Well, I’m back in Seoul after about a four day stay in Cheongju. It definitely wasn’t the most eventful part of my trip thus far, but I still think that it was worth going. I mean, it might possibly have been the last time I see my grandmother, so it’s better to check up on her now. I mean, I was slightly offended though hahaha. She looks me up and down and just goes, “Lose some weight, okay?” You know just what to say Mammy =) But of course I don’t really mind. I think all grandparents say/do the craziest things. The one from my mother’s side loves to just… fart all the time. I know now where my mother gets it from. Seriously, we’ll be in the middle of The Notebook, in the saddest scene of the entire movie, and my mother just lets one out while the two die in each others’ arms. It was obnoxiously loud, and practically as long as the movie. I think parents just don’t know the appropriate times for bowel movements, which for me, is in the bathroom.
But I digress. I should talk more about my trip. So, what I did at Cheongju. I went out to dinner with my uncle and my mother while I was there, and I have to say, I don’t think I like Korean food all that much. Well, at least not the traditional kind. I think it’s a bit too weird for me. In case anyone wanted to know, jellyfish isn’t as chewy as it looks. It’s actually crunchy. That was a gross experience. But after having lunch, we managed to visit my grandfather’s grave. It was actually monsoon season in Korea up until last week, so it had been raining nonstop. That day was surprisingly very sunny, and we were able to take the car up the mountain. My grandfather’s grave resided in this isolated area of one of the mountains, and I have to say that it was absolutely gorgeous. I’m glad that he’s buried in an area that looks over the entire area that’s surrounded by beautiful wildflowers and such. I didn’t really cry much when I saw his grave, but of course my mother was bawling. I think that because I didn’t really know him or even talk to him that I can’t feel any real attachment, but that might just be what I tell myself so I think I’m not an insensitive bastard. I felt bad for my uncle though, since his son’s grave was there as well. He died of malaria before I was born, and he was around fifteen I think. My uncle doesn’t really like to talk all that much, so I can’t ever tell what he’s really thinking. Still, I did appreciate that he took us so far just to see my grandfather. It meant a lot.
For the other three days in Cheongju, I didn’t really do much. My grandmother liked to stay inside her room by herself for the most part, and I just enjoyed being on the computer and watching Korean television. I actually started watching the Vampire Diaries since I got here, which is slightly pathetic I have to say. But I still liked it and I’m planning on watching it when I get back in the States. But back to the real story. On the last day of my stay, I mainly spent my time in my grandmother’s room with my mother. We figured that she might enjoy some company before we left. After all, it’s really just her. My uncle does live with her, but he ends up staying out for work until 11pm. For the most part, she’s all alone. She gave me these earrings as a parting gift, and they were beautiful. I think she has a hard time telling me just how she feels, but I do think that she cares, and that she wants something for me to remember her by.
So we left my grandmother, and came back to my grandparents who live in Seoul. I can’t really recall all that I’ve done since then, but I’ll try my best. Hahaha, let’s see… Just two days ago, I went on this thing called the Seoul City Tour. The tour consists of a bus that goes all around the city to different destinations. A person can get off at whichever destination he wants, and can look around. There will be buses arriving at a certain checkpoint every twenty minutes so that when said person is done at one specific area, he can get on the bus and relocate to a different attraction. My mother really wanted to go on this thing because I guess she feels the need for me to be edumacated somehow. It’s summer. IDGAF. But I thought that I’d been doing most of the things that I want to do, so the city tour was the least I could do for her.
On the tour, we stopped at the National Museum of Korea. It was, as I expected, very bland. I don’t think I hate history or that I’m uncultured, but I don’t generally like the idea of museums. I much prefer places that showcase art and music, not stones and pottery. But of course that’s just my opinion. Hopefully I don’t sound too dimwitted right now hahaha. Anyways, we also stopped at this palace. I can’t really remember the name, but of course, it was gorgeous. It turns out that it was completely rebuilt after the Japanese had destroyed it in an invasion during the 1500s. Since then, it’s been retouched slightly and has maintained most of its properties from the way it was in the thirteenth century. I think I would have liked the place more had it not been over ninety degrees OR my feet weren’t in pain from all of the walking. I know I’m unathletic , but even for regular people that was a lot of trekking. My newly formed blisters do not approve.
OH, and on another note, it turns out that the reason as to why my pinkie toenail has a black spot on it… is because it’s infected -_- Possibly with a fungus. That thing has been there for like, five months, and I’ve only heard of this now. I am both disgusted and mortified. Hopefully I can get that fixed as soon as I get home, but I won’t be able to do anything about it until then. That goes perfectly with my slightly missing big toenail. Basically, WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS, I was walking with two friends in Princeton to go to this frozen yogurt place. It had been raining just thirty minutes ago, and the streets were slippery. I almost fall once, much to everyone’s amusement, and then I actually do trip, to everyone’s raucous laughter. Derek was even pounding the pavement from how hysterically hilarious he thought it was. I think I looked like a straight up drunk prostitute with two boys and me falling all over the place. But so then I scraped my knee a bit and my big toe was bleeding from underneath the toenail. I finally get home after the night at Princeton (which I actually had a lot of fun doing =)), and I end up tripping over one of the suitcases my mother had left out for our vacation. It hurt a lot more than I thought a regular stub would, so I turn on a light and look down, just to see my toenail missing and my foot bleeding. I guess that solves the mystery of how to get blood out from underneath the nail. But luckily, the nail has almost grown back to a presentable length at this time! I have to say though, my feet look seriously jacked up. It’s like a midget hobo’s pair of feet are attached to mine. Or maybe a hobbit’s.
But let’s see… other things I’ve done. Oh, the reason as to why I had to leave my grandmother in Cheongju. There was a Park (my mother’s side) family reunion in Seoul, and so I got to see my great aunt, my mother’s cousins, and various others. They all say the same thing about me, which is actually pretty funny. Apparently I have gorgeous eyes and nose. Luckily, they’re kind enough not to comment on my weight, although I’m pretty sure they’re all thinking it. Haha, but I do like that they shower me with compliments that I don’t nearly deserve. I had never seen almost all of the people I saw that day, so it was definitely nice to get to see everyone before I left for the States again. So we all had lunch together and got acquainted. I felt bad for the left side of the table since it seemed like they wanted to join in on the conversations, but were isolated on their own island. One of my mother’s cousins had a wife, and she looked so eager to listen in and possibly make a conjecture, but then never did. I felt for her. Hahah, she was like me except probably less of a fail.
But of course there’s the shopping. I know I have a problem. I think that I have this mindset that I can’t go somewhere without purchasing at least one item, and that if I don’t get anything, then the entire day is shot. I don’t do this on purpose, but it seems to be the concept that I’ve picked up, and I’m not particularly proud of myself for doing so. I can definitely have fun without shopping, but my mother thinks that it’s all I ever think about, and that’s certainly not the case. It bothers me that she feels that way, but I guess I do exhibit the behavior that would condone that. I think it mainly has to do with how my mother and I don’t really get along that well. We like completely different things and almost never see eye to eye. The only thing we do have in common is shopping, and that’s usually the only thing we do together besides going out to eat. But this isn’t Dr. Phil family analyze time, so I’ll just move on. I went to this duty free place that sold my two most favorite Korean makeup brands: Etude House and Skinfood. I hadn’t seen a Skinfood store since I got to Korea, so I was particularly excited to get things from there. I ended up only buying two things, but they were the ones I had researched. Oh, and in case you couldn’t tell, I have a ridiculously obsession with cosmetics. I don’t want to sound like too much of a makeup geek, but I’ve definitely been going on a ridiculous spending spree because of it. I think that my newfound wealth has been spent on either clothes or makeup, with the latter being more prominent. But at the duty free shop, I purchased a few things for myself, including this face mask. Now, it wasn’t in my bag originally, but some Japanese girl had literally nine tubs of the stuff in her cart, so I figured it had to be good. I don’t really have a need for a moisturizing mask though, so I’m thinking I might give it to one of my friends who suffer from dry skin. I’ll say that someone personally recommended it. I’ll leave out the unintentional part.
I also went to this famous place in Seoul called Dongdaemun. The first time I went with my aunt. I was spending part of my time there to research my options for my freshman writing seminar. Her house (thank bejesus) has internet and air-conditioning, something that is clearly missing from my grandparents’ house. She said that she was bored and so we went there at around ten at night. She showed us around the parts that she knew, which were slightly… matronly. I didn’t say it to her face, but the market was clearly geared towards a more mature age level. Still, I got two dresses there, one of which was only ten bucks! I was quite excited about that, although I do have to say, it’s randomly tight in the ass area. I thought the top part would be an issue, what with my broad shoulders and big stomach, but it was nice and roomy there. Instead, I felt like my butt was being stuck into a sausage like contraption. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to make do. According to Korean scales, I have a ghetto booty =P.
Anyways, the second time I went to Dongdaemun was with my cousin. She took me to the more teenager-ish areas and it was pretty nice! The only thing was that I was tired, and of course my mother was as well. Although I wanted to look more and get into the Korean style, my mother just had a tired look on her face and kept asking to leave. I was a bit peeved about that, but I can understand. I don’t really enjoy being with her when she’s in Banana Republic, so I can’t hold that against her. I also got two new pairs of glasses since my parents figured I would need them for college. I was only going to get one, but the other pair was fifteen dollars and cute, so my mother thought it was a good deal. I was pretty happy with the frames I got, but the ones that looked the best were these absolutely beautiful Bvlgari ones. I fell in love at first sight. My heart sank as soon as I saw the price. It was 340,000 won, aka 300 bucks. I knew I couldn’t get those, especially with my track record of losing things. I couldn’t get over how pretty they were, but I couldn’t expect my mother to get me those, and I shouldn’t have expected to get them. Also, I got my old glasses fixed since they were ridiculously crooked. As soon as the optometrist saw them, he said that someone had either stepped on them or sat on them. I shrugged my shoulders when all eyes were on me, but I definitely remembered rolling on top of them in my sleep more than once. My mother shook her head at my stupidity. Lol, these are the little things that get to me! I know they sound ridiculously superficial, but that’s just because they are =P
I also got a shirt from some store and two necklaces that were exact duplicates of the two that I own, but had broken. I think anyone can see why my mother wouldn’t trust me with 300 dollar glasses. But overall, the trip to Dongdaemun was nice. I had horrible indigestion right before we went though. I thought my stomach was going to explode. I guess that’s what I get for eating too much and not pooping enough. Hahaha, my cousin actually got something of the Korean boy band 2PM because one of my friends wanted a poster from them. I thought that she got me a poster to give to my friend, but when I saw her, she handed me these miniscule postcards. I laughed, she was confused. It turns out that she thought that’s what I meant. I think postcards are actually ridiculously dumb, but I still loved her effort. She always tries to do whatever she can to make sure I’m either having fun or I get what I want. That sounds like I’m ridiculously spoiled, which I do consider myself as in Korea.
So, there were a few other things I did here and there, but I think that my laptop is burning my lap and that I’m sweating as though I’m in a sauna, indicating that I should end this blog post and go to bed. But before I do that, I have to mention the friends who have been messaging me or writing on my wall on facebook since I’ve been in Korea… I just want to say thanks. It means so much to me that they’ve been trying to keep in contact with me this whole time. Sometimes, when I have nothing to here, I get really lonely and just think about all of the things my friends are doing without me, and I’m sure that they’re perfectly fine even without me there, and that makes me sad. But when I see that someone takes time out of their life to keep me updated and write me long messages, I become instantly elated. So, this is basically a hugeeee cyber hug to all those people who have been leaving me wonderful messages this whole time. Whether it’s telling me about what they’ve been doing recently or just a random story about three guys in White Castle, I absolutely adore every single message I get. I don’t feel like as much of a loser because of such nice people =)