Musings about Japan and life as a human, a cosplayer, a minority, a music lover, an English teacher.

First day in Seoul: My Grandmother

The flight to Korea was very short. Nothing like having to fly to and from America. I was welcomed by my mom and cousin at Incheon airport. My mom looked totally different from when I last saw her on Skype; she got her hair permed and everything. She said it was pretty typical of Koreans.

The itinerary includes staying in Seoul until Wednesday, and then on Thursday and Friday, we’re going to go to Gunsan, which is where my aunt and uncle lives. What I (and even my mom) didn’t expect was that apparently, a BUNCH of relatives are also coming to visit and have a dinner party. Hearing that made me extremely nervous, mostly for one reason: I don’t speak Korean, and I’m generally not good with meeting a bunch of new people at once. Hopefully I don’t shut down because of it

We took a shuttle bus to Seoul. My mom and I talked pretty much the whole way there. One of the things I was a bit nervous asking her was about my grandmother. She’s 97 now, and the last I heard about her when my mom came here 8 years ago was that my grandmother was forgetting things.

Now, it turns out that she has trouble recognizing people. My mother said that, when she first got to the care center, her brother asked my grandmother, “Who’s this?” and she answered my mom’s name immediately. A few minutes later though, she couldn’t remember. My mom said that the other elderly people in the same room said, “Ah, we know you. Your mother says your name all the time.” She also said that my grandmother used to write a lot, probably to try and remember things, but stopped because she doesn’t really feel like it anymore.

Hearing that almost made me cry, and even now my eyes sting a little bit just thinking about it. My mom didn’t skip a beat when she told me the story though, as if it was just any other conversation we were having. That’s just the way she is.


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