yes my friends, i'm back. it's been almost a month since the last post. time flies when you're busy watching tv ... i mean, saving lives in the hospital.
my parents are in cancun right now. that scares me. they usually travel with friends or other korean travel groups so i don't worry about them as much but this time they're on they're own. do they speak spanish? no. fortunately it's enough of a tourist town to where enough natives speak english. is there a good chance they'll get swindled? yes. will they manage to get from the airport to the hotel in a timely fashion? not sure. what will they do while they're there? don't know either. typically koreans take food and cooking utensils (think rice cookers, pots, portable flame or electric burners, coolers, etc.) with them on trips and cook in the hotel room or wherever they're staying. it was like a freakin' korean market when we were at a marriott timeshare in california a few years ago. my brother had the timeshares and there were 2 units next to each other and the fridge was filled with korean food to cook and cook we did. i felt bad for the next occupants because the rooms stunk like korean food after a week of saturation with garlic, kimchee, fermented bean paste and other odd smells.
anyway, my parents are in cancun because my dad just wanted to go to cancun. i am my parents' unofficial travel agent. i'll get a call from them every once in a while asking me to book a flight using skymiles. of course, usually this is unsuccessful because those you-know-whats hardly ever have a flight you want. and when they do, you have to pay an extra $100 or more because you booked the flight too close to the actual departure date.
the good news for my parents' survival is that my mom did come to a tiny little town in georgia 30 some odd years ago with several other korean nurses, none of whom spoke english, and somehow made it.
which brings me to another point, no matter where you go in this world, if it's of any tourist value, you can usually find a group of koreans there. at sacre coeur on a hilltop in paris? koreans. karen freaked some of them out by saying "hi" in korean. they laughed. my parents also went with a busload to vancouver. imagine if you're minding your own business at a random ski resort in vancouver and a busload of koreans descend on your property. meals were included in this package and i remember my mom telling me that one of the restaurant people asked her if there was an egg shortage in korea because they were tearing up the hard-boiled eggs on the buffet. no, koreans just like to take advantage of free meals (e.g., me and drug rep dinners) and apparently they were taking the eggs with them to eat for later as well. this was discovered by the staff when all of the eggs were gone but there were few shells on the tables.
well, here's a glass to you mom and dad, wherever in mexico you are. here's to safe travels.