June 20, 2010

While I Was Out...

Okay, so I’ll admit it. I’ve been a bit lazy over the past two months, at least regarding my blog. For this, I give you my sincerest apologies. Let’s just consider this a necessary hiatus, as things have become quite hectic. I never finished covering my trip to Vietnam, much less about my last few weeks in Korea. Perhaps when I get settled again I will go back and tuck these stories neatly in chronological order as they should be, but for now, let’s have a quick catch-up.

My contract at Seoul English Village concluded in mid-April. I was wished well by my fabulous co-workers who I owe a year of great experiences and unforgettable memories to. I found it hard to believe that a year had passed so quickly, but I had already made my mind up that I would be returning soon enough. With no time for tears, I packed up my suitcases and left them at a friend’s apartment, promising to return soon for another year of living in the land of kimchi.

My visit home to Mississippi was a pleasant one. My first trip to Wal-Mart had me caught in a slight reverse culture shock; I had forgotten how many different flavors of potato chips existed in a single aisle. Restaurants also contributed to my sense of unfamiliarity- it really is wonderful to be able to communicate a special order regarding your food (“…light mayo and no lettuce on that sandwich, please”). I did a lot of pigging out and appreciated my dad’s grilled shrimp and mom’s red beans. Oh how I missed my southern food. I also became slightly depressed over the oil spill which will no doubt affect my home for many years to come. The Gulf Coast just can’t get a break, can it?

My friends were awesome to throw me a welcome home party and it felt nice to be back on my old stomping grounds in Hattiesburg. We did it big- “Miriam” style- and had a blast trying to remember the night the next day. Yes, I still like to pretend I’m in college from time to time; therefore, we also decided to be super seniors. My sorority sisters and I donned our old “Shipwreck” (our sorority’s annual social party) shirts and crashed the actives’ event with party-bucket drinks in hand, donned in flower bras, hula skirts, and all. High school friends and I also got together for an old tradition: margaritas at Los Tres Amigos, our town’s most famous Mexican restaurant. I hadn’t seen some of the girls since graduation so it was especially nice catching up. You know you have good friends when things seem unchanged even after a year apart.

I also felt honored to have family members come in from all over for a lunch and some cocktails. I feel so blessed whenever I am around these people. Despite distance, I’ve always received continuous support in whatever decisions I’ve made, no matter how crazy they may seem.

Like going to India, which is where I am currently located. I’ve been here for about a month and have had quite an adventure thus far. Stay posted for my experiences throughout the country and my observations on the culture. I still have another month to go, but I am now in the city in which I’ll be volunteering for an extended amount of time; between my meditation classes and cooking courses (which I’m determined to do), I vow to make time to start this blog up again before my return to Korea at the end of July.

Stay tuned.

P.S. Apologies for the chaotic style/ font changes. I'm not sure if it's just because I'm in India, but I'm working on fixing it.


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