This past weekend was my fella's last in Korea. On Saturday we braved the torrential rain with a few of my co-workers and went to catch a movie at the Puchon International Film Festival. Battle Royale was playing at 2pm in newly released 3D and the pop-out blood splatters made it even more ridiculous than I'd remembered. They showed it with both English (on the bottom) and Korean subtitles (on the side) which was kind of cool. I'm pretty sure the festival runs through this Friday so try to catch something if you're in the area. I recommend Om Shanti Om which I know is playing a few times this week, it's so much fun.
Then on Saturday night we went into Hongdae, which I pretty much consider a Korean cultural experience in and of itself. For one, we were able to bear witness to the fact that Koreans are the best dancers because they absolutely dance like goobers and don't care what anyone thinks (which is awesome). Also, that pesky language barrier brought on amusing results when Mike tried to order a glass of Glenfiddich whisky and ended up with a turquoise cocktail that tasted like Gushers (he didn't drink it). His second attempt was successful since he actually pointed it out on the drink menu but didn't realize why the bartender gave him a funny look when he said "no ice" until his expected glass of whisky was presented in a shot glass. This is why I stick to rum and cokes.
The Hongdae night ended as a night in Hongdae always should, with a sunrise and McDonald's. We slept until the early afternoon, packed up a bit, then went to do some last minute present shopping. After ice cream cones and a movie (The Chaser, oh my god, I am still mad at that ajumma shop keeper) we went to have galbi for dinner.
After dinner we spoiled ourselves with more ice cream and watched another movie (well half, it wasn't very good). I'd really just wanted us to have a relaxing day at home because when I left in November things were really rushed and I feel like we didn't have time to say goodbye. So Sunday was quiet but in a good way.
Monday morning we were up early to catch the bus to the airport. The lines were long but after he was all checked-in he still had about two and a half hours so we went to find breakfast. We ended up at Bennigan's (they have a few in Korea) and split a delicious Monte Cristo sandwich before heading down to security to say goodbye. One of us might have been a mess.
The security at Incheon has automatic doors that you walk through once they've checked your passport and boarding pass but as long as they're open you can see through to the other side. So I waited until he was all the way through before leaving. The line took about 10 minutes so I had to keep waiting for another passenger to come along for the doors to slide open so I could see where he was in line. In retrospect it must have looked pretty silly, my standing there sniffling, staring at doors that kept opening and closing. Luckily when he actually went through the metal detector a huge group of passengers were just coming up to security so I was able to catch his eye and get a wave. He made it safely back home last night with no problems.
Living by myself I've gotten into a familiar routine. I know exactly where everything is, not just in my "bedroom" but in the kitchen, bathroom, fridge, drawers, closet, etc. When I do laundry, exactly the things that I want washed get washed. I wake up when I want and go to bed when I want. I don't have to be quiet or turn down lights because someone else is sleeping and I don't have to knock on the bathroom door to make sure it's empty.
Having someone else here for a month threw all of that out the window. I was all mixed up and wouldn't realize that we'd run out of butter because I wasn't the one who cooked last or that a certain shirt hadn't been washed because someone else had pressed the start button on the laundry. It was confusing and strange and after seven months alone, very abrupt.
When I came home last night, it was the first time in recent weeks that I had to use my key when returning from work. Things were back to the way they were. I walked into a dark, empty apartment like I always do.
But something- that something that makes all those mix-ups and confusions so wonderfully and completely worth it- was missing.