I'm anxious to go home. First of all, I get to move into my parents basement so I've got that going for me. I'm also excited about returning to a place with so much freedom. So much American freedom. Our country is so free.
The problem is, traveling home means parting with a country I've grown to love. It won't be easy. Sometimes it seems like you can do anything you want in Korea, and in ways I'm scared to leave that lifestyle. I'm scared to pay for side dishes, drink refills, and dinners. I'm afraid to see white people.
But hardest of all will be leaving those who have made my experience in Korea so meaningful.
I'll also miss the locals in Uljin, which I can't mention either because I don't know how to spell their names. You know who you are, and if you ever come to the States I'll save you a spot in my parents' basement.
I'll miss walking past this guy everyday.
Kyu has done so many selfless things to make my life easier, and a few others to make it more difficult. Like the fact that he makes me walk 15 minutes to meet him for a ride to school, then drives directly past my building on the way there. Or when he frequently stops his car on the highway, because driving and speaking English simultaneously requires too much thinking. Kyu is one of the nicest people and worst drivers I've ever met.
I've described Kyu before, but I think this anecdote sums him up well. One day after school, some teachers went hiking. We stopped, and Kyu wanted to take a picture because we were at "the summit." I looked around and noticed at least three or four peaks significantly higher, and a sign for a path towards the real summit. So, our conversation went like this:
Erik: "Kyu, so this is the summit?"
Kyu: "Yes, we are at summit."
Erik: "Are you sure the summit isn't that peak over there? The one that's, you know, higher, than where we are?"
Kyu: "No, I think maybe we are at summit now."
The summit was controversial but you know what's not? My love for Kyu. I love Kyu regardless of our altitude.
I'll miss Kyu's stories about the "stand up" people who showed him hospitality when he traveled to America, and the pictures of these stand up people smoking joints while Kyu naively smiled for the camera. I know much of what Kyu does for me is in repayment for the deeds of Americans who helped him, but I'll do my best to pay the hospitality forward to foreigners I meet down the road. But only Koreans.
Vivien and Angelina are my girls. Thank you for exposing me to your language, country, culture, cooking, and husbands. Particularly those last two.
I mean I love kids, not like Sandusky, but I like them a lot. What's not to like about kids? They are great why would you be scared of kids, or kids with frisbees? Kids are great.
While there's a great deal I'll miss about Korea, I also miss my family, friends, the Plaxas, and wearing sneakers inside. I think It's time to go home. Time to be free. It's Merrica time.
In preparation for my return to the homeland, I need to practice speaking American, so I'll start:
Korea, thanks brah. Seriously man c'mon, c'mon dude for real I'll see you soon.
But for now, later dog (meat soup).
Thank you for reading.