Monday, February 10, 2014

Where We Went

Today was one of those days. One of those days where you think to yourself "I wouldn't have this problem if I didn't live in Korea." "This would be so much easier if I were in the States." Eric's cough has come back again this week--the pneumonia that never really went away because he decided not to finish his antibiotics. So, we both laid awake much of the night. Even after he moved out to the couch because his coughing makes the bed move so much that I get motion sickness, I could still hear everything through our thin walls (and yes, I had earplugs in). All I could think was that it would be so much different in our house.

Today, I managed to do something more ridiculous and air-headed than anything I've done in a long time. First of all, I chose to go to the mall after school--something I never do--but soccer starts on Wednesday, and I don't have any athletic pants to wear. How ridiculous is that? After Cade and I wandered around for an hour or so trying to find something that cost less than $50 and might actually be long enough for me, I realized that I had neglected to grab my wallet out of my school bag--which was at home! We immediately raced back to the car and counted the change in the ashtray, praying that parking wouldn't cost more than $5.00. It was $4.00.

But, the reality is that these things happen anywhere. Eric can get pneumonia in the States. I would probably still hear him coughing, even if he went downstairs to sleep on the couch. (Though I don't think our bed moves quite as much there; this bed is so flimsy!) I could easily go to the store in the States without my wallet. (In fact, I think I have.) And no doubt, I would have had a cart full of stuff, rather than a pair of soccer socks and shin guards that I'd just picked up a moment ago, when I realized it. (Those are for Cade, not me!)

None of this was very dramatic.We've dealt with plenty of sickness here. My biggest panic when I realized I didn't have my wallet was wondering if I could pay for parking (I counted out change for the lady. She was not impressed.) Cade handled it pretty well, too. I know that I've covered these struggles on the blog before (some in much more dramatic ways based on tougher situations), but it doesn't go away. It's always this thought in the back of my head. My question is: are expats alone in this? Does it ever go away? I feel that we're now in a pattern of never being totally content wherever we live. Is this just new to me because I'd never lived outside of Washington state? Do people who move from one state to another feel the same way?

These few pictures are of our trip to Busan on the bullet train. It was one of the things that my brother really wanted to do while he was here. How often do you get the chance to travel 300 km/hour? Even the train itself was a bit of a cultural learning experience. We bought the last few tickets both directions, so we couldn't book tickets all together. Those seat assignments? They mean something here. And they mean something on every.single.stop. So, even when you've explained (and by "explained," I mean point and gesture) to a couple of people already, you're bound to still have more stops and more gesturing to do. Aside from that, the train itself was pretty standard and eventually you forget to be enthralled by the speed at which you are traveling. It was nice to make the trip down the entire peninsula in such a short time, though!

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