i didn't realize i didn't mention that i was flying back to taiwan!
my flight to atlanta left yesterday at 7am, i think i got there around noon and then i flew back across the US, up through canada, over russia, and into south korea. this airport is sooo beautiful. i have about an hour to spare so i grabbed some [japanese, unsweetened] green tea and now i'm happily catching up on my computer.
i don't remember who i sat next to on the first flight, but my long flight was beside an american man who was probably in his 60s who had done the peace corps when he was my age, went to get his PhD and worked on malaria research in Malaysia for his whole life. his wife, who was with him, is Malaysian. so that was interesting.
we were seated in this magical exit row with no seats in front of us, so we could stretch out our legs and we had special tv screens that pulled out from the side of our seat. the only downside was that we had to keep all of our stuff in the overhead bin, so i just crammed my purse, a couple of books, a scarf, a sweatshirt and my blanket into my seat with me. it was a little squishy.
the seoul airport is really beautiful. i can't find a good picture online, but it seems very new. i'm sitting in a leather chair with dark hardwood floor underneath me and my tea is on a granite table thing.
my airport experience the second time around has been much more pleasant than the first. there have been no tears and no freakouts. this time i'm going back to friends and kids who i have a routine with.
that's not to say i don't super miss being home. i did everything i wanted to do, saw everyone i wanted to see [except brian levy and glinkowski], ate everything in austin, and had so much fun. it was just what i needed to make it here another 6 months. i do feel like a stronger, more independent, more wordly version of myself. so, good day in asia.