It's business as usual here in South Korea, despite what the news back home may be telling you right this second. No one is worried, no one is scared, no one wants to install an emergency bunker in their backyard...no one except myself.
I believe I am one of the very few expats who is tense and a bit concerned over what's happening about six hours north of me. While my friends, Korean and foreign alike, go about their daily lives as if there isn't some lunatic threatening their existence, I am frantically checking the news and any emergency updates from the US Embassy on a near daily basis.
I am a natural worrier. Al calls it a "curse of the Belts" because my family is the same way. I like to look at it as that I just value my life and other's lives a bit more than normal people and therefore think about them more often. It's not a debilitating thing, my worrying, nor does it engulf my life in any way. I'm generally pretty laid back and relaxed, but if something arises that I feel is out of the ordinary in a bad way, I probably do take it overboard with my being concerned. With this in mind, a threat on my life by The Supreme Leader does have me a bit on edge.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, I've talked to assures me I have nothing to worry about. The Embassy recently released a statement to the US expats saying that despite what's going on there is no reason they need to put us on alert and that they take our lives seriously and blah blah. Although that did make me feel slightly better, each time the Fattie Up North makes a new statement saying he's going to turn South Korea into some lake of fire, it gets me on pins and needles again. Because what if everything is more serious than we think? What if no one is worrying, but this time he means business? What if it's too late? These are all questions I've asked myself but there is nothing I can do about it. I'm here. Al and all my dude friends are always laughing about how they're staying and fighting if something happens. This does not help.
I have convinced Al that if things do take a turn for the worst, however unlikely, in the event the Embassy does release a message saying that they suggest we get on outta dodge, that we have a gameplan. Going back to the United States immediately would be a silly and expensive move if something were to happen. No matter how nervous I am about something actually happening, I do fully believe that once the US and South Korea (and all the other countries ready to jump into action) intervene, they would have the situation under control in a very short period of time. That means things would probably, hopefully, get back functioning around here quickly, therefore going back to the US would be silly. Our plan is that assuming we could leave the country once any kind of "get out" message is released, we'll head down to SE Asia somewhere, probably Laos, where it's very cheap to live for any extended period of time. Catch a flight there, hang out with the locals and the palm trees and the $2 meals until things settle down here. I believe that's the best option no matter how likely it is the North will strike.
Keep me in your prayers, no matter who you're praying to, but mostly pray for my anxiety levels if you would, because they are skyrocketing.