging. I'm certainly not going pro with my skills any time soon, but every time I got a strike, both teams cheered and gave me high fives. We were competing, but it was also like we were just one big team. Everyone groaned when someone missed picking up a spare, and everyone celebrated when someone got multiple strikes in a row. I felt a little bit like we were in a Disney Channel movie... and I loved every second of it.
Saturday was the Jubilee anniversary BBQ. I knew Seoul was expecting rain, which left me with two options: I could gather up my rain gear and huddle under a tent, protecting myself from the elements as though melting were a legitimate concern... or I could dress for a mud battle. This was a genuine dilemma for me; if I prepared for mud and didn't find any friends to play with, I could potentially end up being known as "that weird girl who sat by herself in a puddle during the picnic", and no one wants to be that girl. But then again, if I dressed like I had a rain allergy, I could end up missing out on a lot of fun. Ultimately, I readied myself for the mud and hoped for the best. And the best is what I got.
Frisbee. Mud. New friends. And joy.
Saturday night I'm sure I could have found something to do, but I decided it was finally time to make my apartment look less like a hotel room and more like home. I blasted music and cleaned the kitchen, occasionally breaking out into dangerously loud solos and award-winning dances. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun alone on a Saturday night, and I'm proud to report that my sink no longer smells like rotten vegetables.
Sunday I had lunch with my lovely Hana, and we spent hours talking about our lives. Apparently no matter how many time zones separated your lives before, you can always talk about how much boys suck. I'm obviously not going to recount everything we said, but I will show you some pictures:
Have I mentioned I adore her? Because I do.
When I went into work this morning, I was actually really excited to see my kiddos. I know this is going to fade VERY soon, but right now, seeing these kids is something I genuinely look forward to. I wrote down some of the hysterical things that came out of their mouths today for your enjoyment :)
Me (to Hana): Why does the milk taste different here?
Evelyn: I am genius, so I know. In USA, they squeeze the cow to get the milk. But in Korea, they just take it out and send it straight to market.
Me: I'm going to pull all my hair out.
Brian: Your hair won't come out; you have a belly button.
Me: *explains definition of "capacity"
Evelyn: So you have a big capacity for love of the bank boy, right, Teacher?
Me: *gives synonyms for "funny" so the kids will stop calling me "crazy Teacher"
Evelyn: Oh Teacher, you are so he-ware-us!
Brian (to Robin during play time): Do you know the crap? I will be the crap. What will you be? Pikachu?
Me: We're going to read a story called "Who Is Best?"
Brian: I am the best. I have SIX girlfriends.
Me: You are all so smart. I should just go back to the USA.
David: Teacher, if you leave, I will go with you because I love you too much. **(Kidnapping these kids is going to be a piece of cake)**
Youn-ha: Why would you go back, Teacher? Korea is home.
And in closing... whenever I tell Robin off for doing something bad in class, he breaks out into this crazy dance that looks like a mentally challenged cross between the macarena and lord of the dance. Usually I just stare at him until he finishes, and I'm sure the expression on my face is remarkably similar to that of a dog hearing a high-pitched noise. He's been doing this since the first day, and I couldn't figure it out to save my life. Today I finally asked Hana what on earth the kid was doing, and she told me it's a really famous dance by a really famous boy band. America - I'm thrilled to introduce to you: Super Junior!
I dare you to not have that song stuck in your head for the next hour.
Also, while I was researching (ie: watching youtube videos at work), I came across this one of inmates doing the "Sorry Sorry" dance. Potential future bridesmaids: you will be selected based on your ability to properly and enthusiastically execute this dance and your willingness to do so at the reception. It's worth noting the groom will be chosen using identical criteria.
You didn't honestly think I'd tell you all that then not post a video of my kids dancing, did you? Don't you know me but at all?!