(Written two weeks after coming home.)
Already I miss Korea. I was desperate to leave the situation I was in, but Korea itself was never the problem.
I miss walking up the uneven sidewalk to the crosswalk, where I always waited. Sometimes I waited with others, sweat pouring off me in the summer humidity.
Sometimes I waited in silence, the special padded silence of falling snow, on those rare mornings it fell.
Sometimes I would run into a coworker. Let’s leave it at that.
I miss the walk; that calm ten to twelve minutes on the way, when the steady rhythm of my feet evened out the day ahead of me. The first wrinkle ironed.
I must have walked that way and back hundreds of times. Almost every day for two years. Sometimes on weekends too. I wonder if I had closed my eyes and felt with my feet if I could have guessed where I stood at any point along the way.
I miss waiting for the 102 bus to Jeongja, where I played D&D. I miss walking to the station in fine weather to the mall to shop, or just to the Kimbap King to get food that didn’t come from a convenience store.
I miss the spring rain of cherry blossoms.
I miss the few friends I made there. I miss the things we said to each other every day.
Funny, how quickly all the problems shrink as they move past. Funny, how everything that seemed heinous seems laughable now. Funny. It’s not.
Korea from this moment looks like my regular life, the one I will return to when I wake up.
I wonder what Korea will look like when I realize I have woken up.
I wonder what Korea will look like ten years from now.
Korea, Korea, land that I miss.