Saturday, January 24, 2009

Get Outta Town

Overall, I love my life in Korea, but sometimes it has a way of bringing me to my knees and seriously messing with my private view of myself as an international woman of mystery.

I found out recently that I can't just blithely sashay into Immigration and ask to have my E-2 visa with my current/almost former university extended until I can get a new visa with Erewhon University. This was my plan, though. But 10 days before my visa was to expire, I found out that Immigration needs 30 days' notice for a visa extension. Whoops. Rewind to December 31st? Uh-uh.

As a result, I must leave the country, come back in on a tourist visa, then arrange to get a new work visa. What fun.

I've decided to use the time and opportunity to go to the United States, visit my family, do some shopping, eat Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and hopefully, hit a couple of bookstores. I can only stay for a short time because I've got to come back, do all of the aforementioned, move all my stuff to Erewhon, and be ready to report for work on March 2nd. It's doable.

With the new year approaching, things will be quiet until I fly on Saturday. I'll use that time to pack, organize my stuff, write a few blog posts, finish the kimchi in the refrigerator and try to patch up my international woman of mystery self-image. That last will take some doing. I feel like a dunce for not seeing to things in a timely manner. I had all the scraps of information at my disposal and didn't put them together intelligently.

But on to more important things: I must figure out what I'm going to read on the plane! There's also a 4-hour layover in Tokyo and if I'm slightly unlucky and miss my connection from Dallas to Kansas City, there'll be another layover.

Here are my ideas:

1. The 3 books for the Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge: Fried Eggs With Chopsticks, Consider the Oyster and Let's Eat Korean Food.

2. Manhunt (the book about the search for Abraham Lincoln's killer)

3. Something from the Pulitzer shelf. Possibilities are: The Age of Innocence, Beloved, Interpreter of Maladies, American Pastoral, A Good Scent From A Strange Mountain and Martin Dressler. Also, maybe Lonesome Dove. I'm hoping to find a copy before I fly away.
4. Go on an Anne of Green Gables binge and finish the series.

5. Something else. The international bookworm of mystery is taking suggestions.


Thoughts of Joy said...

Well - at least it gives you a great reason to come back to the USA (and eat Reese's Peanut Butter Cups)!

I love the fun in planning what books to take on a vacation. You've got a lot of time ahead of you - perfect for catching up on something old and discovering something new! :)

I've always wanted to read Lonesome Dove, but it's just too long for me. I have Manhunt on my TBR list and I've read 2 Anne books, so I'm not much help.

Safe thoughts are being sent your way. I hope you have a wonderful trip!

Sam said...

Wow - we'll be in the same state for at least a few hours. LOL

I wish you were coming through Houston instead of Dallas so that I could get out to the airport to say hello (assuming that airport security would actually allow that to happen).

Eva said...

Have a fun and safe trip! :)

Anonymous said...

Have a great trip! You could re-read The Hiding Place. That one never gets old!

It's on my keeper shelf too!

Anonymous said...

Wow, at least you had the dough to buy the planeticket out of the country. I recommend Interpreter of Maladies. I'd be happy to send you something off my bookshelf to your US addy too. Although I'm sure you will find plenty of used books shops while you are here.

Susan said...

I'm very happy you're going home for a visit, even if it's because of your visa! Speaking as someone who works in the Passport Office...*shakes head*

Do you think you'll read, or be too excited about coming home to Reeses to read? That's what happened to me when we went to London, I couldn't concentrate, although the stewardess bell ringing every minute didn't help (it was stuck, I think). Hmm, how about something light and easy to read like a book about books? Or would that make you have a list too big once you landed in the US?? lol something easy to read that you can be interrupted... Anne of GG sounds good for that. And if you have a layover, you'll be popular because outside of Canada, Japan loves Anne just as much as we do!

Oh, enjoy your trip, home sweet home!!! I'll miss you blogging though, book-twin.

Bybee said...

Yeah, the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups will take away that bitter taste.

I appreciate the thought. Maybe next time I'll be Houston-bound.

Send me your addy again. I'll mail your very very very late Readathon prize from the US.

That's definitely a good idea.

Yeah, short stories would be good for airplane/airport reading.

You're right...Japan is crazy for Anne! Thanks for your help. I'll miss you, too!

Michelle Fluttering Butterflies said...

Oh, I would LOVE to back to America to eat Reeses Peanut Butter cups! I hope you get lots of reading done on the plane!

Anonymous said...

Those books look great! (I wish I was still in KC - I'd meet you to say howdy, too. Stalker that I am!?)
Have a safe gentle full-reading traveltrip.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I highly recommend Interpreter of Maladies, but I'll warn you - it's not an *easy* or *light* read. It might do for the long plane ride, but definitely not good for reading at home while eating Reece's Cups! (which are my most favoritest snack in the world!)

SFP said...

Be careful with the peanut butter cups; there's a recall going on due to a salmonella outbreak. Reese's (one of my son's major food groups) seems safe right now, though.

Enjoy your time back here in the States, Bybee!

Tara said...

I hope you have a wonderful trip and bring back loads of books to tell us about. Do be careful with peanut butter products.

Anonymous said...

The visa renewing thing sounds a bit convoluted but all those lovely hours trapped on a plane reading! Just don't hit a flock of birds.

Becca said...

Well, this is what I would do about what to read on the plane. I like variety so I would probably take a book from a couple of different categories. That way if I am in the mood to read a foodie book, I have one, and if I am more in the mood to drift off into a make-believe world, I will have that, too.

Don't worry about not having the visa thing in order. No one's perfect! And this gives you the opportunity to browse some bookstores back home. Don't forget to leave room in your bag for your finds! :D

Chong Go Sunim said...

Did you know that 45 pounds of used books will fit in a regulation size carry on?! (just be careful about letting the veins on your forehead bugle out as you go past the boarding gate!)

Btw, Dandy's Grocery, in the basement of the Volvo building in Hannam dong, usually has Reeces!