26 August 2007

remembering seattle

a beautiful late summer ferry ride across puget sound.

it's been 4 months since i moved to korea. i was curious to see if the "reverse culture shock" i'd heard about would materialize. sure, in amurrica everyone's fat, but the only real thing that felt weird and annoying was my ability to understand all of the dumb chatter surrounding me. a coupla days later it feels more like i've never been gone. i guess 4 months elsewhere ain't enough.

i'm only here for 46 hours to see family and friends during the week+ break i have between korean language levels 1 and 2. as many friends move away or fall away, each time i visit seattle it feels less like home. all said, the effortlessness of being somewhere familiar is refreshing. unencumbered by the little humiliations of foreigness, i was free to notice the small stuff while walking down 1st av near the pike place market. somewhere between metsker's maps and the corner flower shop i caught a whif that took me way back. i love the happenstance of human physiology that put the smell and memory parts of the brain in the same neighborhood.

what i didn't expect was how being in seattle would remind me of how i felt prior to moving to chicago and my 3-month traveling gig last fall. it seems likely that being in chicago next week will likewise harken me back to my pre-korea days. re-visiting these places helps me chart my progress or lack of it. realizing that i've spent much of the past four months angry, sad and lonely was surprising (i'm often surprised by the obvious). tho the lack of old friends is a component of the loneliness, seoul isn't to blame and i'm not particularly worried. i'm glad that i'm not living in the usa. my current state is just a somewhat protracted period of typical angst that accompanies significant life transitions, right?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

agreed. abroad-ness lends itself to loneliness but the introspection leads to growth. patience is key.