I think I'm officially an honorary Korean. Things that are going into my suitcase:
- ginseng (in several forms)
- gwanmo (for the baby -- still too small for hanbok, I'll send that for his first birthday)
- yeol gap dambae (ten packs of cigarettes -- no way am I paying US prices)
The ginseng came in the form of gifts from three different people at work today, for my family (one from the head teacher, two from mothers of students). I can't explain how fucking touching it's been to have the people at work fawn over me about my impending trip home. Make sure to get lots of rest. Here's a power converter for your Korean outletted devices. Make sure you eat well this week, so your family sees you healthy. Here's a recipe for japchae to share with your family.
Mostly, they're afraid I won't come back. Interestingly enough, the baby was also expressing this fear on Sunday night, when explaining how I simply must return to Korea, because otherwise I will miss his birthday party. It makes me wonder how many foreigners leg it home for a "vacation" and then just never return.
As evidence to the contrary, I visited immigration today, where I got a brand new shiny multi-entry visa stamped in my passport, along with a new mark on the back of ARC. I'm officially legal in the ROK for another year.
My phone battery died while I was at work. When I came home and changed it, I had the following:
One text from the baby asking what time we'll meet tomorrow
Five missed phone calls from Smalltown (???).
One text from C meekly suggesting that he come to my place tonight, or, "we can meet java you don't want."
I replied back that my place is fine -- I'm just packing anyway.
"ok ill go your home i thought messy day your house but sounds fine."
What can I say? What did I say? "My house is messy today, but I guess it's okay."
He must be over brimming with excitement. Luckily, I have just enough time to tidy up before he arrives.
Really. Too sad to leave for two weeks. But, as Willie put it, Korea will be same-same when I come back. I hope.
Crack crack crack crack. (What?)
Strong baby is definitely my favorite Konglish. My boys introduced me to it long ago, in reference to the little ones who are still handsome (during our class discussions about how Liz Teacher finds short men attractive) or could beat me at arm-wrestling.
Posted in honor of our own "strong" baby, to whom I may or may not have used the example of how it would have been illegal for me to sleep with him two years ago in my home country on Sunday night when trying to explain that, yes, to me he is 'aigee'. The response? A cheeky smile and, "But that was two years ago...."