Reminders of What I Left Behind

September 8th, 2018

I capped off my summer by returning to my home away from home. South Korea. I didn’t really do much in the way of touristy stuff. Why would I? I did all that in the four-and-a-half years that I lived there. I spent most of the time spending time with my friends and loved ones and hanging out at my old haunts. I spent a lot of time with my girlfriend, ate a lot of food, and got out and caught a couple of punk shows. Leaving was rough. Correction. Leaving again was rougher than leaving the first time. It was a brutal reminder of what I had left behind.

I missed the punk shows. Walking into a room, knowing everybody there. People knowing me, being happy to see me. I missed the food. I can’t find jjimdak here in Chicago. Sweet Holy Jesus do I miss jjimdak. If I had to live off of one food for the rest of my life, it would be jjimdak. I hung out at the vinyl bag cocktail place, ran into everybody on the streets of downtown Daegu. Hopped down to Busan, hung out on the beach, saw a show, had an Irish breakfast at the Wolfhound Pub in Haeundae. I hung out at Cafe Slow Life and worked on writing. I walked along the Shinchon River at night with my girlfriend and drank beer. I was able to hang out with most of my former bandmates, albeit separately. It was like I never left. And that’s what made it so hard. It was a lovely reminder of all the things (and especially the people) I’d left behind.

I’m not saying that it caused me to doubt my decision to leave and come to school. I am honestly somewhat glad to be getting back to work and school. I need things to do, I need the distraction. Next week I’m getting to go to Riot Fest, which is exciting. I haven’t been since 2012, I had been in Korea for every one since then. So at least that’s a reason to feel good about coming back. More on that next week.