Mayda's Never Born tour diary 2: Meeting my birth parents
I must say it has been such a surreal experience for me so far. The shows have been a really great learning experience. Seoul seems to work on a somewhat different schedule than venues in the United States. The turnouts have been big and small, but I seem to sell merch wherever I play, which is always a plus. Surprisingly, the fans have been old and new ones from all over the world. I am super grateful.
Mayda's Never Born tour diary 1: Arriving in Korea
One of the gigs in particular was a very special venue at a super underground club in HongDae District of Seoul called MWG. The vibe was sort of Honey meets 7th St. Entry, which made for a nice casual meeting of appropriate drinking and partying. The occasion was an after party for Minnesota's own Sun Mee Chomet's one-woman show called "How to be a Korean Woman" sponsored by ASK, Groove Magazine, and IKAA.
There was some miscommunication with sound equipment and needs, but the show ended up starting late with a good fury. I played two sets, one at 11:30 p.m. and 12:30 p.m.-ish. The response was amazing and everyone seemed to have a fun time. By that time, I had run a little low on merchandise which was okay since I needed to sell more for the last leg of the tour. All in all, it was a successful night that ended around 3:30 a.m. with a celebratory meal at a famous Tteok Bogi (spicy fried rice cakes with fried dumplings) joint close by. Can we say "delicious"? Unfortunately, I paid for it the next day (think too much volcano tacos from Taco Bell); ouch.
On a serious note ... meeting my birth parents has been such an emotional roller coaster. I am more than honored and grateful that I have met my parents on the soil I was born on. However it is not as joyous and simple as people think. Just because I met them does not mean all my questions were answered. It actually complicates the situation.
I have to admit that I was a little skeptical when I first saw them. I did not think I looked like them at all no matter how hard I tried to match features. At the end of this monumental meeting, I felt I really wanted to make sure these two human beings were in fact the ones that gave me life.
My friends Julie and Jackie were kind enough to walk me to GOAL, an organization that aids Korean adoptees through their birth family search, where I began DNA testing. I filled out paperwork and gave them 15 strands of hair to use. They would need to also get a sample from my mother and father, which meant getting in contact with the agency to retrieve the hair. Because my parents were older, even contacting them would be difficult because of their less technological-based lifestyles. Also, my parents might feel a bit insulted by the fact that I might need to double check.
Luckily, GOAL would take the responsibility under their belt by saying it is standard procedure for the test in order for further contact with me.
So now, I am sitting in my guesthouse post-show. It is hotter than a womb and more humid than I have ever felt in Minnesota. I am shirtless typing this entry with my guitar on my thigh and a new song in the works. I could not be more confused and happy at the same time. What a ride.
Tonight I perform again with my friend Yong Chung and we will continue to take this city by storm! More to come guys.