-4 degrees. Seoul today, and it is the lowest temperature in this month. December 2023, exactly two years since my first arrival here. I remember it was also winter, my first time ever seeing snowflakes fell upon my hands, my shoes, my jacket; my first time ever inhaling oxygen in my dream city. It was cold, but not as cold as I thought. I could feel my teeth clicking but something made me keep smiling. My heart, and bunch of unexplainable exciting feelings inside.
The last bus will come in about 20 minutes. I sit on the long bench–with a longing heart. I was happy two years ago. I wrote my dreams on a A3-sized paper to be plastered on my wall once I get to the new dorm. It was nice to have dreams, just thinking of pursuing them made my blood flew faster from head to toe. At least that was what I felt in my few first months; happiness. Until that first problem came. I took my master degree in Seoul fully-funded by my country. And we–scholarship awardee–had been told before to not hoping too much. It was around July when I checked my bank account and found out that nothing had been sent, not even a sen. Good timing that it was Summer, I had my break time for a month so I went for a part time job. Everything seemed fine, I could handle my life and nothing serious happened.
I clench my fists to keep myself warm. I forgot to bring my gloves even though I know today is going to be real freezing. I think about home. And my mother. And my Father. And my Brother. I have this feeling lingers inside my chest for a long time but this time, 10 p.m at this quiet bus stop, it grows bigger and it feels more torturing. I miss them. And my little cat–which isn’t actually my cat but he sleeps mostly in my house anyway. My second problem came when it was around September last year. Still no money from the government, and I’ve spent more than half of my saving for a living. Autumn to winter, what a worst timing to suffer from hunger. It was cold and I need more fats, but all I could eat was beans, and ramen, and sometimes twice-heated curry. But it was still okay, I’d bear with any hardship as long as I don’t have problem with my study.
Winter wind becomes colder at night. Five more minutes and the bus will come. But since I came to Seoul time has been absurdly going faster and slower, matching it pace with my mood swings. Sometimes when I’m happy I wouldn’t know if the sun just set, because I felt like only laughed for about two minutes. But lately, time is running slower than ever. It began three months ago, when one of my professor told me to change my thesis title. Title. I already gave up my blood and tears for making it come true; I’m already half of my way and he suddenly told me to drastically change it. From the tittle to the conclusion. Title to conclusion. I told my mother I’ll come home soon. I told her to wait a little more. I told her that I’m only one step away from my master degree. I gave her hopes, but now I’m going backwards.
The snowflakes are falling down faster; it’s raining. I felt the chill spreading to my bones. I used to love winter and its cool breeze, but now not so much. Winter reminds me of dreams I once built, but I haven’t reach. Winter reminds me of how lonely I am, in a city I once dream to live in. Winter and its snowflakes and its freezing wind. I never felt so distant from my self, from my home. I never felt so lonely and missing my mother this much. I suddenly want to hug her, snuggle my giant feet into her tiny lap. It must be nice, to feel her warm breath blowing my neck. Please, just one time, I whispered. But nothing happens. I’m still here, at this quiet bus stop with cold bench and slippery pavement. I let the snowflakes touch my hands, my shoes, my jacket. It is cold but something is colder. My heart, and the unexpected wound that suddenly opens.
Some day, the cold rain will become warm tears
And fall down
It’s just a passing downpour
with the thought of my bestfriend, I.
read while listening to this song:
I.O.I – Downpour