It seems like there's just too much, and nothing, to say. Another night sat staring into the middle distance, and time I really met some lovely people as well, but I just don't have it in me. Even being assured I missed a 'hell of a night' on Friday to stay in, and keep myself safe.
So there's one person I can still talk to. A thirty-six year old Korean bartender who speaks less English than I do Korean. The possibility of something like Smalltown asking an innocent question over dinner and me bursting (nearly) into tears just doesn't exist there.
To Smalltown's credit, since the boy's finally sussed that there's a lot more going on underneath this surface than is ever let on, he's done his best.
Sitting in the dark bar on Sunday afternoon sipping on a mug of coffee and watching the man wipe down the counters before opening and the music came on. I went out on the porch to have a smoke and it felt strange to feel so at home when two army guys walked past me inside, only to be turned away (not open yet). And that sort of questioning glance about the girl having a coffee outside. I belong here as more than business. Odd.
What's more odd is having someone tell you, for the first time in a foreign language, that his mother is dead. Dead. That word in English is one thing....
Four taxi drivers. Four conversations in Korean. What was life like before this again? My ears are opening up, in the classroom too. It's to the point now where both the boys and I forget that we just communicated in Korean. More phrases and words are becoming "mine" -- I own them, in the sense that I don't have to translate them in my head. I hear them and understand.
Mostly I'm just homesick. Thinking about my family, to be perfectly honest, makes me realize how measly the bonds I have here have been. In comparison. Getting dozens of texts and phone calls in an evening is fantastic and all. But where's that one person who really knows what the hell is going on?
Don't think about that.
Don't think about how you were turned away from three banks (including your own) while trying to get a credit card so you could book your flight home because you were a foreigner.
And definitely don't think about how you've just had two more class hours tacked on the schedule that's already had you staying at work till nearly 7 on your two free evenings a week.
Think about the students, who have brilliant smiles. Who give you any kind of encouragement they can when they see you looking, occasionally, too serious. Think about how all those hours at work are returned to you in their kindness.
Don't think about going home. Don't think about coming back. Think about going to bed and getting good rest and waking up tomorrow to start a whole other day.