Seoul City

5:20 a.m. 13 October 2010, Seoul National University

It is very quiet.  I am in a room at Hoam Faculty House on campus.  The taxi ride last night from Incheon Airport took over an hour, but after 17 hours on the plane not including layovers in Chicago, L.A., and Tokyo, it didn’t feel like long at all.

We glided in over some massive lighted bridges and a causeway.  After a while the scenery became more mountainous and the road more twisty, winding in and around hills and massive apartment complexes.

It reminded me of the late nineties when I and a friend first came to South Korea to teach English.  We flew into Pusan that time and I was green.  It is amazing how much has stayed with me since then:  the elegant and easy-to-use alphabet you can learn to read in a day; the tangy bite of kimchi and its rocket-fuel repercussions on my energy levels; all the greetings and niceties that bracket everyday conversation and interactions; even the ‘arirang’ song that a TV station is named after.  If I didn’t fully realize it thirteen years ago, I certainly do now: South Korea will always be something of a home to me. (more…)

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