Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Korean words and phrases

In a prior post I mentioned that I don't know too many Korean words.  However, I have picked up enough to be somewhat useful and I'll share some of these words and phrases here.  Typing them also might help me remember them better.  Here goes:

Hello: An-young-ah-say-yo
Thank you: Gamsa Hamnida
Yes: Ne
No: Anio
Thank you for the meal: time-mo-go-sa-ne-da
Delicious: my-see-saw-yo
cold water: naengsu
How much is this?: egor all-my-oh
It's too expensive: Neomu bissayo

Korean Barbeque: pure-go-gee
street food: pun-she
spicy rice cakes: doc-bog-gi
fried dumplings: mon-da-chichen
fried vegatables: ah-to-chichen
fried sweet pototoes: coo-coo-ma-tigen
fish cakes: oo-dang
sushi: min-pop

100: baek
1000: chun
2000: icheon
10,000: man

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stupid Frenchman

Regrettably, I'm only able to speak/mumble a few words in Korean (maybe my next posting). However, I don't want to seem like an arrogant American not willing to try to speak the local language so I had a plan. Whenever I can, I'm trying to speak French.  I think I've said "oui" (yes), "si-vous-pla" (please) "Merci" (thank you) about 10 times already. 

I'd rather have the Koreans say "stupid Frenchman" instead of "stupid American".

Meeting Jae Day

Today was a good day. We finally met our boy Jae.  It wasn't the "dream" meeting that either Angie or I hoped for, where he would recongize us from pictures and run towards us awaiting the his first parental embrace.  Rather it started off as expected with him crying as we tried to hold him.  We could tell though that he had recognized us from the picture we sent months earlier. 

Angie and I got down to the meeting area a couple minutes earlier than the "early" time the adoption agency told us to be there.  As we nervously watched the door, our hearts were being tested.  Luckly Ang and I are both marathoners with good strong hearts!  A couple minutes into our wait a middle-aged Korean lady walked toward the front door and we each recognized each other.  She was in one picture of Jae and we had sent Jae pictures of us.  On foster Mom's back was Jae riding contently as most Korean children do, on their Mom's backs.

Once our social worker joined us, we found an open room where Foster Mom tried to get comfort Jae and to have him start to play with us.  He took a while to warm up, but after some peek-a-boo he started to smile, then Angie got him to laugh with some well placed tickles.

Of course, being 17 months old he's already built an attachment with the foster family, especially the foster Mom so asking him to immediately attach to us is a fantasy. 

We did get some good info from foster Mom about his likes and dislikes.  He like apples, seaweed, banannas, playing the piano, cell phones, books... he's not a big fan of orange juice or milk but that's about it.  He's an adventurous and smart little guy according to Foster Mom.  He also pronounces words very well, which is great, he can teach me how to say aluminum.

We also got some unexpected news that we'll have a "Got-ya" date of 9/2 instead of 9/5 which we expected.  Thus, our sightseeing in South Korea will be a little limited, but this is for the better. We'll have the weekend to get him comfortable with us before that long flight home.  So, no trip to the DMZ or to the Track and Field World Championships, kind of a bummer, but the alternative wins any day of the week. 

After our meeting with Jae and letting what just happened settle in, we went for lunch to a place without menus.  I was hoping to point to something.  With no luck on menus, we also had bad luck because nobody on staff spoke English.  So I ordered us both Bi-Bim-Bop, something I know is on most Korean menus.  It was delicious and too much to eat. 

That's all for now.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Big day

Today is a big day for our household; we meet our son for the first time in about 3 hours!

I really wish I could have got more sleep in the last 48 hours; I think my total is maybe about 4 hours. Oh well that's what coffee is for, right?

On the flight over I didn't get any sleep in, but I did watch a couple of good movies: The Lincoln Lawyer and Rio. I had seen where Rio had ties to Moose Lake, MN so I had to watch it, and would give it a high rating.

Last night we tried to find some quick food before trying to fall asleep and we tried to order a bulgogi pizza but wound up with a simple 'American' combo pizza due to a kitchen messup... oh well, we were so hungry it did't matter much.

I'm a new blogger so I may have gotten to excited about being able to publish whatever I want when I want yesterday when I said that I'd touch on some cultural differences about Korea.  That post will still come but it's a couple down the road.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Travel Day

RST > ORD > ICN Let the day of travel begin.  Rochester airport in MN is a great way to begin the flight. No lines, friendly service from American Airlines agent and a nice clean restroom!
Despite a bit of confusion at the ticket counter (Jae was already listed on our itinerary even though we're about 37 hours away from seeing him for the first time) the friendly agent took care of it with a smile.
Now on to O'Hare before a 13 plus flight to South Korea.
Next I'll go over some cultural differences between Koreans and Americans.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ready to go?

All my bags are packed.  But am I ready to go?

Sure what the heck... It's only the longest flight that I've ever been on. That's a big deal in and of itself.  I mean a visit to a new continent is pretty cool.  However, there's a much bigger thing happening than just the trip itself.  I'll meet my son for the first time and bring him home on.  I've described this as a last minute vacation where I'll be bringing home a life changing souvineer.  While the later is true (although Jae's more than a souvineer), the former doesn't feel like a great description.

The nerves about this trip are hard to describe.  Will Jae recognize my wife and I from pictures?  Will Jae be able to relate that those two people in a small 4"x6" picture are actually life size people just like his foster family that has been taken care of him for over a year? 

When will be be able to "keep" him for good? Just before the flight? Or on Friday before the flight, giving us a whole three days to get acquianted before the flight back home?  TBD...

I'm really excited for this next part in my life.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Travel Call

We finally got our travel call at 7:30 am this morning. Woowhoo! Leaving on Sunday be in Seoul on Monday afternoon! I can't believe it.