blogging because.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

empire state of mind

New York City was my first love.

With skyscrapers so tall it is no wonder that it is affectionally referred to as the city of dreams. Dad booked us into the Paramount Times Square, a hotel strategically located within walking distances of all the Big Apple's hot spots.

For five days we explored the depths of the concrete jungle. The quirky boutiques that decorate the sidewalks of SoHo, cafes that literally draw you in off the streets of Greenwich Village and politely declined the promises made by the pedlars that line Canal Street. However, I would have to say that the trip highlights include our visits to the Top of the Rock, The Empire State Building and more simply, a family dinner with my Korean co-teacher, Hyunhee.
Central Park in the distance
30 Rockefellar Plaza and The Empire State Building are famous for their birds eye view of the city. Up there, you realize what a small island Manhattan is. Unencumbered by its finite size, Manhattan is a hub of culture, education, commerce and new growth. Looking out from these towers, I couldn't help but feel like I was at the eentre of the world.

Hyunhee, Xi and I
Alfredo's was the perfect back drop for dinner with Hyunhee. Flanked with absolutely phenomenal homemade Italian food and wine, my parents and Andrew finally met the woman that was my life line in Busan. Our families shared and instant, natural chemistry, illuminating to each respective party why the other is such an important part of my life. At the corner of 49th and Broadway I choked back tears and said goodbye. My relationship with Hyunhee is so unique. At first she was my superior, turned advisor and now, a dear friend.

Like all great loves, you never quite get over it. Watching the island fade in the distance as we climbed higher and higher into the sky, I smiled to myself and wondered - will Manhattan and I ever live happily ever after?  That story is for another day.

Friday, August 12, 2011

up, up and away

Killing time at Incheon International Airport, parked on a stiff wooden bench. I sit back and watch travellers criss cross in front of me, looking important, looking flustered, looking excited. Where is everyone going?

Behind me the clouds are clearing and the sun begins to peak through, my nerves instantly relax. I wonder if I can rationalize another Longchamp. Is three too many?

I let out a little laugh at my own expense, after all my careful planning, I managed to set my alarm for 4:00pm instead of 4:00am - thank goodness for Dad's and international wake up calls.

What was only hours ago seems like days. My eyes begin to sting as I recall my final moments with Busan. Seat 21D, starring out the window at this little man waving feverishly as the plane jerks towards the runway. We lock eyes (or at least I like to think so) and I wave back. He throws up a peace sign and we are off.

Friday, August 5, 2011

and so it goes

full circle together 2010-2011
To the EPIK Class of August 2010, here we are, 365 days later...the pictures to remind us, the battle wounds to prove it and the inside jokes to keep us smiling. Thank-you for joining us at Eva's last night to watch the video that brings these memories to life. Although entirely cliche, lets raise a glass and 'cheers to the nights you'll never remember, with the friends you'll never forget!'
reclaiming youth
Hyunhee, June and I, my co's be like ooah
I've been asked countless times over the last few weeks 'what will you miss the most?' 'what will you do/eat/buy first in Toronto?' so I decided to dedicate a post to answer these questions. 
kym + alex + jen + matt = family
womanlove, onelove
Leaving Korea, I am sorry to say goodbye to: subway fobs, #504, humpday hangouts, uh uh, my celebrity status, no tax, cheap taxis, Family Mart and underground cell service. Heading home I cannot wait to: taste barbecued corn on the cob, satisfy my sweet tooth (hello Smartfood, Fudgee-Os and sour patch kids), be invited to try clothes on, eavesdrop on conversations in public and relax dockside (Corona in tow) up north. 
Haeundae Beach
My dear Busan family, I don't know what I expected but I didn't expect you, jackpot. Toronto, you hold my roots, can't wait to sprout some new ones with ya... I'm coming home.