expat: short for expatriate: 1. resident in a foreign country. 2. exiled or banished from one’s native country. 3. person who lives in a foreign country.
i’ve been hesitant to describe myself with the term ‘expat.’ it sounds a little stuffy, a little too sophisticated for my tastes. i also figured that one has to earn the title. when i lived in australia, i never dared to think of myself as anything other than a guest, a visitor, an extended tourist. and really, i was only away from america for 6 months.
but somehow, here, in the month of april, the term started to feel accurate to the life i’m living. even though korea may never make sense to me, i do feel a strange normalcy to my days (which is why i haven’t had much to write about; all the bizarre behaviors and interactions i witness are becoming oddly routine). i feel plugged in and involved (at least in the foreigner community), i feel in-control of the immediate world around me – i can get food and toiletries and other necessities without a struggle. i can take the bus wherever i need to go. i still can’t communicate to save my life, but even that is becoming “normal.” it’s so weird, and i suppose it’s what the culture-shock spectrum refers to as the “acceptance” stage, but i am happy to be in this place.
i think the season of spring has also probably contributed to my peaceful disposition. on april 11th, david and i had no school, so we went in search or the highly revered cherry blossom trees, in bloom for what seemed like a fleeting moment. we found a few, so here are some pictures from the day.