Dying in a rice paddy; not part of "the plan".

For some reason, this trip to Vietnam over winter vacation has got me a little nervous. I don't know why, when Europe didn't worry me that much. I think it's because somehow I vaguely knew what to expect from Paris, and I knew I would be well taken care of by the lovely Iva once I made it to Vienna. Although the first leg was completely solo, I knew I had her just an overnight train ride through Germany away, if anything went awry.

But Liz, you might say, you packed up your bags and moved to South Korea to live without having a fucking clue.

Yeah. But we English teachers are completely babysat upon arrival. While it was a whole other set of worries (and they did exist), it wasn't wandering off to some place where I don't speak the language to fumble my way through two weeks of having absolutely no idea what the hell is going on.

God. I hate admitting this. It makes me feel like such a loser. But I think it goes back to a conversation I had with a friend recently about how, as English teachers in Korea, living this lifestyle, we could basically die alone in our apartments and it could be a good fucking while before anyone even knew about it. Okay, like only maybe a few days. But still. It made me realize that, although I've been away from my family for getting damn on near a decade now, I've always, always had someone who knew where I was and what I was doing at any given moment. Until now.

After Mike left the ROK, that gig was up. Which is not to say that I've become some kind of freak shut-in or anything, but there isn't that one person who's always got tabs on me. I talk to my family and people back home(/other various places) infrequently, and while a few people here might get a bit worried after a few days of not hearing from me, no one would probably think anything of it, other than just assuming I was a bit busy.

Well god that's depressing. Anyway, my point is, while I've done almost all of my (little) international traveling technically alone, I've also always been meeting various loved ones along the route who helped me figure out such asinine things as which fucking coins to put into the slot on the bus (thanks again, G Man). I really don't want to end up dead in some fucking rice paddy and become some sort of international 30 second news blurb or something. Or actually, I just don't want to get lost somewhere and have a crappy vacation because I have no way of getting out of it, or no one there to help me get my dumbass out of it.

Which means I need to rein in my usual "I'll figure it out when I get there!" tendencies and actually plan this motherfucker, probably. But god, it's so boring.

Also, I don't know why I do these things, but some guy from some "language exchange" site (don't fucking ask) might be coming up from Daejon next weekend to meet me. This was not my fucking idea, obviously. I don't really understand where it's come from. But I think I'll probably end up letting it happen. So, really, we've come full circle -- if I don't update this blog by the following Monday, you are all obligated to call the police, because I probably got serial killed.

I think I need to go to bed now.

PS -- Random Guy From WS That I Can't Remember: Stop calling me. I'm not stupid. When you only call a girl you met at a bar after midnight, she's usually able to suss what's going on. It's not going to happen. Even if I can't remember you, I know I haven't met anyone good looking/interesting enough for that recently....


Diana E. said...

I went to Vietnam alone last year and it was a GREAT country to travel solo in as a woman. If you want to check out what I did (with recs), I tagged it as "Vietnam" on my blog. If you have any other questions, let me know. Seriously, it was an amazing place--and you don't need to plan as much as you think you do. I promise you won't die in the rice paddies!

I'm no Picasso said...

Diana -- Thank you so much for the reassurance. I'm going to get right over to your blog and read that post right away.

I've really been looking forward to visiting Vietnam for a long time and I don't want the fact that I'm going solo to stop me from taking full advantage of the time I have there.

I might bug you a little later for more details, as the time grows closer and I get more antsy.

By the way, I hope you are recovering well. Your last month or so has sounded awful. It sounds like you're getting well back up on your feet, though.

Kel said...

don't worry! I think you will be really surprised with how user-friendly SE Asia is. I've never been to Vietnam, but every place I've traveled/lived in Asia I've felt that way. Lots of English is spoken, usually much more than here. Anyway, we can talk more in detail when we get together soon!

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