Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's All Good



For those of you wondering why MsCaroline's posting frequency has been diminished as of late, the answer is simple:  I'm busy, and there's nothing to complain about.  Lately, it's all been good.

The late-Spring weather in Seoul is -at the moment - gorgeous. Warm, sunny days, cool nights that lend themselves to late-night cafe-sitting, and - as of yet - no appreciable rain.  Yes, I know that, come mid-June, the temperatures and humidity will soar, ushering in the Season of Sticky Misery, followed by The Season of Ceaseless Rain.  However, this does not bother me, because this year, I will not be here to experience it, having wisely scheduled this year's Home Leave for the peak of monsoon season.

I've been taking advantage of the weather on my free days, heading out to points (as of yet) unexplored and seeing as much as I can.  At the moment, Seoul is gearing up for the annual celebration of Buddha's Birthday next Monday, and the city is decorated with lanterns in anticipation of the festivities:
Hanging lanterns decorate Seoul.  The tags hanging from each lantern express a wish that  the writer hopes will be fulfilled in the coming year.

Lanterns of all sizes, shapes, and designs are for sale everywhere and it seems every other person is carrying one.  These owl lanterns were on sale shortly before the Lotus Lantern Parade.
Last Saturday evening a group of us attended the Lotus Lantern Parade in Seoul, which was held downtown in an area near several Buddhist temples.  The parade included traditionally costumed performers and dancers:
This security guy was directly in front of our spot on the parade route.  Approximately 85% of our parade photos feature him or some part of him.
 enormous lanterns so large they had to be pushed along on wheeled floats;
Super awesome giant lantern floats plus Our Friend The Security Guy

 and members of civic and school groups simply walking en masse carrying their lanterns.

There's our guy again.
Another reason for my blog silence has been The Return of Son#1 from University.  He has come home taller (at least, he seems taller to me,) reasonably healthy, and happy to be back home (it is possible that he is also happy just to be back somewhere where his laundry is done, all of his expenses are covered, and his dinners are home-cooked, but I feel sure that's not the main reason.  Well, pretty sure.) I have thoroughly enjoyed spoiling him shamelessly and hearing all the details about the last semester that we simply never had time to cover during our phone calls and Skype sessions.  Never have I appreciated the luxury of time with my boy as much as in the past few days.

Son#1 enjoying his first legal beer in Korea.
 In a week or so, he will have not just one, but two friends here visiting, our small apartment will be full to bursting, and they will all be gallivanting around Seoul, so I am very conscious of having him all to myself for only a limited amount of time before things get busy again.

On the other side of the coin, Son#2 left on Saturday morning for London, and - as per our agreement, has maintained contact with us via a minimum of at least one text or FaceBook message per day (an idea I shamelessly pilfered from Trish at Mum's Gone To.... who established this requirement for her son when he was in France on an exchange program.)

Son#2 was an enthusiastic Anglophile before he even left for London, loved British TV shows, and frequently expressed his desire to attend University in the UK, so it was no surprise to me that he wholeheartedly embraced British English within hours of arriving there.  By the time he had been there 2 days, he had already sent me a message addressed 'Dear Mum' and referred to the noon hour as 'midday.'    He can still be understood by the average American at this point, although I may have to put my foot down if his vocabulary expands to include words like 'lorry' and 'chuffed.'

In other developments, he expressed some surprise at the astronomical cost of pretty much everything in London ("I see now why you said everything would be expensive here.") admiration for Windsor Castle ("amazing and intricate,") and raved about seeing Babel ("awesome and enriching".)

Just the fact that he used the word 'enriching' makes me very happy and not jealous in the least that we sent him on this trip.

But I'll be happy on Sunday when our little family of four is together again for the first time since Son#1 left in January.

It's all all good.








14 comments:

BavarianSojourn said...

It sounds like everything is good right now. So pleased! Enjoy the weather, buddha's birthday and your No.1 son being at home. I love the photographs, it looks like such a fascinating place to live!!

PS. Love the fact that Son.No.2 is picking up lots of English. When he asks you what you're having for tea, you know he's doing really well!!

Having just been home, he has picked a good time to go, everywhere you look everything is red, white and blue! :)

MsCaroline said...

Emma- Yes, things are good, although I am knocking on wood as I say it!

I will be curious to see what else he picks up during his trip - my mum's Canadian, and I called her 'Mummy' growing up, so that's not entirely foreign to him, as are phrases like 'fish and chips'or 'knickers' (a favorite of my Dad's) but I am fairly certain that he has never used the term 'midday' in his life!
He says it's fabulous - I'm dying to see photos!

Potty Mummy said...

And from what I hear Son 2 might even be getting some decent sunshine. (That'll be another sign he's assimilated with the British, by the way; an obsession with the weather...)

nappy valley girl said...

To be honest I didn't even know that Americans don't say 'midday' - I'm sure I must have flummoxed a few of the neighbours with it.

Glad he's enjoying the good old UK - but yes, it is eye wateringly expensive!

MsCaroline said...

PM - Yes, that's what I've heard, too! It's ruining my street cred, though; as we were leaving for the airport, I insisted we head back to the apartment for an umbrella (which was on his list and he had forgotten.) At the time, I assured him that you just don't go to England without an umbrella and he would thank me for it later, but, as it turns out, it's looking like he will not use it once....

MsCaroline said...

NVG- After a year of living in Seoul where the English that is spoken is not always standard in any way, sending my child to a school with Canadian and British teachers and classmates from every corner of the world, and working with colleagues who speak primarily German, I am starting to lose a clear sense of what we do and do not say! I am fairly certain 'midday' is not really part of the commonly spoken American linguistic lexicon, but maybe I'm wrong! I think it's one of those words we understand but just don't use very actively. At this point, all I can tell you is that Son#2 doesn't ordinarily use it!

Heather Van Deest said...

Enjoy your time together and your summer. Glad it's all good!

Trish @ Mums Gone To... said...

Dear Ms Caroline,
I am so chuffed that your son is having a lovely time in our fair capital. It is rather warm in London at present, particularly at midday, but then we English do love to be out and about at that time
Regards
Trish

MsCaroline said...

Trish - I just read this aloud to MrL, who responded, "I've been feeling a bit chuffed myself lately, but I find that a generous application of talc and a pair of loose boxers takes care of the problem."
(You'll be happy to know that MrL now knows the difference between 'chuffed' and 'chafed.' That's the kind of service I provide with this blog.)

linda@adventuresinexpatland.com said...

I can relate to having your son home from uni; mine just finished freshman year back in the US, and you do miss them so much, your heart feels fuller when they are around. When your second son starts saying 'brilliant', he'll be too far gone. The photos are lovely, such vivid colors and costumes. I'll be contacting you via Twitter for a project I'm doing.

MsCaroline said...

Linda - thanks for the comment - yes, it's wonderful to have him back! Son#2 will be home again in a day or two and I'll have to see if 'brilliant' has made it into his vocabulary in the last 10 days! Got your PM and am responding separately. Thanks for stopping by!

Karen said...

Chuffed/chafed...LOL!! Good thing he has you around, dear friend!

Soon your family will be all together, no? Enjoy!!! Drink tea and talk about midday activities.

Son #1 seems to look more like Dad every day.

Long weekend here...am looking forward to family time and relaxing. And yard work, too, I guess. If I must.

MsCaroline said...

Karen - MrL and his potty humor...I think Son#1 looks a lot like his dad, too, but everyone seems to have a different opinion!
Long weekend here, too: Buddha's Birthday on Monday!

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I hope you are enjoying your time with your family. The photos of the lanterns are marvellous. If you need a translator when Son 2 comes back home, just give me a call!