Monday, August 3, 2009
Things to do with your parents while in East Asia, part I
Today I wandered down to Itaewon to book some tickets to Japan. My parents will be making their first journey across the Pacific this fall and we will be making a one week journey to the land of the rising sun, book ended by two weeks in the land of morning calm.
I had to work hard to arrange for the one week off in October - a busy month in Korean public school, as well as perhaps the best time to travel through East Asia. Spring does bring the cherry blossoms, but it also unfortunately brings the yellow dust. Thanks, China - you and your lack of clean coal technology...
Anyway, the trip has been talked about for a long time and the tickets from Canada to and from Seoul have been booked for some time too. After dropping by old Xanadu Travel (an agency that was frequented more than a few times last year), I'm starting to put things a bit more in perspective: how much time will be available to us, here and there, and what will my schedule allow for?
Well, 3 weeks will allow for a lot, though a significant portion of that will be me at work. I'm sure that my parents and my students will regard each other will equal fascination, but I'm going to do my darndest to plan all of my lessons prior to October so that there's no need for any extra time at work. In other words, September will be a busy month.
But honestly, I couldn't be more excited. My mom traveled to the U.K. once upon my youth, and my dad, who joined the Canadian Navy at the tender age of 16 has seen a great deal more of the world, though it's been a while. He and my sister did make the trek to Australia for a month prior to my sister's wedding, which is nearly a decade ago now. In other words, it's been some time since my parents have been off of the continent, and after having lived in Korea for what amounts to very close to two years now, I'm pretty excited to get them out here. I've got lots to show them, and very little to shield them from.
I'm excited - even today, as it is every time this happens, I see myself in the foreigners who walk about Seoul with parents in-tow. That'll be me in a couple of months - fanny-packs, sandals and socks, heads moving this way and that, trying to take it all in. I've got friends, both Korean and foreign who can't wait to meet them and who can't wait to show them around. Color me giddy. My mom and pop are going to join me in the land of the kimchi! I wonder what they'll think of Johnny...