Well, it has officially been almost a year since I went home for Christmas. In approximately 2 weeks it will have been a year, so I figure it's about time to write my blog about returning home for the first time in 9 months. By the time I go home, I will have been gone for 18 months without seeing anyone. 27 months total, with only 1 week at home, which is not enough.
|Elice's infamous grape salad, my favorite holiday side dish. Someone (Cough **Adrienne Allison and Anna** cough cough kept showing the grape salad to me on skype over Thanksgiving and it was very upsetting.|
|Allison. My first picture with my new camera.|
|Father cooking dinner.|
I flew home on the day of my 9 month mark in Korea, knowing I'd be staying for another year.
I left Seoul at 6:30 PM on Christmas Eve after working earlier in the day. I spent my time on the plane reading, watching Love Actually and Midnight in Paris, and sleeping.
I time traveled to 11AM on Christmas Eve.
|Thomas and Doug|
I cried a little bit when I saw Mt. Rainier from the airplane, which surprised me. For some reason, that was the moment I cried. Not when I saw my family, but a mountain. I did cry a couple other times.
|Mr. Feeny, who has since disappeared.|
|The Christmas Tree.|
It was great seeing them. We drove back to the Harbor and I got mildly overheated because I was wearing 2 shirts and leggings under my jeans, which is the clothing required while in Seoul but not in Seattle.
My first meal back in the states was at the Thai restaurant in Gig Harbor. I realized I'd been living in a country surrounded by non-English speakers for a while when I felt surprised that the waitress spoke to us in English.
Also, I kept almost saying "Kam-sa-ham-ni-da" (thank you) and multiple times throughout the visit bowed at people while giving them gifts. Mom noticed me bow to Kris Jolliffe and said, "Lauren, what are you doing? You just bowed." It's a habit!
|Hagrid, our Angel on the top of the Christmas tree.|
I'm already extremely out of the loop in regards to popular culture. I had to ask Allison Cloud what "yolo" meant the other day, which made her kindly laugh hysterically at me. I'm also behind on any music that isn't Gangnam Style. I'm a huge Adele fan and just heard "Skyfall" for the first time 2 days ago.
There was a video mom put on facebook, a comedic video about a song I'd never heard of, but apparently is constantly played on the radio.
Allison, Anna, Adrienne and I went to the mall and they were playing "I'm sexy and I know it" on the radio and I'd never heard it before that point. Though I did return to Korea and heard it a lot.
Anyway, back to Christmas. I was shocked the waitress at the Thai Hut spoke English.
Then, Adrienne and I went to Target, where I got really overwhelmed because everything had moved around, people were speaking in English and I couldn't find anything. And, as weird as this is to say, I was surprised and found it strange to not be in the minority somewhere.
On a random note, I've noticed I can also spot foreigners a mile away, even if they are clearly of Asian descent and I can't heat them talking. It's like an immediate, "Oh he's a foreigner!" from 2 blocks away in the dark. It's weird.
Anyway, I'd actually grown accustomed to being stared at constantly while here, so I actually noticed when people weren't staring. I bought one of the things I needed and then said, "Adrienne, I need to leave. This is a bit overwhelming."
We then went to Starbucks, where I said hello to Marc and Amy, then went home.
We had Christmas Eve dinner, which is where all the pictures earlier in this blog are from.
I bought myself a new camera for Christmas, since my other camera's battery compartment was opening by itself, so I couldn't take pictures without constantly fighting with my camera.
That meant that I was constantly taking pictures all week and irritating everyone with my camera.
Or people would steal the camera and take their own pictures of their nostrils.
Father and Thomas
Adrienne and her mittens.
My present for mom. A crinkle cup. The side of the box says, and I quote, "Oh Lovely Cup of Distorted. You're just caught in hand. Drinking coffee with it more fragrant flavor."
The next morning, we opened our presents at home, then headed to Chris and Allison's for Christmas dinner. They have a beautiful home.
Hannah and Jared. They've gotten so old.
I refuse to put up the more obviously weeping pictures, but this deserved a story.
Me and Ethan.
We walked around the neighborhood looking at lights, enjoyed dinner and then headed home. It was a great Christmas.
I noticed the evening before that I couldn't really eat the food for dinner. I had some grape salad, a little bit of turkey and stuffing, but barely anything else. And I had a stomach ache.
I basically had a stomach ache for a week. I don't know what it is, but I think my stomach isn't used to American food. A few weeks ago, one of my coworkers had a dinner at his apartment and they had a lot of normal American dishes and I had a stomach ache that night as well. It wasn't overeating, I am pretty sure that it's the food. I am worried when I go home, there might be problems.
Minerva being cute.
Marsha, Greg and Ethan also came over for my last night. I played with Ethan a bit, chatted with everyone, then wept a little bit more when they left.
I can't believe it's been a year (and I managed to not write this blog for a year.) Time has flown by, which is a good sign, since it means I have been enjoying myself a lot. I am back home at the end of May for the summer! I will see everyone soon and I'm very excited about that!