Maritza Ruiz-Kim

Artist, San Francisco Bay Area

Coffee x2 and Awake

Leaving Stockholm for our two day journey to the west coast of Sweden.

Descending on the lake from the back of the bride family’s summer house.

The lily pads planted by the bride’s father.

It’s 3:30 am Sweden time, and I am suffering the consequences of a huge mistake- that of drinking 2 cups of coffee at night (noon home time) when I haven’t had coffee regularly for months. It used to be one cup wouldn’t affect me, but here I went and had TWO (why!?!) and I have reverted back the pre-Sweden schedule in my body, it seems. I was enjoying the company of family and a Swedish couple, who is also staying at this small hotel in Orserum as they are also headed to a wedding on Sweden’s west coast, also a wedding on the cold beach, which is also likely to be diverted indoors because of the rainy weather. As I sit here awake, I have listened to thunder and watched lightening flash again, just like late night Chicago just a few nights ago.

Wait. I just remembered that I have Melatonin.

Why did it take me 4 hours and finishing Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri before I remembered this?

Before I forget, I have to say GK’s parents have been the biggest surprise of our trip. They have kept us (& everyone!) laughing with their antics. I am seeing them with fresh eyes. I’ve already been seeing GK’s mom in a way that makes me appreciate her so much more. I know we are removed from my children and my home, which seem to be two areas of my life where I can feel overrun by her. So here, in this neutral territory, I am seeing how much she is my family, and how I am her family, and how we share so much. There might be areas of friction, and they might be so raw sometimes, but here, now, I am laughing so much with Umma & Apa, and it’s just an experience I want to hold closely, keeping it safely for later; I think I will need these reserves. But right now, I can’t imagine times like those.

Just for later reference, let me say these things: we drove in a caravan of 4 cars (does everyone here drive European station wagons?) (and why are there so many roadside McDonald’s with long drive-in lines?) and GK’s mom made this thing out of paper bag and string, and hung it out the back passenger window, so that as we drove along at 120kmh (kilometers per hour), it flew out the window like a recycled garbage kite, just to mess with the driver, (GK’s cousin) behind us.

When we prepared to go on a floating dock boat in a lake today, and the chairs were all arranged facing in one direction, she took the opportunity to perform a children’s song in her most exaggerated fashion, to make us all laugh. And we did.

Tonight, in the living room of this B&B, GK’s dad started dancing all these Korean dances, the harvest dance, some other one too, and there was card playing and piano playing and GK talking about how all Koreans know how to play an instrument and all at once everyone denying they know how to play well enough to entertain us.

Gomo (aunt) says: “I can only play from sheet music.”

Sheet music is produced.

Gomo: “I can’t read that music.”

Aha, bluff called.

Goodnight.

There’s a stormy view form my window.

2 Replies to “Coffee x2 and Awake”

  • ahhh, I’m so happy for you, sounds like you are having such are great time. How fun to see your in-laws in a different light. And I ALWAYS break the rules when it comes to eating on vacation. I’ll eat meat. I learned from a trip to New Orleans. That place is NO FUN as a vegetarian. I swore after that trip I would eat and have fun on vacation no matter what.

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