Monday, November 12, 2007

10/19 - 11/5 Old Friends, Aye?

I met Nancy in 1998 when we were placed in the same second level class at the Korean Language Institute. After graduating from the University of Toronto, she moved to Seoul and has made a nice life for herself as a successful voice actress. Over the years, she's become a very close friend and "home base" for all of my visits to Korea. In addition to opening her home, she's my partner in crime in Seoul. She suffers through noraebang (karaoke in a private room) as I sing my catalogue of Korean pop songs from the 1990's; we laugh at each other as we bowl yet another terrible game; we eat at Pusan Shikdang, the best dive restaurant in Shinchon, our old hang out; she expertly weaves us through the stalls of Namdaemun and Dongdaemun markets, some of the most complicated mazes in Seoul; we visit the World Cup Museum where we take silly photos and make asses of ourselves "playing soccer"; and she expands my knowledge of the city by sharing her latest finds. Plus, since many of her friends are ex-pats, I catch up on my Canadian, aye?

On one of our trips to Dongdaemun, we were walking towards a large shopping mall when I heard my name. As soon as I heard the voice, I knew it was Abel, one of our friends from KLI. Neither Nancy nor I had been in touch with him much but we always wondered how he was doing and what he was up to. Abel was the first Korean-Brazilian I met and his perspective had always interested me and Nancy. And before running into him on the street, we had literally spoken about wishing to meet him again. It was a huge coincidence that we were on the same street at the same time. We caught up at a cafe, after which Nancy and I went over all the things that had to have taken place for our serendipitous meeting with Abel to happen.

Will, another KLI friend, was also in town so we had a mini reunion. I can't believe we've all known each other for nine years already. A lot has changed. Will and Abel are now married and Abel also has a daughter. I'm sure we all look older but I pretty much see the same faces I remember from our carefree days as students. I also met with Korean friends who've also gotten married, have children and are well into their official adult lives. Almost always, we'd end up reminiscing about the good old days. Aren't we too young for that? I suppose it's trying to recapture that freedom with old friends that makes coming back to Korea so much fun.

Photos can be found here.

1 comment:

Ann said...

You can be a digital artist