Happy Birthday, baby!

The theme of the day is birthday – for my work with TRACK and because my so-called birthday is coming up.

So I type in “balloons Seoul” to search for birthday balloons,

and what’s THE VERY FIRST F*****G HIT I GET?

Do Americans have ANY IDEA just HOW MUCH they are entitled to children from other countries?  Do non-adoptees have ANY IDEA just HOW MUCH this shit is in our faces?  All the time?  Everywhere we turn?

Note to myself:  never shop for birthday decorations on-line.   Not that I would do this for myself, but it seems I can’t even do it for others!


Had to run to a main branch of Nong Hyup bank today, since CheongPyeong’s won’t handle foreign remittances and my on-line banking requires me to enter my town in the foreign remittance form, but my town won’t show up…

Anyway, it was nice because I got to almost finish Eleana Kim’s book, Adopted Territory and I didn’t even get car-sick on the bus reading it!  THAT is amazing…

Turns out the bank was closed.  I’m an idiot – I forgot that the reason I have the day off (the day before school begins) is because it’s a national holiday, even though I don’t know what the holiday is.

click on the photo for Kim Chi Ice Cream's restaurant review

It’s all right as well – I wanted to check out a restaurant I’d seen in an ex-pat blog.  It’s called Peace of Mind Book Cafe.  And it was really lovely.  It was so lovely, that I splurged and treated myself to a big 1″ thick steak.  The rosemary infused reduction it sat in was a little too salty, but the steak was to die for.  The first steak I’ve had in probably three years!  And a salad and the owner added as service one of their famous hot-from-the-oven breadsticks, which was more like a super skinny rustic baguette.  Fantastic.  And I’m not a bread person.  But it was perfect.  And even some olive oil and balsamic vinagrette to dip in.  Oh!  And I had a glass of wine – I never have wine anymore!  Altogether, it set me back about $30, but hey, almost happy birthday to me!

Anyway, the owner lived in New York for three years and speaks really good English.  I asked him about advertising, hoping to learn more about direct mail in Korea, but he doesn’t use it because his restaurant does well by word of mouth.  And then I told him about me having to get creative since my birth family search didn’t work.  So he suggested the local papers before blowing money I don’t have on direct mail services.  The owners of the Gangwon papers meet there once a month, so I’m to send him my story and he has offered to present it to them for me.  Gangwon, btw, is the province in which the place I was abandoned, Wonju, is located.

So I sat there, listening to Chopin, sipping wine, and finishing Eleana’s book.  A very nice day, despite starting out wrong.



3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, baby!

  1. I forgot…your pseudo-birthday is today! Right in here with mine (tomorrow) and Jack’s (Tuesday). Glad you had the steak…

  2. It’s okay – I don’t remember anyone’s birthdays. I guess ’cause I don’t celebrate I forget others do.

    So actually, I’m not sure when tomorrow is for you since we’re a day ahead, but I think my birthday is the day after yours.

    So happy belated birthday! Or rather, right-on-time birthday, since we’re a day ahead!

  3. Your cafe retreat sounds like a lovely way to end the day. Yes, I do realize how much the commercialization of loss is in the face of adoptees all of the time. Probably the ugliest item I’ve ever seen was gifted to us at a hotel in China – all adoptive families receive this treasure at the famed “White Swan Hotel”. It was on our bed as we entered the room – China’s own Welcome Home Barbie. Blonde- haired Barbie carrying her Chinese baby…which really doesn’t look Chinese at all. Commoditize much? T shirts, cards, balloons, posters, you name it – there’s a market for it. The term “gotcha” sinks my heart every time I see it, as I know the trauma my daughter experienced that day she was separated from her foster mother. The anniversary of the day we met is one that we very quietly, and without ritual, observe. I hope you don’t mind that I’m commenting. I stumbled on your blog last week, and can’t wait for your forthcoming posts.

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