I grew up in Manchester by the Sea a small beach town of the coast of Massachusetts. I was lucky I had both of my parents still married. My mother whom I called Mamma in Norwegian and my father whom I called Abeoji in Korean. My parents were an interesting pair. You could saw East meets West. My father known as Jun-so Yi was a famous Korean architect and who had studied at the Oslo School of Architecture School in 1989. My mother known as Alva Berg was Norwegian born in Nordland county of Norway and in the small fishing village of Sorland. My mother studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music as a cellist. Both of my parents held prestigious positions in Oslo, Norway at the time they had met. My mother with her thick curly blonde locks and mysterious blue-green eyes was the featured cellist for he Oslo Orchestra. My father was the head architect for a famous Korean firm that had a office located in Oslo. My father had already at the young age of 27 had designed the Oslo Bank in downtown Oslo. They had met on a chilly spring day in late April in 1996 at one of my father Jun-so’s colleagues house in the outskirts of Oslo. My mother almost had not attended that evening. She had been asked to come by her friend Marta to meet some handsome young men. Marta was dating my father’s colleague at the time. Alva decided she would go last minute. My father retold the story to me many times in Korean of the moment he saw my mother entering the party. My father at this point had grown quite bored and was about to leave as there were only so many beers he could drink and small talk. Then she walked in Alva with her waist length blond curly hair and as my father described as enchanting eyes. He couldn’t stop looking at her. My mother had also noticed my father. He was quite handsome my mom always said his thick jet black hair with a slight curl and his warm smile. My mom told me something about him not being Norwegian and she saw him as different like her. They started talking about themselves and their families. My father’s parents who hoped to move in with him as soon as he was settled somewhere. My mother not wanting to see her parents or have them as part of her life. They talked until the party had ended at 2 am and then my father asked her if they could meet again. She agreed and they made their first date to go to a poetry reading at one of my father’s newest building he had designed. It was for Oslo University’s Literature Department. My father was quite a show-off my mother had told me at the time. Then their love story continued and they were married two years later in 1998. Shortly afterwards my father Jun-so had been offered a position at one of the most famous Architectural firms in the country located in Boston, Massachusetts. They decided together to move to Massachusetts in 1999. My mother had asked my father for one thing. She told him there was on thing she could not live without again. The thing had been the ocean. My father and mother stayed in a hotel their first month in Boston. They looked up and down the coast north of Boston for the perfect home to start their family. They found a small beach town in Manchester by the Sea and a beach front property. My father never had to worry about money as he had been paid quite handsomely for all of his work in Norway and had also received a large sign on bonus for his new position in Boston. They purchased a large New England style home with five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a greenhouse, and they added two studios on for their work. After they signed for the house my mother became pregnant with me in late August 2000. I was later born on May 6, 2001 at the Mass General Hospital. I was born with a full head of curly thick dark brown hair and green almond shaped eyes. The addition of the new baby to the busy couples’ lives with my mother’s music and my father’s architectural projects led my father to call his parents my grandmother Halmoni and my grandfather Halbogi in Seoul, Korea to move in with them. My grandparents didn’t blink an eye as this was the call they had been praying for. My grandmother was an avid Korean christian who told me she had prayed for the moment she could have a grandchild. My grandfather who had recently retired from his position as a surgeon was much more than happy to spend his retirement raising her only child my father’s child.
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