24 July 2008

among blood

g-cash is looking a little glum.

it's been over three months since i've made the daegu family trip (shame!). so last sunday, despite a hefty slew of new work projects, i took the 100-minute korea train express (ktx) to the city of big apples. the ride down was fun since mr. hoon was also doing a gyeongsang province family reunion, but his was in busan.

anyhow, at east daegu station, i transferred to the subway, and 7-ish stops and a 15-minute walk later, i was at the family compound. tho pretty damn lucid for a 92-year-old great-grandmother, my halmoni tried speaking to me in japanese again. at least she realized her error and started laughing. her physical health seems ok but her spirits were low. she smiled infrequently and i'm concerned about a large, textured growth on her right jowels. anyhow, i need to get back on my once per month visiting schedule.

i arrived at about noon and left at 5:30. a shamefully short visit and halmoni wasn't pleased. per usual, wesukmo (my aunt) was in a constant state of food prep and clean up. she is chatty, but me thinks her audience wasn't ideal:

1) a 92-year-old know-it-all matriarch who asks the same questions repeatedly.

2) a mentally-retarded husband whose boyish non-sequiturs always take a conversation off-track.

3) a korean language beginner (me) who latches onto a coupla key words and context, but whose questions and reactions expose his paltry 23% comprehension rate.

4) a small maltese-ish mutt who is 130 in korean dog years (13x10). in this case, i think the american x7 tradition works a lil better (i'm not sure why i've included "maek-seu").
anyhow, this couldn't have been a very satisfying audience.

a hot summer weather favorite: aunty's delicious samgyetang (삼계탕)

the fam don't speak any english and that's a good thing, i guess. they are not accustomed to interacting with foreigners, so they don't speak slowly, use seoul dialect and/or simple vocabulary for my benefit. no, matt, this isn't sogang korean language institute level 1... and thank goodness, because language school doesn't serve you three meals in under 6 hours (#1: curry rice, #2: samgyetang (whole boiled chicken stuffed with rice, ginseng and dates), #3: bulgogi (marinated grilled beef... probably from america).

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