Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It's the little things

So I walked into school today to find a brown package with mom's handwriting on it - first care package from home!! It's made me think about what this whole experience is teaching me and I thought I'd share.

It's all about the little things. It seems like an obvious thing to say and so cliched; but maybe it takes moving to a whole new country to fully understand the meaning of this saying. A little package filled with prestick (I cannot find the equivalent here), Five Roses tea, a bath towel and some new pants is something that previously would not make me bat an eyelid. Today, it made my week. I really took so much for granted back home...like conversation!! I find myself talking in my head all day, entertaining myself with anything I can just to feel like I'm communicating. So when a 4th grader says "have a nice day" when they pass me in the corridor or my neighbour says "Hello", I am deeply grateful. Sometimes my co-teacher or whoever is driving that day will put a radio station on with a morning English program. Although I do know what a 'face' is and really don't need to learn what they teach (as the program seems geared towards helping Koreans improve their English), the fact that I can understand what is being said while the teachers speak Korean to each other is a great relief and small joy. And although I really question Korean taste in English music, when Celion Dion or Crowded House 'Always take the weather' comes on the radio, I smile to myself and just enjoy the moment.  When a shop assistant smiles at me, a bus driver tries to make sure I'm going the right way or when a complete stranger tries really hard to speak at least a word of English, I am reminded of just how much the smallest things matter.

The fact that I cannot just walk into a hairdresser and tell her what I want (I am currently sporting a MUCH shorter hairdo, Korean style haha), or tell a chemist that I have a cold and  not a stomach bug, or ask my teacher where I even live - these are things which make you incredibly grateful for the comfort of home, of English. This is not me complaining, please do not get me wrong. I love this bizarre little world I'm living in and knew (kind of) what I was getting myself into when I decided to come here, but I think it is important to remind myself and others that we really do take far too much for granted.

So I'm going to go home this afternoon, open my package and REALLY enjoy using my new towel and prestick :) Because really, it IS the small things in life that matter most.