27 May 2014

the ROK and the what ifs...

As I drove home from base yesterday, after dropping the man off at the terminal, I couldn't believe that I am all alone in a foreign country. No, of course I am not totally alone. The fabulous Fiendettes are always close by, (until most of them leave for the summer) but I still could not and cannot wrap my brain around the fact that I am in Korea alone, without my husband. I attempted to swallow the rock that had lodged itself in my throat and glanced in the back at the dumb manual treadmill I had convinced Tyler to let me order months ago, which apparently had arrived weeks prior to the BX but since the jerk who took my order neglected to write down my correct phone number, each attempt to reach me was in vain. At least I'll have that to put together to occupy my time. And then, there's of course actually using the treadmill. Still the rock.

Of course, I am to start teaching English next week. Which has been long-awaited and totally my decision (with the enthusiastic support of my husband), so I really am to blame about being left on this peninsula alone. But I still can't believe that I'm here and Tyler will be there, in the land of fresh air and wide-open spaces. With mountains and English road signs and REI.

No, it's not Korea. As much as I am homesick, I am still over-the-moon excited about starting teaching English. But for some reason that rock is still lodged in my throat and my heart still races and my eyes feel bloodshot. What if is stronger than the smell of kimchi when I think about the myriad of things that could go wrong in the next 35 days. What if the dog runs away. What if the toilet floods the bathroom. What if crickets or ants or dragonflies come through the walls. What if I get hopelessly lost. What if I get a flat tire. What if I run out of food and the commissary is closed or I have no gas in my car to take me to base to get food and I walk to the Korean grocery store down the street but I have no won, or the store is also closed, or I can't tell what anything is. (seriously. these thoughts have crossed my mind) What if it gets so humid in the house that our humidifier can't keep up and mold grows everywhere. What if the dog goes crazy in the house all day. What if.

But you know what. What if. What if I start this teaching job and it totally blows me away. What if I learn Korean. (gasp!) What if, when I get a flat tire, I know how to communicate with whomever comes to my rescue, at least a little bit. What if my house stays clean, the clothes stay folded and my dog still feels loved. What if the days go by so quickly that I wonder how I can convince time to slow down, even with my husband away. What if my desire to prove to myself that I can do this is so much stronger than my desire to go home. What if.

I know this routine well. These first couple days are always the hardest. And before I know it, my mind goes from thinking how no wife should ever go through this to I hope he's having as much fun as I am.

And in the meantime, I'll look at pictures of our adventures together and start scheming for the next.

We took a trip to the beach on Sunday and although we took a wrong turn, there were no bathrooms in sight and it was misty most of the day, still managed to have a fantastic time. There is something about fried chicken in Korea...
We were both shocked at how green and clean the water was...this is not the Korea we are used to seeing around the base.

And these weird war-type huts were all over the place. Some were actual "houses" others were just a hole in the ground surrounded by sandbags and wire.
Washed-up starfish
Green! 
Ada was too busy with her surroundings to be concerned with taking a selfie with us.


Never a happier dog than when she's exploring with us.
Korea and their signs...
And we finished the day with a quick walk to a restaurant back in our neighborhood. I ordered a salad-type deal that you were supposed to add rice rice and the ketchup-looking sauce and mix it all together. It was quite tasty.

Thanks for checking in! I look forward to giving you all positive reports that I am, indeed, thriving and loving it over here.

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