Considering my mood today, this might not be the best time to review how 2014 was for me, but it's that time again. Each and every year, for more than a decade, as the old year passes into new, I sit: at a desk, on the deck of a sailboat, on the sands of a beach, in the mountains, or just as I do now, at my kitchen table, and write. I write about events of the passing year, and my hopes, goals, visualizations for the upcoming annum. This emotional/ spiritual/ intellectual/physical endeavor is usually inspiring; I expect great things of myself and my life, I look forward, I am excited! "Annum" brings to mind "ennui", which is not far from an apropos elucidation of my mood as I recall 2014, and beckon with reservation 2015.
All my memories of 2014 consort with Korea: I look back...
It's amazing what you find in keepsake boxes; it's like having a birthday of presents from the past! I'm so happy that I kept all of this "junk": photos, journals, artwork, letters, yes, I even have my old dance team letter jacket (time to let that go however!)! All of this "stuff" defines who I was and re-tells the story of my life to me. A wonderful journey of nostalgia. I was able to let a lot of stuff go that no longer held meaning; let it go to the trash dump, that is!
[The photos above are some items from my first trip to Korea, back in 1987. The newspaper is also dated 1987, and reports on the violent protests over the peoples desire for democratic elections in Korea. I watched it all on the news and it affected my young heart: the protests and police backlash occurred in places I had been not two months before, in Seoul. Near the Universities, my Korean friends and I would sit in circles and sing and play guitar. A month later, tanks were rolling through and tear gas was flying. It was very upsetting to my 19 year old self.]
As far as a departure update, I'm will try to be on a plane next Friday, Oct. 25! There was some confusion with my recruiter about the visa processing time, with her determining I could leave next Weds. That gave me a heart attack for four hours yesterday, putting me into such a panic that I couldn't accomplish anything save a few polite emails trying to rectify the situation. I thought I could drive to Atlanta and drop off my paperwork and get my visa issued in one day. No way, they said, 3 day turn around time minimum. Somewhat relieved, I Fedex-ed the application overnight, which was only $45 including the return postage. So I'll receive my visa late next week.
The flight schedule is somewhat peculiar, as I can only fly out on certain days if I want to arrive in Korea during the day. I certainly do not want to arrive in Busan at 10pm and then figure out how to get to Tongyeong, which is an hour and a half away. Add to this the fact that the school Director can only come pick me up on a weekend, when she's not in school! Add to that I'm traveling with two large suitcases, a carry on, and possibly a third suitcase if I want to shell out the extra $200 for the third checked bag.
I'm still trying to sell my motorcycle and furniture, send off a few more storage items to Dad, figure out how to get my Eric Verret collection of art to Korea, deciding if I have all the clothes I need, working a few more days, and then packing. Oh yeah, and I still have 400 pp of my TEFL Certification to finish before I leave! aack!
You can see why I am stressed!
After mailing all of my documents to Korea on Monday, I am surprised how quickly everything has been received and the rapid turnaround time. Jinny, my recruiter, received them yesterday and sent them on to my school for verification. She said I should receive my Visa "PIN" by next Friday! Once received, I will drive down to Atlanta to the Korean Consulate to get the visa stamped into my passport. From there, I buy my plane ticket to Seoul!
Compare this to the ship time of my Kindle, ordered on Sept 29. It was shipped Oct. 2 to be received Oct. 4. I had put in a mail forwarding order to the USPS (yes, two months after I moved here), and that somehow CONFUSED the USPS, even though they have been delivering my mail at this address since July! Thus, when FedEx dropped my package to the USPS (why Amazon would transfer packages between shippers is beyond me!!) on Thurs Oct 3 here in my hometown, it should have been delivered the next day. But since the USPS was confused, they lost the package, sent it back to their main sorting facility in Virginia, then back to this state and now it's an hour away in Asheville. It might be here by Monday. The USPS had my package here and then sent it to another state. That makes sense doesn't it? The point is, I sent a package to Korea on Monday afternoon, it arrived Weds in Seoul (Thurs in Korea). A package is sent via USPS and gets sent everywhere but here for 10 days. Go figure.
My bank account is bleeding cash. I have saved $1700 so far for miscellaneous expenditures related to my relocation, including a $1200 plane ticket to Seoul. I just spent $170 on luggage: one carry on and 2 checked bags. The limits being 62 linear inches and 50 lbs per bag checked (2 max), and 46 linear inches, 26 lbs for the carry on. I'll take another checked bag for an additional $200 excess luggage fee.
Just looking at clothes, cosmetics, and other assorted items I plan to move with me is overwhelming... where will it all fit into 3-4 bags! Ack! At least I was able to find purple and pink suitcases that weigh only 8 lbs each! I know you were very concerned about color coordination of my luggage; it's a high priority among the list of 50 Things To Do each Day in The Next Two Weeks.
On a positive note, everything I need will be available in Korea! Everything except clothing, although in Seoul and Busan, I should be able to get some American sizes. I'm not a 5'2" size negative 4, 90 lb. Korean woman. Luckily, I have small feet, so I'll be able to find shoes! I was also just informed from another teacher in Seoul that anything I want from iHerb.com over $50 and under 15 lbs will be shipped to South Korea for $4! Halleelooyuh!! From all the info I gathered, I only need clothing and shoes, specific cosmetics, and toiletries, so I don't have to stock up on anything special. I'll also be able to download books to Kindle, though they say my Prime membership loses it's benefits of free book lending and such.
As of yesterday, I've spent a few hundred dollars on documentation and shipping of documents:
...so much for that $1700! I've got another week or so of work to pad the savings account and if someone will buy my motorcycle that will be another $2k to tide me over!
"You get what you think about, whether you want it or not!"