Thursday, July 25, 2013

Missing Foreigner Joy? Try American Joy

American Joy has been my new blog of my life back in America. Although I'm busy being a grad student I try to keep up with it and give insights into my new life back in Seattle. You can see not only tidbits about my life but also fun things I'm doing around the area.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Goodbye Korea! Thank you

I'm into my final hours here in Korea and yes I'm excited to go and also sad at the same time. It's been a wonderful ride and I am grateful for it all.

I think I have said everything I could about this transition and finally just want to say thank you to my readers and supporters. I know for sure my time in Korea would have been harder if I didn't have this blog and community.

For all future updates on my life and adventures head over to the American-Joy blog. :)

My way of saying goodbye with the Girl Scouts singing "Taps":

See you on the other side!

Task Rabbit to the rescue!

Getting to Incheon airport is going to be easy cause my friend (and his car) are taking me there. But since I don't know anyone in Seattle, taking care of that end is going to be a challenge. Until I read about Taskrabbit in the New Yorker.

It's the new startup where there are "rabbits" and people who ask for things to get done. The "rabbits" are background checked people who sign up to take on tasks other people request. For example some tasks range from needing help assembling Ikea furniture to doing one's budget.

I figured why not use this service and so signed up a few weeks ago and posted my "airport pickup" task. The way it works is that you either have rabbits bid (goes to the lowest bidder) or you can pick the rabbit. I chose to pick the rabbit and went with the first person to respond, also their price was reasonable ($31). From there you communicate via email with your rabbit to make the final arrangements. After the task is completed the website will draw money from your bank and give it to your rabbit, plus any expenses that were incurred (tolls, parking fees) and then a percentage goes to the website. 

I could use a taxi or van service when I get to Seattle, but because I have so much luggage and Tom I wanted help from someone who can be there at the baggage claim. Plus this whole set up sounds like a lot of fun.

Now of course I haven't completed the task yet so we will see if it actually works. However if it does I hope to use Taskrabbit in the future as it is a great idea. It's available in most large U.S. cities, so take a look if you think it could work for you. :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Last Night in Korea

Today I went to my school to pay my housing bills and as I waited for my supervisor in the office the Vice President started to talk to me. No worries, she is a sweet older woman who has complimented me in the past. She wanted to know when I was leaving, and when I told her, "tomorrow" she was astonished. She even asked if that was next week's tomorrow. She knew I had been in Korea five years and asked me if I had a boyfriend or was married. All questions that receive a "no" answer. But I reassured her I was fine and was heading back home to be a student to learn more about teaching.

We did hug goodbye.

I'm sitting here with three bags packed to the brim and can't believe it's my last night in Korea. Five years ago I came here with wide eyes and an open heart. I experienced so much, went through so many tribulations and made amazing memories. Now it's ending minute by minute and the hardest part is knowing I will be far away from it all.

I bought a mini pack of tissues today because I have a feeling once I settle in on the plane and wait for tack off, the tears might start streaming. Even though I am going through all this alone I know I'm strong enough to get to the other side. And I'm not entirely alone with family and friends supporting me. I also have Tom!

I really can't say much more. Everything I experienced here from start to finish has impacted me so deeply. So I'm going to leave you with this video I made before I left for Korea. You can see all the innocence, naivety and bravery in myself. It's kind of the same how I feel now facing a new life in America.

Thank you.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Last Week: Day 2

It's all pretty much ready folks. I've made a pile of things next to my suitcase that I hope to stuff inside it. I've gone through the kitchen and cleared out stuff and put some things into a box.

By this time tomorrow it will be less than 30 hours in Korea, and then it's bye bye. I think I have said all there is to say about how I feel. I'm just kind of ready now to hop on the plane, get Tom through to the other side and start things. I was happy to see Tom lick his water bottle feeder that is attached to his carrier. This gave me hope that he will hydrate himself during the flight, but then got me a little concerned he may need the bathroom. Ah well!

I also successfully registered for my first two classes as a graduate student! This gave me a lot of excitement for what's to come. They are, "Linguistics for Language Teachers I" and "Adult Learners". Two classes that I think will be a good start, and they meet on Tues and Weds. Student life, here I come!

Tonight I'm meeting a friend for dinner and that will be a nice last thing to do.

It's quiet in here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day 3 : The Last Week

Maybe I will miss the warm sun rising over my little home here in Korea. It's warmth carrying it's way into my shoebox and warming things up from a cold night. You can watch the sun go past the sky by seeing the sun-rays go from one end of the wall to the other. It's funny because Tom has a little pattern he follows. Around noon he comes out of the covers, where he was slumbering, and heads to the sunshine. I've also noticed around 2:30 he likes a spot on top of my suitcases that sit in the balcony.

Sorry, Tom but our routines are going to be smattered to pieces as we head to America. I hope you can find sunshine in our new place, despite that it rains a lot in Seattle. But I think the amount of stairs and that there is a little porch outside will make up for it. I'm going to have to get some kind of bowl for him to cozy up in, as I'm not taking his plastic one.

Day three was less vigorous than yesterday. It was also one of final conundrums. Instead of using a friend to help get my box to the post office, I figured I could use a taxi. I told the taxi, "Nowon Post Office, please?" But in Korean. To my dismay he took me to a further away post office then the one nearer to my house. I guess I didn't know the one I had been going to was called something else, so he took me to THE Nowon Post Office. No matter, I just hopped on a bus to get me back to my neighborhood.

I then went to the bank and loaded up on some USD! It's cheaper to get cash then to exchange, so I figured take advantage of that. However, I will still end up transferring after my school gives me all what is due.

Time to head back to America and stimulate their economy and contribute taxes. Is there a tax break for taking care of a sweet and lovable cat!? On my way home from the bank I stopped in the local stationary store. I really need to avoid these before I leave, as I now have yet another notebook. But I wanted to get a nice little card holder for Seattle. I plan to use their bus card (like T-Money) to get around and thought a sleek pouch would be a good idea. Well two hours later, I got it! haha.

I looked around on Google Maps today to figure out how to get to all the places I need to visit when I get back. I hope to get to the DMV to get a shiny new WA State driver's license, then head to the Sprint store for a new phone. Ah the wonder's of technology...who needs a paper map anymore?

Once I'm feeling a bit less jet lagged I hope to start making my day trips around the town getting what I need out of the way before the next Quarter starts. Oh yea, I'm going to be a student! I'm starting to get a little nervous because it's been six years since I was in school and don't know if I can remember how to do it. But I know I was doing well at the Seoul KOTESOL workshops, taking notes and contributing, that it should be fine. I'm actually looking forward to doing research, taking notes and compiling it all together.

Well, I guess three more sunrises for me and Tom here in Korea.
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