So. We just moved to Asia on two hours of sleep. I'd like to tell you about it, but frankly, it's a blur. I remember yanking random shoes and underpants from our bags in an effort to beat the airline scales (success!). I remember the animated airplane that flew Indiana Jones-style across the TV screen attached to the back of each economy seat. I remember churches marked in glowing neon crosses scattered everywhere in the South Korean countryside.  I remember cities rising like sci-fi fairy castles, clusters of steel and glass skyscrapers glittering among the black mountains.  I remember the Harley Davidson of South Korea (seriously).  I remember the Dunkin Donuts proudly selling its sticky wares in Incheon.  I remember an endless parade of Seven Elevens shining brilliantly in the night.

We have arrived in Jeonju, at a large university here.  We muscled our luggage to the dorm, and were led through a whirlwind of t-shirts, welcome gift bags, and name tags.  We were then mercifully allowed to collapse into a bed and pass into blessed, blessed sleep.

The next morning we woke up in Asia. Weird.

We’ve been in country now for almost three days, and I must say that when someone tells you that travelling to this part of the world involves jet lag, they ain’t lying. But if they tell you its also crazy amounts of fun, that's true too.

Important notes about South Korea.

1) Don't drink the water from the tap.  Buy a bottle, and refill it from drinkable water supplies that will be available from the orientation site.

2) The humidity here is ridiculous.  It can be a pleasant 80 degrees outside, but the humidity means that your shirt is arrestingly sweaty within minutes of leaving the comfort of air-conditioning.

3) Buildings here aren't air-conditioned.  We have an air-conditioner in our unit, but it is perversely willful regarding whether or not it will actually cool anything.  We have not yet successfully managed to make it run for longer than 30 minutes in the evening before it shuts off with a cheerful chirp.  Many of the orientation classrooms are themselves air-conditioned, but the hallways and entryways are sticky and close.

Oh, and no, outside of Seoul, you probably won't find much in the way of deodorant.

Still, sunrise over the mountain is a sight I will likely never forget.

Sunrise over Jeonju
Sunrise over Jeonju


PS--Also, always carry toilet paper. :)