After returning from the Fulbright Jeju Conference last week, I found that everything had started blooming here in Cheongju. First, the cherry trees along the Mushim River and in my apartment complex put forth their pink-white blossoms, causing people to flock to the river to take pictures beneath the picturesque boughs. It even brought me out of my hamster wheel of work-cafe-home-bed to take walks in the Toad Park of all the new spring life.
Also, last weekend, Suhyun and I met for brunch and a walk around the Toad Park. These days, knowing now that in August I'll be moving to Seoul to begin teaching there, I've wanted to meet friends and co-teachers more often. I know how much I'm going to miss them.
When Suhyun and I meet for brunch, we always end up talking for hours and taking pictures together. Thanks to the beautiful weather and all the blooming flowers - including Irises and Dogwood Trees - we took many pictures together in the park. It's a weekend I won't forget for a while.
During our walk around the park, we took a moment to rest on a bench under the shade of a tree, and that's when I learned about Suhyun's fear of birds. All over the ground were a bunch of food crumbs, and a very opportunistic bird decided that he was going to eat up those crumbs. It made Suhyun very nervous, especially when the little fellow came closer and closer to us. Of course, it also meant we were trapped until the bird decided to fly off to a different area. After that, we left the park and had some ice cream.
I value these kinds of moments with friends and co-workers, and I worry about adjusting to life in Seoul. It sounds silly, but I worry that I won't have these sorts of moments in the big city.
After completing my undergraduate studies, I accepted a chance to teach in Korea through the Fulbright Scholarship. Originally intending to stay just one year, it soon turned to three. I taught in Cheongju as an ETA from 2012 - 2015.