July 20, 2012

Little Thoughts

Sometimes Korea feels like an alternate universe. I often feel like my friends and family are all living their "real" lives, while I'm existing in some sort of parallel reality that isn't as real. It's even weirder (more weird?) that I'm getting ready to leave.

There's no way that I've been away for 318 days, right? 

Has it been that long since I've snuggled with my sisters? Has it been that long since I've been out to last minute sushi dinners with my mom and dad? Has it been that long since I've played Wii until the wee (see what I did there?) hours of the morning with Eric? 


It has. It feels that long too. Rather, it feels like it's all so far in the past that it happened in another lifetime while simultaneously feeling like I just arrived yesterday and there's no possible way I've lived in this country for ten and a half months.
But it's true. 
The calendar, just like Shakira's hips, don't lie. 

Something that even strikes me harder than the fact I've been gone so long, is that there is this whole piece of me that my family and other friends will never be able to fully relate to.
Sure, they will be able to listen to stories, they will understand certain aspects, but there are specific things that they will never truly get.

My mom will never meet Seo Kyung Hwa who mothered me the first couple months I was here by providing me with rides to school and coffee in the morning. My dad will never hear the vendors in the super market who do this absurd yell that reminds me so much of him when he is trying to be funny. My sisters will never meet the children named after them.
Okay, that one sounds really odd, but it's true. My students wanted to pick English names so I wrote names on the board and watched as they picked some of the most special names for their own. 

It's just an incredibly strange thing to have this piece of your life that only a specific and very isolated group of people will ever understand. I am so grateful for those people though, so grateful. 

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