Tonight I bought bleach, beer, and an ice cream. Vanilla and peanut flavoured.
It’s been shit lately, let’s be honest. My brain feels like a scrambled egg mixed with scrambled tofu. I’m shouty to the point of having vocal scratchiness that my manager will not stop pointing out. I have the beginnings of a fever. I am coming down with a cold when my cold that has been in my lungs hasn’t retreated since before the Winter Solstice, 2016.
I always think that it’s important to remind those who do not live a nomad’s life that travel isn’t all fancy. It isn’t all excitement. It isn’t all good.
Sure, Busan is beautiful and home. It feels like a home in ways Shanghai simply never did. But I find myself longing for the schedule that I had in Shanghai and the tiny smidges of respect for me as a teacher that I managed to accumulate there.
I’m irritable. I’m creatively stunted (my “Challenge Novella!” for December remains unfinished in February). I am a fair bit depressed. I am tired. I am still sick. I am still not sleeping well.
And the problem is, of course, that my tiny menial and personal problems here in Busan pale in comparison with the chaos back in the States. I asked a trusted friend recently, “Is it really as bad as it seems? It’s hard to tell from here.”
“It’s insane. Every day is a new disaster,” the friend responded.
“I would say don’t move back here. Not for a while. I don’t even recognize this country any longer.”
I feel committed to this nomadic life, and it is hard.
Not everything is bad. We have a warm apartment, which I definitely appreciate after a hard winter in Shanghai last year. We both have work. There is cheap beer (although shitty). I have a wonderful husband. I have clothes. I have a working shower and working wifi. I ate ice cream after work.
My maternal grandmother passed away suddenly. My manager keeps asking me if I’m ok and touching my shoulder. I keep saying I’m ok. I’m not.
The knot in my left shoulder has extended itself into my forearm, bringing a walnut-sized lump of muscle adhesion into my lesser-used hand.
I have had a blocked right ear for two weeks, filled with fluid congestion from the never-ending-cold-of-death I suffer. I cough and cough and cough.
I have such large dark circles that my students comment on them every day.
A coworker told me that my student is “suffering” in my classes.
My feet have spots on them that are rubbed shiny by overuse.
This may be TMI, but I have a patch of eczema on my right elbow the size of at leas three amalgamated silver dollars.
I have $37,563.79 in student loans and if I want to stay on budget, about $8 per day to feed me and my husband until payday. Which is, of course, dependent on our boss making the damn transfer on time.
2017 is tiring so far.