So of course the final 7 days have been manic. I took to split-shift sleeping as I juggled the influx of farewell dinners, the overdue packing and a final week at work.
- On Monday Ju Young and I spent quality shopping time revelling in the Forever 21 goodness
- On Tuesday Chris ventured up to our neck of the woods to join Kathryn and me for noraebang
- On Wednesday - suffering somewhat from sleep deprivation - David came over for extensive beer consumption
- On Thursday - developing some attractive coughing and spluttering - I bid farewell to co-workers Olive and Miye over a traditional galbi dinner
- On Friday Taera and I bonded at Thuy's leaving party, followed by losing my voice completely at Caliente
So Sunday I spent rushing to and fro giving Kathryn the remains of the boxes wanting to be sent to the UK as whittling my life down to 20kg had proved to be a little optimistic. It was 6.30pm as I was finally giving the final polish down of the bare apartment, careful not to swirl any dust about as I gently closed the door behind me. Having an 8am flight the next morning, the buses wouldn't be running early enough for me to get to the airport on time, so Ju Young kindly offered to give me a place to stay and a lift in the morning.
As I took the suitcase out of the taxi in Itaewon waiting to meet Ju with her car, I couldn't have had a better surprise to find every one of my closest friends waiting for our final dinner. We grabbed a table for 12 at Outback Steakhouse and followed it up with what was essentially our own private party at America Latina. My 'one last dance' with all my favourite dancing men (and girls), including an impromptu Columbian salsa class by the owners, was really the perfect end to an amazing year (and 4 months) in Korea.
Of course the final post is going to be difficult to write. It's impossible to express all the emotions of leaving such a life behind. It really has been a rollercoaster of a year, but not one I would have traded for anything. The things I've done...the foods I've eaten...but most importantly the people I met.
I tell you what, if this year hasn't done anything else to change me, I've taken to embracing my soppy emotions without excessive coatings of sarcasm. Perhaps the UK will change that again. ㅋㅋㅋ...