Monday, January 25, 2010

Runyan is back...

Runyan is back to his normal self... he's endured a 16+ hour travel time from Germany to the states, 3 weeks of staying in a house that belonged to two other cats, a 24+ hour travel time from the states to S. Korea, and 12 days in a kennel full of many dogs and 3 other cats. Did I ever tell you that our cat rocks?

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Home is, where again?

There are many different ways in which we hear the ending of the quote, "Home is where..."
  • Home is where the heart is (the most common).
  • Home is where the Air Force (insert other military branches that apply) sends us.
  • Home is where the cat/hound is.
  • Home is where you find happiness.
  • Home is where I am (thank you Bob Marley for that quote).
  • Home is where your story begins.
  • Home is where you make it.
  • Home is where you hang yourself.
The best "Home is where" ending that I have heard yet and that I think is pretty appropriate comes from an RV dealer, whose slogan is: Home is where you park it. It's genius, except that I don't visualize a vehicle, I visualize my body! I have a tendency to call anyplace where I'm spending the night, "home"... do you do that too? While on our cruise or any other vacation we've been on, I always say to Jason, "I can't wait to get back home tonight." The crazy part, is that he knows that I'm speaking of "home" in reference to where the bed is or where my stuff is, because he does it too! This has been an ugly habit that I've picked up ever since I became a military spouse, and I was wondering if anyone else struggles with this?

It has been a long 6 weeks and 3 days, being out of our home in Germany, but we finally have a new "home" in S. Korea in 424 Sorakson Tower.
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Heart and Seoul... I fell in love with you.."

There's nothing quite like "digging" into a new culture on our first jet-lag free weekend... so we did just that. We joined some new friends that were Seoul bound this past weekend and it was a great time. We figured we needed to get our feet wet at some point, and probably the best way to do it was if someone was around to help "guide" us in/hold our hands. We did a quick trip in, Saturday overnighter to Sunday, took the bus (which leaves every hour from the base) and it dropped us off at Yongsan, another base. In my head, I was thinking that because it was a military base, that it would be on the WAY outer skirts of the city and that we'd have to take a taxi/subway for a few minutes to get in... that wasn't the case. A couple minutes walk and you are in the district called Itaewon. It's a pretty popular area known for all the restaurants and loads of shopping.

For those that aren't familiar with Seoul, it of course is the capital and largest city of South Korea, with a population of over 10 million (making it one of the world's largest cities). Seoul is located on the Han River right in the center of the Korean Peninsula. Most of this I had an understanding about, however, I had no idea that it was divided into 25 districts! Every part is known for something, whether it's the world's largest electronic market, seafood market, or whether it has a special museum or temple, etc. Lots to see... and we have 3 years to get through it all! This trip we focused on getting adjusted to the means of transportation (subway and taxis), explored N. Seoul Tower, and of course tried some different food. It was a great introduction to this beautiful city and I'm so excited to go back and see more. I didn't take very many photos (I know, slap on wrist for me), I was just totally distracted by how "different" everything is compared to where we came from in Germany/Netherlands.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Things are ROK'n and Rollin'...

Our new adventure has just begun here in ROK (Republic of Korea) and things couldn't seem to be rolling as smoothly as it has been during this transition from Germany. We arrived on Osan Air Base on Saturday, January 9th in the evening and were EXHAUSTED. I had my doubts that this was going to be an easy move during our 21 hourish travel from Harrisburg, PA to Seoul, South Korea, especially with our "not so happy" kitty, Runyan. Let's just say that in the first flight, Harrisburg to Atlanta, he was so upset with the situation that he bit his way through the kitty carrier, leaving a medium sized hole. Now, you'd think, "okay, it's not too big of a hole, he still won't be able to get out"... WRONG. He's the cat version of Houdini and this cat carrier did not hold him back at all. It ended up that he had to go to the bathroom and was trying to get out to find a litter box... few minutes later I caught a wiff of poo smell. Did I mention that Jason and I were separated on this flight also? Did I mention that this journey to Seoul began at 3 am EST? I was fearing the rest of the trip... We made it to Atlanta and had about a 3 hour layover before our 14 hour flight. It gave us enough time to clean Runyan and his cat carrier. Jason took him to the bathroom and sat Runyan down on the diaper changing station and according to Jason he just sat there and didn't move, looking apologetic and knowing that he did something wrong, while Jason cleaned/freshened up his "home" for the next 14 hours. He did pretty good for 10 hours... slept... meowed a little... slept... tried to poke himself out of the hole... slept... and meowed some more. At the 4 hours left marker, he became fairly unruly. We ended up taking him to the bathroom to let him stretch his legs. When we arrived in Incheon Airport, we were summoned over to the Animal Quarantine area where Runyan was checked out, and they took a look at his health certificate (thank you Wernersville Vet for getting the proper documents, and to Dr. Brown from the USDA office for stamping off on the paperwork) which passed with flying colors! Runyan is now an official visitor in Korea for 3 years... maybe longer if he doesn't get kitty drugs when we move 3 years from now (pray his murmur goes away so we can give him tranquilizer-like pills next time).

Our first few days here have been pretty uneventful in the way of "seeing" things, but we've been settling in, getting adjusted to the 14 hour time difference from the East Coast, working out at the gym, and trying all different types of Asian food. The major news that we have, is that we have an on base apartment!! Everyone has told us that Osan is filled 99%, and we got a call today from Ms. Na from the Housing Office asking us to come in and talk with her. She shared the good news with us that there's a 2 bedroom apartment that will be ready for us by 20 January. We stopped over, and took a look at it, and it's just what we could have asked for (even though I would have loved 3 bedrooms). To top it all off, the previous tenants painted the foyer wall my favorite green, and two walls in the living room are chocolate brown. We couldn't have been matched up any better, and we give all the glory, praise and thanks to God. Our household goods won't arrive until March, and so we'll be living out of a suitcase and using temporary furniture in the meantime. Thank you all that have been thinking about us and praying for us during this crazy stressful time. I'll post more as more comes...

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

New Year, Full of New Things

Happy 2010... lots of new things are to come in 2010, and I'm really excited and anxious all at the same time. Lots of change-new home in a new country surrounded by a new culture with new foods to taste, new places to visit and explore and new people to talk to and befriend. We've spent the last few days/weeks at home in Pennsylvania going back and forth between the two families, and it's been the PERFECT way to end 2009. I'm hoping this is the year that I finally dig into my artsy fartsy genes that have been passed down to me from my mother and grandmother, and take my creativity to a whole new level. I just recently started blogging, but I already feel like it's going to be the best outlet for me to share with you all what is to come this new year and all that I create in 2010. Blessings to you and your families this new year!
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