Monday, March 4, 2013


On the way back from Singapore my laundry detergent leaked all over my bag. I’ve had grits leak into my bag and orange juice, once, and I think I much prefer the detergent. My bag smells great! The sniffer beagle at the airport gave me an appraising look when it noticed that I claimed the green backpack off the belt, as if to say, “Good on you.”

That is, if the dog speaks English like an Australian. If said dog speaks Korean, he said closer to, “잘한다!!!!! ㅋㅋㅋㅋ But I hope she spoke English.

I wish I could say I’m rambling more than normal here, but I’m not. Ever since I got back to Korea my mind has been . . . pollinating. Back in NZ, Sam and Pete’s farm was situated on some kind of bee highway. Further down the road sat a type of tree irresistible to the bees and former on the road was their hive; in between were me—protected by my hoodie hood—and the flower garden, inundated with the bzzbzzbzz of bees going back and forth, hither and yon to this flower, that flower, tree, to hive to flower.

That’s what my brain has been doing ever since I got back to Korea. To-do lists are wrapping their tentacles around my cerebellum, inhibiting my comprehension of being back in Korea, living my life here, riding on Daewoo buses and eating kimchi and ramyeon and spilling that blasted red stuff on a new shirt.

The first two days I was back I don’t think even once I sat down and focused on one thing for longer than twenty minutes. I was in Pollination Mode, preparing for the new semester, for my cousin’s imminent visit, and reinserting myself into Busan life.

After two and a half months of my daily worries consisting of how to get from point A to point B while feeding myself, the myriad of tasks was a little overwhelming. In a good way. Do bees get drunk from the pollen they carry? There is something intoxicating about busyness, competency, efficiency. Perhaps it’s not my drug of choice (COOKIES) but unlike my drug of choice (COOKIES), busyness gives me energy.

Manic energy, that is. It took two days before my brain stopped stuttering things like:

“Unpack. Bo-ring. Do laundry. Need money. Switch computers. Need key. Pay bills. Not open. Chocopies! Go to store. When? Now? No. Later? Yes. Now? Now lesson plan. Class what? Okay! All the clas—clean window too? With? Soju? Hmm. Letters. Post office. Closed. Hurple? Clean all the things—”

And then it stopped. The bees went back to New Zealand and the beagle stopped speaking Korean in my head. Enough things were finished and enough things were not that I was able to sink back into the grind where knowledge that “‘all the things’ will always need doing” is common. It helps that I’m memorizing Ecclesiastes 3 right now.

It also helps that I took a helluva Sabbath yesterday, hung out with my church family, ate choco pies, watched The Newsroom, and read some C.S. Lewis and Neil Gaiman.

The bees are humming again. It’s Monday, the first day of the semester, the first day of the craziest week of the year. According to Ecclesiastes 3, “There is a time for everything,” not “there is time for everything.” Strangely, I find that comforting.

I have a ton of pictures from my trip and I keep writing stuff that needs/has no pictures. So, I'm going to combine the two. Apologies for picture/post combos that make no sense.

Kid art project in KAWAKAWA. (best town in NZ)

The Hobbiton crew.

fat sheep. mwo?

Maori art.


  1. That sheep is not fat, it is fluffy.

    Good to have you back, Elaine!

  2. Eat lots of kimchee for me :)