Six months in Seoul: a somewhat brief summary reflection
The overall goal had always been Tokyo. I took an opportunity to join some friends in Seoul, hoping to make mad monies from modeling. I had some trouble getting on my feet right away, got screwed out of my initial plans and spent 5 of 6 months trying not to freeze(/starve) to death and eventually grew to love a city I originally only knew k-pop dance moves about.
When I arrived to Tokyo 2 weeks ago, I found myself really missing Seoul. Although the buildings and skyline are terribly ugly, there were a lot of charming qualities about Seoul I missed right away. cheap transportation, amazing food and a close-knit community of friends I had made. They helped show me things about Korea I would have not known or explored on my own. the mix of personalities together was a perfect puzzle of wonderful (and crazy) people.
that’s the trouble with travel–leaving behind people and places. for exchange of experience and memories, your list of “longing” grows larger. holes begin to form in the heart and you can only attempt to fill it with new people, places and things in the next destination. it won’t be the same but that could be a good thing.
I used to hate tea. Don’t know why I had such a strong opinion over it either way, I don’t remember even trying any when I was younger. This was also a time in my life where I would eat a lot of grossly saturated foods of sorts and thus, tea was a bland stale taste in comparison. tastes change, people change, tea stays the same. and it’s actually quite amazing. I’m admittedly quite obsessed with it now, having invested in many pricey devices to ensure I can quickly–without loss in quality–enjoy tea every day. I take everyone who peaks interest to a chinese tea shop downtown where we sit for hours and try every tea they have. loose leaf tea is my preferred tea snobbery of choice. I like that the tea has health benefits of different types, it’s fun to feel healthy and put good things in your body!
I just wonder if I had enjoyed tea 6 years ago as much as I do now, if there was a definite sliding door of a parallel path in my life that I missed. dramatic, I know. obviously things now would not be affected from one night several years past, but maybe there could have been more clarity from accepting a certain tea offer that I flippantly refused so long ago.
I remember the moment so vividly, when the tea was offered. I was getting ready to leave his apartment after a well needed talk was convoluted and not going so smoothly. the words exchanged other than “stay, I’ll make us some tea” and me refusing with “tea has too watered down of a flavor”, I don’t recall much else. He was leaning on the back of his couch and playfully put his hands in my jacket pockets as he made such an offer. it was adorable and I probably panicked. feeling overwhelmed that he was so close and casually being somewhat intimate for the first time, I pulled away not wanting him to see my cheeks light up with a red hue. I did feel that way about tea, though.
had I stayed for a talk over tea, would I have gotten that ease of mind I needed at the time?
perhaps depending on the tea. some tea has good un-clouding effects on the mind.
thinking about it now, he also offered numerous opportunities to talk over other such beverages but I blew it every time. so I guess the struggle was all my own over those immature tea-disliking years.
when tea is offered to you, drink!
I finally got access to some really old photos my uncle scanned ages ago. I found some photos specifically of/from my grandpa’s old house up in Anacortes. for the past few months I’ve been wanting to go back to the area, and have been dreaming of that old house. I had forgotten how breath taking the view was, as the last time I was there I was probably in junior high. I remember calling that island full of trees ‘dinosaur island’ when I was little because it looked like a dino laying down to me. I told everyone that’s what it was called, as if that was fact. My grandpa had a huge backyard for my grandma to garden in. If I were to go back today it would probably seem smaller. all the halls were decorated with masks and artifacts from my grandpa’s worldly travels. India, France, Africa etc etc. the fire place was all jagged stone. there was no basement, but just a garage and a wine cellar down stairs. they had the perfect kitchen and dinning room for entertaining guests. it was huge and beautiful. my most vivid memory of my grandma ruby is her in the kitchen at her favorite seat smoking, playing solitaire and watching murder she wrote. for family holiday gatherings I mostly stayed in the computer room playing old games on 5″ floppy disks. I had no cousins my age, and I liked the games better anyway. when I stayed over, my visits consisted of eating a lot of bread with margarine, renting ‘Ernest Bloopers’ on VHS from Island Video over and over and taking a bath every night before bed.
the house was sold a few years after my grandma ruby passed in 1996. I wish I could see that house again.