After too long away, I finally made it back to the rink. I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed it and I’m happy to report no loss of skills (but also no magical accumulation of new skills). But after I arrived, something strange happened that I didn’t catalog as out of the ordinary until later.
As I put on my skates, kids in speed skates and parents were rushing all around and I wondered if I might see any of my own students there. Once on the ice, there was a small group of foreign students.￼
And then I realized, the last time I came to the rink, over three months ago, my first observation was that “everyone is Korean. What a novelty. I am the lone foreigner.”
This time around my first observation was “wow, there are like three foreigners here, that’s a lot.“
Sometimes it’s easy to forget I’m not Korean when people on the train keep to themselves, S and I griped like long term coworkers about the sudden winter camp (classic Asia Time switcharoo), G confides frustrations about the school with me, and the kids chat with me like old time pals.