Monday, January 19, 2009

Warming up a Bit

Thank goodness, Korea is finally getting a little warmer. Well, at least Gyeongju is (I can't speak for the rest of the country). As usual, we have a lovely blue sky and bright sunshine today, and, for a very nice change, I do not feel frozen to the marrow every time I step outside my door. It's wonderful to be back to only wearing one sweater under my coat!

I only have a little over a month left here in Korea, and the time is passing me by at an alarming rate. I choke up a little whenever I think about leaving, and even tear up sometimes. I've really learned a lot and gained a lot this past year, and I confess, I don't want it to end. Even on days like today, when the kindergartners leave me weary after six minutes with them, I still have a hard time accepting the idea of leaving Korea. Even more than that, I hate the thought of the return journey: another 23+ hours spent on planes...ooohhhh (picture me curling into a fetal position and whimpering in a most pathetic manner).

I shipped the first box home last week and was "amused" to discover that sending a 5 kilogram box from here to the US cost about $15 USD (ground shipping), but shipping over a few papers from the US last year cost me $99 USD. Yes, granted that was Fed-ex and sent through a faster method, but still, the price difference is a bit staggering. I'm hoping to ship another box or two this week, so that I can perhaps only have to take one carry-on on the return journey and fit everything else into two suitcases.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"