Category: Itaewon


Friday, December 17:  On Friday night, we take the KTX to Seoul.  The KTX is the high-speed train; it takes 1 hour and 40 minutes from Daegu to Seoul.  Apparently, according to the Korail website, it can go up to 300 km/hour.  It doesn’t seem to me it goes that fast.  I think it’s fast only because it makes only 2 or 3 stops.  I love the description of the KTX design on the Korail website:  “In order to reduce air resistance, the head part of front and back of the high-speed railroad is designed after streamlined shape of a shark, plus the characteristic of Korean culture which is the soft curve.”

So, Alex gets his first Asian train experience.  We arrive at Seoul Station, get on metro for one stop to Namyoung Station, and voila, right around the corner is our hotel, the Rainbow Hotel.  We check in and immediately go out in search of a place to have snacks and drinks; we find one that’s comfortable and sit and talk for a long time.  He tells me about his recurring dream of his true love Sarah, about another girl he met who conveniently forgot to tell him she had a boyfriend, about his closest friends.  I love this evening because we are so relaxed with each other and I feel so close to him after his time here with me.   I am sad that now his time here is drawing to a close.

the guard and alex at the palace in seoul

the guard and alex at the palace in seoul

Saturday, December 18:  In the morning, we venture out into Seoul to see Gyeongbokgung Palace.

the palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace

the guards at Gyeongbokgung Palace

the guards at Gyeongbokgung Palace

inside Gyeongbokgung Palace

inside Gyeongbokgung Palace

part of Gyeongbokgung Palace

part of Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung means Palace of Shining Happiness and was built by Chosun dynasty-era King Taejo in 1395, the fourth year of his reign.  The palace was destroyed several times by the Japanese, and now is only, at least in my mind, a bunch of poorly maintained empty buildings.  The only interesting thing is seeing a bunch of palace guards marching about with flags, and getting to take some pictures with them.  They seem quite disgruntled at having to pose with all the ridiculous tourists.

We go to the National Folk Museum which sits at the northern end of the Palace.  We don’t go inside but just wander around the grounds where cool statues and folk carvings abound.  We discover our Chinese astrological signs; surprisingly, Alex and I have the same sign: the sheep.  I don’t much care for this because I don’t consider myself a sheep!!

alex and i share the sheep astrological sign ~ baaaaa!

alex and i share the sheep astrological sign ~ baaaaa!

National Folk Museum grounds

National Folk Museum grounds

Alex and friend

Alex and friend

a party at the National Folk Museum

a party at the National Folk Museum

me at the National Folk Museum

me at the National Folk Museum

Alex

Alex

In Seoul

In Seoul

A Korean friend of mine who used to be into heavy metal in his younger days (his name is Young Dae, oddly),  suggests that we go to a huge guitar market at Jongro-3 station: Nak won sanga.  So. After the folk museum we venture into this market, where Alex buys two Korean ceramic type of musical instruments: one for himself and one for his friend for Christmas.  Then we go to Itaewon where we eat chicken schwarma at a Turkish restaurant in the Arab area, see the mosque, and browse in the English bookstore What the Book?  Since we are loaded down with a few book purchases, we return to the hotel to drop them off and taxi to City Hall to check out the Christmas decorations, which frankly were pretty darn disappointing.  We wandered around the stream and saw the minimalist lights, then went into JS Texas Bar for a light dinner of shrimp salad and beers.  We have to kill time for a while before taking the Seoul City Bus Tour, so we wander around the streets and step into a PC bang to check our emails.

alex at the mosque in the arab section of itaewon

alex at the mosque in the arab section of itaewon

The City Bus Tour is about an hour and a half of traversing back and forth by bus across the various Han River bridges.  Apparently each one of these bridges has some great importance, some grand design.  That is the tendency of Koreans, to think everything in their country is such a unique treasure, unlike anything found elsewhere in the world.  I actually find this nationalistic pride quite annoying.  (I could go on and on about this subject and I will in a final blog about Korea when I leave here!)  Anyway.  This bus tour would be fine except we’re supposed to see the city all lit up but it’s all a blur because the windows are all fogged up.  At one point  the bus takes us up to Nam-san Mountain to see Seoul Tower, but they only give us 20 minutes to wander around, not enough time to go up in the tower.

downtown Seoul

downtown Seoul

Seoul at Christmas

Seoul at Christmas

Seoul

Seoul

Korean what-nots

Korean what-nots

Alex in wonderland

Alex in wonderland

JS Texas Bar where we have beers to kill time before the city tour

JS Texas Bar where we have beers to kill time before the city tour

We’re both tired after the day, so we go back to the hotel and relax.   All night long, Alex can’t sleep.  He’s worried about his flight the next day.  On top of that, for the entire time he’s been here, he’s been complaining about my snoring!  All night he keeps saying, Mom!  You’re snoring!  Stop it!!  He actually gets quite vicious about it.  I don’t know what to do other than to stay awake myself, which I don’t care to do!

Sunday, December 19:  As Alex barely gets a bit of sleep, I let him sleep in late in the morning.  Finally, we go out, making our way back to Itaewon to have lunch at a Thai restaurant, which is delicious.

christmas tree near city hall in seoul

christmas tree near city hall in seoul

We go back to What the Book? to kill time and finally head to Seoul Station to catch the Express bus to Incheon airport.  We have coffee in the airport, kill more time, and then, alas, sadly, Alex departs back to the USA, where he will have Christmas with his dad and his brother, leaving me behind to while away my first Christmas ever all by myself in a foreign country 😦

As an afterward, he missed his connecting flight in San Francisco, was told he’d be on standby for the next flight, and ended up making it on that flight!  I was so worried about him coming here and getting home safely; it was a relief when Mike called to tell me he made it home.

at the airport after 17 days with mom ~ priceless

at the airport after 17 days with mom ~ priceless

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Sunday, November 14:  This morning, I slept in a bit and then went to meet Mithad in Itaewon.  First we went to my favorite Western bookstore in Korea, What the Book.  We went to my favorite Turkish restaurant for schwarma.  Then Mithad’s friend Ayman met up with us and we visited the War Memorial of Korea.

Entrance to the War Memorial of Korea

Entrance to the War Memorial of Korea

The Korean Infantry at one time had their headquarters on the grounds of the War Memorial of Korea.  This is the largest memorial of its kind in the world, according to Official Site of Korea Tourism: The War Memorial of Korea.

huge sculpture in front of the museum

huge sculpture in front of the museum

Huge statues of soldiers from Korea's wars

Huge statues of soldiers from Korea’s wars

Statues of soldiers

Statues of soldiers

You can see the size of these by comparing them to me

You can see the size of these by comparing them to me

me under the hand of a soldier

me under the hand of a soldier

Before going inside the museum, we spend some time exploring the displays of different weapons and military equipment outside the building.  Around 110 pieces of large military equipment/symbols are on display. They include Korean War sculptures, the Statue of Brethren, the Statue of King Gwanggaeto, AH-2, T-34 of the North, US B-52 and others.

Flags lining the pathway

Flags lining the pathway

Military equipment

Military equipment

Battleship

Battleship

Bomber

Bomber

Tanks

Tanks

Plane

Plane

Me with a plane

Me with a plane

Mithad and me on the battleship

Mithad and me on the battleship

more military equipment

more military equipment

Exhibits inside the building display equipment used during the Korean War in such a way as to invite comparison between the items. Large weaponry and equipment used by different countries during World War II and the Vietnam War are also on display. In the Large Equipment Exhibit on the second floor, many kinds of defense industry equipment and both real and model weapons are displayed. In the Bangsan Equipment Exhibit, you can look at weapons and war equipment produced in Korea. In the War Memorial’s Storage Room, 17,800 files and artifacts of war are preserved. Modern damage control and prevention devices have been installed to keep these materials safe from harm (Official Site of Korea Tourism: The War Memorial of Korea).

on the grounds of the museum

on the grounds of the museum

the museum

the museum

another statue on the grouns

another statue on the grounds

* Memorial Hall
This an exhibition hall dedicated to the memory of patriots involved in past war efforts. The place presents sculptures, reliefs, and wall paintings under the theme of overcoming hardship, and working towards the unity, prosperity and eternity of the nation.

large drum inside the museum

large drum inside the museum

inside the museum: don't know what this is, but it looks cool

inside the museum: don’t know what this is, but it looks cool

war paintings

war paintings

me in front of a war painting

me in front of a war painting

* War History
The place features a war history from prehistoric era to the Japanese colonial period. Military remains, relics, and documents are on display as well. Among them are war & victory records, ammunition, the Turtle Ship (and other military vessels from the Joseon Dynasty), fortress models, and more.

old ships

old ships

Mithad and an old ship

Mithad and an old ship

* Korean War
Here, visitors can learn about the background of the Korean War, the progression of the war and how a truce was eventually established. Exhibits also display ammunition used by hostile and friendly forces, information and artifacts from people displaced by the war, and information on major battles.

Korean War diorama

Korean War diorama

Korean War Diorama

Korean War Diorama

After the War Memorial, I parted ways with Mithad and Ayman and headed back to the Rainbow Hotel, where I picked up my bag and took the metro to the train station.  I took the slow train back at 4:43 and arrived in Daegu at 8:30.  I was home in my cozy flat by 9:30.  This is the last time I ever see Mithad.

Friday, October 8:  This evening, I catch the 7:51 p.m. train to Seoul.  I am going to visit Mithad, an Egyptian friend of mine.  I arrive in Seoul at 11:46 p.m.  After I arrive, we go to a bar, where we have a few drinks and end up talking until 4 in the morning.

Saturday, October 9:  Today we go out to explore Itaewon, a part of the greater Seoul area that is often described as a foreign country within Korea. Originally formed by U.S. soldiers who remained in Korea after the Korean War (1950-1953), the district was mainly populated by Americans until local and international tourists hit the area following the Seoul Olympics in 1988 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Since then, Itaewon has become a multicultural district and is characterized by stores selling clothing and accessories of varying styles as well as international restaurants and bars, according to the Official Site of Korea Tourism.

view of Seoul from an Itaewon rooftop

view of Seoul from an Itaewon rooftop

One of the reasons Mithad and his Muslim friends live here is because Itaewon is home to the Seoul Central Mosque, which oversees all ten Islamic mosques in Korea, and ‘Islamic Street,’ an area of Itaewon that is becoming established as a special region catering towards those of the Islamic faith. Together with the 100,000 or so Muslim worshipers living in Korea, the number of visitors to the mosque continues to rise every year. The mosque was opened in 1976 to promote friendly ties between Korea and Muslim countries and to introduce Islamic culture to Korea. The mosque has on average 20 to 30 worshipers during the weekdays, but the number shoots to hundreds on Fridays and the weekends when there is a joint service.

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View of the Seoul Central Mosque from an Itaewon rooftop

The Seoul Central Mosque is also responsible for the Halal certification of Korean products for export to Islamic countries. Malaysia and other Muslim countries only allow imports of meat slaughtered according to Islamic regulations, designated as ‘Halal’ products. To export to these countries, exporters are required to obtain Halal certification from an authorized organization. The Seoul Central Mosque is the only official institution of Halal certification in Korea that is recognized by Islamic countries. Since the early 1990s, it has certified 174 types of goods for export, including Korean dairy products, ramyeon noodles, kimchi, and tea. Some products are marked with an official Halal logo produced by the Korean Islamic Foundation. (Official Site of Korea Tourism: Islamic Cultural Spots in Itaewon)

my Egyptian friend Mithad

my Egyptian friend Mithad

the Seoul Central Mosque in Itaewon

the Seoul Central Mosque in Itaewon

the Seoul Central Mosque in Itaewon

the Seoul Central Mosque in Itaewon

me at the the Seoul Central Mosque in Itaewon

me at the Seoul Central Mosque in Itaewon

the Seoul Central Mosque in Itaewon

the Seoul Central Mosque in Itaewon

inside the Seoul Central Mosque

inside the Seoul Central Mosque

minaret of the Seoul Central Mosque

minaret of the Seoul Central Mosque

me at the Seoul Central Mosque

me at the Seoul Central Mosque

We go to a Pakistani restaurant for dinner and then we walk around Itaewon just checking out the district.  It’s really quite a tacky place, in my eyes.

the Pakistani restaurant where we eat dinner

the Pakistani restaurant where we eat dinner

streets of Itaewon

streets of Itaewon

along the streets of Itaewon

along the streets of Itaewon

Since Mithad has lived here for quite some time, he meets a number of his Muslim friends on the streets.

Mithad and two Egyptian friends

Mithad and two Egyptian friends

One of Mithad’s friends, Ayman, meets up with us, and we take a taxi to Seoul Tower.  Seoul Tower opened to the public on October 15, 1980 and has since become a major tourist attraction. The 236.7m Seoul Tower sits atop Namsan Mountain (243m) and offers panoramic views of Seoul and the surrounding areas.

Thirty years and countless visitors later, the structure was renamed ‘N Seoul Tower.’ The letter ‘N’ stands for the tower’s ‘new’ look, which resulted from a 15 billion won remodeling in Dec 2005. With the new lighting system and changes to the tower’s overall color scheme, event coordinators can now decorate the tower for each new season or event. Currently, an ongoing lighting theme titled ‘Flower of Seoul,’ uses searchlights to light up the tower each night from 7pm to midnight (Official Site of Korea Tourism: N Seoul Tower).

Seoul Tower

Seoul Tower

Ayman and Mithad

Ayman and Mithad

night view of Seoul from Seoul Tower

night view of Seoul from Seoul Tower

Ayman in the tower

Ayman in the tower

Love messages at Seoul Tower

Love messages at Seoul Tower

Sunday, October 10: Today we just hang out for a while at a PC bang, have coffee and talk.  I take the  KTX home at 5:10.

Thursday, May 20: Buddha’s birthday was cause for celebration in teaching circles as we got our first official holiday from school!!  I took advantage of the three-day weekend by traveling to Seoul for the first time… all alone.  It was the first time I’ve traveled alone in Korea…in fact I think it was the first time I ever traveled alone period.  And I found it incredibly depressing.  During the dreary weekend, I decided definitively to stop calling Ahmed, and though the decision took a huge burden off of me, it also felt hauntingly lonely.  Frankly, it ruined Seoul for me.

In essence, Buddha deserted me.  On his birthday, no less.  Funny, back in April I had hiked up the mountain to make a wish to Gatbawi, the Buddha with the flat hat.  I don’t see any harm in telling my wish, because now it certainly will never come true.  I wished wholeheartedly (apparently wholeheartedness is required if Gatbawi is to grant your wish) that Ahmed S would be lovingly with me for my life.  That was the way I worded it.  I wanted him to be with me, though not to necessarily marry me, and to love me, as long as I was alive.

I had spent an amazing 4 days with Ahmed in Egypt on my way to Korea.  But when I arrived in Korea, I posted the pictures I had taken of us in Egypt on Facebook.

Ahmed and me in Cairo - February 2010

Ahmed and me in Cairo – February 2010

Right away, I discovered he had hidden them on his page.  I went ballistic on him, accusing him of having ulterior motives with me… I accused him of trying to get citizenship to the US,  or wanting me for some reason other than that he liked me.  He didn’t really have an answer for me as to why he hid the pictures, but instead was furious that I doubted him and said I would never understand that by questioning him, his pride was at stake.  He said I could never just believe that he liked me from the beginning.  And then he told me he needed some space from me and he would talk to me at some unknown future date.

I suffered a lot in March over this.  I liked Ahmed immensely and believed him to be a good man.  I foolishly continued to call him about once a week, just to touch base, while also giving him the space he asked for.  Meanwhile he was taking a series of exams for his Master’s degree and said we would start talking regularly after the exams were over in mid-April.   I talked to him once a week by phone and finally, after giving it much alleged thought, he said he DID want me in my life.  He just wanted me to give him time to finish his exams.

So I continued this agony of calling him once a week through April, when his exams were over.  It was difficult to reach him as he works every day except Friday in the hospital and clinic from 8 am to 11 pm.  Between the time difference and the fact that when I called he was often with patients, he wouldn’t answer many times.  This caused me incredible anxiety, because when I called I feared he would never answer me and in fact never talk to me again.

Finally, on Thursday night, May 20, before I was to leave for Seoul Friday morning, I spoke to Ahmed by phone and had a nice conversation.  He said he was excited about my upcoming trip to Cairo, for which I had already bought my plane tickets.  I told him I was going to Seoul and he said, oh, so we won’t be able to talk on my day off – Friday?  I said, well, I suppose I could get online but since I’ll be in a hotel, I’ll have to go to an internet cafe.  So if I get online, you really need to be there at 5:00 your time.  He said, well, call me first and I’ll tell you if I can get online.  Then we can chat.

Friday, May 21: So, on Friday, I took the 4-hour train to Seoul.  I arrived and checked into my hotel, then took off to visit the palaces.  I first went to the most famous palace, Gyeongbok-Gung, the Palace of Shining Happiness, built in 1394.  The palace was really disappointing to me; it wasn’t really interesting and seemed in a sad state.  It was also incredibly hot and I felt really alone.  There was a nice pond and some gardens that offered some respite, but overall, I was not impressed.

Gyeongbok-Gung Palace

Gyeongbok-Gung Palace

Pavilion at Gyeongbok-Gung

Pavilion at Gyeongbok-Gung

Pond at Gyeongbok-Gung

Pond at Gyeongbok-Gung

A pretty garden at Gyeongbok-Gung

A pretty garden at Gyeongbok-Gung

Garden and arbor at Gyeongbok-Gung

Garden and arbor at Gyeongbok-Gung

Arboretum at Gyeongbok-Gung

Arboretum at Gyeongbok-Gung

Pond at Gyeongbok-Gung

Pond at Gyeongbok-Gung

Next I went to Changgyeong-Gung Palace (Palace of Bright Rejoicing), originally built as a summer palace by Goryeo Dynasty King Sukjong in 1104.  Again, I found this disappointing, except for one lovely pond with a pavilion.  Everywhere I looked I saw couples and happy families.  I wanted to have a few pictures of myself taken at some spots, but I couldn’t find people who seemed open to taking one for me.  I was hot and alone and tired.

Changgyeong-Gung

Changgyeong-Gung

Changgyeong-Gung

Changgyeong-Gung

Changgyeong-Gung

Changgyeong-Gung

Changgyeong-Gung

Changgyeong-Gung

Pavilion at Changgyeong-Gung

Pavilion at Changgyeong-Gung

Pond and pavilion at Changgyeong-Gung

Pond and pavilion at Changgyeong-Gung

Changgyeong-Gung

Changgyeong-Gung

Lonely me at Changgyeong-Gung Palace in Seoul

Lonely me at Changgyeong-Gung Palace in Seoul

I sat in a little restaurant and had a pomegranate juice and watched all the people.  Everyone was with someone else; it seemed I was the only one alone in the world.  I felt anxious about having to get online to meet Ahmed, because I had a feeling that once again he would let me down.  I wished I had told him I would just talk to him when I returned home to Daegu, instead of having it hanging over my head to try to meet him online and then have him not show up.

Anyway, after wandering about the palace for a while longer, I finally made my way to the National Folk Museum of Korea.  There I found on the grounds some cool statues that I photographed.  I enjoyed this place most of all because I found the statues really cool.  The grounds were lovely and shaded.  I went into the actual museum only to promptly turn around and walk out because it wasn’t air-conditioned.

National Folk Museum of Korea

National Folk Museum of Korea

National Folk Museum of Korea

National Folk Museum of Korea

me at the National Folk Museum of Korea

me at the National Folk Museum of Korea

National Folk Museum of Korea

National Folk Museum of Korea

National Folk Museum of Korea

National Folk Museum of Korea

After leaving the Folk Museum, I headed to Seoul Tower to try to see the view of Seoul. On the way to the Tower, I happened upon the Ganghwamun Lantern Exhibition.

Ganghwamun Lantern Exhibition

Ganghwamun Lantern Exhibition

Ganghwamun Lantern Exhibition

Ganghwamun Lantern Exhibition

Ganghwamun Lantern Exhibition

Ganghwamun Lantern Exhibition

Ganghwamun Lantern Exhibition

Ganghwamun Lantern Exhibition

Ganghwamun Lantern Exhibition

Ganghwamun Lantern Exhibition

Ganghwamun Lantern Exhibition

Ganghwamun Lantern Exhibition

Ganghwamun Lantern Exhibition

Ganghwamun Lantern Exhibition

Lanterns from the previous weekend's lantern festival

Lanterns from the previous weekend’s lantern festival

When I finally arrived at Seoul Tower, the line to the cable car was two hours long!!  Instead, I went to a pasta restaurant and had a horrible pasta dish with chewy hunks of clams and some strange mushrooms.

I went to my hotel after dinner, got comfy and watched TV for a while, waiting till 11 pm when I would try to call Ahmed.  I felt so anxious and wished I hadn’t told him I would talk to him.  Sure enough, when 11 rolled around, I called and he didn’t pick up.  I called again two more times and no answer.  Finally, furious at him for making a plan to meet me online and then not showing up for the appointment, I quit calling and went to sleep.

Saturday, May 22:  The next day I spent shopping.  I went first to Itaewon which is supposed to be geared to American soldiers and foreigners.  I didn’t find anything of interest there.  I went next to Insa-Dong and found nothing there.  Finally, I went to Dongdae-Mun Market, the largest general market in the country.  I have never seen so much ugly stuff in my entire life!  I finally found a decent department store, but when I saw several things I liked, the salespeople refused to let me try them on.  In one case, I really wanted to try on a cute green shirt.  I asked to try it on and the saleswoman vehemently refused.  By then I was sick of this attitude and I said, “Why?  How do you expect me to buy something without trying it on?”  She said, “My English not good.” And she grabbed the shirt away from me and put it back on the rack.  I went over to the rack and started to unbutton the shirt to try it on over my shirt.  She came over an grabbed it away from me.  I said again, Why can’t I try it on?  Why?  I can’t buy something without trying it!!”  She said again, no English!  I said, You know what?  You’re a BITCH!  Do you understand THAT English word?  She clearly did, as her face registered extreme shock!

Later that night, I tried to call Ahmed again.  He had given me a general rule that if I called while he was at work, if he didn’t answer it meant he was with a patient and I should try back in a half hour.  I did this 4 times and he never picked up!  I never have understood why he could never just pick up the phone and tell me he couldn’t talk and I should call him back at such-and-such a time.  After these four attempts, I gave up and felt a relief that I’d decided not to call anymore that night.  It came to my mind then that in order to erase all such anxiety from my life, I should just stop calling him altogether.  He had never contacted me once since I arrived in Korea; it was always me doing the contacting.  Before I met him, he had made all the contacts online.  But after, it was always me.

Sunday, May 23:  As Sunday came, I slowly resolved never to call Ahmed again.  I knew with absolute certainty that if I stopped calling him, he would never contact me.  I FINALLY understood, deep in my heart, that he didn’t care for me at all.  I could no longer continue to deceive myself about this.  And deceiving myself all this time is exactly what I had been doing.

I checked out of the hotel and went in the rain to the Han River to take a cruise.  It was such a dreary day, and though I felt a sense of relief that I’d made this decision about Ahmed, I also felt incredibly sad.  I knew he didn’t care for me, and that hurt pervaded all my being.  The clouds and the rain during the Han River cruise only echoed my deepest feelings of loneliness.

The park by the Han River

The park by the Han River

Park by the Han River

Park by the Han River

Gardens near the Han River

Gardens near the Han River

Han River

Han River

Cruise boat down the Han River

Cruise boat down the Han River

Han River views

Han River views

Han River views

Han River views

Lonely on the Han River

Lonely on the Han River

During the cruise, an older Tunisian man with extremely bad teeth made sad attempts to flirt with me.  I thought, this is what it’s come to.  I can only attract men now who are old and have bad teeth.  I felt even more depressed at this sad state of affairs.

Han River views

Han River views

Han River views

Han River views

I left the cruise and went to see Jogye-Sa Temple, the only major temple right in the heart of Seoul.  Neither ancient or historic, it’s the HQ of the Jogye sect of Korean Buddhism.  The main hall is one of the largest temple halls in Seoul and it has beautiful carved lattice-work designs on the front doors.  Inside, set on a pedestal and seated on a cushion, a large gilt image of the Seokgamoni Buddha is flanked by two other statues.  A 7-tier stone pagoda sits in the courtyard, supposedly housing relics of the historical Buddha brought here by a Sri Lankan monk in 1914.

Entrance to Jogye-Sa Temple

Entrance to Jogye-Sa Temple

Jogye-Sa Temple

Jogye-Sa Temple

Jogye-Sa Temple

Jogye-Sa Temple

Colorful Jogye-Sa Temple

Colorful Jogye-Sa Temple

Carved door at Jogye-Sa Temple

Carved door at Jogye-Sa Temple

Buddhas at Jogye-Sa Temple

Buddhas at Jogye-Sa Temple

The Buddha at Jogye-Sa: He deserted me:-(

The Buddha at Jogye-Sa: He deserted me:-(

I rushed from the Temple to Seoul station and caught the slow train back to Daegu.  I felt absolutely certain I would never call Ahmed again.  I had mixed feelings, including relief at finally being able to rid myself of all the anxiety I had felt over him for 3 months.  I felt bitter that I had let him ruin my first 3 months here in Korea, an especially difficult time anyway.  But I also felt sad that what I felt for him was all in vain.  I felt that all the love I’d been sending his way all these months had just evaporated into cyber-space.  Plainly, I felt alone and wondering about where I belong in this world.

Later in the week, I removed his number from my phone.  I took the tags off of the pictures from Egypt so that my photos would no longer appear on his page.  Then I deleted him from Facebook, from Skype, and from Yahoo messenger.

 

Thursday, May 27:  I wrote Ahmed a final email:  In the subject line, I wrote: Now I know…

I’m sorry Ahmed.  I just can’t bear to make one more phone call to you and have you not pick up.  I was in love with you….I was from the beginning and still am.  But it has become so obvious to me that you don’t care about me.   Since I’ve come to Korea, you have made absolutely no effort with me.  Your actions speak louder than all the words you can ever say. 
 
I am hurt beyond what I can say.  But I can no longer deceive myself that you care anything for me.  I just wish you had told me this directly instead of just avoiding me when I called and making absolutely no effort whatsoever.  I don’t know what I ever did to deserve this kind of treatment from you.  I have always been kind and giving to you and all I ever did wrong was to love you.
 
Anyway, I will miss you.  Take care,
Cathy

DONE!  I’ve erased him from my life.  Now how do I get him out of my memory?  Only time, I fear will help….

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