Saturday was the big day: about 30 relatives convened in Changwon to see us–more specifically, my sister, brother-in-law, and their baby girl Maren. I had met all of them before, so for me it was a chance to get reacquainted with my massive Korean family (of course they remember me) and see how well my Korean language skills have held up without much usage since the last trip (much better than I had expected).
It was a joyous, raucous occasion, one that made me long for a big, close-knit family structure back in the states, where I live a life largely independent of any family in New York. That of course isn’t possible, so the best that I can do is make the most out of rare opportunities like these. It’s good motivation to keep my Korean language skills in shape and even improve them. Hopefully I’ll start to make it a habit of coming out every few years to see them and build on these relationships. And hopefully they–or more likely, their kids–will make some visits to the US.
One of my relatives put it best: “blood is thicker than water.” In this case, even thicker than the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.