5.05.2009

Laying tracks.

As always after traveling, I have a lot to say and don't even know where to begin. So for now, I'll just keep it simple, claim I'll come back to it later, but I won't. I'll say this much: this is what happened in month seven....

I took it really, truly to heart. Something got inside in that kind of inevitable way. I started to lay tracks. I saw what Korea looks like naked and in the dark. I became Eemo to Jinwoo and Kyeongmin. I spent four days with a Korean family, and then decided to spend one more. I stayed a night at a mushroom farm, met a one month old baby calf, went to an oyster festival, a bamboo festival, a barley festival. I learned more Korean than I could ever have hoped to otherwise. I learned how to play Go Stop. I rode in the back of a truck down a dark farm road while four senior citizens sang Trot at the top of their lungs. I was the first foreigner some people had ever seen. I drank plum tea. I learned about Gwangju, and what happened there in May of 1980. I started to understand. I spent Buddha's Birthday at a temple -- a real temple, not the kind you visit with a camera. I sat through the services, ate the meal, learned to like ddeok. I drank wine from the province brought out for me especially and poured for me by a monk, in his private quarters. I was confronted again and again by how amazingly kind and open people can be to you, in their own reserved way, when they don't even speak your language.

I made a plan for the future, and decided that future will be here. I decided that it would be worth it to sacrifice an August vacation to take an intensive (and expensive) course in Korean, spend months adding the equivalent of a part time job to my schedule, so that I can be a part of this place in real way. So that Jinwoo and Kyeongmin can talk to me without translation the next time I see them. So that I can talk to my students. So that, eventually, I can move out of Incheon and go find out what it's like out there -- go and spend time with the people who are the equivalent of my brother, my mother, my grandparents.

Just a few for now.








Edit: see the rest here.

4 comments:

MikejGrey said...

So no holiday in Cambodia this summer?

I'll try to upload some japan pics soon. Or just show you some on my camera.

Do you wanna come over after school today?

I'm no Picasso said...

I am not sure.

Coteacher says because it's a summer program, there's probably a break sometime in August. So we could still have a holiday in Cambodia. Or somewhere.

Please do.

And more than likely, just for a bit. I have my good boys after school today, so I probably won't feel like killing myself, hopefully. What are you guys planning on for tonight? Should I ask Coteacher about that restaurant for you?

MikejGrey said...

Tonight's gonna be a quiet night here mostly just packing and what not. So nothing fancy over here. We could maybe split some soju or something. Hopefully they'll let me bring tasha to the airport tomorrow.

Well we'll figure out the summer too sometime soon. We passed the halfway mark at least. Month seven here we come.

vai said...

these pics are really good darling! i'm very impressed, even though not surprised ;)))).

x x x