You also meet a lot of truly fantastic people living abroad. It takes a certain sort of person to be able to do this job, especially the ones who stick it out for a few years. I've never met so many people that I felt instantly connected to. Maybe it's because this lifestyle draws in similar personalities, or maybe it's because we're so far from home that we need to share our experiences together. These new friends from all over the world. They're interests vary from international politics to playing soccer to scuba diving. But one thing everyone can agree on is grabbing a couple (or, like, a lot of) beers on a Saturday night, even the ones who "don't really drink."
These people speak French and Spanish and Korean and Afrikaans and all sorts of other languages. We share stories about holidays in Thailand and commiserate over missed weddings of old friends. Almost invariably, someone brings up the topic of "pop" versus "soda" or the pronunciation of "aluminum" or what South Africans mean when they tell you to turn left at the "robot." (Answer: they mean "stoplight." No, that's not a joke.) We have makeshift Thanksgivings, Christmases and 4th of July's - trying the best we can to recreate the holidays of our childhoods. We forge traditions of out of memories our friends back home take for granted. We piece together out own little world from the scraps of the ones we left behind. Hang on to your hats, kids, it's an adventure.
Finally made it to the DMZ. It was pretty intense. Hopefully you can see in this picture the little North Korean guy watching us through binoculars on the top of the steps on the other side. Lemme tell ya, there is no one in this general vicinity even thinking about fucking around.
Pyongyang is 205km in that direction, folks.
There was so much energy during the whole parade. Everyone was encouraged to participate. The floats were beautiful, the lanterns generously given out to onlookers. I've never seen so many genuinely happy Koreans all in one place. Usually, that would require massive amounts of soju.
But hey, would you look at the clock? It seems to be time for a change of scenery. Remember, my lovely readers, it's a big world out there. 안녕히계세요 대한민국.