Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Long, full days

My camera is still in the bag far away. I haven't figured out yet if I can do stuff online w/my macbook, and haven't even turned it on since I've gotten here. I'm just surfing in various PCs in my family's homes.

Yesterday felt like the longest day. But the day before, too! And this is only my THIRD day here but I feel like it's been forever. It's partly the whole fighting jet lag thing, and partly waking up really early, and partly all the things I have to do. I'm trying to avoid some responsibility today b/c it's my ONE day w/no obligations (tomorrow I have orientation for language classes, and the day after, classes start). Yesterday I got up super early and said goodbye to my aunt and uncle, who left for Japan for a few days on vacation. Then I made breakfast (but couldn't find any eggs...) and ran to catch the bus. I was REALLY lucky and got a seat a few stops in once someone got up to leave. I got off at the main entrance for Yonsei University, which I knew was NOT where I had to be since the language institute is like another bus stop away, but I asked the guard and he was reaaaaaally nice and even drew on a map all the instructions, both for walking or for taking the bus, and then I walked thru campus (which I had never done when I took classes here 11 years ago) to take my placement exam.

Then I took a cab to the Fulbright office, where I met the woman who has been on the receiving end of my crazy pre-departure emails, and found out that I'm not officially on Fulbright yet, just on CLEA, so it's all confusing. I won't even explain here b/c it's boring. I had lunch w/a researcher and two staffers, and then navigated the subway system to meet my cousin. I ended up spending the whole rest of the day w/her and her family and stayed the night and here I am, still! She's my closest female cousin, and the oldest in our family. I had only met her daughter when she was like 1 or 2 yo back in 2000, the last time I had been in Korea. She's now SO TALL and has an almost 5 yo brother. We did lots of picking up and dropping the kids off for various things (in Korea, school-type things are on ALL the time, including extra-curricular things like English, martial arts, music, etcetcetc.) and had an amazing Korean dinner at a really sweet neighborhood place that would make a killing in the States, and then dessert at a bread place. Her husband got home (early) at 9pm from work and we stayed up to catch up. This all nearly killed me, starting from the moment my cousin picked me up outside of the subway, b/c of jet lag.

It seems so far that my nieces adore me and that my nephews hate me. Seriously, I don't think I would ever, ever, ever be capable of raising or even helping raise boys. They're like aliens to me.

Oh, but here's the GREAT news I heard about the Fulbright housing I'm supposed to move into in the fall: there has been a bed bug infestation. Yeesh. I'm now really not excited about moving there. They say that exterminators don't know exactly how to treat them b/c bed bugs were eradicated in Korea years ago w/DDT and no one here knows what they look like/how they behave/etcetc. So they have one professor who studies them who has to check it out...ewww.

Okay. Back to family. Which has been really, really wonderful. I am SO THANKFUL for that huge cushion, and history, and friendship.

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