Tag Archives: sad

Never Complete

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I’ve been very busy.  My law school prep course is tight, and the people who are taking the same course are not the most contributing kind.  I just finished submitting my 2nd paper of the course and it’s 1:43 am here.  Phew.  I feel like I am back in my college, writing papers until 3 am with app kind of books, papers, cups and clothes spreaded all over my room.

Recently I became a friend with Jay, who is in pretty much same situation with me.  Jay’s passport is South Korean, but he went over to Arkansas at age 3 and spent his entire life in South.  Then something happened and he had to come back, now serving his military duty like a good South Korean citizen.  He is going through some of the phase I went through (or currently going through) so it has been a pleasure to talk with him.  Maybe it’s because him talking about how all of his friends are in Arkansas, and how he misses the American South – good barbeques, cool beer at patio in the midst of warm, humid south air and laid-back people.  I didn’t have a chance to property visit American South (okay, I visited Florida once but that’s not really South…no offense, Floridans), but I understand him.  Likewise, I miss crazy snowstorms, how everything was either gray, black or white, the crisp cold winter air on my cheeks, reddening my skin, and kind Midwesterners, wrapped in their Gore-Tex Northface shell jackets and hats.  And we are two Koreans in Korea.

Maybe it was because of this chat, but a thought suddenly occured to me – that I probably will never feel “complete” or “at ease” wherever I go.

When in Korea, I hate the fact how the whole society is homogenous, stigmatizes different voices, treat “foreigners” differently based on their nationality/skin color, thinks it is totally okay to sacrifice individual for the sake of group, and communicating vertically only.  And how all the “foreign” foods that isn’t really expensive or that special suddenly becomes twice the original price and treated like some kind of luxury. And the total lack of middle ground market for clothing and pants: they are either all really short, really small, or really decorated over the top.  In addition, most of the pants don’t fit me well here.  I misses Japanese people’s respect of privacy and misses a lot of things about America.  Of course, friends those are not in Korea, too.

When in the United States, I hate the fact how people have allergic reaction to any kind of government regulation (Grow up, people!), shipwreck med insurance system, D- grade infrastructure, evangelist politicians and total lack of public transportation.  Then I start to miss a lot about certain things of Korea and Japan: those two countries superb public transportation and infrastructure (both countries has bullet train AND public transportation covering entire nation; US is like x10 bigger than those two.  What are they thinking?!?!), awesome public med insurance and 24-hour operating service/stores.  And free restaurant deliveries.  I again start to miss home and a small number of friends in Korea.  I’ll probably miss more once my school starts, since I managed to make a bit more friends in Seoul.  And how you can “get around” some rules by connections and negotiations in Korea.

When in Japan, I hate how people don’t ever tell anything in a straightforward manner and unwilling to take any risk or responsiblity. Usually, there are no words equivalent of “flexiblity” (not in a literal sense, though).  Bureaucracy there is so bad, and the decision making authorities are so unwilling to change, even if it is verge of survival.  Sometimes they are way too obsessed on small details.  And, kind of like Korea, it is so hard to be considered seriously if you are not one of them (fortunately, I suffered less of this because people around me were so great and I look Asian – Japanese – enough for most Japanese).  Soon I start to miss how things are so much more straighforward and flexible in America and Korea.

Sure, I appreciate my unusual international experiences.  I know that is my edge, and I know that’s what makes me as me.  But think about it – most others feel pretty settled and fine in a certain place.  Your friends are there and you lived there long enough.  All the pieces that makes you are at one place, so whenever you want to go back or get some peace of mind, you can just go to that one place.

But what about someone like me?  My entire childhood is spread around the world.  I can’t simply drive several hours or get a weekend trip to revisit my past and remiscine good ol’ times.  I don’t have my private jet.  You can’t just plan to visit America from Korea over a weekend.

Whether I end up living in America, Korea, Japan, or somewhere else, one thing is sure: I will never feel complete or settled.

People say acceptance is the key to everything.  I accept, I guess.

But it still saddens me – that I will never feel complete or settled for the rest of my life.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Say No Evil?

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It has been a while since I last updated anything on this blog.  Well, now’s the time.

1. Good-Bye, old community.  You’ve changed.

I have been a member of certain on-line hobby community.  For the first time, I made a few off-line local acquaintances there.  Though I was not that deeply involved in the incident, and putting who’s right and wrong aside, what recently happened in that community totally put me off.  The community’s purpose is to exchange information and share/discuss thoughts.  Instead, the whole boards were covered with pointing fingers, namings, and dragging personal tweets, blog postings and some personal information.  Maybe I am slightly stronger than average because of my “rough childhood,” some people were dwelling on it forever.  All I want to do is share, discuss, and exchange info on something I like.  Fortunately, I was not directly involved in any of this.  But the whole incident and how it progressed (regressed?) really kicked my affection of that community away.  So yes, I’m done with that.

Maybe I’m biased, but I’ve seen this happening too much in Korean communities.  If there’s something right and wrong, than people who are directly involved need to take it away to somewhere and solve it, instead of spreading it to everywhere and bringing in some unnecessary stuff.  If you are on the receiving side, you’ll probably have to bow down a bit, even if the giver is being an ass (note: not advocating the givers should behave like ass).  If you want to talk about someone on his/her back, make sure it doesn’t leak.  Do not think this person and that person have exactly same opinion just because they are connected.  That is my explanation for why I always kept some distance from Korean group.

2. Marriage of Someone, and You Know All of Her Not-So-Bright Past.

Someone I know is getting married.  Marza (alias) and I have known each other for a while.  We went to same college.  We were friends, and we had mutual friends from childhood.  She turned into something we don’t want to keep close, so I don’t really call her as a friend anymore (I honestly think she needs to see psychiatrist).  Her parents and my parents are still pretty close, and her parents are good people.  I have a lot of story about her, but I’ll keep it short, taking only that is relevant to the marriage.

She was always involved in Korean community, far more than I did.  I wasn’t involved in any of the Korean community in college (had some individual Korean friends, though).  Soon, everyone knew how she was “weird,” “twisted,” “attention-freak,” and “slut.”  She was sleeping around with EVERYONE.  She had a ton of sex toys.  While doing all of these, she had a boyfriend – whom she always bragged about how smart and successful, how they will be engaged soon and how she won’t have to work hard anymore.  It turned out they weren’t in that passionate/stable relationship, and the boy was as strange as she is.  She always tried to show off how American she is.  In fact, she had far less American friends than I did.  She lied to people around her a lot.

Her mom would call my home and complain about her own daughter.  She never worked, except some part-time English teaching job.  She’d complain how her family is “poor.” She asked my mom to find a matchmaker for her daughter, since she had no choice but to marry off.  My mom introduced a matchmaker (also her friend) to Marza.  The matchmaker said she can’t do anything for her – quoting from her, Marza was insincere and could not read air.  She said she can’t risk losing clients and having a bad reputation because of her.

Somehow, Marza’s parents’ friend introduced this Korean doctor guy.  Who knows what happened, but it seems like they hit it off.  The guy is said to be of some rich family, and fond of expensive stuff…like Marza.  But knowing her, and given the fact that he likes her, I think he’s from one of those families where they have $$$ but lacks quality.

Usually, when someone says they will get married – someone who is close to me – I am a bit concerned, wondering he/she met the right person and how they will maintain a stable life.  Then I’m usually happy for them, especially I met them.  For this, I feel relief – for her parents, not her.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they file divorce few years later.

Now here’s the irony.  Few years ago, I was the hermit with few friends.  She went to ton of socials and knew everyone.  Now her parents almost begged me to come to her wedding, saying none of her friends are coming.  Maybe she didn’t invite them, because everyone knows her past and how crazy she is.  If only I did not have any connection with her family, I wouldn’t go either.  But I have to go.  I am terrible at putting a PR face when I’m with someone I really don’t like (business incidents excluded).  Usually, at friends’ wedding, I’d throw bad jokes and mess around with bride before the ceremony.  I can visualize myself just seeing her, with a weak smile, and simply say “hey, congratulations.”