Tuesday, May 6, 2008

New York, New York

The long-awaited arrival of JooYeon's family transpired on May 2nd at JFK airport. The troupe included her mom, her mom's younger sister, and two other aunts. Although it had initially been planned as a women's trip, in a last minute panic about English and directions, they brought an uncle as well. They didn't seem very tired at all and there were happy hugs all around. We quickly immerged them in American style travel with a 2-hour drive back to my cousin Shawn's house. They had recently traveled Europe and when I asked them how their trip was, their first response was half-hearted because of the lack of Korean food. Korean food, especially kim-chi, is very essential to Koreans, and the older the age, the more important this seems to get. Therefore, JooYeon and I were careful to plan a trip where they could eat as much Korean food as they wanted.

Joo and I worked hard to get everything ready for her family's visit... but there are some things you just can't prepare for. When we arrived in New York, I easily navigated the streets and took us to where our guided tour with Korean headsets was to begin. The lady there first informed me that there actually wasn't any Korean option, but that we could kindly have French, German, or Dutch. Furthermore, when she checked deeper, it turned out the tour I had reserved the day before no longer existed and that I couldn't even use them at all (of course, no refund). So I decided to deal with it later and just bought another round of tickets at a different tour. The day itself went pretty smoothly, with highlights being Central Park and a store that offered free massages. The night bus double decker tour through the downtown MIGHT have been nice, except for the fact that it was cold, rainy, three hours long, they had jet lag, and we were all underdressed.

Above: Me holding JooYeon's mom (left) and her youngest aunt (right)

Below: JooYeon and her mom in Central Park (left), three aunts (right)

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