Sprinting Towards the Finish Line

12:08 AM Jmo 0 Comments

With a little more than 3 months sand left in the hourglass of Korea, my mind is full. Flights to book, friends to hug, weekends to plan. The last two have been filling up my time and heart to the brim. I've been trying to fit in as much as possible lately as I really don't want to leave Korea with any Ahh, I should've-could've... thoughts.
My weekends have been jam-packed full of outings, and parties, and mini-vacations. My final Spring in Korea has been nothing but loveliness.

There is so much that I need to catch up on! A ridiculous amount; it's almost overwhelming. So, for this post I've decided to try and sum up each event that I want to talk about into 5 sentences. Not sure if this will save me time or actually add time to the clock due to the editing process... but I figure it will be an interesting thing to attempt and will also serve as a metaphor for me deciding what to take home and what to leave behind in Korea as I set out to travel or transplant myself elsewhere. Only essentials!

Ok. Let's try this...

Jeonju Hanok Village:
A few weeks back, Hana and her lovely family (Puppy and Hana's sister Ju Hyun) took me on a day trip outside of Daejeon to the town of Jeonju. Puppy took my parents out to Jeonju when they visited last year so it was cute to hear Puppy point out "John! John here! Mahli! Markuh! Here!" when an area sparked a fond memory. I was spoiled. We ate constantly, smiled constantly, and laughed constantly. I am so fortunate to have met such an incredible family.

Busan 2:
I've almost been in Korea for two years, yet, I had only been to Busan (Korea's southern, ocean side, Seoul) once before. For my second time around, I took a weekend trip down with my then-friend (Surprise! We're dating now.) and fellow ocean lover, Chris. We went to the Busan Aquarium and had the amazing privilege of seeing two incredibly beautiful and incredibly rare, juvenile, finless porpoises that had been rescued and were now rehabilitating there. We also made the trek out to Yonggungsa; an ocean side temple that ranks up into the top 5 things I've experienced in Korea.

For the long weekend of Buddha's Birthday (A National holiday in Korea) I went on a man-weekend camping trip with 3 of my best buds on this peninsula. Two Amurricans, One Brit, and My South African in one tent on the beach. It was my first time camping in Korea and my first time camping on an island (I just have to stop and reflect, much like I did one night in our tent: "We camped on the beach, on a tiny island, off the coast of Korea." Life is incredible.). We were slightly unprepared (a light would've been nice), and the wind picked up quite a bit at night, but nothing could damper the fun we had. And nothing could kill my British friend's reaction to his first bite of a S'more: "JESS! Can we have these for breakfast!?!"

Art Show:
My third (and final) show with The Daejeon Arts Collective was possibly the best one yet. The show was incredibly well received and the outpouring of press and support was quite the pat on the back. We changed venues and ended up in WooYeong Gallery in Eunhengdong (Old Downtown, Daejeon). The quality and curation of work was enough to both humble and propel me forward into the future of my art career. I am so honored that this group took me under their wing two years ago and I have nothing but love and respect for my fellow artists.

Norebong Sunrise:
All these weekend adventures have taken me out and away from the Daejeon party scene for quite sometime... But, never fear! There's nothing that a good-old-fashioned birthday and maekoli outing can't fix. Eight bowls of maekoli and seven new friends later...I saw the sunrise as I left a norebong. Ahh, just like the old'n days.

ConAir Cake:
Here's all you need to know: My co-worker Hyo is obsessed with food. She was watching the great, American, film ConAir one night and thought that the cake that Nicolas Cage was eating in a scene looked "amazing". Long story short, she ended up downloading the entire script so we could find what kind of cake it was. (Spoiler Alert: They were pink Hostess snowballs.)

Drama Festival:
I was chosen to be a judge for an Elementary-English Drama Festival hosted by the DMOE. The festival itself was a great experience; I just wish I could've been a spectator only rather than a judge. It was actually a lot of pressure. I was told not to smile, not to laugh, and not to clap as the children performed. Sorry, but I cracked and did all three. Another foreign teacher and myself even had to call upon our improvisation and theatre experience and perform a little game on stage at the end as the scores were being tallied. Fun!

At Contract's End:
I've officially checked the "Will NOT renew" box on my contract papers. I'm starting to form a Korean-Bucket List and have become a "Yes Girl" with little time to sleep or breathe between activities.
I may return to the lovely ROK someday but, for now, it's onward. For example...

Kmo & Jmo Travel the World: Part III:
My partner in crime Kate is coming back to Asia! We are currently planning a trip to Hong Kong and Beijing at the end of the month after she spends a week reminiscing in Korea-Land. How surreal! I can't wait!

Ok. The next post will be...better? I'll at least be sure to include a few saturated, romantic, and metaphor laden details as per usual. These 5 sentences just ain't cuttin' it.


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