I’m back to ROK, and back on ROK time. I was happy to miss all of the Valentine’s Day hoo-ha on both continents, but felt bad because I think Hallmark really needs the business. I’m happy for all of my friends and family members in love – just be in love the other 364 days too. PLUS, some people who shall remain nameless are clearly using V-Day to compensate for things. Let us all just remember that Facebook, mine included, is mostly an advertisement for how we want our lives to look to other people, and not actually real life. #thatisall
So, after ditching me two days in a row, my lovely friend decided the best way to make me happy was to take me to hold babies and then feed me exorbitant amounts of oh-ri gogi. I also ate a turkey sandwich at the train station, which always makes me happy (turkey is hard to come by in ROK). A train ride to the orphanage gave us 50 minutes of time to gossip about boys and all of my shenanigans and her wannabe shenanigans. Except we gossiped for 56 minutes. So, yet another adventure where I miss my train or train stop in Gimcheon. To our credit, the intercom announcement thingie WAS broken.
I was happy to see my favorite babies. OKAY, my favorite BABY. I just love her little badass attitude! She was in tip-top form and was busy being independent, but I convinced her to sit on my lap for two hours. I also taught her how to fold tissue, blow her nose, and once my other fave came back from activity, we all played peek-a-boo, and one of the babies watched and giggled heartily in this extremely endearing way. I love his laugh.
As much as I want to keep Baby Badass, she does have a mother that visits frequently. Her mother’s intentions are to take her home when she remarries to another Korean man (yeah, lady, that seems highly unlikely). I hope that happens. If it doesn’t, I hope her mother will help make Baby Badass legally free for adoption so that she can have an opportunity to be raised somewhere that is not an orphanage. (Note: This story prompted a lengthy intellectual conversation about what the word “orphan” means with some coworkers. The bottom line is that if you LIVE in a fucking institution, whether or not your parents have INTENTIONS is irrelevant. A functional orphan is an orphan, whether or not the technical legal status of the child or the Webster’s Dictionary definition is applicable or appropriate.)
I’ve also eaten lots of jigae and settled into my first office. Before, I had a closet. Now, I have an office. I’m excited that some of my favorite students will be in my classes… and that I have the first week of curriculum done. I am so ready for the first week, I’ve decided to visit Seoul for the next few days and have a mini-Inje reunion with Tommy and Mina =)
With so many changes and so much heartbreak in the Desert, I am ready to invest fully in my life in Korea. Some times, we have to break in order to rebuild.
To Sunny San Diego! Except it wasn’t sunny. And my sister isn’t a baby anymore. About some things.
Krista: “Ginger, are we gonna leave soon?”
ME: “Ummmm, does that mean I have to get out of bed?”
ME: “Maybe in an hour.”
One Hour Later…
K: “Ginger, are we gonna leave soon?”
ME: “Ummmm, does that mean I have to put clothes on?”
ME: “Maybe in a half an hour.”
One Hour Later…
K: “GINGER I WANT TO GO TO SAN DIEGO!”
ME: “GOD, STOP YELLING AT ME! I’m ready. I just have to do this list of errands and then we can leave town.”
4 Hours Later…
K: “Ginger, can we leave now?”
2 Hours Into The Road Trip…
K: “Can I smoke a cigarette in Henri Le Celica?”
ME: “No. I want to conserve smoking in Henri Le Celica as little as possible so we don’t reek like cigarettes forever.”
K (pouting): FINE.”
3 Hours Later…
ME: ” Let’s smoke a cigarette now.”
K (excited): “Really???”
ME: “Yes. Just be really careful not to let ash fly and put it out in this water bottle.”
4 Seconds Later… K looks around with exaggeration. She is no longer smoking.
K: “Um, I THINK my cigarette flew out the window, but I’m not really sure what happened to it. The wind was soooo strong and it just flew out of my hand!”
ME: “KRISTA! This is why I said NO SMOKING in Henri Le Celica! Look in the backseat! NOW, before the whole car is on fire!”
K looks around.
K (triumphant):”I found it! And I think the cherry was still on it!”
2 Hours Later…
ME: “Okay, we’re almost there. Just read the map and tell me where to turn, since we don’t have GPS.”
K: “Errrr. I don’t know how to read a map. It’s dark in here. What should I do?”
ME: “I’M DRIVING!”
So, two sisters finally arrived in not-so-sunny San Diego. We went to Sea World, we went to two beaches, we ate tons of yummy, delicious meals, we had lots of fun with my friend Jo, and we had the requisite 2.5 fights about nothing and everything that is mandatory for every road trip involving family members. I was glad I put “Sister Road Trip” on my 35 Before 35…