It’s hard to believe, dear readers, but the holidays are upon us once again. The coffee shops in my neighborhood are hanging Christmas lights in their windows. The children at my school are learning songs and dances for their upcoming Christmas concert. And most importantly, the pomereindeerian (pictured below) and I are preparing for our upcoming trip to the USA.
Here’s the plan. My current work contract ends at the end of February 2014, and, as much as I love what I do here, I feel it’s time to move on to other things. So, I’m taking the furball home at Christmas and leaving him with my parents for 8-9 weeks while I come back to Korea and get everything settled (end of the year stuff, moving, weekend trips with friends, bank accounts, etc.) After that, I’ll head back to the States for 2-3 months to tie up a few loose ends and begin looking for work in Dubai or Saudi Arabia. Of course, if I find a university job or begin a serious relationship in Korea, I’ll gladly stay here. For now, though, it looks like I’m off to the desert.
That’s still several months in the future, though. For now, I’m just looking forward to going home next month (first time in 2 years) and spending time with my friends and family. Here’s a list of the top 10 things I can’t wait to see and do.
The Top 10 Things I’m Looking Forward to When I Go Home for Christmas
10. Wendy’s – No, not my ex-fiance’s house. I’m talking about the burger chain that brought us the Baconator and the Dave’s Deluxe. Korea has McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Subway, but NO WENDY’s. My parents assure me it’ll be our first stop when we leave the airport. Can’t wait to dip a french fry in a Frosty.
9. The house in Ocean Springs – there’s a house in Ocean Springs that has an amazing Christmas display with lots of moving characters and music. Every year someone says “I don’t think they put their decorations up this year,” and every year, what do you know, they do. I’ve been going to see those decorations since I was a kid. Gotta keep that tradition alive.
8. Watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – Again, a family tradition I want to keep alive.
7. A beer, a steak sandwich, and a bag of popcorn at the Project Lounge – Biloxi’s best dive bar is calling my name. My casino-hopping adventures almost always begin here.
6. Reese’s Peanut Butter – Reese’s products are like Korea’s Loch Ness Monster. Some people swear they’ve seen them, but the actual evidence is pretty flimsy. That’s why most of my holiday weight will be gained eating peanut butter cups, Reese’s Pieces, Nutrageous, and maybe even a few of those disappointing Fast Break bars.
5. Seeing Cheri – I’ll be happy to see all of my friends, but Cheri’s a special case this year. When I see her, we’re gonna plan a trip to Cambodia. 🙂
4. Shopping – Call it a side effect of my rabid free market worldview, but I just love department stores at Christmas. It’ll be nice to shop where they have clothes in my size and almost all the employees speak English.
3. Barq’s Root Beer – if you’re not from Biloxi, you don’t really understand. And if you are from Biloxi, I don’t need to explain.
2. Just being home – I know it’s corny, but damn it, sometimes you just want to be around familiar things and spend some time in the place you came from.
1. Southern Airways Express – And coming in at #1, I’m looking forward to taking a trip on Southern Airways Express. This upstart airline covers short, practical routes across the American Southeast. And just my luck, my buddy Keith is one of the people involved with it. He’s promised to fly me to Memphis one night so we can get barbecued ribs at Rendez-vous. Can’t wait to fly the friendly skies, y’all.
Wish me luck getting through the next four weeks without too much stress, dear readers, and I’ll see you when I get there. In the meantime, I hope the holidays are treating you well. Let me know what you’re looking forward to.