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Published: December 14th 2006
Realizing exactly what I was in for, minute by minute awkward translation, a pair of adorably giddy parents, screaming, crying, giggling boys, and freezing temperatures, I took my privates (korean kids I teach privately in their own house, secretly, "beyond" the law...2% chance of being deported for taking away hagwon/korean jobs)...up on their invitation for a weekend to Andong - farther north and west of Daegu in South Korea. The Cultural Capital of Korea, much like Kyoto - of Japan, I'm guessing.
Although I'm exhausted from the trip, I feel full, whole, a true and curious visitor to Korea. I've always thought-complained (to myself) that Korea seems to be a family-centric country. Many people do not move out of their parents home until they're married, many business deals or job appointments seem to be based on family ties...and here I am, in a studio apartment, very far from my own family, walking to and from work without a hug, kiss goodbye, no tupperware container with assorted kimchi, rice and other "unconditional love" as Michael in the office calls the mom-supplied that Koreans in the office tote each day.
And now, I have been adopted into two sweet families.
"For Aesthetics Only and Fun" the mom explained.
Grab this out of a field, wave it around, smack your dad with it when you're annoyed you can't go to Grandmas house today, bring it in the car, shake it and watch the little twigs fly around the car.
As for now, as is with all other trips (especially Kyoto, which I haven't yet posted), I'll be coming back to fill in the photos with comments after I relax. For now, Welzer family, and any kickass stalker, here is the collage o' Andong.
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