Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Here it is, soon to become an international traveler. The UPS man will take it tomorrow and send it on its way to Korea.

This is the leftovers from my roommate of the last 4 months' stay in St. Louis. She was a Youth for Understanding student at my college, and in February, she suddenly was in need of a host family. I'm a poor excuse for a family, but I did have an extra bed or two.

We got to know each other. In many ways, we were opposite in our life styles. She like to stay up late and sleep late, and I needed to go to bed early because I got up early. She liked to cook and eat in, and I hate to cook and like to eat out. She liked raw fish, and I wasn't so sure about that. When we went shopping, she came out of the stores with a little tiny bag or nothing, and I was overloaded with packages. But we both like shoes!

She was visiting here for a complete school year. So, she had been away from home for a long time. Her mom had mailed some care packages from home with things she liked that she could only get in Korea. When she came to my house in February, she had 2 big suitcases and three (or more) boxes full of personal items, plus a book bag, drawing implements for her drawing class, a computer and more treasures! I wondered how it all got here, and how it was all going to get back to Korea.

That is what is in the BOX!

She packed and repacked that box. She started on it weeks ago. She got most of it packed, using Space Bags (they are fabulous), trashing some things, leaving some things for me, and packing and repacking. The biggest issue is that overweight bags going on International flights are terribly expensive, so sometimes it's better to trash it here, and rebuy it in Korea than to pay to have it shipped home.

She went to New York, Boston and DC for a couple of weeks to visit with family. That box sat in the room for three weeks, and I wondered if it would ever make the weight limit, size limit and if ordinary tape would hold it all in. I went to the UPS store on the day she returned from NY for a couple more rolls of heavy duty tape. The original plan was for someone to pick it up on the afternoon she returned from NY. This left a very narrow window of opportunity for her to pack it all up. So the man is coming tomorrow.

This morning, I sadly took her to the airport for her journey home. I know she has been looking forward to going back to Korea for a while. This morning, she told me she had been looking forward to this day for a long time.

I've never done international travel, unless you consider a trip to Tiajuana for dinner international travel. Oh, I've been to Canada a few times, but never overseas. I can just imagine how lonely one must get for home after being gone for months. You make friends while you are here, meet interesting people, but, my darling Korean friend, as Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, "There's no place like home, there's no place like home...."

I will miss you my dear. I know your mom and dad missed you while you were gone. Good luck in the future, and write to me!

P.S. Your favorite slippers and your alarm clock are still in the room. That means you'll be coming back! Whenever you leave something important at someone's house, that means you intend to return. They will be my reminder of our 4 months together, which were very enjoyable indeed.

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