I was walking home from galbi tonight, and a thought occurred to me, a new facet to the sadness of leaving Korea. The entire journey has been like setting a flame to my candle--I feel like I've been shaken up and sent out to discover who I am and what I'm made of. I don't know if it's because the surroundings are entirely new, so all of the memories are fresh, but even though I've walked certain pathways literally hundreds of times, I have so many unique memories of many of these walks that I'm afraid of losing them when the surroundings change.
For instance, the walk back from galbi entailed walking to the corner where Heather and I took my first post-cast taxi ride. I want to remember the feeling of accomplishment I got from hobbling those two blocks in the cold winter air. And the feeling I got the next night when I walked two different blocks on my own without having to stop and rest.
In Parker, there's no familiar corner with the wooden-planked second story restaurant, from which some man leaned out of the window to yell how pretty Jamie and I looked. There's no chicken galbi restaurant where the Queen of Awesome Heather told me that she admired me because I seem to know what I want.
There's no familiar taekwondo room where I can recall the first time I blocked a soccer ball, much to everyone's astonishment--including mine. There's no fourth floor multi-purpose room where I saw 60 kids hold candles without burning anything down and where I helped to host a bi-lingual kindergarten graduation. There's no first walk to Home Plus with Tere, our arms bumping together and me being pleased that the skinny girl was sweating like a pig, too.
So, as tempted as I am to let this post trail off and end on a sorrowful note, I make this an open invitation to all of my beloveds. I'll be back within four weeks, and I'm looking forward to making new memories to carry with me on my next adventure. It can be as simple as a last meal at Hacienda (thanks mom and dad), a ride to the Bagel Stop (Sid, Tab), a spin in the short bus (you know who you are), or yet another beer/mojito/margarita/tequila sunrise/Jaeger bomb wherever we may happen to be at the time (did someone say Mackenzie River Pizza Company?).
Use all the photos...
4 days ago