I’ve moved roughly every six months since I graduated from high school. Moving six miles away into a dormitory was a big first step, but by now the transitions have brought me four of seven continents, 48,000 miles of transport back and forth for moving alone, and a large amount of baggage fees. It becomes more complicated to carve out a comfortable existence when suddenly “home” is both plural and far-flung.
Everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve found small ways to make living seem less foreign and more home-like to me by collecting little pieces of the things that make me feel at home from all the ones I’ve lived in during the journey of the last six years. Sometimes it’s making a makeshift teddy bear out of a sweatshirt for a bus ride. Sometimes it’s finding Nutella at the grocery store and a good baguette. Sometimes it’s a single book dragged along with me despite the baggage fee.
Living in a big city is new to me, and although Suwon only has about a million inhabitants it falls within the Seoul Metropolitan Area which boasts 22 million and is the second-largest metro area in the world. As you might imagine, there aren’t many plants to be seen, aside from pruned and sickly trees lining roads and the occasional green park.
It’s my first spring in two years, and I’m determined to take advantage of it! My neighbor has a beautiful rooftop garden that he tends to daily, and although I can’t see all of it I wanted to contribute a tiny bit to the greening of the city. On my very slow way back from the doctor, I stopped and got these two.
Down the street was a riceteria, which I’ve passed about a hundred times and never entered. I decided to go in and gawk at the pretty rice cakes. They were nearly picked clean, but I immediately understood because the prices were low and the products were cute and delicious at once!
I may have found a replacement for the hackneyed (though appreciated) Paris Baguette shops selling crunchy croissants everywhere.
I’m not certain that Korea will ever truly feel like home. At least it can feel a little bit closer with the new ledge garden and each new discovery of delicious food.