Friday, February 25, 2011

hiya kiddies. have you been well? i hope, wherever you are, winter is on its way out & spring is headed your direction. i am desperately needing some warmer weather!

i've been busy doing a whole lot of nothing lately. well, that's only partially true. i've been all over the state of ohio trying to find a decent used car...only to come up empty-handed over and over again. it's so frustrating. i really need a good friend who is knowledgable in the realm of automobiles to help me make a well-informed purchase. if you fit that bill and live in ohio, call me!!

besides car shopping, i've been busy catching up with old friends, eating a lot, sleeping a LOT, and job searching. (oh, if you're hiring, call me!) i've also been trying to take advantage of this unemployment by studying korean as much possible. it's been decently productive, but i know i'm still lacking in a huge way. however, i was seriously encouraged this week when i was able to fill up a greeting card with a note to my parents. granted, my handwriting is horrendous, i'm sure it's not perfect, & i know i made some mistakes (note the scratched out spot right in the middle!) but i was so surprised to write it all out, then look back & realize "wow, i could do that pretty easily!" it was the motivator i have been needing lately. (if you speak fluent korean & notice an error, don't tell me! just kidding, of course. i strongly believe in learning from your mistakes. :)

i like to think of it as a reward for my it what you will...but the postman dropped this ginormous box at my door this a.m. it was chock-full of delicious korean goodies from my family! i was more excited than anyone really should have been... thanks omma & appa!

i've mentioned before that my little brother is much more americanized than any other korean i've ever met. during our short time together, he developed a DEEP love for all things peanut butter. hahaha. we are so related, it's not even funny. as peanut butter is decently hard to come by in korea, i shipped these treats out to him this week: hahaha. i hope omma never sees this picture because she'll kick my butt. tons of super unhealthy unkorean of me!

i just realized that this entry was full of pictures of food so i'm gonna go dust off my treadmill now. hahaha. i need an intervention!!

i'll be headed south to visit my dear, dear college friends this next week. i am so looking forward to visiting with them...14 months is far too long to be away from friends who are close as family.

i'll chat with you all again in a few well!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

ok, ok, ok - SORRY!
my life has been insane lately and i have simply lacked the time & energy to tackle a new blog post. fortunately for you, my parents recently inherited a talking bird who squawks incessantly, prohibiting me from sleep. this allows me extra time in the day to do things like update the blog. :)

prior to leaving korea, i lived 2.5 weeks with my family in their house in seoul. it was...interesting! although i'd lived in korea a full year prior to "moving in" with the fam, i had never experienced total immersion quite like that. i thought i was going to go crazy a few times - i was physically craving english. fortunately, i have a significant list of skype contacts & someone was always on when i needed to get my english fix. :) omma really frowned upon english-speaking at the house, even with little brother, so we spoke korean as much as possible within those 4 walls. it was definitely good language practice! here are a few shots from those 2.5 weeks: dinner date with my sweet little brother.dinner at (way-expensive) on the border in hongdae with my awesome friends from cheonan who traveled 2hrs. by subway to see me.seollal 2011, celebrating the chinese new year with my family. grandmother wore hanbok (traditional korean dress) for my deceased grandfather's memorial ritual (THAT was a new experience for me!). with grandmother & cousins at my going-away party. the boy cousins in the family were blessed with great genes, huh? so cute! cousins & aunts at my going-away party. with appa at dinner on my last night in korea.with my wonderful brothers on my last night in korea.

i left seoul on monday at 6pm KST and traveled 20-some hours to arrive in the states around 12:30am tuesday morning EST. jetlag from the 14 hour time difference has been worse than i'd imagined and my body is still suffering in a big way. i'm exhausted the entire day, then wide awake around 2 or 3am, starving to death, craving rice and kimchi. this week has been entirely dedicated to re-introducing myself to american time, culture, food, etc. it's gone decently thus far, but i can already tell the reverse culture shock is going to be much worse than the culture shock experienced when i actually moved to korea. i can already feel myself losing my korean language, so i'm trying my best to be diligent in keeping up on my studies during this jetlag fog.

my korean family has called or texted everyday since i returned to the states. it's difficult. the language barrier is standing strong as ever and i'm frustrated with my rapidly declining korean proficiency. i miss them. my little brother was in the hospital this week and i couldn't be there to keep him company or act like an idiot to make him laugh.

thus begins the next leg of this journey.
i hope it gets easier.