The Grass Is Always Greener

In Korean jimjilbang, missing Korea on March 1, 2010 at 3:04 am

I miss hanging out in Dunkin Doughnuts- Korea style. It’s a whole different cup of coffee there.

There are some things about Korea that I consistently miss, and probably always will. One of those things is the jimgilbang. On a cold Sunday like today, I’d give anything to spend an afternoon at Dragon Hill Spa, sweating out impurities, and putting them right back in via caramel corn and patbimgsu.

How did I ever survive in America without this heavenly retreat from the cold harsh world? Maybe I just took a normal bath?

Sometimes (not in the case of the jimgilbang, because it truly is Heaven) it is easier to view life in Korea through rose-colored glasses. It all seems too perfect- my life 7 months ago.

I had hardly any responsibilities, lots of free time on the weekends, nicely exfoliated skin, a vacation every two months in which I could travel around Asia, weekly ROOK games, a great group of friends, and cheap kimbap at every corner. On top of that, everything was “new.” Sigh.

Yes, life seemed to be good. (and it was)

Today I’m faced with homework, studying for midterms, applying for jobs, Syracuse winters, having to pay more than $5 for a bowl of dolsot bimbimbap. A tough row to hoe.

I no longer have to miss this lovely view. I can see it whenever I visit my parents in Pennsylvania

But, after consulting my travel journals I recently discovered that when I first moved to Korea I strangely missed being able to purchase Cheddar cheese,(it is super expensive in Korea and only available in certain grocery stores), shopping at Whole Foods Market, being able to buy long jeans, swing dancing at The Jam Cellar, and my mom’s apple cake.

I guess I’ve come full circle. I’m now back at home, able to buy cheap Cheddar cheese, but wanting to buy cucumber kimchi.

I know it is part of the process to miss things about the culture you leave, and even part of life to want what you can’t have, but I still want my jimgilbang back!


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