Hello From Tomorrowland


Window Safari. New Year’s Day 2011


Keeping in touch with family and friends back in the US can be a challenge. Depending on who I’m contacting, and where they live (and Daylight Savings Time), chances are I’ll have to wait for a response to my text or email. Trying to call is a real challenge. My brothers and I figured out how to do a group video chat so that we could surprise Mom on Christmas morning. But we had to tell her when we were calling ahead of time, since we had to sync our schedules. It was 11pm here in Korea, 9am for Mom in Florida, 8am for my brother in Missouri, and 6am for my brother in California. At least we were all talking on the same day. Usually I’m in bed by 10pm since I have to be at work at 8am, so we usually call on the weekends.

This means that when I went to bed early this morning at 12:15am on 1/1/20, I was not only in another day, but it was another year (and decade) too. If you think about it too much, you can make your head hurt.


Two years ago I spent January 1st recovering from jet lag. I had just returned from going back home because my dad had died. Facebook reminded me that I had been woken up at 6:30am by fireworks. Chinese people love to celebrate with firecrackers, so it doesn’t have to be nighttime for them to celebrate.

Here in rural Korea, there were no fireworks last night, not even set off by a neighbor. If anything, it was even quieter than usual. A friend posted from Seoul last night, where she had gone to celebrate. It showed a crowd of people in front of a stage, counting down in Korean and then cheering. Then, there were no fireworks.

I mentioned this to a friend who had texted me a greeting, and he suggested that Koreans might not like explosions. Hmm. That could be a factor. The Korean War ended in 1953, so all the elderly people would have lived through it. Or maybe it’s just that I live in a small town, but it’s more likely because Koreans celebrate the Lunar New Year, which will be in a few weeks.


I just need to remember that 9:00 is the best time to call my mom, because it’s 7:00 in Florida.

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