My mom and brother (Med Bot) visit Korea for some sightseeing, food, people, and general good times. This is my diary of the momentous occasion.

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Day 9: Friday

I'm starting to freak out that I haven't spent enough time with my folks. After teaching kindergarten, I visit them and we eat Shabu Shabu, sort of like fondue. You get a pot of boiling soup stuff and plates of meat, dumplings, and veggies. You dump the goodies into the soup and it cooks and you pull it out. Then you dump more stuff in there. It's awesome. My mom enjoys it, which makes it all worth it.

Korea has a pizza chain where a dude dresses up in a foam-muscle Superman costume and a ski mask and drives a moped around, dropping off pizza.Another aside: My book. I usually carry a paperback book everywhere. In this case, Catch-22, which I found to be almost totally boring. So boring, in fact, that I left it at the Shabu Shabu place. I returned two days later, looked in my dictionary for the Korean word for "lost," but by the time I find it, a cook—not a host, not my waiter from a few days earlier, but the cook—runs from the kitchen, grabs my book, and hands it to me as if he'd been expecting me for 60 hours. Now that's how you treat customers. Wow.

I want my mom and brother to experience the other school I teach in, with older students. So I invite them to sit in on my favorite class. One of my best students is 12-year-old Little Amy, who's small and smart and sweet as heck. Out of enjoyment, Little Amy nearly cries when she meets my mom; meeting parents is a big deal. My fam is amazed at the level of English these students speak, and I get some of the credit for teaching them. In all honesty, they speak better than some American students at the same age. And they definitely read better.

The girls all want to know about my brother, who has "ramen noodles hair." The kids are surprised I have a mom; they think I was made in a factory or hatched from an egg. (Kids have a weird way of looking at teachers, especially teachers from another country.) My mom laughs at all my crappy jokes while my brother and the other students groan. I draw a simple diagram that explains almost everything. Then Little Amy asks my mom why I have such awful handwriting.

The class ends on many good notes. The kids and my family were both mutually pleased to experience my class. But my next class is really boring so I advise my mom and bro to head back to the hotel as I annoy children with more crappy jokes.

Anywho, after I finish work I head back to the spot and take Med Bot out for some San Nock Chee, a sort of live octopus. They chop off the head, dice up the tentacles and put it on a plate. You dip the still-squirming legs into sesame oil and chew the hell out of them—if you don't, they can literally strangle you to death. It's not my favorite meal, but it's fun and pretty gross. Med Bot likes it, but it could be that he's laughing at the drunk guy passed out in front of his girlfriend. It's been a long day, and a long night, but we decide to do some noraebang, which is Korean karaoke. But a friend lost her credit card, so we call it a night.

Day 10: Saturday

It's our last full day. We wake early and Jee takes us out for more Shabu Shabu. I don't tell my mom that it's the exact same meal we ate less than 24 hours ago, but it turns out she doesn't notice because Jee cooks a lot better than I do.

Freemans in the country of Korea

Jee and I went on a date a little bit ago, but I was a lot bit hungover and didn't really realize what I was dealing with until today, and she's in a sundress. Every time I look her way, her cleavage gets deeper and her boobs seem to grow. I'm doing my best not to get caught by either her or my mom. But, they're right up there and I'm like a really dumb moth to a flamethrower.

After our delicious Shabu Shabu Part 2 (which is better than the original that I took my fam to), we walk around the park that I've never been to, even though it's just a hop and skip away.

Since it's so effing hot, I need something cold. Korean corner stores sell ice in a cup and I've never really known what they're for, but I grab the cup of ice and the clerk hands me a big packet of liquid. I stare at him. He takes the packet from me, tears off the top, and pours it into the ice, charges me 1,000 won (about a buck), and I take a sip. It's pretty much the best iced coffee I've ever had.

The park is nice. We watch some bungee jumpers, gaze at some giant goldfish/carp/koi, and run into Superman, or I should say, the S Pizza delivery man. Korea has a pizza chain where a dude dresses up in one of those foam-muscle Superman costumes and a ski mask and drives a moped around town, dropping off pizza pies.

A crazy girl I know tried to convince my brother and me to join her and her really unattractive friend for a group sex thing.I keep staring at Jee's form through her very light sundress and think dirty things. I tell myself I'm going to attempt to get in with her. Our first date months earlier wasn't bad, I just never followed up, and then she vacationed. We were and still are both working a lot at our respective jobs. (Update: I might be banging her friend soon, so there's that.)

After the park, I meet up with JK and we try to coerce Med Bot to buy some fashion. He declines.

My mom naps, leaving Med Bot and me to ourselves, so we hit the arcade to play the jungle game, which is a video game and kind of a ride and more fun than a movie. But it sort of sucks. We're just waiting for the pirate game to open up. The minute it does we leave the cut-rate jungle for the Seven Seas. Now we're shooting giant snakes, bugs, ghost buccaneers, and all types of bad guys. Most of all, we're spending a ton of my pocket change.

Then I convince Med Bot to do sticker pictures. Sticker pics are what Korean teenage girls do in their free time. It's like a photo booth, but better, because you can sort of Photoshop your pics. You add writing, funny hats, and all types of phrases like "BFF" and "Cute!"

My brother get all super-incest-gay in the photo booth, then even more incest-gay as we Photoshop ribbons, hearts, and lots of pink stuff to our pics. My key to stick pics is: more hearts, more pink, and more glitter never hurt anybody. We also flip off our other brother and call him a pussy.

Kevin and KC in Korea - PEACE!

I wonder what my mom will think of our pics. I bet Med Bot a Pepsi Next that she'll think we're idiots. He doesn't take the bet, but upon seeing our afternoon's prize, my mom is actually jealous. So we give her some of the ones we don't want.

We nap. Then we wake up! And go off to the country (the real country this time) to eat some seagull meat. It's not really seagull, but the word sounds like seagull. It's really pork tenderloins cooked over coals. It's effing brilliant. But smoky inside the spot. We see a Korean guard dog and a bunch of stray cats.

It's Med Bot's last night. I wanted to drink with him, but he doesn't drink. I wanted to get him laid, but I suck at getting myself laid, let alone somebody else. So I decide we should do the next best thing: noraebang. We get a small room with a giant TV and microphones, pick our own songs, and swoon to our heart's delight.

Noraebang - Korean Karaoke

Our friends are all drunk, but Med and I manage to blow people's minds with our singing. Actually, Med Bot slays it with some Elvis songs, while I'm really awful at Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," but really energetic with the "bomp bomp baaas." Our closing song is "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" by Sir Elton John, and yes, we felt that brotherly love. A crazy girl I know tried to convince my brother and me to join her and her really unattractive friend for a group sex thing, but I politely pretend my phone is broken. I like my bro and all, but I don't want to see him naked as he bangs a really unattractive girl and I'm with a crazy person.

Some drama that I'm not at liberty to disclose happens. Happily, I'm not the center or the almost-center of said drama. We arrive home at 6:30 a.m. We need to be awake by 9 a.m., and Med Bot has another 20-hour flight home.

At 9:30, I shower and head to my mom's hotel to say goodbye.

I'm feeling awful. Not just because I'm running on about six hours of sleep for two days, but I know I won't see my mommy or my bro for a long time. I did my best to spend as much time as possible with them, without going crazy.

We eat a quiet meal at Paris Baguette, a chain of pastry shops. I can barely put down anything. Then I remember I'm not hungover, just exhausted. So we walk next door and I drink a smoothie.

At the end, we talk about stuff. My other brother, my mom and dad's retirement, the house, grandparents, money, love, relationships, futures, and all the stuff that we were too busy to talk about the past nine days. I'm getting sadder and sadder. The bus for the plane leaves in two hours, but my mom insists on being earlier, which cuts my time ever shorter.

My mom wants a set of sticker pics for herself, so Med Bot and I scrounge up some energy to smile and get all super-incest gay again. We need to add a lot of shiny things to hide the fact that we're out of juice, but our mom loves them almost as she loves cake. And us too I guess.

I'm almost in panic mode. I don't really want my mom to leave. I'm never good with goodbyes, especially mom goodbyes. I know I'll see her shortly on Skype, but that's just not the same. And with the time difference, one of us is always about to sleep or just waking up.

I carry luggage to the bus stop and pray that the bus doesn't come on the dot. I do some hugs. Kevin and I do some non-sticker pics. I get a shot with my mom. The bus comes. I want to cry.

Then my mom says it. Something I've wanted to hear for the longest time, but completely forgotten about.

"KC, I'm so proud of you. I've seen you teach, and you are great at it. That's all I've ever wanted from you. You've really grown up to be a fine, young gentleman."

And that breath of air from her was worth all the hassles, jewelry shopping, and monetary expenses.

Then she adds, "I also really wish you'd use your comb on your hair instead of as a back scratcher."

Goodbye Mom - airport kiss

Thanks, Mom. I miss and love you bunches. You too, Med Bot. Our stick pics will last just as long as our "Best Friends Forever" oath.