"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

11 June 2010

No Such Thing As Silence In Korea

If there's anything I miss abouth South Glens Falls (other than the fact that my hubby is there), it's the quiet of our house.

I don't think I've had a moment of silence since Nich and I arrived two weeks ago. Even now, as I sit alone in the apartment, I can hear the traffic going across the bridge, kids playing at the playground, an ajumma yelling about something on her cell phone (or "handphone" as they call it here) while sitting outside in the cool(er) evening air.

We had a wonderful time while Nich was here, although almost every day was filled to the brim with activities. It's hard to show someone an entire country, even such a small one, in just a week and a half. :~) I was proud to introduce my husband to my extended family members, and I have to say, I beamed inside as everyone kept saying how good-looking he was, how great it was that he ate all the food (even the things I won't eat!), how kind he was. Nich was a hit, especially as he made a deliberate effort to speak in Korean whenever he could with the few phrases he knows.

Here's the quick rundown of everything we did while Nich was here:
5/28 - Visited both grandmothers
5/29 - Went to the Royal Palace in Seoul, went sightseeing around the city, had dinner with my mom's family
5/30 - Went to visit my grandfather's grave (dad's side), grandmother's birthday dinner
5/31 - Quick visit to COEX and lunch with Hans, Korean wedding planning, went on the gondola up Namsan (mountain), and walked around Namdaemun market with mom and my uncle (who hadn't been there in 30 years)
6/1 - A day at the Korean Folk Village
6/2 - My other grandfather passed away in January. Because he served with the Korean military for a while (16 years) and because of his rank (sergeant), he was eligible to be cremated and placed at a national memorial site. We visited and then spent the afternoon wandering around pottery shops in Ichon.
6/3 - A very quick day at Gyeongju in the southern part of Korea, where much of Korean history is preserved.
6/4 - A just-the-two-of-us day at the COEX Aquarium, dinner at the Jackie Chan restaurant, and an hour of perusing through a big bookstore
6/5 - Another day of just-the-two-of-us wandering through the National Museum. Being the history buff he is, Nich listened intently to his somewhat gimpy audio guide as we walked around. We then had dinner at a Tex-Mex restaurant in Itaewon, where Nich said there were way too many foreigners (ha ha) and ended the evening taking a beautiful boat ride down the Han River.
6/6 - Korean wedding day! It was hot and muggy, but we had a good time. :~) We ended the day bowling with my brother and cousins.
6/7 - We went with my brother to see "How to Train a Dragon" and window shopped at a department store. We had dinner with my dad's family.
6/8 - Hans and I went with Nich to the airport and saw him off. Sad day for me.

The pace has slowed down tremendously since Nich left. Dad went in for a three-day conference with foreign dignitaries and met the president. Hans has been spending time catching up with friends. I got my hair cut to donate. Mom and I spent a slow morning walking around, took my grandma and cousin out to dinner, and just hung out one day. Yesterday, we went shopping at Dongdaemun Market. Today, I've been home most of the day. Mom left to visit a friend whose mother is in the hospital tonight. Hans is out with friends. Dad and I went out for dinner, and he headed to the golf practice range afterward.

The rate at which I've been taking pictures has slowed down considerably as well. Probably because I haven't gone anywhere tremendously interesting to me since Nich left. I have to remember that most things here are "different" to most of the rest of the world, and I should photo-document the remainder of my trip.

Tonight is the first time since we came that I've been completely alone. It's kind of strange, but kind of nice, too. It's probably the only reason why I can take this time to blog. Plus, there's a cool breeze blowing through all the windows tonight, which is a huge relief from the heat that we've been living with the past couple days.

Finally, I have to say that I have never been more grateful for Skype than I am during this time that I am across the world from my hubby. Two weeks hasn't seemed quite so long in a while, and although I am glad to be here with my family, I eagerly anticipate being with my husband again very, very soon.