Greetings from the Land of the Morning Calm! I finally have an Internet connection and am back online again here in Korea. It’s been awhile, I know. I really missed having Internet access, although I have to admit that it made life much simpler for me. It reminded me of what life was like before DARPA developed the Internet and Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web–life was much less complicated back then. Now that the pipe is back on, it’s time to dive in again and complete all those tasks online that have been waiting.
We arrived in Korea and were met by both the cold weather and the warmth of people who have bent over backwards to make us feel at home here. Our arrival could not have been more pleasant, a welcome change over our experience in transit. I am also glad that Korea has many of the conveniences that we took for granted in the U.S. In many ways Seoul is not much different than what I expected. It resembles many other large East Asian cities. In the past year, however, I’ve learned about the uniqueness of the Korean nation. It is definitely not a clone of other Asian countries, although in some respects it shares some similarities with its neighbor, China. This place is both new to me and yet at the same time like a familiar friend. I’m looking forward to exploring it more soon. Alas, we have not yet ventured far from home, but once the weather warms up a bit and our car arrives we’ll try to travel farther afield. We’re looking forward to visiting the entire country during our brief stay here.
We are now fairly healthy. I still have a head cold roaming between my ears, nose, and throat, but my wife and son have almost completely recovered. (Apparently the mild pollution isn’t doing me any favors.) I’m doing a better job adjusting to the time difference than my wife and son (Korea is 14 hours ahead of Washington, DC). My son still gets up at 4 a.m. and heads to bed much too early. People here tell me that whenever you arrive in Seoul from across the Pacific Ocean it takes about one week to get your days and nights turned around, and it about three weeks to feel completely recovered. I hope it will happen sooner than that! I need to shake off the jetlag and get to work.