If I was truly immersed in Korean culture, I would be turning 31 tomorrow, not 30. Actually, I would have turned 31 on January 1st. That’s just the way Koreans roll. You are one year old when you are born here, and then you turn a year older on the first of the year. One of our teachers born in December told us she was two years old before she was even two months old. One of my other teachers and I figured out today that we were born in the same year, the year of the horse, but she is 31 already, while I am waiting to turn 30.
I am trying to get excited about turning 30 in Korea, but it has been difficult. I haven’t been anything longer than I have been 20 and it is a little weird saying goodbye to those 10 magical years. A lot happened. Graduated from college, first real job, first mid-life crisis, a ski season in Colorado, spent 4 magical years in the haven of Black Mountain, a year in Mississippi, got married to the love of my life, graduated from grad school and moved to Korea. Most people have a pretty padded bank account by the time they turn 30, but I, on the other hand, have some great memories. Sure its nice, but they aren’t going to buy me a house anytime soon nor favor with any potential future employers.
But I wouldn’t trade the last decade for anything, nor would I trade turning 30 in Korea for anything either. Today we took our co-teachers out for dinner (the birthday guy or girl traditionally pays for the meal) and tomorrow we will celebrate with other friends. It won’t be too glamorous, but it won’t be dull. I am sure it will consist of Korean food, some quickly made friends, a singing room and a motorcycle ride with my wife through green Korean mountains. Not bad, I guess, for a horse.