Here are some high level bullet points of what went on in my life after leaving the Korea in 1997.

1. Tried to patch things up with girlfriend I abandoned for 3 months to see the Korea again.

2. Succeeded at #1. Not as easy as I thought it would be.

3. Got a part time job copy editing technical support documentation. No skills or experience in the field, other than my M.A. in Literature.

4. Went full time as copy editor.

5. Took over management of the same copy edit team. Grew team to 12.

6. Bought my first house and moved out of my parents' basement.

7. Left the copy edit team for a different role at same company.

8. Got woken up occasionally in the middle of the night by phone calls from the Master. "Hello. When are you coming to Korea? How is your health? Good-bye."

9. Got engaged to #1 above.

10. Planned my next trip to the Korea.

Ping me separately for a full treatment of any of #1-9 above. Full coverage of #10 follows forthwith.

1980's Pen Pal Good Times Part 2

If you happen to see Hyonsook, tell her I said "핼로."

1980's Pen Pal Good Times

Cleaning out my home office I found a bagful of old cards and letters from the 80's. A few were from Hyonsook in Seoul. She called me Seongtae. It has probably been 20 years since I looked at these and I thought you might enjoy.

If you happen to see Hyonsook, tell her I said "핼로."
(click photo to enlarge and read)

Tie This On

I am not a hoarder like the freaks you see on the TV, but I do tend to hold on to trinkets and trash from my Korean Sojourns. Here is one of my more treasured items:
민철 handcarved this mini mask out of paulownia wood. The whole time I was at the master's, 민철 could be seen delicately carving this nugget. As you can see, it is about the size of a book of Denny's Korea matches, or a paper packet of Korean medicine. I expressed admiration more than once and he must have got it in his mind to gift it to me. For when it came time for me to depart Cheju in the Spring of 1997, he had fixed it on a lanyard of persimmon-juice-dyed cotton, and he gave it to me. It makes a unique bolo.

Such a good-hearted fellow. I never saw him again after the Spring of 1997.