On Saturday night, it was cold, grey, and pouring rain. Aaron and I met up and decided to go eat at a Korean restaurant for old times sake. I had been craving kimchi all week (kimchi is Korea's national dish, and I love it so much. It's pretty much fermented cabbage). We went to the best, most authentic Korean restaurant in Montreal (there is only a handful of K-restaurants), which is located right next to a Korean grocery store. It was my first time there since I got back, and it felt like.... Korea. The grocery store was exactly the same- I kept pointing out excitedly at all the packaged foods and drinks I recognized and miss. I even heard Korean being spoken and ajummas (old ladies) working there. I almost cried in my bibimbap when I heard 'gamsa hamnida' (which means thanks).
Whoa. I never thought I'd react so strongly to the whole thing, I felt like maybe it was a bad, bad idea to revisit Korea... just yet. Sitting there in the simple, tackily-decorated restaurant, chatting and laughing with Aaron, it reminded me of how... simple and fun things used to be. We'd finish teaching, and pick any restaurant in our neighborhood and try something new. (Even though, I didn't appreciate it back then, I missed Western food like crazy). It made me miss how huge Seoul was. I started missing every little thing. I even started seriously thinking about going back.
As I looked around the restaurant crowded with Korean immigrants, I spotted a few white faces. I wondered if they also were former ESL teachers missing Korea. It was kind of sad. I think I don't want Korea to be over, I miss the excitement of living abroad. I'm scared to settle in one place, I'm not ready for that just yet. Maybe I never will. I need to travel some more, and I need to live and work abroad. I want to get lost in translation all over again. And I wish I did not need that, it makes things so complicated.
That was my Saturday night. It was so... painful. However, on Sunday morning, I woke up feeling like myself again. Something I haven't felt like since I got home in February. And for some reason, I've been feeling quite peaceful since then, enjoying my life here a lot more, and enjoying the present time instead of always wishing I was somewhere else.