I haven’t posted a Rant for awhile (that’s a good thing). I have one today, though. Every week or so I make calls on the weekend back to the United States. The timing is tricky because the U.S. is between 14 and 17 time zones behind Korea. Day there is night here, night there is day here, Saturday here is Friday there. I call the U.S. regularly to keep in touch with family and friends back home. I receive calls from back home occasionally, but about 95% of the international calls between Korea and the U.S. have been initiated by me. Why? I decided to take a break this weekend in mute protest. Unfortunately, if I skip a week or two calling home, I end up feeling guilty. I think it has to do with filial duty. The phone is a two-way communications tool. Why is it so hard for people from back home to pick up a phone and call their loved ones and friends overseas? If you live overseas too, do you experience the same problem? I’m sure you do. Are you the one who always ends up making the phone call?
In the past, I’ve also been guilty of not keeping in touch with those who live abroad. Here’s an example that implicates me. When my brother lived in Japan, he used to complain all the time that no one back home called him regularly. You know, he’s right. I now know exactly how he feels. When I lived in the U.S. and he was in Japan, I kept telling myself, "Well, I really should call my brother." I never did call him as regularly as he called me. Now the same thing is happening here, although the role is reversed and I call him more than he calls me. He calls me much more regularly than others, because he knows the distant feeling you often feel when you’re an expat. I heard that a friend of mine back home asked my mother’s boss if we were coming back to the U.S. for Christmas this year. Well, why not pick up a phone, call me, and find out firsthand? I know it can be a little more expensive and a bit inconvenient, but it’s well worth the effort to the person you call.
If you know someone you care about who lives overseas, give them a call! Figure out how to dial internationally. They would love to hear from you.