I've said most of what I wanted to say about Korea through this past year in posts. I have been trying to think of something conclusive about what I'll take with me from my time here—nursing bekseju, pondering Han, laughing with the most wonderfully spirited children I've ever gotten to know.
If anything, I've taken equal parts pride and humility from this year: pride at where I come from, and the things that I realize make up my idea of home, but also the humility that comes from being a long-term guest in a country where life can be baffling, and you tend to feel like a creature of spectacle.
I am incredibly grateful for all the kindness and generosity people have shown me here, from my endlessly obliging hagwon boss, to the kind Paris Baguette proprietor Mr. Kim and his countless free pastries, to the friendly restaurant ajummas who would smile and flip an extra fried egg onto my bowl of bibimbap.
Today was my last day at the school, and I faced a barrage of little people hugging my legs and saying:
"Bye-bye, Sam Teacher!"
"I love you!"
It was pretty sweet. I'm going to miss these little ones. Part of me wants to smuggle a few off in my suitcase and take them off somewhere green, and as far from a classroom as possible.
Thanks to all who read and were entertained by Seoul Seeking. Though this is my last post from Korea, feel free to check back every now and then and I'll post links to any new writing or blogging that's worth a spit.
Sometimes it helps to not be so exclusive with our choice of nooks.
Annyonghi kyeseyo, Korea.