In the last month or so, I've read several blog posts that are based on letters of the alphabet. The first time I remember seeing one was in a fellow Korean expat's blog, Coffee Helps, in which items beginning with the letter 'D' were explored. Today, I ran across this post, at Welsh Hills Again, talking about things that begin with S, and it was such a concise and evocative post, I decided to borrow the title and run with it, since I'd been meaning to post for a while but could not seem to find a reasonable heading under which to
So, without further ado....
Son#1 is in the throes of his semester exams even as I write this, hopefully performing well and justifying the eye-watering costs of his U.S. university education. As is the case with many (most?) American mothers of Uni students, I sent off a 'care package' to him stocked with some of his favorite snacks to nourish him through the grueling week. Most of what I sent was either sugar or caffeine-based, but I did throw in a couple of Korean goodies into the mix, including a bag of something that said, "Shrimp Meat Chip" on the package - just because the name intrigued me. After little post-exam R&R, Son#1 will pack up his things, move out of the dorms, and fly to Seoul. Needless to say, I'm
Son#2 - having finished up his musical (and my volunteering) for the year, is preparing for a trip to London with his school. He and a small group of classmates and teachers (mostly from the drama department), will be spending 10 days there on a 'London Theatre' tour. While I think it's a fabulous educational opportunity, I am not quite sure that I've quite come to terms with putting my 15-year-old on a plane and sending him approximately 9,000 kilometers away across the world,
Son#3 - Regular readers may remember that Son#3 - the friend of Son#1 - is an honorary Son, who is presently serving his required 2-year stint in the Korean Army (all Korean males are required to do this at age 21) and will be coming to the end of his first 100 days of basic training in just a few weeks. Son#3's parents are presently living in the U.S., so he will be coming to stay with us in Seoul during this short leave. It says a lot about the kind of young man Son#3 is that I am just about as excited to see him as I am to see Son#1.
Summer Weather: It's coming to Seoul. I don't know where I got the idea that we'd have a month or two of sunny, cool days after Winter and before things got hot and sticky, but clearly I was mistaken,as we've gone from jackets and gloves straight to shorts. As I mentioned in my last post about fan death, we have been sleeping with the windows open at night, delaying the inevitable moment when the apartment must be sealed up and the air conditioning turned on. I have learned to sleep through all of the typical city noises: sirens, horns, rumbling trains, trucks, screeching brakes, motorcycles, and the like. Ironically, what is keeping me up most nights are the sounds emanating from the small decorative lily pond located a mere 14 floors below us. As it turns out, somehow in the middle of downtown Seoul, a community of bullfrogs have managed to colonize this little pond, and - since it's the season - they spend each evening croaking out their (surprisingly loud) love songs as they compete for the attentions of (apparently deaf) females. I don't remember hearing them when we moved in last June, so presumably they quiet down at the end of the season, either preoccupied with impending fatherhood or wallowing in the dark silence of the failed lover. In the meantime, it's sort of like a loud amphibian nightclub down there, full of the frog equivalent of guys in polyester leisure suits with bad comb-overs leering over their drinks and asking, 'So...you come here often?'
Summer Travel: also means every expat's delight: Home Leave. Along with many of our contemporaries the world over, we'll be getting on a plane and heading home for a good chunk of the summer. In our case, however, 'home leave' doesn't mean getting on the plane in Seoul, getting off the plane in a city and state back in the U.S. and spending the summer there. We have 3 sets of parents to visit in 3 different states, not to mention other family members and friends to see in a few other states. Add to this the fact that MrL will be coming back before Son#2 and I do, as well as the fact that Son#1 will be heading back to Uni early for a summer course (this means he'll start Fall 2012 as a junior, wahoo), combined with the fact that I'll be heading to the Northeast with my mum to see my New England relatives...let's just say that our Summer itinerary will probably require its own spreadsheet before all the planning is said and done.