False Start

It’s past midnight and 17 hours before the plane for Seoul leaves. We’re staying up trying to think if we’ve packed everything and especially trying to figure out what we might have forgotten to pack. Strangely enough, neither my Better Half nor I are stressing about this, even though we might not be coming back to our home for over a year.

Well, that’s not actually quite true and that’s why this is kind of a false start. We arrive in Seoul on Tuesday morning, but I’m flying back to Finland on Saturday, since I have a whole bunch of work-related things to take care of, including ACM SIGCOMM 2012 conference in Helsinki. The Better Half and Kids will stay in Korea and I will join them after the conference in late August, so that’s why this feels more like a usual business trip than an extended stay abroad. Me shuttling back and forth also gives an added sense of security because in case we forgot something important, I can easily bring it with me in August. Still, I can’t help asking myself what I might have forgotten.

My Better Half isn’t really stressing about this and I think it’s because we’re going to her old home city of Seoul and for the first month or so, she and the kids will stay with her parents, so it sort of feels like a holiday. I guess we’ve both sort of repressed the thought about going to California straight from Korea without passing Go, so we’re not really stressing about that either (although maybe we should…)

Looking back at my life, I’ve counted that this is the 11th time that I move to a different country for an extended stay. The more you do it, the easier it gets, since you just know that things will always arrange themselves, somehow. Sure, the “somehow” may include paying more, but so what, it’s only money. About half of the times I’ve known in advance how my lodgings are arranged and about half of the times I’ve just flown (sometimes to the other side of the world) with no idea about even where I’m going to sleep the first night. Sure, I’ve always had contact with the locals, which is the case here too. We’ve applied for housing at the university guest house but that might of course be full. Let’s see what happens. Obviously the parents’ home provides a safety net, but staying at their place for 5 months is not really a viable option. 🙂 (but knowing that the safety net exists, is a great reducer of stress)

Here’s hoping for a smooth and uneventful flight, and everything being ok. One thing’s for sure, the weather in Seoul is going to be considerably warmer than in Helsinki, where we’ve had a typical Finnish summer, which compensates for the lack of temperature by an increased amount of precipitation. Seoul is also going to be rainy and the temperatures are going to be probably a bit on the high side, but beggars can’t be choosers. The weather later in the year should be much nicer.

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