Apologies for not updating ya’ll sooner. Orientation has been a mini-series packed into the length of a movie trailer. For now I will do my best to leave you with some first impressions. In the posts to follow, I will describe the orientation site and my current life here (preview: it seems the University employed architects experienced in prison, Vegas resort, and Hogwarts design principles). Know that I am challenged daily in my capacities for understanding, learning, and critical self-reflection, but that I am having an amazing experience as well.
The flight was fine, and not only included a huge selection of movies but also had some good music. My take-off soundtrack, courtesy of Korean air, was Nas’ Illmatic. According to the entertainment system description, the album was written by “the eastern hip hop artist known as the best all time hip hop singer”. [insert unreasonably-passionate Nas vs Jova debate here]. Also enjoyed bi bim bap on the plane, which made other airlines’ food taste like a 5 day-old slice of unheated Dominos.
The ride to our orientation site in Geosan was about 2 and a half hours. Our bus swam through hillsides that dripped fog like thick milk, and brushed past residential towers that shot from the ground like sterile NYC project housing. Every angle of this country seemed as green as the air was heavy. In each breath beyond the air conditioners waited a fresh rainstorm you could taste, a story sticking itself to the lungs.
I am not sure how I feel here. As I was discussing with another ETAer, when we travel now, it is in a swirl of jetlag and jet fuel. Destination is no longer something earned but expected. Modernity’s price: we gain time and convenience, but lose out on the rewards of process and [re]orientation.