12.17.2014 Distance traveled: 3998 mi/6434 km Halló! That’s right, we’ve just gone bilingual. Follow That Flag has crossed international waters! Maggie! I am so thrilled the flag is safe and sound, hunkering down next to Santa Paws to spend a white Christmas in Iceland. It’s like I’m hunkering down next to Santa Paws to spend a white christmas in Iceland! Maybe some day. Magndís was one of the very first people I met in Cheongju. It was a hot, muggy night in July, about 10PM and I had just finished a whirlwind first day of teaching. After getting snubbed by a teacher that I tried to strike up a conversation with in the elevator, I started to recalibrate my expectations of making friends in town, as it seemed I might have only gotten lucky with great roommates during training week in Seoul. Maggie walked up to the tiled seven-story building in a cropped sundress to meet Jaela after work. They were on their way to Chungdae the ‘university village’ neighborhood and nightlife of Cheongju. They invited me to cocktails at a dimly lit lounge called “Kush” and by the end of the first umbrella drink, I had made the friends I wanted.
Full of warmth and laughs, and sharing some of the same quirks, Maggie’s extended vacation in Korea, falling on my first month in the country, was all my gain. While I was getting into the routine of walking with her and Jaela every night under the lights of Gagyeongdong, stopping by the mini mart on the way home for sodas and soju, or late night curry chicken, I had spent just enough time with her to truly miss her presence when she left. She was my first goodbye and it came all too quick…ly.
Stay tuned for the next sappy post. We definitely will not be passing by Ireland to highlight an exceptionally ordinary, former friend who’s missed out on this brilliant, once-in-a-lifetime, friendship bonding experience, spectaculaire!