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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Exploring the joys of expatriate life

Ten years ago this week — back at a time when I was a couple years out of college and at a professional dead-end in life — I packed my essentials into two suitcases and moved to Busan,South Korea. The weeks that immediately followed in my new Asian hometown proved to be among the strangest of my life up to that point. Suddenly thrown into a new environment, unable to speak the language or grasp the nuances of the culture, I was like a child again. All sense of self-sufficiency vanished as the simplest activities — shopping, taking the bus, ordering food — turned into complicated challenges. Away from home, away from the rehearsed responses and instinctive comforts of a familiar place, day-to-day life became entirely unpredictable and intensely real


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