The Kindness of a Stranger

The week of Christmas, I was informed I would be getting a short “winter break.” I worked December 28th, but would not have to return to work until January 4th. Had I known sooner, I would have hoped on a plane and spent the week in Japan, but that wasn’t really an option for me on such short notice. So, trying to decide what I would do with my break I posted on a Facebook page here all the foreigners use, called Daejeon Peeps. My post was simple and explained I had some time off work and I asked if anyone had any ideas for things I could do close to Daejeon. I got several responses, telling me to visit a local department store, go climb one of the rock walls, hiking, etc.. But I got two responses that changed my winter break. 

The first from a girl who offered to show me good places to eat if I took the advice of another and visited the local department store. I had already visited the department store and found the wonderful Uniqlo that carries the heattech leggings I told you about, but I wasn’t going to pass the opportunity to eat yummy food and have great conversation with a potential new friend. So, Lara and I arranged a time to have lunch and I met her and her friend Rachel outside the Lotte Department store. We walked through the department store to a little restaurant on the other side. They learned there were several things I hadn’t tried so they ordered an array of new foods for me to experience. We chatted and I learned that Lara is from Canada and Rachel is from the UK. I had a great lunch and they helped me understand the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity given to me. These girls started my New Year’s Eve off with smiles and laughter that proved to be a theme for the remainder of the night. 

I received another response on the news feed, from a girl who attended the church I visited when I first arrived in Korea. I ended up finding another church home and I never officially met Megan when I visited the church, but we exchanged a few Facebook e-mails and in her comment she suggested I go to Seoul for New Year’s Eve. I thought it was merely a suggestion, so I told her it was a good idea, but there was no way I was braving Seoul alone on New Year’s Eve. Megan quickly responded telling me she was going with some friends and I was more than welcome to join her. I was excited to finally get the opportunity to meet Megan, and let’s face it, the idea of spending New Year’s Eve with other believers was much more enticing than standing outside near City Hall in Daejeon alone.

So, we got on the train to Seoul, braved the madness of the crowded subway, which in my best attempt to explain to you would still not help you understand what I experienced that night, but I’ll try. Imagine a herd of 1 million cows trying to fit into a pin that will only fit 500,000. As people shoved their way onto the subway, I heard noises that resemble what you would hear from barn yard animals. At one point the subway doors bounced back open unable to close because the people trying to get on couldn’t fit. On my first night of meeting Megan we experienced new levels of friendship intimacy I have yet to experience with my closest friends thanks to the Seoul Subway 🙂 We counted down the New Year’s with new friends, ate Taco Bell (which everyone in the group was way excited about) and I experienced Noraebang for the first time. I watched the others in the group sing their hearts out at Karaoke, I rapped along with them to Ms. Jackson and This is How We Do It. It was a wonderful night full of adventure and I met some amazing people who love the Lord. It was a wonderful way to bring in the New Year.

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