Fall 2001

Hometown USA

As I said 2 posts ago, I got a job shortly after returning from Korea. I bought a house. I got engaged. From time to time I was able to catch up with the Master via the telephone. Typically I would get a call from him in the wee hours of my morning. He would be two or three sheets. But our phone conversations almost always went the same way. He would ask when I was coming back to Korea, then ask after my health, then end the call. Short and sweet. But I would wake in a panic thinking it must be bad news for the phone to be ringing at 3 a.m. And after the call my heart would be racing. I would replay any Korean I spoke to make sure it made sense. And I would lie awake for a while trying to figure out how to get back to Korea.

I got engaged in December of 2000 with a plan to get hitched in Spring of 2002. After one particular midnight call from the Master, I formulated a plan to cross the Pacific once again in the fall of 2001. I ran it past my lady. I think I positioned it as the last time I would get the chance to go. I'm not sure what kind of marriage hell I thought I might be entering that would keep me from ever going to Korea again, but there you go. She, not surprisingly, was OK with me heading over to see the Master again. Lord knows she had heard enough stories about him to know I was serious. Given the green light, I decided on late September through early October.

Now here's a thing. I don't recall every detail of that trip. I have some pictures and a lot of clear memories. But I have no journal or written log of it. I find that my memories of one trip blend into another. As such there are gaps at certain spots between September 22 and October 5 of 2001. So I've pulled together a spreadsheet to try my best to make sure I've got it all straight. And I am not even a spreadsheet guy...

And still, I just spent 15 minutes staring at my spreadsheet trying to force certain memories into one trip or another. I know what happened and what I did and what I thought. I just can't always tell certainly what year or what trip it happened on. Mind...getting...feeeeeble.

For now I'll start with what I know for sure about the 2001 trip...

Fall 2001: The Return

I promise to get back on course here and regale you with whales and tales from my Korea trip of 2001. Here is a teaser:
And if you can't wait for that bomb to drop, go to the post prior to this one and try to digest the comments that have become quite the sidebar your honor.