Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Home Sweet Home (5 February)

On the final day of our vacation, we have another late start to the day.  Being on vacation is great but it’s also exhausting and we’re thankful that we still have tomorrow to recover from the last four days before facing school once more.  Since we’re not skiing this morning and we literally have little to do besides pack our bags and take a final walk around Phoenix Park for photos, Catfish and I soon find ourselves chatting to YeonJeong about various things.

Knowing that she and Kyungsu were woken at 3:30 this morning to sort out the ‘party room’ as it became known, I can’t help but wonder if her views – and those of other Koreans who have to deal with waegooks – tends to be more negative as a result.  I’m relieved to hear her say that she does distinguish between different types of foreigners: Those who are rude and arrogant (the majority in my opinion) and those who actually attempt to learn about Korean culture and the language.  I’m even more pleased to hear that she’s placed Catfish and I in the latter group.  This response gives Catfish the confidence she needs to ask YeonJeong for advice when it comes to Korean men.  She explains the situation with JH and asks YeonJeong as an older sister figure and a Korean for her insight into the matter.

Get a Clue!

After an interesting chat, it’s time to get ready to leave Phoenix Park for the long trip home.  Since we’re leaving at 13:00, we make a point of having lunch before we leave and wonder if the Korean staff have managed to have lunch yet since they’re busy organising the buses and returning the last of the ski/snowboarding equipment.  This question is soon answered when, once on the bus, we’re told that we’ll be stopping at a rest stop in 20 minutes so that the Koreans can have lunch.  I’m both embarrassed and irritated by the foreigners behind me who immediately start commenting that the Koreans should have had lunch at Phoenix Park before we left as the rest of us did.  Surely these waegooks can’t be so arrogant and self-absorbed that they can’t realise the Koreans didn’t have time to stop for lunch at Phoenix Park since they were busy taking care of things for our trip home.  As much as it irritates me, however, I can’t muster the courage needed to challenge the foreigners and I disappoint myself by remaining quiet. 

The trip home is painless and we’re soon getting off the bus at the Express Bus Terminal in Seoul and fighting our way through the underground shopping area to get to the actual bus terminal.  Mercifully, it’s not too long a wait for a bus to Gunsan and we’re soon saying goodbye to KiwiKat and back on a bus homeward bound for our little town, little quiet village – home sweet home.

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