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My last night in Seoul I decided that I haven't checked out Gangnam enough and so I should pay another visit. Since I've been here with my friends during their last night I thought I would orient myself base on where we've been together and then go from there. That turned out to be a bad idea, because I couldn't find where we've been (Gangnam station has many exits) and I felt a huge sense of lost.

Here's a piece of advice: if you want to feel sentimental, go visit the exact same place your friends and you had been before they left you. For added pleasure, let that place be Gangnam. Why Gangnam? Well supposedly it represents the new money off Seoul, and as I was walking down the street feeling lost, I suddenly realized that I too, am part of the new money. I don't remember how many times I've told my non software friends how strange it is and how lucky I am to live in a bubble, or even if it's not a bubble, it certainly is an ascend of new money and I just so happen to be in it.

Then a deeper question hit me: if I were part of Gangnam, part of new money, what more could I want? I remember awhile ago me and another friend were discussing what to get for a mutual friend who was getting married. "What do you get a man who has everything?" was the actual question. While I don't actually have everything, I'd like to think that I have most things that I ever wanted.

Of course there are a lot more things that I could have but don't. Growing up I've always thought that I had everything that I wanted. Recently I wondered why that was the case, considering that I grew up in a very modest family. Then I realized: I've never wanted anything that was totally out of reach. Having everything you want is easy when you only ever want things that you can have.

But I digress. I've been telling my friends that I want to be a better person than I am now, which hopefully I will accomplish as part of the trip. Let's ignore for a moment the fact that I did not initially want to travel for a few months because I envisioned I'd come back as a better me. Let's also assume that I will be somewhat better, somehow. It's still a high price to pay. I pretty much gave up (temporarily) my family, friends, a home, a car, and a career, or in other words, most things that defined me. All that for some abstract character building. It's like burning down the forest for a tree (that may or may not be there). While feeling lost on Gangnam-dearo, I kept asking myself, "is this worth it?"

Unfortunately for me, I have not developed some superhuman power where I can just will things into happening. It's like one of the drunken nights in Korea, when I said in front of my fellow alcoholics, "if I want something I need to work on it." (the corollary maybe: if I can't work on it, then I better not want it, or at least not expect it) So if I do want a better me, whatever that means, I need to work on that too.

So be it.

by khc on Mon Oct 21 08:49:49 2013 Permlink
Tags: rant