They put a paper towel dispenser in the bathroom at work. Like, real paper towels.
One of the less talked about (at least less blogged about) facets of Korea is the anxiety involved in using a public restroom. Will there be soap? Will there be a proper toilet or the dreaded “squatter.” Will there be toilet paper or do I need to take my own? If there is toilet paper, will it be inside each stall or one universal roll outside the stalls. (Important to note, this isn’t a big deal unless you notice it after you’ve dropped trou. And then, Houston, you have a problem.) Don’t worry, this blog isn’t about that. Just tuck that away as an important mental note that if you ever happen to find yourself in a public restroom in South Korea and you see real paper towels, you’re in a good place.
Anyway, back to my original topic in mind. This week has been awful, terrible, very, very bad. Not for any one reason in particular. My students have actually been quite good. My dogs have been wonderful. My friends are as lovely as always. I’ve just been in a craptastic mood all.week.long. I’m a touch homesick and real sick. And I lost my wallet on Sunday. That was probably the beginning of the spiral. I hate when I do stupid things. Like really stupid, not girl stupid. I do girl stupid all day long.
It just so happens that my friends here have also been having a craptastic week/month. It’s hard to be there for each other when we all feel like we’ve been hit by a Mack truck. However, as frustrating as this week has been, it’s reminded me of how AMAZING my friends here are. They’ve been good to me.
Being the Type A that I am, I keep my *stuff* together pretty well, I think. Well, I keep the appearance together pretty well. What’s going on in my head is a completely different story... Because of this I am often the shoulder for hurt/upset/angry/etc friends and I am happy to be that person. I actually take much pride in being a person that others view as safe and secure in times of emotional breakdowns and emergencies. I’ve gone through loads of drama in my short time and I’m settled now. I also realize and appreciate that others may still be on that road and they sometimes need counselors, co-conspirators, friends, designated drivers and the occasional magician along the way. Sometimes though, I get really selfish and I forget that I actually need my friends just as much as they need me. And then as if I knew I needed a reminder…. I lost my wallet.
They’ve been there to take me all over town to help me track down my most important, and missing, possession. They’ve brought over pizza and just let me wallow in my own pity for a bit. They’ve stopped by or emailed to check in on my misery. They’ve offered Starbucks. Provided laughter and conversation on walks with Charles during this terrible, awful, very bad week. And most importantly, a group pity session at the 24 hour coffee shop, Angel-In-Us. Sometimes misery very much loves (and needs) company.
This makes me sound like I’m completely overdramatic about my lost wallet. I promise I’m not. I’ve not even filed for a replacement alien card yet. (Shhhhh.) It’s just nice to be reminded that when life gets me down, that I have AMAZING friends that will surround me with laughter and support and help me pick myself up out of my misery.
And isn’t having *that* really what life is all about? Well, that and paper towels in the restroom.
Ps. I’ll write a blog about the dangers of Korea’s public restrooms one day. Probably when I’m on the flight back to America.
PPs. It was incredibly difficult to write this blog using zero swear words. Seriously… it was hard.