Monday, June 25, 2012


My poor blog, it's fallen completely off my radar for a while!

After getting back from LA and my grandfather's funeral, my parents came to Korea (yay!) so I spent some time with them-- not as much as I would have liked, but they were mostly down in our hometown (Jeonju, 전주), and I had to stay up in Ilsan (일산) and work like a little demon. My parents actually came to Korea just before my birthday, but I didn't even get to see them on my actual birthday.

(The birthday, by the way, was the big three-oh and I was only mildly freaked out, unlike my twenty-fifth, when I had a nervous breakdown from perceiving myself to be getting old.)

Aren't my parents cute?? I worry about them a lot in Korea (I worry about them a lot in L.A., but even more so in Korea) and they think it's funny that I'm so over-protective of them here. But it's true! They're not very Korean anymore, they're quite Americanized, and not used to the bustle of Korea.

The weekend before they left, it was my maternal great-aunt's birthday dinner. My mother is very close to her aunt, and they're very alike, so I'm glad that they had a chance to catch up. My great-aunt's getting older, too, now that she's in her 80's, but her mind is still as sharp as ever.
I really should have taken the photo in a better location, but I was snapping pictures on my phone ... in the parking garage ... in MyeongDong (명동), one of the busiest shopping areas in Korea. In my defense, I had rushed to dinner after leaving work frantically early to try to make it on time, taking two subways for more than an hour. It was a madhouse for me, in other words, and my family's lucky that I showed up in one piece.

The dinner was nice because I'm still not used to seeing so much of my family together all at once, and I really love my great-aunt. She's opinionated, strong, loving, sweet, and painfully honest. All things to admire in someone who's just turned 81!

My dad left on Sunday and my mother left on Thursday. I was in Beijing from Monday to Wednesday last week for some meetings, so my mother and I escorted dear Dad to the airport then met with my cousin in Seoul (he and my mother are close), had dinner and coffee, and then my mother and I came back to my apartment, exhausted. I packed for China and my mother packed to go to my great-aunt's, where they could have some quality time together, and then we parted ways on Monday.
Beijing was Beijing, as it always is. It struck me this time around that it was my sixth trip to the city and I still had no idea where anything was and I'd still never seen any of the tourist-y sights. I've still not seen anything truly in that vein, like the Great Wall (which I really want to see!) or the Forbidden City. Maybe next time.

I got back to Korea on Wednesday, went straight into the office, and then went home to have a last dinner with my mother before sending her off to American on Thursday.

Saturday was spent working, but Sunday was spent missing my family. I am now, this week, starting to get back in the groove of things, a groove that I haven't had since well before flying to Australia. Who knew it could be such a long, hard road to normalcy?

Blogging is part of that normalcy, of course, so I'm going to try to stick with it. Even if it's just a photo or a couple dashed-off lines of text.

There is always, in the back of my mind, the wondering and the nervousness and the excitement of what's coming next. I don't know how long I'm going to be in Korea for, and I don't know where I'm going to be in three months. I can't wait to find out!