Exhibit 1: Then (2006)

Exhibit 1: Then (2006)

2006: Year of graduation, uncertainty, and death. Exactly three months after my grandfather had passed away in Korea, it was time to fly to Vienna for Dad’s business trip. I had longer hair, chubby face, and a still healthy/unhealthy obsession with the color green. Those are the obvious differences.

Walking around Vienna in the relative safety of my parents, I looked down on the sights that I saw. I say relative safety because my parents entrusted me with the map and I had no idea where we were going. I could judge the rest of the world in my naivety, in the certainty that I knew what was right and exactly what was wrong. I was right and you were wrong.

Things became even clearer atop the Gloriette hill at the Schonnbrunn Palace. The uphill climb was difficult, the big stones of white gravel rolled nervously under my feet, the calves in my legs strained to gain an easy balance. We went slowly, Mom the slowest one, and Dad, as usual, up ahead with his hands locked behind his back.

By the time we got up the hill, my legs wanted to totter out beneath me, which is why I am leaning so heavily on the ledge of the pavilion. My tummy pressed flat out against the cool concrete. I looked down at the world I was visiting, the glory of Europe providing a sparkle in the sun.

Everything was worthy of a photograph, there was no discrimination in subject, as we Koreans drew up our peace signs and pretense of luxury. A pretense of happiness. I admire my naivety and the pompousness in this picture. A graduate, without a care in the world.

Exhibit 2: Now (2009)

Exhibit 2: Now (2009)

2009: An escape from reality. I have come back from trips to Italy, Japan, Slovakia. The world does not seem so easy anymore, but my smiles come easier than they used to. And so do my tears. The passing of my maternal grandfather in 2006 was a preceding of my paternal grandfather’s death, my adopted grandfather’s death, my adopted grandmother’s death, an aunt, and a cousin-in-law. A teacher. A friend.

It is clearer, what I want to do in this world, what I want from this world, what needs to be done… but what is less clear is how I will go about doing them. I will attend another graduation next year, but will I look out with the same, shining, hopeful eyes as I did then? Certainly, one member of my family will be missing this time around. There will be no father taking pictures of every moment, starting from when I sit down amongst the other graduates to when I exit the stage, diploma in hand.

And yes, he is still very much a part of the rest of the world. Just not a part of mine anymore. The bankruptcy weighs down heavily in my mind at times, but I’m glad the worry does not show in this picture. The budgeting that I do means that I eat lavishly on some days and survive on cereal another.

The climb up. The same white gravel, rising dust, unbalanced feeling. At the top of the hill, I barely notice any muscle strain, due to my frenzied half-marathon training last year. Why was it so difficult, the last time around? There was no need to lean on the concrete, my white loafers were enough of a foundation on the steps.

It was time to take pictures. This time around, I would carefully piece together the parts of the city that I had grown to love in the last three months. I will be sad to leave. But this time around, I think I know what lessons to take and what mistakes to leave behind.

Exhibit 3: Panorama view from Gloriette Pavilion

Exhibit 3: Panoramic view from Gloriette Pavilion

Yupgi Girl.


Welcome to RiceDiaries

May 24, 2009

Hi all!

I’ve been putting the first post off because I somehow wanted to break into it with some meaningful, attention-capture-ful, enrapturing post.

Sadly, that just means this brand spanking new thang has been sitting here for a week, without a single post.

Anyhow, I know there’s an about me section but here’s a more lengthy intro.

I’m a college student, currently studying abroad in Vienna, Austria. I don’t speak much of the language, but despite that, random strangers come up to me for directions. A lot of things await me when I get back to the States, namely, the more serious things in life. My family’s going through a tough bankruptcy, so I gotta face the music when I go home. And this is partly why I’m starting up a blog on WordPress: as a way to Cheerio from the rest of life.

What’s going to be in the blog, you ask?

Well, photos, writings, musings, drama, and last, but not least, hopefully some cooking will be in here! I’m Korean but I also love all sorts of other world foods so I try to eat my way through culture.

Exhibit 1: Preview of future posts to come

Exhibit 1: 'Pasta ai frutti di mare' preview of future posts to come

Exhibit 2: Udon preview of future posts

Exhibit 2: 'Udon' preview of future posts

Keep checking back for posts, a new one will be up soon!
Yupgi Girl.