April 20-22, 1997

The Poet and I parted ways at Kimpo and I made for Mokdong. I already told you I never saw JT again, but most of my stuff was still at his apartment. I needed to collect it and I didn't really want to run into him and have a dramatic scene. So I first went to Shinjeong and secured a small, cheap room at a motel.

Having settled in there I waited for the hour when I was pretty sure JT would be teaching and I went to collect my things. I let myself in with my key and was surprised to find JT's brother sitting in the kitchen. I told him I was only there to get my stuff and I would be out of there. He gave me a look that was kinda sympathetic and kinda confused at the same time. I didn't volunteer any other information like where I was staying or when I was headed back to the States. Humping my giant backpack, I left.

Back at my cheap motel room I called the airline office in Seoul and got my flight back to the States moved up a day. That would leave me 2 nights and one full day to tie up the loose ends of this trip. Shopping, packing, fare thee wells.
I stopped in at MeongSeok's traditional tea and cocktail house in Insadong. He was not there, but I noticed a poem by the Poet was decorating one wall. I asked the Arbeit girl about MeongSoek and she called him up. He told the girl to give me some liquor to take with me. I ended up with two bottles of Hongju to enjoy once I got home.

On my last day, I grabbed the 5 line back to Kimpo. Skylark met me there to say goodbye; I was a little surprised she was still speaking to me, but she was the only friend I had left in Seoul. At Passport control, Skylark asked me to write to her. I told her I would not. We said goodbye and I crossed over.

I bought some Ginseng to help use up my extra Korean cash. In my pocket I found 2 partly used phone cards. I had no further use for them so I gave them to the Ginseng sales girl. She was very gracious and gave me this:
And thus ended my 3-month affair with the Land of the Morning Calm.


Matthew Smith said...

what an epic ending to a bizarre yet fascinating trip. I love the parting words. classic.

White Rice said...

Thanks for sticking with it to the end. It was an unforgettable chapter to be sure.