Five Weeks in South Korea

“Mother, I want to come to Korea this summer,” I said, several months ago on a video chat.

“OK, you can come.”

“But without [Good Man] and Father, I worry. What if we fight?”

Mother smiled, “Why would we fight?”

“Mother- and daughter-in-laws fight.”

“Well, do what I say and we won’t fight.”


The plan was for me to go to Korea for four weeks this summer, spending the first two weeks of the vacation with my in-laws alone. Good Man was going to join me for the last two weeks of the vacation, when Father would hopefully get his time back in the country.

Well, best laid plans…


Good Man said to Mother, “What if I come for just one week?”

“Why would you do that? That’s a waste of money. And since we don’t know exactly when your father will be home, maybe you can come later, without Amanda.”

“Amanda still wants to come.”

“Of course, she can still come.”

Later I asked Good Man if his mom was just face-saving. “Are you sure I can go alone?”

“Yeah, that’s no problem.”

“What in the world are you going to eat?” I asked Good Man. “Ramyeon and bananas?”

“Well, maybe you need to leave me a survival manual.”

“How long should I go for? How long can you live without me?”

Good Man made his eyes soft and his voice low and sweet, “Only two days.”


“Amanda, when are you coming to Korea?”

“Mother, how much do you love me?” I asked her.

“What? I love you very much.”

“Two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, five weeks, six weeks?”

Mother laughed, “You can spend your whole summer here!”

“But if we fight, you will win.”

“That’s OK.”

“Because you speak Korean, so you will win.”

“I know, that’s good.”


I bought my ticket yesterday. I decided to spend the first half of my break here, and the last half in Korea. I’ll get back five days before preplanning starts, which means I’ll get over most of my jetlag.

This means I’m going to be in Korea for five full weeks. I’ll be living with Mother and Sister. I have no idea what in the world I’m going to do. I know I’d like to get to know Mother and Sister more, I’d like to practice my Korean more (which will be a must-do, considering the circumstances). I’d like to practice some taekwondo with Master, see some old friends, take lots of pictures, and just enjoy myself.