As I said previously, dates tend to stick in my brain. Today is another anniversary, although this one is hardly one to celebrate.
Ten years ago today I arrived back in St. John's, putting an end to my experiment of living and working in South Korea as an ESL teacher. I like South Korea and consider it a marvelous country. But I can't really look back at my time there with any kind of rose coloured glasses. I was fairly miserable as I didn't enjoy teaching, didn't get to know many people there and it took months before I got to understand and like the food.
Plus, as I'm sure I've related before, the owner of the private school I taught at was a rogue and a cheat. Certainly not an uncommon experience for many doing the ESL circuit during that time in the 90s. But of the group of us that went over there to teach - Chris, Lisa, Corey, Donna and Melissa (who is still there) - I seemed to have the worst of it.
I think the weeks before and after I came back from Korea were a real low point in my
life. I felt very much like a failure and adrift. It took me sometime to figure out what I wanted to do next. It's worth remembering these things, if for no other reason than to appreciate how much better my life is now, a mere decade later.
It's also worth remembering that Korean Airline Flight 801 href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Air_Flight_801">crashed 10 years ago today. It was a tragedy and one that indirectly impacted me. First, I was in the check-in line with passengers that were on the plane. There were people with Guam stickers on luggage and were chatting about going there as it is a popular honeymoon
destination for Koreans. I can remember thinking that I would rather be heading to Guam than going back to Newfoundland. As best I know, that plane was the next in line to taxi and depart Seoul that day. So that's always been a bit freaky.
Also, I didn't realize for many hours later that the crash had happened. Oddly, airports and airlines don't announce planes crashing as it tends to unnerve the passengers. So it wasn't until I arrived in St. John's, about 24 hours later and exhausted that I found out the plane had went down. I think my legs wobbled for a moment. I also found out I freaked out a good number of friends and family who
knew I was flying home that day and that I was flying on Korean Airlines, but little more. Dad apparently got bombed with calls wanting to know if I was all right.
So that's what happened 10 years ago. I'm much happier all the way around today than I was back then