It’s 5:30 in the morning, and I can’t sleep. My taxi leaves at 7:00. The airport limo bus will arrive at the airport at 8:00. I’ll board my flight at 10:00. It’ll take off at 10:20.

(six-hour layover in Tokyo)

Then I’ll be on my way home for the first time in FOUR YEARS!!

(…and one month)

It’ll be a short whirlwind trip. There’s a special family event going on, and I couldn’t pass it up. Sorry to everyone I can’t see while I’m down there. There’s just no time. Maybe next time–and it won’t be four more years later.

Poor Eun Jeong. Actually she’s awesome, and I wish she’d realize that. She’s actually taking over my classes while I’m gone. That’s a major coup–having a Korean substitute for a foreigner. I’ve been training her for the past week, and I hate to admit that she’s a way more talented teacher than I am. She comes up with ideas in class to get the kids motivated that never occur to me. I wish she could sit in my classes all the time. She helped bridge the learning gap with the students who couldn’t follow everything, and it made the class more efficient because I wasn’t wasting time miming or looking up words in the dictionary to teach the kids or have them do basic tasks.

She got a call from a school she originally wanted to work for over a year ago. They want to hire her. She’s actually conflicted. My feeling is that she’s gotten a little spoiled by not working the past couple of months. And I’ve gotten spoiled by coming home to her cooking after work. I wish we could keep that situation. But we like money too much.

We’re both nervous–anxious, really. Last night, when we got off of work, we were both not too hungry, even though we hadn’t eaten in over seven hours. We stopped at a little place near us that caters to college students. She got a Doenjang Jjigae. I got a Kimchi Jjigae with Tuna. My last Korean meal in Korea during my unbroken four-year stint. And it was good.

Everyone’s asking why I’m so anxious about the trip. Well, for one, it’s a biggie. And I’m bringing a lot of gifts home and a lot of stuff back–so much so that I know I’ll have some hefty extra baggage fees on the way back. But also, if anyone has been a long reader of this site, around fifty percent of my trips from Incheon have had some type of snafu, usually involving Immigration. This time, I know my ass is covered. But past experience has made me a wee jittery.

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