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.

One thought on “Five Weeks in South Korea

  1. Comment from: Jeanny [Visitor] ·
    That sounds so fun! I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

    … and you’re right, she’s totally going to win if you fight.
    04/19/11 @ 15:28

    Comment from: Lu [Visitor]
    What fun it promises to be for you … and for us to read about it. How cute that your husband can only live two days without you. Oh well, it sounds like you and his mother and sister are OK with that. ;-)
    04/19/11 @ 17:40

    Comment from: admin [Member]
    Jeanny, in the end I did win the softener battle we had last May when she visited. She only used it on one load of clothing before going home, and I gave the bottle to Mark’s Lover after that.

    Lu, my friends think I’m nuts for going a) so long without him b) to stay with my in-laws. But why in the world would I pay for a hotel when I have family there? Talk about causing fights! “Sorry Mother, I’m going to pay for a hotel.” Yeah, right.
    04/19/11 @ 18:29

    Comment from: Lu [Visitor]
    No! Not nuts. :) You’re like the perfect Korean daughter-in-law (what do I know? I only know from dramas). But seriously, that’s family-building time. :) I think it’s sweet that you are going to live with them for a number of weeks, and yeah, who could ever afford 5 weeks in a hotel! Korean hospitality is like Italian hospitality, from what I understand. So, it won’t be exactly like a vacation where you can do whatever you want, but it will be its own kind of fun and I’m sure a really important experience.

    P.S. At my Korean class tonight, one of the people who took TOPIK told me about it. He said it was hard for him but that for most people in the class, he thinks the practice test would be harder than the reality. He described it, and I see his point. He agrees with you that they speak very slowly on the reading portion, for one thing…. But I’ll be ready for it next time.
    04/19/11 @ 22:02

    Comment from: admin [Member]
    Well, I know all of my eating needs will be taken care of, considering how Mother prepared all of my meals last spring when she and Good Man went to Philadelphia together for a few days. :D

    The guy in your class–did he say how many of the test takers were younger than 20? I’d be interested to know how the testing population compared to mine!
    04/19/11 @ 23:42

    Comment from: Helena [Visitor] ·
    Oooh! Jealous!
    04/20/11 @ 10:51

    Comment from: Lu [Visitor]
    Hi, Amanda. No, he didn’t say how many were younger than 20, but I know from my teacher (who was also there) that a whole contingent of US-born KorAm kiddies from my school’s Korean language class for kids were there. Their teacher said they didn’t do well on the practice tests and were just taking it for the experience. My teacher also took the test. LOL; she is a native Korean. So, I think she probably did well. She is a very sweet woman, and I think she was just doing it in solidarity, and to see what the test was like.

    My sense is that in the group that took the beginning-level test, aside from the kids I described, most of them were young adults, not under 20.
    04/20/11 @ 22:19

    Comment from: Terry [Visitor]
    It would be enjoyable to visit with you when you come to Korea, if you have time. If you want to come to 여수, we can show you around.
    04/25/11 @ 21:41

    Comment from: admin [Member]
    Terry, I might take you up on that! I’m sure I’ll need a break from Mother at some point!
    04/25/11 @ 21:44

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