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instant coffee

April 10, 2012

today the coffee machine was broken at school. major crisis for the teachers! well, the secondary principal had some black, instant coffee (which black instant is rare in korea! they love to put tons of creamer and sugar in their coffee!).

as i drank the instant coffee, i realized i hadn’t had any in a loooong time. the taste took me back to my first few weeks in korea.


the plane landed, i found the man who had my name on a sign, and ventured out, in a daze after 24 hours of traveling.

the air was thick, heavy with humidity. it was the rainy season in Korea.

we arrived to our “Love Motel” and he ordered tara and me a pizza that had potatoes and corn on it.

nothing seemed familiar. the smells were different. the people spit everywhere and pushed. and now i was in a smoky motel lined with neon lights and filled with business men. what had i done?

sleep came quickly but morning came even more quickly. jet lag had won.

work. it started today.

a used condom on the floor, used toiletries in the bathroom, tea that tasted like grass, t.v. that seemed to only show porn, a huge mirror on the wall and ceiling, and instant coffee.

instant coffee.

instant coffee

had i not spoken to another teacher before coming i would have truly believed i had been trafficked.  

outside the window a sea of umbrellas filled the walkways as they made their way through neon lights and street food stands.

tara and i ventured out eventually. with our umbrellas. now, where to find a bus? i had never taken public transportation in my life. true story.

starbucks. krispy kreme. mcdonanld’s. some things familiar.

we got our free donut from krispy kreme every time the light came on and then we bought an egg sandwich from a street vendor… instant coffee in hand… off to the buses.

every morning for a week and a half  i woke to that musty room and found myself going for the instant coffee– the only thing that was somewhat similar to home. the taste became a comfort to me and it helped me survive my first week of work with jet lag and my indoctrination to the korean culture — which was oh so different from my southern roots.


instant coffee. it’s quite a commodity in korea and other parts of asia. not quite the real deal. but we have some fine memories together and it has become a comfort to me.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. jee young permalink
    April 10, 2012 2:15 pm

    Wow…what a first night in Korea~!! That’s a pretty crazy story….now you should post some photos of the amazing apartment you live in now!

    • April 10, 2012 2:26 pm

      seriously! man… God really took care of me! quite an upgrade!!! glory to glory!

  2. melody permalink
    April 12, 2012 2:53 am

    wow, great writing… felt like i was in that love motel with you, THANK GOODNESS I WASN’T!

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