Mom, Part II

3.10.2011

And just like that, it's over! After 9 days of endless fun and bonding, I'm longing for more. You see, naturally, I'm an independent, always-on-the move type of person. But her visit here forced me to stop and appreciate everything Seoul has to offer that I often take for granted--the food, the convenience, the people, the transportation, the buildings, everything. Her excitement for me and my life in Korea rubbed off on me, making me view Korea in an entirely different light.

I also got to act like her child again. She totally stepped into mom-mode the moment she stepped off that plane, helping me clean my apartment, cooking, doing my laundry, grocery shopping, signing me up for a cash-back point card and the like. She's just an awesome mom...I'm sure if you've met her even once, you'd agree.

When I dropped her off at the train station, I started to feel that lump in my throat, so I quickly said, "Thanks, love you, see you later" and ran off. I think she felt it too because her "goodbye" was equally short ;-) But there's no reason to be sad because I'm returning to California for a couple of weeks in April, so it really is a see-you-later kind of thing.

Anyway, enough with the mushy gushy, let's get to the fun stuff...pictures! I believe Mom, Part I ended with Monday. So on Tuesday, we spent most of our day walking around in Samcheong-dong and Bukcheon-dong. It was a little cold but the sun was out, making it a beautiful day to be outside. We spent a lot of time weaving in and out of the cute little alleys with even cuter shops and walking up and down the quiet hills of Bukcheon filled with hanoks (old traditional Korean homes). What we noticed about Bukcheon is that even though it is known for its old, traditional homes, it's really a town of contrasts (old hanoks next to new buildings, or a Mercedes Benz, or with a modern concrete garage). For lunch, we went to this mom-and-pop shop that had delicious sujebi (soup w/ wide, flat noodles) and pajeon (savory pancake thingy).

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[Looks like a little street in Europe, doesn't it?]
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[Hanoks]
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[Here's what I mean by contrasts]
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[One of my favorites...the pine trees were beautiful]
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[Another contrast]
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[Itty bitty doors!]
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[Self-timer shot haha]
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[Isn't it funny how the backdrop of these hanoks is Seoul's towering skyline?]
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[Ending the night with dessert!]
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The following day, we met up with my cousins for lunch and some coffee in Gangnam. It was really relaxing but unfortunately, my cousin Jimmy had to go to work at 1, so we had to cut it short. After we said our goodbyes (and made them promise to visit the U.S.), mom and I walked to Express Bus Terminal, which is an underground mall filled to the ceiling with everything you can imagine--clothes, shoes, kitchenware, plants, furniture, the list goes on. After mom purchased a few souvenirs, we headed back to my apartment for some r&r.

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[Jimmy, Ji-hye and me]
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[On the subway]
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[This is what we spent the entire subway ride talking about:
how 7 out of 10 Korean women get plastic surgery]
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Around 6 pm, we headed out again to meet up with Jamie and Mark for dinner. After stuffing our faces with Korean BBQ, we stuffed our faces with papingsoo (red bean and shaved ice and fruit) at Ti Amo Cafe. There, we laughed and laughed as Mark recounted his experiences teaching English to 3-year-olds ("It's like herding cattle. They'll pay attention for a second and slowly, they start looking at other things and moving to the walls" hahaha).

[Jamie's not mad, I promise you haha]
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We kept Thursday pretty mellow since my mom's flight was later that afternoon. She bought me some necessary items for my house (like paper towels, an extension cord, trash bags...you know, the stuff you don't want to spend your money on but you just have to). For our last meal together, we ate delicious bibimpap and chachang myeon. By the way, the reason I'm describing each meal is because my mom's visit could also be called "The Korean Food Tour." Most of our time was spent eating or thinking about our next meal. The times we didn't think about food, we were sleeping.

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The last couple of days since her departure have been a little sad. I've had random bouts of homesickness but thankfully, I have a wonderful boyfriend and best friend to bring me up! Plus, how can I stay sad when Spring is right around the corner (today was 50 degrees...wowza!)?

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I know I will...my plans are to rest, read and enjoy the sun. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? :-)

7 comments :

Susan said...

Korean Food Tour is so accurate. Anytime anyone asked me what I did, I found myself describing all the restaurants and their food(s).

Our short goodbye was by design (apparently on both of our parts) and I too was sad but your visit to look forward to next month. What are the dates again?

Kaylenr said...

This is my favorite post so far! I absolutely adore all of the pictures. It has inspired me to explore some new neighborhoods this spring to reinvigorate my life in NYC. My mom has visited me a few times in NYC, but they have all been very short, 48 hour trips. I long to have a longer trip where I can really show her the city. She and my oldest nephew, Ryan (remember him from the wedding?), are coming in town next weekend and I am SO EXCITED!!! Anyway, I am so very glad that you had an amazing trip with your mom. Mark was so funny the other day; I asked him if he is getting homesick and he said, "Well, I'm hanging out with the two people (you and Jamie) that I would be hanging out with anyway if I lived in the US, so it's really not that different." But, nothing can replace some love from the fam.

xoxo,

Kay

Diego said...

I miss you AND your mother.
PS. What kind of camera do you use for these pictures?

Elysabeth said...

Mom- I arrive Tuesday, April 12 and leave Monday, April 25th. I'll forward you my itinerary.

Kaylen- I hope you and your mom and Ryan have a blast. I bet New York is beautiful right now and what better way to spend it than with family?!

Diego- I miss you too! I'll see you in April though :) And I use a Nikon D40x. It's a digital SLR. Are you thinking about getting a new camera?

Diego said...

Lys! I've been looking at cameras but I don't really know what to look for! I really like the pictures and I'm sure the camera might have something to do with them being so awesome. So maybe some advice on finding a good camera...? Thank you! Miss you!

Mark said...

It was such a fun week.

susan said...

what fun it has been to read and see all the great food pictures - lol so great you both had this time together.