great (start to) trip to korea!!!

i am sitting in the business class lounge of korean air because i got upgraded for free!  yeah.  sometimesi airline overbooking works to your advantage.  hehe  so free food, easy free Internet connection, and quiet seat until departure.  then hopefully AC connection on the plane and roomy seat and better service all around!  can’t believe how much more i am looking forward to the entire trip to korea to visit my parents since i found out about my upgraded!  hehe i know.  pretty shallow, don’t you think?  but hey, comfort first before anything else when you might sleep for a long long time and then some more until your each your destination to a country over the pacific ocean!!!

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so hard to go home

why is it so hard to go home?  i am supposed to fly to korea tomorrow morning.  i don’t want to pack.  i don’t know how i’m going to manage to keep myself busy or sleep for the entire 12-14 hrs of the flight from jfk.  and when i’m there except for 2-3 when my trip will overlap with a friend who is also visiting korea (from germany), i wil know no one else outside of my family, i mean, practically no one.  i fear that i will feel trapped in my parent’s apartment, no where to go, no one to hang out with, nothing to do.  well, the last bit i have some control over.  it’s not like i do a lot of things outside of the home here either.  i mostly stay in my bedroom.  i don’t even spend that much time in the living room.  and most of the time, i am doing things on my computer.  so maybe it doesn’t really matter that i will be in korea?  it’s just that everyone will be sleeping when i am up and i will be sleeping when everyone is up.  well, that’s not entirely true.  my bf will be up at about the same time as me and sleeping around the same time i might be.  it’s just that his sleep schedule is non-existent.  so maybe of all the people my waking hours might coincide the most with his.

what makes it so hard to go home?  my goodness it’s hard.  i’m having all kinds of pre-anxiety to anxiety to darn right overwhelming flood of anxiety about going home to see my parents.  i mean, all kinds of things are causing anxiety: plane ride, hours spent at home, hours not spent at home, talking to my parents, not talking to my parents, doomed if they hear me and doomed if they don’t hear me.  only thing i am sure i will like about my trip is coming back home, my home.  🙂

i tend to post more when i’m in korea so more frequent blogs to come in the next two weeks.

no you didn’t! top five comments my clueless mom and dad made about me in the past 10 days

1. who’s the parent?

my dad told my younger sister that she better marry me off or make me lose weight!

2. as if!

i said to my dad, how can you write a book on how to be wealthy (happy) when your own daughter has made so many trips to the hospital? my dad told me to read the book.

then i said to my mom, how can you help strangers as a psychologist when you can’t even understand your own daughter who has depression? my mom said, depression is not my specialty.

when i asked them both if they have read even one book on depression on my account my dad said, depression is basic knowledge.

yeah, whatever (my response).

3. psych ward vs new otani hotel in tokyo

when my dad found out how much each intake to the hospital costs he said, that’s why i’m not worried when you’re in the hospital. staying at the hospital is cheaper than staying at new otani hotel (where we stayed when we were in tokyo) and because the hospital even feeds you.

4. silver lining

my dad said to me, i’m hoping that when you get over your struggles, that you can write a book on happiness and help others.

okay maybe this one doesn’t sound so bad out of context. maybe you had to be there. it would be okay that my dad made this comment if he made even one comment about how difficult it might be for me to live. and the fact is that this comment and the comment above are the only acknowledgement my dad has made about my hospital visits and my depression. he just doesn’t get it!!!

5. duh???

my sister made the comment (in response to something i did or something my mom said) that it’s more important for me to be alive (meaning not kill myself) than it is for me to not smoke. my mom responded by saying, i wish she would quit smoking at least.

ok, so between having a daughter who is living but smokes and having a dead daughter, she would choose the second option if it means i won’t be smoking anymore?

in transit

i’m leaving korea tomorrow morning!  the trip has been meaningful.  it was a lot of quality family time. 

we spent three days in japan and we got to see our uncle, aunt, and nephew.  i hadn’t seen all of them in like two and a half years so it was great to see them again. 

i finally got to try redmango today.  the frozen yogurt was really smooth.  but the toppings weren’t as good as back in the states.  i have some pictures which i will load up when i get back home. 

man, i’m so ready to come back home.  my parents want me to spend about a year in korea.  so i said, no can do.  i don’t know why but i’m really scared to live in korea. 

my brother went with his classmates to clean up the oil spill damage.  so i won’t be able to see him before i leave tomorrow, i think.  i sure wish i could see him before i leave.

i feel good.  really good.   

christmas eve in seoul – immanuel

my mom and i had a quiet dinner because my dad, brother and sister here in korea had other plans.  i thought to myself, christmas in korea isn’t so different.  in boston, i expect to spend it alone but end up spending it with lots of friedns.  here in korea, i expect to spend christmas eve with family but end up spending it practically alone, at least christmas eve dinner. 

after dinner, my mom and i went to coex to look for some books.  when we got there we saw a huge crowd of people trying to get down to the subway station!  they weren’t in line to get on thet train or to get through the gates.  they were simply trying to get into the station!  wow.  as we were walking towards the bookstore, i noticed that people, practically everyone, were wearing red, just kidding, they were all wearing black.  i guess wearing black happens in any city?  anyway my mom and i bought a book.  grabbed some coffee at starbucks (yes starbucks is everywhere!).  then we tried to get out of coex mall and we did successfully.  but we went out the wrong exit so we had to walk for more than 30 minutes to get to where we wanted to be!

so no, i wasn’t able to check out redmango tonight to be able to compare it to pinkberry, or yoberry or berryline (both in boston area).  sorry folks.  the review of redmango is going to have to come after christmas.  i did send a fax to their main office to complain about how much trouble i had on their internet site. 

as expected, our entire family (those who are in korea) went to church today.  there was a music part – complete with little kids singing, which i unfortunately missed – and then a short service and then a performance by the choir.  the choir was great.  the solos in one part almost moved me.  🙂  it was weird, however, how we were practically the only ones standing up during the handel’s messiah – hallelujah part.  later, more people stood up.  i guess i just feel like you can’t listen to it without standing up, not because of tradition (ok maybe a little bit due to tradition) but out of reverence for the creator.

the title of the sermon was immanuel.  and the pastor preached that we are not alone, god is with us.  he said, don’t go through life as if you are alone because god is with you.  and when god is with you, all things are possible.  believe in the power of god.  believe in miracles.  have hope because god is with us.  god is with you.

what i haven’t said in my last blog was that my dad is the pastor of the church we go to.  so of course i felt like he was tailoring the sermon just to me.  i mean, sometimes i feel like a pastor is talking directly at me during a sermon, but i know that can’t be the case because they don’t know what i’m going through.  but this pastor, my dad, he knows what i’m going through.  so who knows?  maybe he did in part speak to me, directly to me.  i liked what my dad said – that we are not alone and that god is with us.  more than liking it, i want to believe it.  i want to believe it because i think it’s true.  here i think it’s appropriate to mention william james’ will to believe essay and his phrase “leap of faith.” 

i want to believe that god is with us and i think it’s true.  but i don’t know if i have the religious experience that warrants me to say i know that god is with us.  i know it in my head that god is with us.  whether a personal god or an impersonal god, god who created us and everything else, god is with us.  i’m sure of that.  so why can’t i believe it in the depths of my soul???

it felt so awkwards today to say merry christmas to the few people i said it to.  it’s too warm in seoul.  we’re not going to have a white christmas.  if we get any precipitation, we’re going to get rain.  anyway, it’s close to midnight here in korea.  so merry christmas!

in search of redmango

i am visiting my parents in seoul korea.  the one thing i was looking forward to, other than seeing my family, was to try frozen yogurt at redmango (the original frozen yogurt that started pinkberry which then started other frozen yogurt stores across u.s.).  i went to their website www.redmango.co.kr and tried to find the nearest store. 

1.  to search for a redmango in your neighborhood, you have to type in korean which is a pain for me since i hardly type in korea and can’t type in korean using my own computer anyhow.  

2. when you look up an area, it either tells you the list the stores in that neighborhood or tells you no store exists in that neighborhood.  why on earth would they not list nearby stores even outside of the specified neighborhood?

3.  so next i typed in other neighborhoods i know of.  (which i realize if you are a tourist, would have no idea what other neighborhoods to type in, if you knew how to type in korean and had access to a keyboard/program that let’s you write in korean.)  that worked.  but then the stores only had phone numbers, not addresses! 

4.  next i tried to leave a comment about the website and found that you can’t leave a suggestion unless you are a member.  and you can only become a member if you are a korean citizen who has a citizen number!  all that to say, for such a well known store, a store that i have heard of so many times, is kind of behind the times when it comes to marketing/website up-keeping!!!   so i either have to mail in my comments about their website or fax it in.  and guess what?  my parents got rid of their fax machine!!!

hopefully later tonight, i can find one of the stores.  i’ll have to call the store and ask for directions!!!