Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's been a while...

So, I've finally been able to sit down and relax in what seems like ages. It turns out that it's almost impossible for me to have both comfort and internet access at the same time in Korea. -_- But all is well! Hahaha, I haven't died just yet. It's been a while since I've written a post, but I'm glad I have time now.

I'm currently spending the night with my grandmother from my father's side. She lives in Cheongju, which is kinda like the countryside in South Korea. It's about an hour and a half away from Seoul, where the rest of my family lives. The bus ride here was painful since it felt like my bladder was about to explode, but I made it without pissing my pants by listening to some Lady Gaga and rocking out with my cock out. Well, not really.

Anyways, I'm here now and all I can say is... Wow. I was shocked when I saw my grandmother. It was the first time I had seen here since I was about nine. I knew her health was taking a turn for the worse, but I didn't expect such a drastic change. I was almost brought to tears. She seems so weak. Her eyelids had drooped to the point where I couldn't see her eyes, her hands and feet were extremely swollen, preventing her from moving more than twenty feet for a period of time. I had seen my other grandmother just a week ago, and she seemed perfectly fine. I feel guilty for not wanting to stay here for more than a day. She's been alone for the last ten years of her life. My grandfather died from cancer long ago, so now it's just her and her caretaker. I don't think she cares for my presence that much, but I don't think some company will do any harm. She seems to have really taken a liking to my brother though. His pictures are all up on her wall. I used to be bothered by things like that, but now, I can't really want anything more than to just make her happy.

So, I'm not sure how long I'm staying in Cheongju for, but the impatient/slightly inconsiderate side of me wants to leave after about three days. Although, I have to say, having internet for a regular amount of time is a pretty good deal. I haven't felt this... alone in such a long time. I know it sounds silly, but it's only been a week and I'm already homesick. I can't really have a regular conversation with anyone but my mother since my Korean is very limited. It's not as though I would have such meaningful conversations with my relatives, as they're all in their fifties. But I still just want someone to talk to. I don't think I've ever been this quiet for such a long period of time haha. Honestly, though, sometimes, I just want to yell in the middle of the streets of Seoul, "DOES ANYONE SPEAK ENGLISH, IS MY AGE, AND DOESN'T THINK I'm CREEPY?" I don't really think I have the balls/confidence to do that though. If anyone's still reading this, I think I'll take a vote. If more than two people suggest that I do this, then I shall! =)

Moving on... I've done a couple of things since I've been here. Seoul is the equivalent of NYC in America, and I have to say, it has a lot of stuff to offer. Of course, I'm this crazy materialistic whore, so the thing I enjoyed the most was shopping. I got a LOT of people souvenirs (seriously, when my cousin saw the list of friends, she started laughing), and got myself a few things as well. I even got an outfit from one of the shops in the subway. That sounds shady lol, but I know Alice Huang would be proud of me ;), especially since it was only ten bucks. I've also had tonssss of amazing food so far, but I think that it's definitely a negative at this point. My jeans are becoming too difficult to button and I fear that one of my pants buttons is trying to make an escape. I haven't really been able to poop much as of late either, so that's pretty rough. I TRY TO DO SO ONCE A DAY AT LEAST. A few people have told me that it's unhealthy to live otherwise haha.

My recently married cousin has been nothing but amazing this whole time. She's 33, has a job and a husband, but still has time to look after me. She takes me to all these places, buys me all these things, drives me to these places, and gives me little gifts. All of my relatives try really hard to make me happy, but I feel as though she cares the most, which means a lot, especially since I feel so alone as of late. She's also ridiculously cute, which I find is... weird since she's slightly old haha, but her husband is really nice too. He's a bit more on the quiet side though. I probably won't be seeing much of him since he has to complete his time in the army. In South Korea, all men at the age of... 25-ish? have to enroll in the army for five days a week and must do so for three years. Therefore, he has to take an absence of leave from work, and can only come home on weekends. Weird, right? Oh, and on a completely unrelated note, I've noticed something. In a country full of Asians, I regret to say that I think the stereotype of Asians being the worst drivers... is completely true. I've never been more afraid to walk into a car in my entire life.

So, what else is there to talk about? I guess I could go into detail about my trip thus far. I landed in Korea at about 3:00am. The flight was TERRIBLE. I don't think that the specific airline was bad, but fourteen hours is just horrible in general. Besides the level of comfort going extremely downhill, it was an overall pleasant flight. I watched three in-flight movies. I saw Shutter Island, which I actually really liked a lot. Completely mind boggling, but entertaining nonetheless. I also rewatched How to Train Your Dragon, since I loved it so much the first time. Still liked it the second time around, but it made me realize that Toy Story 3 was my favorite animated movie of the year. I even saw Valentine's Day. Boy, was that shit-tastic. It was a complete waste of two hours and thirty minutes. I can't believe it was that long too. I should've given up when the scenes with Taylor Lautner were over. Nothing got much better after that. I also ate massive amounts of airplane food. I realize now that when I'm ridiculously bored and have nothing better to do, I just eat. A LOT. So every time they gave out food, I had all of it. I couldn't poo for the next two days, so that airplane food was stuck in my stomach for a while. I was worried for a while that I might become constipated haha.

So my cousin and her husband picked my mother and me up around 4:30 am, which was late, but understandable since they had to wake up in the middle of the night to pick us up. We went to eat at this restaurant nearby my grandmother's house, and the sight was pretty interesting. There were tons of kids my age, eating their food and sipping their liquor. It turns out that they were all from the nightclub across the street, which explained the massive high heels and super winged eyeliner. Needless to say, I was envious. I definitely want to try to go clubbing in Korea, but I would have no one to do that with. I can't ask my 33 year old cousin to drop her marital duties and take me to a scantily clad nightclub. But so then, after we finished eating, we were dropped off at my grandparent's house (on my mother's side). My grandmother was just how I remembered her. She ages very gracefully, or maybe it's just her bubbly personality. She doesn't look a day over sixty. My grandfather, on the other hand, looked very fragile. He lost so much weight and the signs of aging were more prominent. My mother started crying after she saw him. The meeting was nice, and I think my grandparents were pretty happy to see me. I don't really know what they think of me, but my mother keeps on interrupting every relative to go, "DIDN'T SHE TURN OUT SO PRETTY? EVEN THOUGH SHE LOOKS JUST LIKE HER FATHER." Thanks, Mom. You always know just what to say =P

What else have I done? Oh yeah, I went to this place called Itaewon my first day, with my cousin and her husband, and it's probably the most Americanized region of Seoul. It's where all the tourists go. It's laden with souvenirs and fake designer brand purses. It was fun doing some random shopping here and there. I got a couple of souvenirs for people and a few fake Chanel earrings for myself. I can't recall everything I've done, but another thing was going to this area called Shinsegae. This is the second richest department store in South Korea, I think. It's similar to Saks 5th Avenue. I got this foundation I heard about that's only available in Korea (since I'm a makeup junkie) and a specific MAC item that's, once again, only available in Korea. What can I say? I'm a sucker for these kinda things. The entrance to the shopping center is connected to the subway, where the craziness begins. It turns out that people sell things in the subways and it's a mall of its own, except for the middle class. I got even more souvenirs there and had a fun time experiencing the "drug-store" makeup of Korea and the underground fashion. It's quite possibly one of the most interesting things I've seen in Korea thus far, but I would say that E-Mart is a close second. The E-Mart is like a ridiculously grandiose version of Walmart, in that everything you could possibly need or want to purchase is in one location. Pet hamsters are in one aisle, bedding in another, stationary, plates, groceries, candy, even a buffet restaurant on the top floor. I wouldn't say it's as cheap as Walmart, but it's pretty ridiculous in its grand selection.

Apparently I have a couple of more places to see, but that will have to wait while I'm in Cheongju. It's pretty comfortable here. There's internet service, AND air conditioning. Goddamn, no one likes the ac in Korea. It's pretty ridiculous. I would wake up in my grandparents' apartment in Seoul, covered by my own sweat, realizing I had only slept for thirty minutes. I think the temperature is a degree or two colder than in the US, but it's definitely a lot more humid, and there is less opportunity to coming home to a cool breeze. If I wasn't eating my own weight in food all the time, I think I would have sweated out some pounds by now.

It's been about a week since I've been here, and I'm already homesick. I thought it would've started kicking in at about the second week, but I guess I'm a bit too lonely. It has to be understandable though. I'm left in a practically foreign country with no friends, no way of getting in contact with friends, limited internet service, no phone, and no one to talk to. I don't hate being in Korea, but I keep thinking of how much fun it would be if there was something with me my age. I miss my friends who I would see every day, the ones who would text me asking about how my day's been going, the ones who I would see while eating dinner at Chili's. It's been over a week since I've had any resemblance of a fun conversation about nothing with one of my buddies. I hope they haven't forgotten about me, because right now, all I can think about is how much fun I could be having with them right now while they're all out without me. I don't want to sound melodramatic, but I guess it can't be helped that I'm alone here. I sound like a dog when I say this hahah, but I need companionship more than anything right now. Gah. I still have two more weeks in Korea, and I'm praying that they go by a lot faster than I think they will.

One of the many terrible things that has resulted from my lack of internet usage has been complications with my schedule for college. I thought I had my entire schedule planned out already, just to realize that I need to take out almost all of my originally desired classes. I don't understand this process at all, and I think I'm going to have to find someone who does know. Frankly, I think I'm lost. I've tried asking my brother for help, but he just shrugs off my problems and says that he's never had to dealt with those before so he can't help me. I don't understand why it seems like I'm the only one who doesn't know how to create a proper schedule according to my major. Apparently, you need to APPLY to be a major, and there are pre-requisites for the major, and THEN there are requirements to graduate as that major? I seriously don't get it. And I'm sitting here wondering if I'm the only one who is this way. I've been constantly asking questions to anyone I can, but with the 14 hour time difference, I haven't been able to have an actual conversation with anyone who can help me in my current predicament. Everything seems to just be going wrong with college, so I don't know what I should necessarily be doing. Hopefully things work out for the best, and I can get in contact with someone who can help me within the next week or so. I've honestly been worried about this to the point where I get a headache the instant I start thinking about it, which is every five minutes. I guess the OCD part of me is kicking in now haha.

I think that this post more than details anything and everything I've been thinking about/doing for the past week. I would like to write more, but I think that my newly formed headache is telling me otherwise. So, the conclusion. Korea is fun, but would be better with friends. College is a bitch. And me? I'm just plain crazy =P

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