When I lived in Sangju, I formed some very strong friendships. I wanted to live in Sangju more than I wanted to live in Gumi. Even though Gumi is only an hour away from Sangju (by car…two hours for me through buses), I rarely get an opportunity to visit them. Since I’ve moved, I think I’ve returned to hang out with my friends 5 times.
Lately, the times I’ve been visiting are to say farewell at their goodbye parties. In October, one of the American guys left. In November, another one of the American guys left. (He’s back in Korea now, but him and his girlfriend–my Korean sister ^^–live in Busan…4 hours away.) In February, three other guys left (English, Irish, and American). (The guy from England is living in Korea again with his girlfriend, but they are about 3-4 hours south of me.) Now, it’s May and the other English guy has left to live in Thailand with his girlfriend.
**In writing this list, I realize that my best friends in Korea have been guys. Well, I guess that goes with my life in general. When I have a good set of guy friends, I just feel ‘safe’ around them. I’m not sure how else to explain it. I have three good friends left in Sangju: a kick-ass married couple (American) and a Canadian (currently dating a foreign-exchange student from China). They will be in Korea for at least another year, so it will be my goal to try to hang out with them (and the two guys who returned to Korea) more often.**
I know that living in Korea is a temporary thing and that the friendships here will come and go (or live on through facebook. lol) It’s just so sad to visit friends and know that it will probably be the last time I will see them in person. Maybe this is part of the reason that I haven’t bothered to make foreigner friends in Gumi. (That and I’ve pretty much stopped drinking, I spend more time at home and/or exercising, and I live a little far from their ‘meet-up’ spots.) However, seeing so many of my friends leave has made me realize that maybe I should try to make more friends.