Hello There Culture Shock, Long Time No See

Yeah, I remember you. You’re one of my least favorite things about life. Whenever you swing by every few years or so, I seem to cultivate this doorstep fear and am secretly terrified of stepping outside of my safe, little room. You met me whenever I was the new kid in school, saw me off to college, poked me in Wales, wrapped your arms around me in France, and now? Hell, I don’t know what you’re doing to me now. You’re just chilling by the door like a puppy wanting to go out for a walk. Why are you so needy?

My computer has become my lifeline. Sad, but true. Everything’s in English, I can talk and see my friends and family, and I’m tucked inside my comfort zone of hermitude where I can surf/read/watch movies to my heart’s content. It is my umbilical chord of normalcy. I know why this is happening, and I also know that it takes me a particular amount of time to adjust and get bored of my little room. I’m just not there quite yet.

I’m an introvert, and it takes a lot out of me to interact right now. That sounds pretty pitiful, and believe me, it feels the same. I don’t like adventuring out at night yet because my sense of direction is horrific at night time. And it seems silly to say, because I’m in a foreign country and obviously I don’t know anything yet, but I don’t like feeling like I have no idea what’s going on. Seriously, it drives me crazy when I feel like a tagalong.

Yes, this could all probably be managed by jumping into some activities that would distract me. Yes, it would probably break me through the ice more quickly than what I’m doing. But that’s not my style and it’s not how my brain works. In fact, I’m actually torn between that uncomfortable prospect and just wandering about on my own time. What would prove more beneficial? I still need to get my bearings and figure out how to center myself over here.

I will be adventuring to Seoul this weekend. Part of me feels like that’s still coming from left field, but the other part, the one that’s growing familiar with this little room, needs to see things in the daylight. In an odd way, I guess I’m fortunate to have a cave for an apartment (probably 10 minutes total of natural light during the day), because it makes anything outdoors seem fresh when I go out during the daytime. But Wednesday is my friend Ines’s birthday, and I haven’t seen her or Katheryn for what must be 4+ years. If everything works out properly, we’ll all be able to get together this weekend. It will be a great relief to see familiar faces in person as opposed to on a screen.