perhaps it's just gas

Two weeks in Korea, and now I think it actually feels like two. Am I getting used to this place? Maybe so. I’m still not entirely comfortable in many of my classes, I can’t order food or read a menu (or anything, for that matter), and I have only a few relative aquaintances to speak of… but this week I stopped feeling like an outsider here. I stopped visiting and started living. Maybe this preoccupation with my health and voice has kept me from content, and now that my voice is nearly better and I feel relatively healthy, suddenly here is this mood I haven’t felt since I got here. Or maybe I’m just happy that I survived another week of teaching, or perhaps it’s just gas — I’m betting on all three.

Tonight (as on all Tuesdays & Thursdays) I had my night of conversation classes, and tonight I realized that I’m probably going to learn more about Korea from these classes than from anything else I do here. The classes have one or two people in each of them, and the whole hour consists of us just conversing about anything while I occasionally correct their English grammar. They all speak fairly good English, so we’ve spent lots of time talking about aspects of Korea and America — cultural differences, living conditions, etc. This situation — to be forced to converse with someone from a completely different culture — is hard to come by, and it’s one that I need to continue to appreciate. One of my classes is with two male university students, both of whom have had to put their studies on hold to do the two years of military service that’s required of every South Korean male. I have plans to go out to dinner with those guys in a couple weeks, and I also may attend church (eek!) with a middle-aged married couple I converse with… Christianity is very different here, and I’m curious to see how they do church.

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