Sunday, February 25, 2007

I have a cousin!

And other family to go with him in Korea. Since arriving in Seoul(about a month ago), I have received random information from my mother through e-mail and g chat pertaining to family here in Korea. I had known of family in Korea but thought they were all pretty distant relatives and much much older than me. About a week after I arrive, my mom informs me that I might possibly have a cousin around my age. I had no prior knowledge of this! How couldn't I be informed of this before I had left? So about a week into Korea, I have knowledge of a cousin, but no contact has been made. My mom tells me she'll try to contact her uncle.

Skip ahead to about 3 weeks in. My mom catches me on g chat and says she's made contact with her uncle. Apparently he is out of town but tells her that his son is attending Sogang University in Mapo-gu and is 24 years old. I teach across the street from Sogang University at Sogang University Language Program! She tells me that I should call my uncle after March 20th, when he arrives back in Seoul. I end my day ecstatic that I actually have a cousin but with kind of a strange feeling that I can't contact him for another month. I am left curious as to if we could even communicate when we do meet, as I speak hardly any Korean and I am unaware if he speaks any English.

Just a few days later, yesterday, my mom catches me online again. This time with even greater news! She has contacted her aunt, who is the sister of her uncle and also aunt to my cousin, and also her step-grandmother who is 95 years old. They are in Seoul and my great aunt would like to take me and my cousin out to lunch. Sweet! I'm given her cell phone number.

Later that day, after buying my new guitar for only 75.000 won, I decide to give my aunt a call. No answer. I jam for an hour or so and try again. Success. She tells me that she would like to set up an appointment (as that is how it is done in Korea) for Thursday, the national holiday, or for Saturday. She will call my cousin and then I should call her back later that night.

I call her back around 9 when I get back from eating Greek food. She tells me we will meet in Itaewon for lunch on Saturday. ( i still have to figure out how to get there). Lunch will be with my Great Aunt, my Great Grandmother (who knew I had a great grandmother, its amazing), and my cousin. My cousin goes by the English name of Sean and she tells me his cell number. I try calling him at night but no answer.

Today, after a couple hours of laundry, some jamming, and lots of chatting on the internet, I get a phone call. It's my cousin! Whoo-hoo. I am pleasantly surprised to hear that his English is very good and understandable. I'm highly impressed. I tell him how good it is and that my Korean is very bad. He says not to worry and he'll teach me Korean. YAY! I have found my Korean saviour. haha. He has been studying at Sogang and also at a Hagwon for his TOEFL exam, which will allow him to apply to grad school in the States. He studied Computer Science and would like to go to school and work in America. I tell him he'll have no problem, as there are so many schools and job opportunities for computer science. He's happy to hear that. My cousin rocks! He briefly explains how to get to the restaurant but I still don't quite grasp it. I'll figure it out somehow.

More to come soon about the adventures with my newfound family.


Kim said...

I am glad you connected with Sung Hyon(Sean). For your info, my grandmother is also mother to uncle Gul who used to live close to us in Illinois. Do you remember him? We even went to his house. Also, he had a daughter Susie who is probably about 35 now. So my aunt you met, Sean's father, and uncle Gul are all siblings under my step grandmother. My mom was very close to them.

Cheryl met Sean when we visited Korea in year 2000. We went to his father uncle Chul's house for dinner. Since Cheryl brought a few friends who were teaching English in Japan at that time, Cheryl & Sean didn't have much chance to talk to each other.

I will fill you in if more comes up. Hope you had a nice lunch!

Rhymes With Lasagna said...

SWEET! Have a fun time, The Face! I'm really happy you've found some family. That always helps. You take care.

Your biggest fan,
The Other T in TNT

Lynn Sikora said...

That's so cool! I kinda had the same thing and met up with some cousins in Germany (who I had no idea existed) who are 22 and 24. Crazy crazy world. I can't wait to hear more.

Colleen Fewer said...

all i can say is "Precious!!!"

Big Tee said...

You will be surprised there are so many other dark, deep secrets we have throughout Korea and the Czech Republic!