Tuesday, December 26, 2006

All I Want For Christmas

Knowing that Christmas was a special day back home, Buddhist Korean Mother invited us out for Christmas Lunch, although it was never going to be turkey and stuffing. We went to a dim sum, or mandu restaurant on top of a shopping centre which we'd been to before. In itself it's purely functional and nothing to look at, but the food was good.

While technically a public holiday, all the stores were open and after lunch we shopped in the mall before taking a bus to a large Lotte Mart - sort of a Korean Sainsburys - where more shopping unfolded.

After a little time back at the apartment phoning home and emailing Christmas messages to friends, my partner and I went out a
gain, this time with a bored Korean Brother tagging along. In a desperate attempt to inject some sense of the festive into the day, I had been determined to spend part of Christmas in 'DecembeR' (or are they re-titling themselves as just 'December' now?), but although we got there in the end, the atmosphere felt as cold as the scenery. At some point, I gave up, acknowledging that a Christmas without presents, without Christmas dinner, without the shops being closed and without the winter weather from back home (it's 15 degrees here) just didn't feel like Christmas at all, and no amount of lonely Christmas trees and dancing Santa girls were going to change that.

Somehow Christmas Day in Korea was always going to seem like Christmas at Lotte Mart whether I went there or not, and it's a pity but that's the way it goes. But next year, if I'm in Korea, I'll try and do things differently, either for myself, or through finding something socially worthy to do on the day instead.

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