MY FATE has been sealed: I'll be in Korea for the next year at least. My visa issuance number came through the other day, and on Thursday I'll be making my way to Osaka, Japan, to collect and activate my work visa. I'm relieved. Ireland has little for me at this moment: few jobs, over-familiarity and little optimism. I couldn't have contemplated going back so soon.
A salary will be nice for a change too. The soles are coming away from my soles. My jeans -- my only pair -- are wearing thin. My laptop is slower than a college dropout with a cannabis addiction; and it's missing four keys. But it's not as though the English language has much use for 'k', 'm', 'n' or 'l' anyway, right? No one likes those constants anyway . . .
I've gotten to a point where I'm just about comfortable here. Yes, the novelty of everything is beginning to fade, but I've also come over the inevitable cultural hump of frustration and loneliness that at times marred my first month or so in Korea. I feel good about the next few weeks and months. I'm happy to be here a while.
I'll always be a citizen of Ireland. Assuming Fianna Fail and the Greens manage not to literally sink her beneath the Atlantic, she'll there when I come back.
And in the meantime, if I get homesick enough, there are always those ₩ 9,000 pints of Guinness on sale in every second bar in Seoul. But you know what?
I haven't been tempted yet.