IT HAS almost been a year. I arrived in Korea in July and the humidity then made you want to change your underwear every hour. It's only May, but she has returned already: that sultry, sticky heat that makes you sweat even as you sit still.
It is a reminder of how quickly things move: a year really is not a long time. It is hard to believe, but more than 10 months have gone by, enough time to lose that feeling of "travelling". I live here now. In some ways, Korea to me is now simply "the norm." Of course, there are many things that still puzzle me about this country and challenge my understanding of it. But that strange feeling of routine has resolutely taken hold: sleep, eat, work, repeat.
The heat reminds me of something else too: that goshiwon of last summer with its cockroaches and its squalor and its lack of air-conditioning. I have air-conditioning now. It hasn't been turned on yet. Not even once.
But when it is, oh, will it be glorious.