Today’s Guest Post is from Linda from the blog “Linda Living in China.” She writes:
2014 was gonna be the year when everything would finally come into place in my life.
I started dating a Chinese guy in late 2012 when I came to live in Guangzhou, China. However, after only 6 months I had to leave for the US to finish my Bachelor’s degree. We continued dating long-distance and planned to live together in China after my graduation. But our relationship failed and eventually we broke up.
Still I dreamed of China and wanted to live there.
Life doesn’t always come as you planned and so Jeongsu crossed my way. When I first met him he was a cute but shy Korean guy who had just arrived in San Diego one week ago.
We hung out at the beach with our common friends who were looking for an apartment in Pacific Beach, San Diego’s party area. When looking at apartments with our friends, Jeongsu tried to start a conversation with me and mentioned he liked my heart-shaped sunglasses. I couldn’t understand what he was talking about at first because of his heavy Korean accent, but he formed a heart with his hands for me to understand. We both laughed.
Later at the beach, we didn’t really talk that much but made eye contact and exchanged polite smiles.
After swimming and playing volleyball, we were hungry and decided to eat at a Turkish place. Jeongsu sat right next to me and when our food came he offered me a bite of his food to try.
And I already had the idea he might be interested in me. His two other Korean friends were very friendly to me as well, but Jeongsu was different. There was a connection between us. When going home by trolley he sat next to me again and asked me if I had a Facebook account. He added me right away on his Facebook app. I knew he liked me now.
The following days, we were talking to each other every day. We had a lot to talk about in found out common interests. The only thing I was worried about was the fact that he was Korean. Not because he is Asian but because I didn’t know anything about Korea let alone speak a word of Korean. How could I make this work?
I wanted to go back to China and I spoke Chinese pretty ok. Not Korean… But he is such a nice guy…!
His birthday party was just around the corner, just a few days after we met. He invited me and my friends and we all came to hang out at his dorm, where he shared a room with 3 other guys.
After a few drinks, we went out to the club. At the club, all I could think of was how to come closer to Jeongsu but I played cool. It wasn’t too long until he came over and invited me for a drink. We had one beer after another. First he paid for 2 bottles, then me, then him again and so on and so forth. When we were dancing on the dance floor I felt wonderful.
I had no worries on my mind and only eyes for him. It seemed like the whole world came to a standstill and he looked into my eyes and tried to kiss me. However, I turned my head to the side. It didn’t feel right just then.
When we came back to his dorm after the club closed its doors, our friends had a few more drinks in the room. We, however, went to staircase outside next to the balcony/patio area. We sat down, talked and looked into the night sky. The moon was bright and made Jeongsu’s face look even more handsome than it was already. His warm smile gave me butterflies in my tummy. Then it happened: our first kiss!
After that day, we spent most of our freetime together. We went to the beach, went on trips or simply stayed at home and watched “How I Met Your Mother”.
Originally, Jeongsu had planned to only stay 3 months in San Diego but because of me he stayed a total of 6 months. We had the greatest time together. When the time came closer to both his departure and my graduation, we had to made up our minds.
He would still have to finish his Bachelor’s degree for a semester in Korea before he could start working. I still wanted to go back to China and had already gotten a great offer at a company. So we made the decision: long-distance.
After he left, I still had a few weeks before I was able to graduate and go back to Germany and then eventually to China. I missed Jeongsu horribly and didn’t go out anymore. I stayed at home most of the time because everything would remind me of him.
When I came back to Germany, we still talked every day. Even before I moved to China, we agreed that I would come to visit him in Korea as soon as possible, which I did after living in China for 2 months.
We had the greatest time in Korea. I felt like this could be my new (future) home. I was cordially welcomed by his family and experienced the Korean culture first-hand. I was now a part of them – kind of. I had even started studying Korean ever since we were going out and have gotten a little further. I can understand a few words and can also reply to his mother when she asks me if I want to drink some water.
I never expected to date a Korean guy and fall in love with an Asian country besides China like that.
Life doesn’t always come the way you think it would. But it all happens for a reason. If it’s meant to be, it will be. I always keep that in mind. Long-distance is hard and requires a lot of effort but in the end it is worth it.
About the author: Linda started studying Mandarin Chinese in 2010 and moved to Guangzhou in late 2012 for a 6-month internship. She fell in love with the country and culture and decided to move back in 2014. Now, she lives in Changsha, Hunan, and blogs about China, Korea and her AMWF relationship on lindalivinginchina.com.