Eli, outbound to Korea

안녕하세요? 너무 바빴으니까 읽이가 못 썼다. 그런데 읽이 쓰기 정말 힘들다… 교환행으로 다른 나라에 살 때 보통 읽이 쓰기에 대해 생각하지 않다. 그래서 미안합니다

Hello! I have so busy, so I haven’t been able to write a journal. Yet, writing journals in general is difficult. When living in another country on exchange, one usually doesn’t think about writing a journal. Because of this, I am sorry.

It’s interesting. When I was still in the US, after knowing my country, I would look for journals constantly. I always wanted to read the stories of the kids in these other countries living amazing lives (and let me tell you, they are ABSOLUTELY amazing lives). I would always get so frustrated because it could take them so long to update.

Well let me tell you something. I don’t blame them anymore.

From the outside looking in, it seems like this, ‘Oh hey, just get on and write something! Come on!’ but its so much more. Every day, I am living life, and then I have to attempt to remember all these different moments and put them in writing for you, describing it all vividly. The truth is, is that whenever I sit to write a journal, I freeze up. I don’t know what to write about, what is interesting, what you want to hear about—anything. It is as if my brain attempts to sort through everything and then overheats.

I will try to do this though! It’s all for you! (Yeah, you! Sitting there and reading this. You!)

At this point, I have been here for four months. Just hearing that, typing that, seeing that, reading that… ugh it makes me cringe. It sounds so short and so long all at the same time. I feel like I have been here longer, and yet I also feel as if I should have so much more time. I’ve come to accept this feeling as one of the many contradictions that an exchange student discovers about themselves.

I last posted in October (apparently right before Halloween). Well, Halloween was quite interesting, and I guess I never had to opportunity to write about it! Halloween isn’t really celebrated in South Korea. It is acknowledged as this holiday that exists but isn’t quite participated in. Whenever I saw anyone dressed up, they were college kids playing a “Halloween Challenge” where they had to be in costume while on a scavenger hunt.

My school had posters for a Halloween event taking place at another high school. It was Halloween and Día de los Muertos. My friend Bérénice and I attempted to go on Saturday to scope things out and then go again with our other friends on Sunday. What really happened was us two goofballs dressed up in not-quite-Halloween-yet-not-normal attire while getting lost in one of the many sections of Pusan. By lost, I mean not knowing where the school is and being in an area we hadn’t explored before. We were aware of the location of the subway and bus station the entire time though (don’t worry Mom and Dad!