There couldn't be a more apropos blog title for these most recent days. Mercurial--a quite befitting word.
The night on which I came of age was a rather enjoyable night, one saturated with 80s music, fare-thee-wells, reunitings, and ironically, new acquaintanceships. Earlier in the day, death had seemed imminent, but God was obviously on my side when he refilled this wee body with vitality...allowing me to share the last Saturday night to be had in Korea with all my (at the time) coworkers and friends. It was at this time when the reality of the pending end started to be more in sync with my ever-so-slower-ticking biopsychological clock.
Oftimes Time passes so quickly when enjoyment is derived from something or someone...yet an eternity can be packed into even a minute when one least wishes it (e.g. at times of boredom that makes one want to dive off a cliff). However, in Korea, Time stayed a while for the good times and bailed on the down times.
Temporospatiality sucks, though. The farther away from point x, the further into the past certain events seem to delve--thus straining an already fragile and seemingly low-capacity memory even further. Thousands of miles separated from Korea, everything about Korea seems to be an eternity...even from another lifetime. The acquaintances...the friendships...the apartment (both of the apartments)...the office...those whom I had met and come to know to some extent--the detachment transcends that of just a physical one. Returning from Tokyo wrought the same effect. Surely there are tangible remnants from both cities, yet the memory of actually acquiring these things is so remote. I've totally lost where I was going with this, but it's a little frustrating how a one-year term, after such a short time, can seem so far away in time as even to seem unreal.
Also frustrating is the consistent disappointment and regret which accompanies each return of mine to America. Anticipatory aversion to reverse culture shock aside, this is the second time regretting ever having come back to America. Prior to the last 안녕 to South Korea, I had to ship what were to be the remnants of my life in Korea to America. My only option was FedEx, which would not have even delivered my boxes had it not been for one amazing bilingual Korean customer. Distressed was I in this predicament that had arisen from this refusal of delivery service. FedEx/Kinkos is open 24 hours...so says the sign. However, only Kinkos provides 24-hour service, and this misleading advertisement nearly cost me my memorabilia of my time in Korea. Providentially, I was able to squander 1,425,000 won (=USD 3, or 800). Providentially. One of the boxes has yet to be delivered.
At the airport, I withdrew money from my account...in Korean bank checks. I thought that this would be the sensible route to take, for the thought of hauling around moneybags of green with my bunny-foo-foo, carry on, and camera, was not very appealing. "Oh, I can just exchange these checks for cash in America," said I.
Should any expatriates in Korea ever wander to my blog (the over-300 views from Korea on my NeoCounter are likely from me 8)), Achtung: Be sure to take traveler's cheques to your home country if you opt not to haul loads of cash onto the plane(s) with you. You'll find your repatriation to be much more satisfying.
The worst yet is the fact that it was 16 degrees when Greg (a former coworker) and I landed at my destination. Thank God neither my bunny nor I were afflicted with pneumonia from being outside for even three minutes. Thanks to that one morning, I was even more resolute in my stance on immigrating to a place devoid of any temperatures below 50. I'm currently hoping to hear sometime soon from someone from Kish University, who probably already contacted me. Gmail likely devoured that message, as oftimes happens with messages that had purportedly been sent.
On completely separate notes:
Facebook is now available in Arabic...and it was in BETA phase for a rather short amount of time.