My dad came to Korea for a very short visit. I had to work during the week, so the visit felt even shorter. We put in a lot of effort though to see a few things, eat everything, and have tons of fun.
Due to jet lag and miscommunication, my dad started his trip by getting himself to Busan alone while I was about as far as I could be from it… He was happy to eat all his Korean food favorites, such as samgyeopsal, kimchi jjigae, galbi, omurice, and curry. We walked around different neighborhoods in Korea, including Nampo-dong, Seomeyeon, PNU, Gwangan, and Kyungsung University. He hadn’t visited Busan in at least 25 years! I loved seeing his face when he first saw the Diamond Bridge in Gwangan (which wasn’t here back then!), going to a cat cafe, and seeing that Camp Haleiwa had been reconstructed into a public park, Busan Citizens Park.
I loved having him here. I even took him to work with me on a day where I only had two classes to teach. We had numerous cups of coffee. He explained to me that Korean coffee tasted like, “…when you leave coffee in a pot overnight and you’re too lazy to make a new pot in the morning, so you just microwave the next day. Then, you burn it when you microwave it.
On his last day, a Sunday, we rented a car and I drove us up north to Osan Air Base. It was a long drive, but definitely worth it. We ate American food at Chili’s Restaurant and bought essentials on base (e.g. Cheetos and Chips Ahoy).
Even though the trip was short, I hope he comes back. It also serves as another reminder to ask myself how much longer I want to be away from home.