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Posts from the ‘Leaving home’ Category

Writing from the Mid-Pacific

Right now, we’ve made it a little more than half way across the Pacific Ocean. We’ve been flying for about seven hours, and the creaky joints of a long-haul flight are just now really setting in. Oh for the excesses of extreme wealth. If I were a well-heeled lunatic, I would furnish for myself a yoga studio on the plane. That would feel awesome right about now. Alas…

How have my feelings changed over the last few hours? Well, this is all certainly much more concrete. We are literally moving to Korea as I type this. It’s bonkers. The flight has been uneventful, so I’ve allowed myself the luxury of not thinking too hard about anything. I’ve let myself fall into a (de)light(ful) novel that has been happily consuming without taxing my noggin. The last three weeks have earned both of us a little break if only for the duration of the flight. Good thing the flight is so long; there’s plenty of time to unwind.

I can feel both of us easing into this situation. The mild bickering we’ve aimed at each other is receding and I’m starting to hook back into what’s in front of me instead of dreading/dreaming. The result of this is that, thankfully, things are starting to feel funny again. Take for example, this little tidbit: when we went through security, the TSA agents pulled one of our carry-on bags out of the line for a more thorough inspection. Upon opening the bag, he found a large hammer, a screwdriver and, wait for it… a box-cutter and two packs of fresh blades. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, a box-cutter. Somehow, in all the packing and shuffling of the last three days, we transferred our “Utility Pack” from the checked luggage to the carry-on. Shockingly, the TSA confiscated all three items. No matter how assiduously you check and recheck, something like this always slips through. Considering the number of discrete items/tasks we’ve had to work through, we should consider ourselves expert jetsetters if that’s the worst mistake we make on this move.

Do you have any stories of travel/move related airheadedness? I trust we’re in good company, but it will soothe the bruised ego to add proof to supposition.

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K-Day: T-minus 1 hour and 7 minutes

I don’t really know how to start this post. We’re here in the airport eating $12 breakfast sandwiches. HCB is sitting across from me, babbling from delirium. All of our earthly possessions are either on our persons, on their way to the belly of a pale blue 777 or waiting in a warehouse in the port of Oakland. In the past five weeks, we have managed to plan and implement an international move. The blog-blackout of late was a necessity. I could either write about moving to Korea, or I could move to Korea. The relentless compulsion to talktalktalk for the first couple weeks of this blog’s life was inflected with more than a little neurotic avoidance: “It’s my job to inform the masses, but we’re leaving so soon! I suppose I don’t have time to sell my car or order a new passport… Oh well. I should probably write a blog about it!”

It’s been a crazy couple weeks, but as I said, that was the boring part. Standing on the precipice of the exciting part, I have very little to say. I know that both of us are going to miss terribly all the people we’re leaving, but we’re ready. And if we aren’t ready, oh well! This whole thing has been like that TV show about ladies who don’t know they’re pregnant until they give birth on the toilet or in the ball pit at a Chucky Cheese. This thing is happening, so it’s time to just let nature take its course. Would it have been nice to have a little more time to get everything right? Definitely. But that would have only prolonged the leaving, which would’ve come with its own host of hassles and heartaches. What’s there to do but be grateful?

In the coming days (and hours), I’m sure I’ll have something more interesting to talk about but for now, nothing has been metabolized yet. I’ll just end by saying: we love you all and we’ll be back soon.

Checking In

Sorry that it’s been kinda quiet over here at Abrupt Departure. It’s just that there’s a lot going on: In less than twelve hours the friendly movers from Mayflower arrive to pack our dearest possessions into a 200 cubic foot shipping container (it sort of makes my head explode a little to write that sentence). And one week from tomorrow, we board a plane (it absolutely makes my head explode to write that).

If I were prioritizing blog posts over other things, I’d write separate entries about: my adventures and misadventures with international shipping companies; an impromptu visit to the Korean consulate; my ill-timed weekend in Austin; learning the hard way why it’s important to read the fine print when ordering foreign currency from an American bank; the incorrect passport number on a plane ticket; some harrowing times with my new university-supplied bilingual assistant; the paperwork, oh, the paperwork; and, finally, learning to love, or at least choke down, sushi.

But instead of writing funny blog posts we’re trying to decide how many pairs of socks and underwear we should be taking with us.

Kneel and pray and you will speak Korean.

Rosetta Stone is a little bit bananas. I don’t think I fully grasp what it’s trying to do, or rather, if it’s doing something, it’s doing it well below the threshold of perception. Perhaps my language center is being rewired in some subtle way? Maybe? Hopefully. Because if that isn’t happening, I just spent $400 on a load of horse effluvium. I know, I know. The Peace Corps and the US Military. Millions and millions of people learning languages all around the world. I know, but this just doesn’t feel effective yet. Read more

HCB’s Guest Post: Passport Regained

For quite some time now I’ve conceived of myself as organized. Sure, I often get to the grocery store without my shopping list, and I’ve been known to leave the doggie bag at the restaurant. But that’s all small stuff, which by now we know not to sweat. High stakes obligations? I’m on it.

Hubris! Read more