I now have internet in my apartment! Skype me!
As of the 26th, I have been here one month. Time is such a bizarre illusion. It's odd how when you're in a space where everything is new, and days are so very full of things, a single day can feel like a week. So, you ask, does it feel like a month has passed? Yes, at least. If not two.
These days my sleep schedule has been completely wacky--many nights I'm up until 5am. I get up around 1 or 2pm, and do my morning routine--coffee, breakfast, exercise/guitar/writing, shower--before I have to be at work by 4:30pm. That's still a good full 8 or 9 hours of sleep, and more than I've gotten on a regular basis in years. But despite the longer (and deeper) sleeps, I don't think it will ever feel normal to me.
Though all of this does sound somewhat crazy, just as in New York City, Pohang (and probably the average Korean metropolis) is a place that never sleeps. Bars, take-out joints, and norebongs are opened all night, at least until 6am. You see people on the streets for most of those hours as well, on weekends. On weekdays, even young kids are walking around unchaperoned until eleven pm or so, on their way home from academies. But not to worry, that last fact points out that there is always a sense of safety--and from my last post, you may have some idea where it comes from.
I really am not sure how I feel about keeping these hours. It can't be bad for me, can it? I am rested, fed, and getting a healthy amount of downtime in between. But something in me just can't sit with it. Maybe it's a whole lifetime of being on more "normal" hours. Perhaps it's that I really do enjoy the early morning quiet, when the sun isn't yet at it's brightest, and the morning birds have just begun to sing their songs. It could be the nostalgia that I've always felt for those precious hours connected to my father's morning cup of coffee, and in more recent years, his morning sudoku puzzle. He is quiet and calm. With the scent of the coffee beans and the ruffle of the newspaper, the day is held softly at bay and the moment is now. It is a moment I always hope to share with him when the timing is right. When we do share it, we don't say much, but I feel how he is my dad, and I'm his little girl. It is a moment I have found myself missing on some mornings, with each time I leave home.
Or perhaps in addition to all of this, in my current situation, my uncertainty and indecision comes from the prospect of waking up to hours of unscheduled time laid out before me, to do with as I will. What freedom. What a feeling of satisfaction--that more of my life is about living, and less about working.
The reality is that when you get off work at 10pm, and eat dinner around 11, it just doesn't feel like it's time to go to sleep. I often come right home, but even after I've eaten, I'm wide awake, so accustomed I've been to a work schedule that gets me home with 6 hours of down time before bed. In truth, on some Fridays when my coworkers and I go out, I honestly have no idea how the wee hours of the morning creep up on us, until we start to see the first lights of dawn.
All of this being said, there are days when I attempt to go to bed earlier, determined to have an early start, and steal back my morning. It is difficult to do, as the body likes a good routine, but at times, I find it is worth it. On other nights, I have felt rewarded by the choice to stay out a little longer, stay up a little later, because I am enjoying the magic of an evening, the sharing of a life experience with another human being.
From what I can tell, the jury is still out, but none of the options are bad. I was sitting up late with my friend Joe the other night, and out of the corner of my eye saw on the clock that the hour was approaching 5am. I let out a deep sigh and couldn't help but smile. Another late night. Or more appropriately, another early morning. We had spent a night talking and laughing, thinking and asking questions. We had shared so many stories about our families and where we each came from, and I was feeling grateful and warm. I felt overflowing with everything, and yet we were only beginning to scratch the surface. I looked at him and said "Life! It's so crazy. ...and so good. Isn't it?" He had to agree.