Monday Short: Weekend Tidbits

Tidbits. Because it’s Monday morning and my brain is still asleep.

This weekend, I went to the Jeju Mathematics Festival with my host brother. Almost everyone reading this knows that when it comes to math, I’m on the struggle bus, but I enjoyed the outing to the Jeju International Convention Center (ICC). When I wasn’t looking at math exhibits, I hit up the duty free shops and looked at the citrus fruit for sale. I also got on the right bus that took me straight to my house when I was finished. Thank the Lord for small miracles.

While at the Festival though, I felt my first sense of isolation since coming to Korea. It was almost lunch time, and I wasn’t hungry enough for a full-blown meal. Also, a meal at Craze Burger was around 10,000 won (about $10), so I decided I wasn’t that hungry. Instead I grabbed a smoothie from Dunkin’ Doughnuts and tried to find a place to sit in the food court area.

There was not a single chair or open table to be found. So I stood in the back of the food court, alone. I realized that I was the only non-Korean in the convention center and that only a few people spoke fluent English. Even though I knew where I was, I felt lost. Nobody but me and my Dunkin’ Doughnuts.

That night, my host family took me to a restaurant located on Seogwipo’s “Food Street.” All streets should be food streets.

I soon got over myself and the isolation (after about ten minutes) and went on with my weekend. On Sunday, I went to church as usual. Since I ride the church bus, I arrive early for children’s church and then stay for “adult” church. (I’m usually there for about four hours on Sundays). Before the children’s service started, the youth pastor asked if I could “teach the Word of God” in English for three to four minutes.

A Fulbrighter never backs down from a challenge, so I said yes. I taught for about two minutes on Matthew 13:23, the parable of the seeds. The adults and one of the senior pastors thanked me for teaching in English and I hope that somebody, somewhere understood something.

Here’s to a new week, here’s to Monday.

Geon bae from a different kind of south,




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