Last night I called Bank of America to get a few numbers I need to transfer money to my American bank account. After waiting on hold for fifteen-ish minutes (the last thing anyone needs at 1 a.m. after approximately ten hours of drinking), I finally got a service rep on the phone. We chatted for a bit and she helped me out. At the end of the conversation, she cheerfully said, “Have a great day! Er, uh, night…or…whatever it is over there in Korea!”

After I got off the phone, I couldn’t figure why I was so happy. Could it have been the double Georgia peach iced teas I’d been drinking earlier that night? Perhaps. But more likely, it was having a conversation with a complete stranger.

A few days ago, I Skyped with Lisa, who is happily settling back into reality in Toronto. She told me she went to Starbucks the day before and ordered her drinks with a few adjustments. She said that she loved being able to communicate with the barista without having to mime and use Konglish.

Talking to Lisa got me pumped for my return to the States. Being able to make chitchat with the guy at the gas station, ordering my iced latte with an extra shot of vanilla–I’ve missed these basic, everyday actions without even realizing it.

The countdown is at 17 days, just enough time for me to get a few more Tom N’ Toms iced caramel lattes–with no specifications.

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