Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Slight Feeling of Homesickness

It has just hit me.  I miss home.  Sometimes you feel drawn to certain things, and sometimes certain things cause you to discover your true emotions.  And nothing is as effective in doing so as a song.   I have over 32 gigs of music in my Itunes, and when I am relaxing at my apartment, I enjoy putting it on shuffle.  Many times, I will hear a song from a familiar artist for the first time.  And many times, I will hear a song that I love that I haven't heard in a long time, and upon hearing that song, it will take on an entirely different meaning.  And that just happened with this song (He begins playing at 1:30.)

Don't get me wrong.  I love it here in Korea.  I haven't grown tired of the food, and probably never will.  My city is in a breathtaking sea of mountains.  The women here are absolutely gorgeous.  The people are indescribably kind, and always tell me that I am handsome.  I have a wonderful job.  My apartment is comfortable.  I have made a lot of good friends.  I have a church home here beyond anything I could have expected.

But despite all of that, I am beginning miss home.  I would kill to eat a gyro with hummus, and french fries.  A shrimp po-boy, a large medium rare ribeye, and some red beans and rice would be nice also.  Football season will begin in a matter of weeks, and I am as excited about it as ever, but I will have to stay up in the middle of the night to catch LSU and the Saints.  I enjoy talking about it, but nobody seems to be interested in it here.  Whenever I find somebody who shares a similar interest, it's like taking a huge breath after holding it under water for a long period of time.  I miss driving.  Walking is nice, but sometimes I feel out of place doing so.  I know the exact point where I will begin to sweat on my daily fifteen-minute walk to school.  And I do so profusely.  I miss having a dryer.  Hanging clothes to dry is inconvenient, and it stretches the elastics.  I bought fabric softener for the first time, and I am unsure if I am using it correctly, so there is a chance that I could be wasting my money.

I just learned to read in Korean, but I do it on an elementary level.  I am able to read menus fairly well, and I am beginning to learn my students' Korean names.   The most common family names in my school are 김 (Kim), 박 (Park), 정 (Jeong), and 이 (Lee, pronounced 'ee').  Reading has been a great help, but the language barrier is still a source of stress.  It's extremely stressful to mime a gesture to somebody who has no clue as to what you are trying to convey, especially when you need something, or you are trying to tell them something important.  And I feel like an idiot when I tirelessly do what amounts to waving my arms in the face of somebody who speaks an unfamiliar language.  Before moving to Korea, I've always thought my hand gestures were good, and that I was prepared.  I've always done well in Charades and Guesstures with my friends back home, but apparently, Koreans have never played it.   Miming has only been consistently effective in causing Koreans to shake their heads while giving me a weird look.

Here in Korea, they have what is called K-pop.  I pride myself in my taste in music, and the fact that I am able to remain oblivious to all that is popular and horrid, but remaining oblivious to K-pop is impossible.  It's everywhere, and the songs are all extremely catchy, and when you are not careful, you will find yourself singing them.  Whenever I do so, I usually go to the bathroom and drink Listerine.  K-pop goes against everything I stand for musically.  I'll give you an idea of what I am up against.  You'll get the full effect if you play all of the videos at the same time.  Some of you may actually like it.

Don't get me wrong, I love Korea.  And for all of you potential teachers who are on the fence, don't allow this to discourage you.  Korea is awesome.  It's simply human nature to miss home.  And I am beginning to do so at the moment.  



  1. I love BigBang!! I love listening to the KDrama OST's. Korea has some of the most awesome singers! Especially the men groups. I know they broke up, but Chris, VOS is awesome. Just about all Korean singers go to college for music. Korea must be proud of so much talent. I don't like the KPop stuff either. Just the ballads and OST's.

  2. Kelsey is experiencing a similar homesickness right now. She has grown weary of the lack of Western fare, the language barrier and the hard mattress. Your blog tells me that this is normal and I should not worry. I hope when she reads your latest blog she will realize that her negativity right now is blinding her to cherishing these moments that she will never have back. Don't know how I missed reading this blog but it was God working again as Kelsey was complaining about all of the above and more this a.m. Now she has some food for thought. Thanks Chris