Monthly Archives: December 2006

settling in

waking up early this morning and looking out at the incredible mountain range that surrounds the campus, its idiosyncratic peaks and ridges, the colors of each range that fade out into the distance – I was floored both by the immensity of Korean history and by the realization that I really am on the other side of the world and that it was relatively easy to get here. riding on the plane, too, I contemplated this and reveled in thoughts of future travel. the world is at our fingertips and all we need to do is reach out –

its 7am here in wonju and I can’t sleep. somehow I thought I was going to get the better of jetlag – subverting it with my newfound travel vigor. but no, 9 time zones and a fifteen hour difference later my confused and aching body lays testament to the journey…

korea is still absolutely and completely amazing. I can’t believe that I even contemplated not returning. JK and I have had a splendid time together these past few days. yesterday we went to a traditional hanji (Korean papermaking art) place at the base of chiaksan mountains. we made some traditional coasters in a cold room upstairs where the heater only comforted my legs. I also had the chance to visit with Eun-ju on Friday, we went out to eat at a Japanese bar downtown and then to my favorite jimjilbang; and last night with Sung-gyu and Jin-hyung, we had pajan and maccoli in Maeiji-ri and talked about their upcoming army service and prospects of girlfriends.

being back in wonju has been really weird because I guess I had more or less resigned myself to believe that I may never see these places again – chiak mountains, downtown wonju, the inter-spa public bathhouse,  maiji-ri, and the Yonsei campus – it has been such a treat to be back and remember that I actually did experience this as life, that this place is a reality, not a dream…

today we are departing to the temple where I will embark on my mission to propagate the English language to the adorable middle school children in the Young-ju/Pong-gi area. we have been staying at a guesthouse at Yonsei these few days because JK says her house is too small, which is pretty much true. her niece arrived here last night and she will come with us to the temple this afternoon, then stay overnight with me so that we can watch the sun rise in the morning from the temple.

my internet access has been sparce at best. at Kum-gun san (my temple) I will have more regular access but it will likely still be quite limited.

fancy tea with JK in Insadong –


the morning view from the guesthouse –


making Hanji with JK near Chiaksan mountains –


train ride to Youngju –



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in transit

i landed in Incheon last night after a grueling 12 hour flight. i found it easier to pretend i didnt know how long it would be and that i wanted to be shoved in that huge plane stuffed with 500 anxious strangers. “hmmm… this is fun. i guess i’ll just read this book for awhile, maybe watch the ridiculous movie that they just happen to be playing on that screen up there. sure! i’de love some water. you know, i can leave whenever i need to….” fooling myself is just easier.

the trip was quite smooth. now i am using rented time at an aiport computer, my friend JK and i will depart on a bus to Seoul and shop a little, then off to Wonju. it’s amazing how much easier and less stressful it is to return than on my first visit. i feel so natural and safe here. just have to dress a little fancier. i am also elated to return to the spicy korean food and green tea, the bibimbop that we had for dinner last night was long-awaited…

it’s cold. i am a little nervous to teach, but i am confident in my skills and my adoration of all children. we are going to pick up some extra supplies in Seoul today, and go to the temple on sunday.

i slept like a rock last night.

my time is running out on the computer. until next time.

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