Memories from a blink away

I am completely overwhelmed as I prepare to board the plane that will take me away from the ROK. Why did they have to so brutally cut up my alien registration card? Why did that bug me so much? Do I have to leave right now, or can I go back for one final, final goodbye? What is everyone else doing, back there, where I used to live? Why am I leaving?! It all feels a bit wrong.

Everything about Korea is now just a memory. Something that happened ‘when I lived in Korea’. I wasn’t prepared for this. I have been preparing for the last 3 months.

There are so many memories. Memories from a blink away. From two years living in Asia. It all feels so distant. Like that time I went to the Philippines a month ago. The winter camp I did for my students 2 months ago. Snowboarding in Muju for the new year. Trying to organize a turkey for Christmas dinner. Drinking cocktails out of a bag in Daegu. Trying to control out-of-control students. Wishing I was leaving Korea. Loving Korea. Drinking hite and soju. Saying goodbye to friends. To students. To co workers.

Where have the last 2 years gone? Somebody stole it right out from under me. It doesn’t feel fair. It’s a bitter sweet goodbye. More bitter than sweet. It tastes like that first bite of kimchi I ever ate, sour and spicy and horrible. I guess my taste buds will change, get used to it. Adapt. I have to keep on thinking what lies ahead of me- South East Asia. Adventure. Exploration. Uncertainty.

Goodbye Korea.


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