Yesterday was the 12th of July.
Nothing unusual in Korea, of course, but I felt the need to call home in the same way that ex-pat Americans probably did on the 4th. Not because I personally celebrate the day, or feel patriotic about it, but because I knew that my parents’ house would be filled with my nearest and dearest, cheerfully squiffy on beer and The Sister’s homemade cocktails.
Dad’s lost his tobacco and to be honest I think he’s more keen to find it than to talk to you, said The Sister bluntly when I requested to speak to my father on hearing his voice amidst the general hullaballoo. I’m just sitting here in the kitchen… ohhh, would you like to smell the broth? She obligingly opened the bubbling pot and held the phone over it. I inhaled and made the appropriate wistful noises. The phone was passed to Granda, who ignored all my questions and shouted “I’m deaf, you know!” several times before just abandoning the phone, most likely to the great relief of my neighbours (and my throat). By this stage I was in a state of near hysteria, which Granny only heightened by inadvertently hanging up on me a couple of times and finally rushing to get me off the phone before she could accidentally “press one of these wee buttons again”.
It’s really nice to be a world traveller and all, but on days like that, hearing the chaos and confusion that is the house I grew up in, filled with the people I love, it would be wonderful to take a day off and teleport over there to be with them all.