I am leaving Korea tomorrow. It is time to leave. I’ve been here for 3.5 years, but this is not my home. I love it here, but I do not want to grow old here. So I have a plane ticket and a plan for next fall. This spring and summer will be one of rest and sun. And next fall, it will be back to school, this time as a student. I have been accepted at a few schools in the UK. I am still not sure where I will be going. In the past few months I’ve completed two books. One book took me eight years to write. It began when I was in graduate school -I thought it began and ended with whole milk – continued in Bangkok – though I thought it was a another book – rested for three years while I wrote another book in Seoul – and reemerged, with the help of Pirooz and Loren, this past fall. I have not made an edit on it in the past week. It just might be done. And the other book, the book I wrote while in Korea, it finished when the other picked up again. I am never sure if anything is really ever done, but I feel that both are complete. They begin, they end. They bring pleasure. And next year, in the UK, I will begin a new project that needs to be written on those shores.
Korea has been good to me. I’ve fallen in love. I’ve made good friends. I’ve made good money. I’ve learned quite a bit (but not the language). Past Simple began during my time in Korea. Can of Corn began over here too. I have no idea what tomorrow or the next year holds. SY will be with me, or, I will be with her. There might be a big road trip this summer. There will be BBQs.
There is snow on the ground here in Seoul. My throat is a bit sore. I am ready to breathe air that has more trees than cars. I am going to miss this city and this food. I am going to miss the late night dak kalbi, sam gyup sal, and Kalbi. I am going to miss the record bars, the jazz bars, the little places you find as you wander around late at night with nobody waiting for you to come home. And then when you have someone, she comes there too.
Pirooz will be moving into this room. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe the day after. He can write here and love here. I am glad this place will be with a friend. I am leaving my plants and most of my books and all of my furniture.
If, in a few years, I come back, I would not be unhappy. I could live here, for a short year. That said, there are other places to see. Most notably, the USA. I feel that pull and then, I think the pull will be gone, and in the fall, it is off to new places and new words.