I am so behind on updating anything related to recording my life like this journal and sauronchan's tumblr. *sigh* I really need to write about the rest of my India trip and about how awesome my New Zealand trip was, but I'm not sure if I can find the time. I still have tons of things to do before my grant ends. So maybe I can fit in a summary here at least.

So, my New Zealand trip was amazing. For the first time in my life, almost nothing went wrong on my trip. One of my buses was late but that's pretty much it. I saw all the things I wanted to see from a Maori village to the glow worm caves to Weta cave. I bathed in volcanic hot springs in Rotorua and hiked up Mt. Victoria in Wellington to see where LOTR was filmed. I had some amazing food and lived off of cheap avocados when I wasn't splurging. The flight in on a new 787 was very comfortable, and my flight out through Thailand allowed me to stop for some delicious pad thai with river prawns and a massage before heading back to Korea.

I got back and discovered that Spring in Korea brings the yellow dust or hwang sa which comes over from China on the wind. Turns out that with my asthma, I can't deal with an air quality index over 100 and Seoul was hitting that three or four times a week at one point (it's down to 1-2 right now), so I became a hermit after going to the hospital and being told that going from one asthma attack a week to one a day wasn't an escalation of symptoms *headdesk* Went on singulair, started tracking the aqi religiously via an app on my phone and I now carry a mask around to wear, plus showering as soon as I get home seems to have brought me back to one attack a week, but it took me about two months to get to that point.

In the middle of all this, pretty much every single thing I needed to do become urgent. I had three different conference presentations to prepare for and present at, a 5000 word paper to write, a major scholarship application which I had to write and submit (plus get references and fill out multiple other documents), and my mother and little brother came to visit for a week. So there was about a solid month of stress even if I did enjoy my family's visit.

Probably the most interesting thing I did during that month is I went to Jeju to present at the Fulbright conference. Jeju is an island off the south coast of Korea and is kinda their Hawaii. It's a volcanic, tropical island where I had some amazing sea food. I had a seafood smorgusboard with amazing abalone cooked right in its' shell so you had to cut it out with scissors. So tender. The island is famous for oranges, particularly ones with a rather knobby end called halla-bo which are amazing. My friend and I bought a crate of 18 and ate half of them before we left. They taste like sweeter, less citrus tangerines. We also explored a lava tube which was pretty cool to see. Of course, then I caught a cold and had to give my second conference/forum presentation while coughing up my lungs. There is a hilarious video of it online (which I am not going to link to, but if you want to hear an hour long talk about Korean archaeology, leave a comment and I'll send you the link).

I've just requested an extension of my grant period for an extra six weeks so I can get to more museums. So it's back to spending my time analyzing data and trying to look at as many artifacts as possible before I run out of time. Ja ne!
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