Bye Barcelona, Hello Korea.

The past two days feel like a daze. My last day in Barcelona, I went to Costa Brava with my dear amigos, which by the way was absolutely breath-taking! I can’t believe we didn’t go before! Only a two hour train ride north from Barcelona, and you end up in a stunning paradise of mountains, picturesque white villas, and the clear blue Mediterranean. Spent a marvelous last day there and then said reluctantly said goodbyes before my flight at 8AM the next day. It was hard to take in that I would be leaving a life that I had finally settled into and it was so difficult to say goodbye of course.

My flight flew to Munich and then flew to JFK from there-in total the trip was 12 hours. I then spent 14 hours at home, buying certain necessities, running errands, cuddling with my dog for hours, spending a lovely day with my two best friends, and then hopped on a new flight to Korea. PHEW. I am EXHAUSTED.

I landed here at around 4AM and since I will be starting work tomorrow at the 서울시청 (Seoul City Hall) my family did their best to keep me up so that I could fight my jetlag. I don’t think falling asleep on the first day of work at a government institution would be too impressive…yeah…

Just as I thought my life could not have been going through any more ups and downs of emotions, I was proven very wrong. After saying hellos to my mom’s sister and brother (이모 and 삼춘) we drove to see my grandmother. My brother had told me before that she was in a very bad state and found it extremely hard to see her, so I was a bit prepared. But when I saw her so frail, with an oxygen mask connected to ten different machines, I just froze. The first ten minutes I was in complete shock to see my mom breaking down as she held my grandmother’s hand. And then I just let all emotions loose and a waterfall of tears came out of my eyes as well. What was so hard to see was the fact that my grandmother is concious. Her eyes opened, but she doesn’t know how to talk, all we can hear from her is her groaning in pain through her oxygen mask. We can see her tearing, and though she can’t say anymore than that, we can feel how much she is hurting. It sounds horrible to say but I think it would be better if God took her from us now. Isn’t it better for her to live at peace with God rather than to continuously drag on suffering with the pain she has endured for the past decade?

What a rollercoaster of emotions these few days have been for me indeed. Dealing with goodbyes, resettling into my new life as a changed person, seeing my grandmother, starting work tomorrow. Stressed, stressed, stressed.

All this traveling hasn’t given me proper time to think. Thoughts, memories, and realizations are replaying in my head but not slow enough for me to really think about them. I feel like everything is just passing before my eyes and I’m so helpless as to what to do.

Anyway, let me end this on a happy note before I go off to bed. After a sad visit to my grandmother, we went straight to my other grandparent’s house and settled in there. My grandparents are always so happy to see us and especially since they haven’t seen my brother in years, they were simply beaming when they saw how much their little grandson had grown. We had lunch together and spent the whole day just simply enjoying each other’s company. My mom had said at lunch that mood of everyone changes when we come to visit and it is so true. I couldn’t help but smile all day. It feels so good to have almost all of us together has a family. It’s never this way because having the entire family come to visit is so costly.

I couldn’t help thinking about the idea that my dad, my aunt (who lives in New York as well), will both be coming to Korea soon, and we’ll all be together in August as one huge family to celebrate my grandfather’s 80th. It sounds so corny, I know. But for now, this is keeping me through my chaotic life. =)

Goodbye.

You know when people say “No, it’s not goodbye, it’s see you later?”

If it only it were true…Saying goodbye is so surreal. How am I ever going to see this people ever again? We’re an ocean apart. Mierda.
I really can’t come to terms with the fact that I will never be with them again.

I can’t go back to Boston, I can’t I can’t I can’t. Let me stay here or bring my friends to Boston with me.

GAH, i can’t type. Too many emotions flowing, way way way way way too many.

Young, stupid, helpless.

Summer goes and we have grown
We have our friends,
Live on our own
Still I’m not the girl you want me to be
Say gravity can bend the time,
Funny, I always liked your mind
But this whole thing is crushing me

But you’re always a golden boy
And this girl’s heart that you destroy
You smile at me and then you have your fun
Time is always passing by
Still, I give you another try
And hope that you will see that I’m the one

I feel the time pass away
But in my songs you will always stay
I don’t need you to tell me I’m the one.

Rambling on about my Last Moments.

Only 6 days left in Barcelona. I’ve been wanting to write about this topic for a while-what I’ve been up to, what I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, so on and so forth. I sign onto WordPress, start a new post, but can’t bring myself to actually type something meaningful. So many thoughts flowing throug my head lately, especially since my trip from Prague. For some reason though, I can’t bring myself to actually let the words and thoughts flow. I guess I’m having a writer’s block, either that or I’m not comfortable with sharing many of my inner thoughts. Wow, but I’m just rambling now…

Six days of Barcelona. How do I leave? On the one hand, I miss my parents incredibly and of course my dear best friends in the world. I feel bad that I’ve barely spoken to them while here, but no matter how far apart we are and no matter how much time has passed since we’ve talked, nothing changes. It’s always the same retardedness and craziness when we see each other and I love it.

I have quite a few moments throughout the day, where I think about my parents and think about their silly antics. Yesterday when I was on line buying groceries, I smiled to myself, remembering the way cashiers fake laugh at my adorable dad’s lame and corny jokes (which are even funnier in his broken English hehe) I can’t wait to see my mom. She emailed me a couple of days ago to tell me that she had finally become Christian. She’s changed so much I can tell, even just by listening to her tranquil calm voice. I can’t wait to see how God has touched her life.

Another thing I think about lately is returning to life back at home. Depression awaits me. I’ve already disliked Boston before, and now I’m coming back with even more dislike for it. Well actually, it’s not only a dislike for Boston but USA in general. Great. I’ve known for quite some time that I didn’t want to live in the States later in life, and living the European life has confirmed those beliefs into fact. I’m coming back for you Europe.

I’ve met some great people here and I’ve learned so much from conversations of a any range of topics, such as life as a Korean-American, Christianity in Europe, what I ate for lunch, how I missed the metro stop to school from being distracted by a game of Sudoku on my phone, and the incredibleness of classical music. I can go on and on about this, but thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach and it’s something I don’t want to think about it. Maybe I’ll go into this in detail later, but for now, I can’t bring myself to think about our separation. Hard to believe, we’ll never be together again. . .

What can I say? My life is always a complete fail.

Every morning I’ve been having these spontaneous spurs because I have so few days left in Europe so I am trying to take advantage of all the little moments down to the mini-seconds I have left. So yesterday morning I woke up and decided, I’m going to go hiking in Montserrat (a mountainside an hour outside of Barcelona) .

So I packed my belongings (as I had planned to stay a night there), put on my bookbag, put on my sneakers and was well on my way.

It was beautiful, so peaceful, and the hike was exactly what I needed. I love getting lost in nature. I get a piece of mind, get to get away from the chaos of the world, and just have some great quality time with me, God, and God’s wonderful creations. The view was remarkable and beyond description. I have these moments, when I see something so beautiful (particularly pertaining to panoramic views or just plain nature) where my jaw drops to the floor, my heart pounds, and I just want to cry of how beautiful something can possibly be. I am lame, yes I know. But really, nature astounds me and I am so enamored by it.

So it was great, I was having a fantastic day, and I gleefully walked into the hostel lobby to spend the night. To my really unfortunate dismay, the receptionist told me I would have to spend a minimum of two days there for 28 euro each night. I did not have that money with me, so I decided to leave.

“Alright, whatever I guess I won’t spend the night and just take the train down.”

And what happens when I go to take the train down the mountain, OHH the last train for the day had left 5 minutes before I got there. Hmm, wow well of course a ‘fail’ like this shouldn’t be surprising.

So with no money (not to mention my credit cards happened to be maxed out that day) and no way to get back home, I was forced to stay in Montserrat. And so I spent a beautiful luxurious night in the indoor of an ATM centre. This sounds alright & you may think, “Oh at least there’s shelter.” Hmm…not when you’re on the top of a mountain at an almost 1000 m altitude freezing your buttock off.

Indeed, I froze my butt off, the cold tile floors did nothing but allow more frigidity into my body and without a form of long-sleeves on my body, I had probably one of THE worst nights of sleep in my life.

But hey, it could’ve been worse. Good thing I was on a mountain top, one of the holiest also (Montserrat is filled with Christian monasteries), so I knew noting could really happen to me. I was pretty safe there, and if I had been anywhere else in the world, spending that night alone would’ve been very much different.

Even after a horrible night, I woke up around 5AM and started out hiking. I figured it was better to get some warmth into my body by walking around rather than just curled up in a ball. And right when I walked out, the rays of the sun started peaking out of the mountains. The sunrise was breathtaking, and after seeing that, all my negative thoughts of the night before were completely forgotten. I am so awed by nature’s wonders and the way the pink sky meshing with the rising sun behind the mountains… priceless.

After hiking to the mountain top, I did two things I haven’t done in a long time: I read my Bible and I prayed. It was just me, God, and nature. It couldn’t have gotten any better. For a long time, I’ve had this wall between me and God when I prayed. But this morning when I prayed, I felt a religious resurgence and have been put back into place. I can’t say if it’ll stay this way, but for now things have been put into perspective again.

See? There’s a silver lining to every cloud. =) That’s life for ya.

To fill the void of one empty week of pictures…

My dear God, I’m supposed to be updating this every freaking day. But I haven’t done so in over a week. Why the heck do I have no consistency in my life?!?!

Well, other things have been on my mind lately. And for one thing, the news I have been hearing about my deathly-ill grandmother worries and saddens me. I’ve been messaging with my cousin in Korea about it and she was the one who first let me know about her conditions worsening (she had already been suffering from brain damage for years). I thought of calling my mom and telling her but I figured it was better to have her sister tell her and comfort her, so I waited until my mother would email me so that I would call her in correspondence. I waited for days and my mom never emailed me of this news.

You see, my mom emails me about every week just to update me on my grandmother, my family’s whereabouts, offer me her wise words of wisdom, nag me about my nose ring, nag me about why my credit card bill is so high, etc.
So the only update I received from her this week was about how it was my brother’s birthday and they went to a nice restaurant by the wonderfully, clean, and beautiful Hudson River in New York City (Haha clean…)

Still, no update about my grandmother. But I know my mother. Regardless of how much stress, anguish, distress, worrying, depression she deals with, she never shows it. I knew that she wasn’t going to email me because she didn’t want me to worry about her, while I’m here in Barcelona. (This I know because I am the same way as her).

I called her today, and well she acted completely normal. But when I asked her about my grandmother- laughter stopped, talking stopped–and there was the longest silence between us. She talked about it briefly and quickly changed the subject to avoid talking about it. I went along with it and we spoke about things other than my grandmother.

But before we were about to hang up, I asked my mom how she was. “괞찬아.” (I’m fine). And she did sound fine. It scares me how well she hides her true feelings because I would never know if she is hurting or not because she always acts like she is fine. But then I told her “엄마는 모르도 난엄마를 잘알아.엄마는 안 괞찬아도 엄마의 마음을 잘 숨기고 다니자나…”(I know you. Even when you’re not okay, you go on hiding your feelings all the time). And then again came the longest silence between us. I could hear some strange small noises from the other end, but all she in response was “아니야 걱정마, 엄마 잘있어…” (No,no don’t worry. I’m doing well). She was definitely choking on her words as she said this, and it broke my heart to hear such sorrow come from her. No matter how broken she is, she will never show her defeat from her pain. She is the strongest woman I know.

Christian or not, if you could pray for my mother to give her strength and the fear to let her guards down, and for God to take care of my grandmother until we arrive in Korea to see her one last time, I would appreciate it so much.

This one goes out to my family.

9/365

Went to Port Aventura today, an amusement right outside of Barcelona. Had so so much fun!!!! (as you can see haha). I absolutely adore the friends I’ve made here. The second half of my experience in Barcelona would not have been the same without them. These were the kind of friends and people I had been looking for all along. I wish I had met them earlier, but I am still grateful for the chance to have met them regardless. But the thought of possibly never seeing them again really really saddens me…
=(

8/365

A month ago my dear roommate, Roxy, and I went out to a club called Otto Zutz. While we were dancing like wild beasts, this girl was approached by a six foot tall man for a drink and a dance. They exchanged numbers and parted ways after a while. No big deal, usually a typical night when you go out, right? Meet a regular guy, talk for a while, get his number, and that’s that.

Turns out this six-foot beast is an NBA player, has a fan page on Facebook, and even has his own biography on Wikipedia! Uh-huh, no big deal. . .

So they’ve been exchanging a few words here and there through Blackberry (He lives in Malaga), until a few days ago, he contacted her saying that his team was playing against Barcelona’s for a weekend. He invited her to his five-star hotel and luckily as her dear roommate I got to come along (not to spend the night though… I WISH!)

Free room service, sipping on 15 euro coffee, and living the good life. Ballin with Ballers (literally). Chyeah.

7/365

Yeah, I have never fumbled so much or just been so unprepared for a presentation in my life. I was so so incredibly shy and nervous, my “Devil Wears Prada’s Meryl Streep” professor could clearly see that so as I began to start my presentation she kept telling me to move closer to everyone and speak louder. Oy….I started off pretty well, but after a while, my nerves were taking over me too much to the point where I didn’t even know what the heck I was saying. I was, in all seriousness, pulling sh*t out of my ass and was no longer following my planned out speech on my note card. My Spanish became nonsensical and all I wanted to do at some point was just run far far away.
It was an epic fail.

6/365

8:30AM. The moment upon landing, I rushed home to get down to work on my presentation. You see, even though I had a huge research presentation for my art class Thursday, I stayed until Wednesday without having done any research or work. So that was a huge huge mistake because the second I reached my apartment, I dropped off my bags and rushed to the school library. All day and all night I worked on this stupid Goya presentation and had no idea what the hell I was doing. Not to mention that all my reading had to be done in Spanish, so skimming and speed-reading were not even options. How fun…

5/365

This was the day that my thoughts and wants to move to Europe for the past few weeks had become a ‘to-do’. There is no doubt in my mind that I am coming here to live-maybe a few years or maybe my whole life. This I realized after talking with some Americans that I met in Budapest. I think I’m becoming an ex-patriot…

4/365

Instead of placing flowers on tombstones, Jewish people use stones because flowers may die, but a stone can withstand the test of time.

I did a free walking tour this day about the Jewish in Hungary. There are many interesting things I can recollect about this day, but I think one thing that stands out to me the most is a response I got from my tour guide to the question: Does antisemitism still exist today? Sadly enough, she replied that it was and that it was growing stronger in Europe. Hungary is a country still struggling economically and politically after decades of communism. Just like in World War II, Hungarians want someone to blame for the difficulty of their lives and of course the Jews and the gypsies are the first to be pointed at. A neo-Nazi political group sits in Parliament today and they have recently been growing stronger in power and popularity in Hungary. I forget the name of the party, even though I asked my guide about 5 times, but the fact that neo-Nazism still exists really terrifies me. I don’t think there’s any way we can have an incident so extreme like the Holocaust, but I do unfortunately think that there is going to be many many difficulties for the Jews soon in the future. God, I hope not. =(