Which is not to say that I am not looking forward to going back to Korea! Although I'm dreading having to go back to the cold and the insularity of Korean society and the lack of multiculturalism (ok, the lack of multicultural food options really) and of course, having to go back to work, I'm also looking forward to lots of things - Korean food, shopping, the convenience of Korean life, and of course, my friends. Actually, to be honest, I feel a bit ambiguous about seeing many of them, because for quite a few who have been important people in my life last year, it's not just about looking forward to seeing them again. Many of them will be leaving now that they have completed their year of teaching, and although this is thing I hate to believe is true and can never quite bring myself to say, it may very well be the last time I'll see them again, so for many, it's a goodbye too. Now those of you who are either Australian or are acquainted with Australians (which you should all be since you know me and to channel a Westie I know, you can't get much better than what's already awesome! :D) know that we are a nation of long distance travellers. We have to be if we want to go anywhere outside of the country. So there is a fairly large likelihood that of the many friends I have been lucky enough to make this year, I will see them again. In the words of someone well-meaning who probably ended up with a long line of Australian couch-surfers: "never invite an Aussie to stay with you if they're ever in the country unless you actually mean it, because they'll actually take you up on it." Nevertheless, depressing thoughts and accomodation-cadging aside, it will be good to go back and spend my last week of school-less freedom seeing everyone again, just in case. And frankly, also because some of them would also be likely to send me long abusive emails about my moral deficiencies as a friend if I did not see them at least once before they go and this is something I wish to avoid :)
Which brings me back to my original point (kind of) about my last day in Oz. The weather has actually cleared up a little and turned out semi-nice, so a swim with Fran later on in the (hopefully) less burny time of day is definitely on the cards. I'm also baking sticky-date pudding with butterscotch sauce (two actually, one for our grandparents and one for us), if we have any room for it after dinner with mum, dad, Fran, Edna and Allen (some family friends visiting from Wales) at Altitude 1146 perched on Bulli Tops, which according to a friend with an inside scoop on the owners (....) does some mean curries since they actually have a curry chef. I'm hoping the sticky date pudding will also make me less sentimental when I go to say goodbye to my grandparents for yet another year - a kind of Trojan horse I guess - but I'm glad that we at least have the miracle of Skype to keep in touch. I also have the last of my packing to do, or rather, re-packing, now that I've gathered all of these things that I somehow managed without for a whole year but have now decided I can't, and also all of my shopping for stuff I can't get in Korea, like Dilmah tea, peppermint tea, herbs and a decent stain remover which you'd think would be a cinch for a country that uses as much chilli as Korea.
Anyway, rather than writing about it and sitting on my butt enjoying the campness of Peter on Ready Steady Cook, I should probably get onto actually doing some of that stuff. My second sticky-date pudding is almost done so I should check on it too, and of course the crickets and cicadas chirruping outside in the sunshine are reminding me of my 'one last swim' resolution with Fran. Here are a few of my favourite photos from my trip to tide you over until my next post (I'll probably be whingeing about how cold I am). Bon voyage!
|With Miss Lucy and Jini|
|With Lyss and Tracey|
|With the 2009 Wollongong OPSM girls :)|
|MC multi-tasking her way to fabulousness as usual|