I am in Korea. I made it. I’m gone. I’ve flown the coup. And unlike the chickens/roosters whom that saying is based upon I, in fact, do not have feathers and wings, nor do I peck at the ground with my face. I do, however, tend to strut about with a cockish air. But enough about me. I arrived in Incheon this morning at 4:30am local time (2pm in Ontario) after boarding the plane 14 hrs and 40 minutes earlier at 11:50pm (eastern). The plane flew through the night and I did not see the sunrise until roughly 16 hours later after landing in Incheon (in fact, my first rays of sunlight were glimpsed briefly as I boarding my next flight, a 1 hr hope to Busan, my final destination.
Every flight I took today (or yesterday? What time is it? How is it the 17th already? Wasn’t there a day in there somewhere I was supposed to live?) was jammed with other English teachers all heading over for orientation. I probably met 15 awesome people in the airports alone (not to mention another dozen or so of the hundreds here at Busan’s Pukyong National University; the site of the EPIK orientation). Speaking of awesome people, orientation here in Busan is so far alot like Frosh week (only everyone is mature). We are given dorm rooms (my roomate, Jamaal, is from Houston and is a pretty good guy) and are eating three square meals a day in the dormitory cafeteria. I met up with a few guys this afternoon and we went for a walk around the area of the city surrounding the campus. One was from Ireland, One from Miami, One from Indianna and me, from Ontario. As much as this sounds like the opening line of a hilarious joke the fact is there are people from all over the world meeting up for this orientation. Our afternoon walk took us through some cool markets where pickup trucks filled to the brim with mussels and clams drove down the street with a loudspeaker announcing (what we assumed to be) “Clams for sale!” We also wandered through a small park, in and out of a few convenience stores, and even into one store that looked suspiciously like Future Shop (but clearly was managing to avoid copyright infringement through liberal use of really colorful lights and posters). We even saw a very narrow, dirty-looking back alley, which we promptly investigated.
Its about 7:50pm here in Busan as I write this, and all is quite. My roomate is asleep and judging by how quiet the whole floor is at the moment I can only assume they all followed his lead. Personally, I am exhausted (so pardon me for the crappyness of this post). The only reason I am not sprawled out on that super comfy looking twin-size-dorm-bed in the corner is because I am trying desperately to stay awake until 9pm to try and minimize the jet lag. My internal clock is all messed up, as normally I would have gone to bed 7 or 8 hours ago, but thanks to coffee and my adventures during the day I have managed to stave off unwanted sleep. Until now.
I will leave you for the night with some thought provoking words I read recently: We must live life to the fullest to avoid claims that we have 20 years experience, when really we have had only one year of experience – 20 times.
I’m looking forward to the great experiences awaiting me in the next year. I hope you read on and experience them with me.
So long for now, BNBers