My contract was due to end Tuesday, August 30th, at 6 pm, and I was expected to move out of my apartment by Wednesday morning at 9 am. Awesome. In order to make my little abode livable for its next inhabitant, I spent the entire weekend previous to The Big Move-Out cleaning and packing, and the following two days were full of Goodbye Dinners and eye-wiping.
The plan was to transport all my luggage to Anyang for storing during our 10-week trip via subway, which in theory should not have been a big deal, as there are elevators at most subway stops. OF COURSE the elevator was broken at exactly my transfer stop. I’ll spare you the sweaty, nitty gritty details of how I managed to eventually arrive at my desired location with two large suitcases and Billy (my Billabong travel backpack), suffice it to say that Koreans are incredibly nice to me. I assumed that they were similarly friendly to all foreigners, but a lengthy discussion on the subject over dinner last night has led to my conclusion that the kindness that I am shown regularly (ajummas pulling me into their subway seats as they exit the train, random strangers assisting me in carrying my heavy luggage up and down multiple flights of stairs, people asking me if I need help if I appear to be even slightly lost, taxi drivers making extra efforts to help me) is not quite normal for everyone else. Hm. Not quite sure why, but I definitely appreciated all the extra generosity and helpfulness I could get on my hellish Wednesday.
I assumed that once I arrived in Anyang, I could leisurely finish running all my necessary errands and spend the next few days relaxing until our flight left on Saturday evening. Ha ha ha. After sitting down and writing up an actual list of what we had left To Do, G and I realized we might never rest again. Thus began a stressful three days of errand running and complete exhaustion, as a lack of sleep from the previous week began to catch up to us. Finally finally finally, after a full night of makkeoli and jeon, noraebang and good friends (it is currently Saturday morning), I can say that we are ready to go, with only one small task remaining before we embark on our journey. I will not be taking my trusty computer along, so I expect that updates will be few and far-between, if even existent.
As Bilbo Baggins so aptly put it: “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread. I need a holiday. A very long holiday.” Goodbye, Korea. You have been everything I hoped for, and so very much more. Thank you for everything you have taught me, I will never forget you, but now it is time to move on. So here I go eyes open wide, ready for my next great adventure, one involving new cultures, mesmerizing sights, different experiences, and fantastic food. See you in 10 weeks!