I arrived Friday night, and successfully made it to Rachel’s apartment–I was initially worried about subway navigation but it turned out to be a huge non-issue. Weird observation: when you’re riding the subway and all the seats are taken, people stand (duh)–but they stand facing inward, towards the people who are sitting, as opposed to outward, towards the middle of the car/opposite windows, which feels most normal to me. I didn’t notice this norm until I was clearly facing the wrong direction, which felt very similar to standing backwards in a crowded elevator. When I corrected myself, I had no idea what to do with my eyeballs. Do you drill holes into the forehead of the person sitting in front of you? Stare out the window? Look to the side (what if there’s someone there? If there’s not, how do you choose who to stand in front of?)? Make awkward eye contact? Close your eyes (tightly? In a relaxed way? How can you tell when you’ve arrived at your stop?)?

It was fine. It was so beyond fine; I worried over nothing. Almost as soon as the train started moving, the person sitting in front of me pushed up his glasses, took out his neon-yellow phone, pulled a 12-inch antenna out of the side, and began furiously playing something that beeped a lot. His friends were enthralled. Looking cool (or my version of cool) was clearly not the goal.

The goal, actually, was getting to Rachel (the lovely lady in my last post), and oh my gosh, is it good to see her again. It’s amazing to me how, 7000 miles from home, she has managed to make her apartment so very home-y. I basically felt like I’d just walked into her old room at the co-op.


We went out on Saturday night and danced until I couldn’t move my arms. Rachel showed me how to get far too drunk on far too little money in Hongdae (a district with myriad clubs and cheap food), and we spent the next day “recovering”…which is a one-word term for “watching 7 hours of Game of Thrones”.

So, um, I might never go home.

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