Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Hey, when are you suppose to be in Korea?"

Living in Korea feels like I am in a dream. Even though I've told you about how much I like it here, in this case I'm literal. As if at some point I am going to wake up and be in California.

For the first two months here, almost every night I would have variations of the same dream. I would be hanging out with my family in familiar places, they would ask at some point, "Hey, when are you suppose to be in Korea?" and I would respond, "Holy shit!" and panic, knowing I'm suppose to be there but I'm not. Then I would wake up and feel anxiety about possibly forgetting something important.

Same thing happens if I watch a lot of t.v. at home. I'll be sucked into America through episodes, then go out to do some mundane errand, walk down the street and be shock a bit, think,"Oh yeah that's right, I'm in Korea." The shock turns into a lingering buzz for awhile, until I get use to the 'being illiterate' and the Korean chatter surrounding me. If I am listening to music while I'm out and about, it extends the buzz. To actually understand the ambient language is what prolongs the shock. Like my mind is being distracted by what my ears are hearing while simultaneously catching up to the images my eyes are trying to comprehend.

If that makes sense at all.

Confused as to which reality it true, as to whether I'm in California dreaming about Korea or if I'm in Korea dreaming about California, all my thoughts get mixed and my conception of reality is at a constant double check... especially at that limbo time between going to sleep and waking up.

I've really been able to relate to the movie Inception. I'm easily confused about my actual reality.

What I've notice now is, slowly but surely, I'm getting use to living in Korea. Things that I once marked to be out of the ordinary are now common occurrences, and rarely wasted on individual thought. My dreams about California are extinct. More and more each day, instead of noise that I block out naturally, I listen in on Korean conversations and see if I can pick out a word or two. My mind has finally caught up to the visions around me and I can clearly see I'm in Korea, regardless of how much English media I've soaked up throughout the day.

And even though my mind is adjusting to my environment, it continuously processes all sorts of new information every day. Korea and everything it has to offer will never cease to be different to what I'm normally use to.


  1. That definitely sounds like a surreal way of living. I really hope that someday soon, I'm able to partake in that dream, too.

  2. I got the inspiration from your blog post... so I have to say thank you!

  3. Very interesting, hon, and I can identify with it; you may find that when you return to California, you will experience the reverse, too, or at least feel very 'strange' and disoriented (no pun intended) at first, back in your native culture. - It's cool when you start picking up words in the local language, isn't it? I bet you'll learn a lot of Korean in your time there. Keep enjoying it! ~

  4. I'm so happy to see that you're enjoying yourself! I can't wait to find a time to come visit you!!!