Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Normal

Normal things: Sitting on the couch in the living room with my host brother, watching beautiful people crack stupid jokes on Gag Concert and smiling even though I understand less than 5% of what they're saying. Listening to my host father lament about how he hasn't been able to eat anything all day besides medicine because he has to prepare for a colonoscopy tomorrow and smiling because I understand much more than 5% of what he's saying, but don't know how else to react. Stumbling through an explanation of what these nicely-wrapped boxes are that I brought back from the U.S. and then just letting the host parents figure out that they're gifts from my real parents... realizing that my Korean is in poor shape after two weeks at home. Tip-toeing around the apartment because it has thin floors. Turning on my electric blanket. Absent-mindedly petting Roomy and Tory as they sniff my pants.

These are the "new normal". This Sunday evening is just like any other Sunday evening, and it is strange to me how comfortably I've settled back in.

I was hanging out with Jake and other Fulbrighters this afternoon. Aside from geeking out about Pokémon and berating me for not making the most of my two weeks in California by eating a burrito, Jake also mentioned that Fulbrighters who visit home during winter break often suffer withdrawal symptoms upon their return to Korea. Yes, it's cold here, and yes, I didn't get a chance to see everyone that I wanted to see at home in that short time span, but otherwise, I am totally fine. I'm ready to be in Korea for the next five months. I'm even looking forward to it, and I think that strolling back into my homestay life as if I'd never gone anywhere does reflect that, in a way.

Thanks, Sara. Thara!
On a related note, I had a nice surprise waiting for me on my desk when I arrived at home. Sara sent me a gift all the way from Virginia! How thoughtful. Now I can think about Scrabble while I drink tea at school. As I like to say, there is never too much Scrabble (or Bananagrams, or Contact).

Okay, now it's time to sleep and to find out when jetlag (시차, or time difference) will decide to wake me. This morning, it was 6:00am, long before the sun had risen. Tomorrow, it may be noon, or even later. We shall see!

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