Sunday, January 31, 2010

Six months? Really?

I can't believe it's been so long since I updated this. I knew it had been a long time, but did not realize how fast the time would fly. Since July, I have:

  1. Won NaNoWriMo for the first time in five years of trying.
  2. Gone home for a three-week visit.
  3. Decided-- or realized-- that what I have always wanted to be, and all I will ever truly want to be, is a writer.
What happened to Urban Planning? It's gone the way of all concessionary dreams. I'm told it was a nice post I wrote about it, though.

Anyway. I know only one person is following this, but it means a lot to me that I'm picking it up again. I've had a post sitting in my notebook since September that seems to have been blocking the chute, as it were, so here it is in all its slightly-vintage glory:


I love K-pop music.

My aerobics instructor always has the latest hits on the workout routine, so I always want to dance and sing along when I hear them on the radio out in public. Do I look silly? Yes. Do I care? Not really.

I don't know what I'm going to do when I leave Korea. It's going to feel like tearing out a piece of my heart. When am I going to come back here? When am I going to stroll around in Gimpo on a lazy Sunday, go "eye-shopping" in Hongdae, have dinner out in Itaewon? I've come to recognize and welcome the changes in the seasons here. One of my favorite things is the fruit-- strawberries, apples, grapes, tangerines, most of them fresh from the field and sweeter than I've ever had. You can buy them by the bucket from street stands or the backs of pickup trucks.

Want to hear something truly sick? By the end of this summer, I'd come to enjoy the incessant noise of cicadas buzzing outside. (Korean word: maemi.)

My Korean language study has been going better, and I'm starting to enjoy the language more. When I first got here, it sounded mushy and dull to me-- endless strings of mumbled syllables, impossible even to separate into words. Now I can recognize a kind of music to it. It's got an underwater sound, in a way-- the words rise up like clusters of fat bubbles before dropping to a murmur again. The vowels and rhythm actually remind me of French, in a way-- so much so that when I try to speak French now, my meager Korean invades. Mais becomes hajiman. I want to keep studying and using Korean after I stop working here, and I wonder how I'm going to do that when I go home. I briefly considered going for my Master's in Korean, but realized it wasn't practical. Seems like a big loose end for me to drop, though.

The real problem is that I fall in love with any place I stay in for very long. When I see sunlight slanting off green mountains, I want to be back at Western-- doing what, I don't know. Even Cary has a big draw for me, though I spent most of my adolescence complaining about it. Granted, the draw is mostly familial, but in a big way it's still my home.

I don't think there will ever be a perfect solution for this problem. I'll always miss most of the places I've traveled. A short visit is never long enough, and a long visit just builds more ties: I've been to France and Japan twice (briefly) each, and the urge to go again is stronger than ever. Traveling is like making Horcruces, except less messy. You leave a piece of yourself buried in every place you go, and every place changes you irreversibly in one way or another.


End vintage post. Wow, tl;dr. Anyway, I've more or less decided to go home for a while as of now, but I'm still not sure what I'm going to do there. Now that this is out of the notebook and up in the ether, I'll try to keep you posted a bit more regularly. Thanks for reading.