ANECDOTE: In my previous post I wrote “When I was checking in for my flight to Seoul, I remember meeting someone else headed in the same direction. He was crouching at the side of the check-in counter rearranging the weight of his bags. He had what appeared to be the contents of his dorm room, plus everything else he could possibly need. It was so ridiculous. He was under the impression that these necessities were hard to find, that blow dryers, irons, kettles, etc. were…I don’t know, only available on the black market!? Am I the only one who finds that really comical? He’d looked at my single bag and I could tell from his expression that he considered me utterly unprepared. In retrospect, maybe I was. But nothing in that mans bag that I didn’t have would prepare me for my first month in Seoul, and again, I will publish something I wrote at the time.”

Reading what I had written so long ago brought back a lot more memories about my encounter with that dude at the check-in counter in Toronto. I forget his name, so let’s call him Zack.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: As far as my own personal journey is concerned, I’d never expected to become a long-term expat. Like most fresh out of university men and women who move to Korea to teach English, I expected it would all only last a year. But that certainly isn’t how it played out and in total; I’d end up spending over a decade in Seoul.

When I was checking in for my flight to Seoul, I remember meeting someone else headed in the same direction. He was crouching at the side of the check-in counter rearranging the weight of his bags. He had what appeared to be the contents of his dorm room, plus everything else he could possibly need. It was so ridiculous. He was under the impression that these necessities were hard to find, that blow dryers, irons, kettles, etc. were…I don’t know, only available on the black market!? Am I the only one who finds that really comical? He’d looked at my single bag and I could tell from his expression that he considered me utterly unprepared. In retrospect, maybe I was. But nothing in that mans bag that I didn’t have would prepare me for my first month in Seoul, and again, I will publish something I wrote at the time.

The following was written on April 30, 2002. Less than one month “in country”. I had just turned twenty-five.