Bethany: Thanksgiving in Busan

Nov 28

Bethany: Thanksgiving in Busan

So we’re a little bit on edge this morning.  It’s been a while since we’ve blogged, and it’s not that we’ve been super busy.  I’ve actually felt a lot of free time this week.  However, we’ve been freaking ourselves out by reading the news all week.  On Tuesday, North Korea caused some damage on the  South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, which is actually located so very very closely to North Korea and above the dividing line that it’s hard to understand why it’s even a part of SK at all.  Anyway, this has put further tension between the countries, still technically at war.  The Korean people don’t seem too worried about it, at least not the people we’ve been around.  My job mentioned NOTHING to us, even after I openly talked of my concerns, hoping someone like my boss would say, “Hey, this kind of thing is not all that unusual, and you shouldn’t worry too much about it, but we’ll keep you informed and safe in the event of a crisis.”  Of course, this kind of rhetoric from Wonderland is a pipe dream, as is any intention to keep its employees “in the loop.”

Adam’s job wasn’t too much better about consoling its employees, but someone did come and inform them about the Norks’ shelling the SK island and offered a “Hopefully  , SURELY, nothing will happen,” when confronted about the issues.  We feel uneasy about the silence and the situation in general, as we haven’t ever been this near (half day’s trip, maybe) to a real international conflict and wanted to prepare for a possible emergency.  We packed some clothes and our documents in a “just-in-case-we-have-to-get-the-heck-out-of-dodge bag” on Thanksgiving evening, which was a very strange holiday for us.

For me, I was very depressed on Thanksgiving.  Sure, I’ve had bouts of homesickness at one point or another when things don’t go my way or no one tells me anything because I’m American or I get a craving for Poptarts or Root Beer or something else hard/expensive to find here or I just have a bad day.  No day, though, was as difficult as Thanksgiving to get through.  Here, it was just another Thursday.  We just went for Korean bbq and got duck, because some kind of poultry is essential for the occasion.  Then we followed up with dessert of pecan pie ice cream at Baskin Robbins.  For Friday night, we made reservations to get our dinner at Hello Kimchi, a Mexican restaurant, that prepared a Thanksgiving feast for foreigners.  It was good food, but too little for the crowd.  It was family style, so the portions were not controlled by the kitchen.  With about 20 feasters, 1 turkey, stuffing (which was delicious with sausage in it, but there was much too little of it), deviled eggs, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a tiny little sampler platter of apple tarts and pumpkin pie slivers.  The desserts were so small if it were a chart showing “Time Spent Playing Jenga,” my piece would be the time actually playing the game.

Over our dinner, we talked about what we would do if North Korea has finally lost it.  I’m feeling easier about the situation, I think, now.  I mean, the Koreas have been trading fight faces every few months/years ever since the end of the Korean War; however, I don’t think they actually raise their fists, much less throw punches at all.  So although NK says it was provoked by the SK navy (who were apparently too close to NK), the victims were civilians in the destroyed village on SoKo soil.  Apparently the preplanned drills with the US in the Yellow Sea today are further provocation.  So we’ve kind of been glued to the news today, keeping an eye on the situation.  The media is just driving us wild because every headline is so sensational.  Surely, we’re worried for nothing

Anyway, in normal news, we are spending our weekends watching Christmas movies, sipping caramel macchiotos, reading books, singing Christmas songs, and staying warm.  The windchill is below freezing and our apartment has heated floors and a down-to-snuggle husband.

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