Hello / Goodbye

It’s like I’m always saying hello when you’re saying goodbye. And you’re saying “one more time” when I’m saying “I’m done.” 

I took a few days to come up north to my hometown and it is as aggravating and frustrating and wonderful and stinky and magnificent as ever. I truly do love / hate this little town; I truly do like / dislike the side of me it brings out.

I told my best friend this morning that Ktown, in NYC, never sleeps because even at 8am you can get a full dinner. Or proper sundubu soup. Or both! While I love the idea of it and have taken advantage of that many a night into a morning, I can also acknowledge that I don’t need that where I live now because nothing in my new town drives me to rage into the dying night like a bezerker on steroids!

You see, just 10 minutes before I was wondering at the miracle that is Ktown, I was stuck in a solid, non-moving, bonafide traffic jam. At 8 in the morning! On a Saturday!

And that’s the frustration. The never ending traffic even at “off hours” because there are never any real off hours. The constant construction. The continuous streams of humanity rubbing up against each other uncomfortably on sidewalks and in train cars and up and down escalators. The rooftop bars that always get a little too crowded and the wait for a drink a little too long. People peeing in the street, a NYC moment that up until yesterday I’d been spared after 33 years of occupying this city.

I have fun when I’m here but then it becomes too much. I love my friends who are here but I’d rather they come visit me and try a different pace for a a non-NY minute. I like looking at big buildings, unending examples of them along streets and avenues, until I start to feel closed in and locked away from reality. I’m amused by clever and new cocktails but let’s be honest: I always get my liquor straight.

It’s been a good visit, a refreshing one, but I long for my quiet, large apartment in a place a bit smaller but no less diverse and thriving. Maybe a tad cleaner. No 24-hour Koreatown, no, but I don’t need recovery sundubu because I probably didn’t drink all those shots the night before…


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