it's a little ole place where we can get together


world tour update: south, south korea

when theresa informed me that we would take a trip to the south of south korea….to the farmland where her dad lived…and where her uncle continues to grow crops, raise animals….a place where the family grew up bathing in a lake ten minutes away….i balked. i envisioned squatter toilets or worse…an outhouse; sleeping in a barn…and critters! lots of critters running around my room as i try to sleep. i was not looking forward to this. especially with no information….and only with what i could imagine.

but even though the farm was old schoolish….with them making kimchi the old fashioned way in large jars outdoors, with them growing their own veggies, fruits, soy beans…theresa’s aunt and uncle lived in a modern two storied home with terraces, heated hard wood floors, critter free bedrooms and yeah! a toilet in a modern bathroom….sorta. if you notice….the bathroom is also the shower. it was a little strange showering….like…where do i put my clothes? it also felt weird because i was getting the whole room wet….but you’re supposed to.

but the real story for me is the generosity of theresa’s family. despite $100 per tank gas prices and treacherous weather conditions, they cheerfully took us all over gyungju to see the sights including the fields and fields of cherry blossoms that this region is known for…all because i mentioned in passing that i heard about the cherry blossom festival. gyungju is a few hours drive from their home!

the next day, they took us to an incredible sight in their back yard. not that far from their farm was a buddhist temple built by a family friend. i was respectful since i usually am not that thrilled with visiting temples especially with the burning incense that makes my senses revolt. but it was stunning….the family friend made all these buddhas…..

they took us to see some other natural sights including a few amusing moments. they made us rub the buddha mostly for baby luck hoping that it would help us in our fertility. we also stumbled across a stone tribute to an old school korean game that i saw in college and on fat albert called buck buck. i kid you not….you stick your heads in each other’s crotches while others jump on top of you to try to break the chain.

i tried to join in and paid for it.

i was overwhelmed by their generosity. they stuffed us with snacks, both korean and american because they didn’t know what we would eat so they got a variety; they paid for every meal including soondiboo, pork bbq and a traditional korean meal with tons of little dishes…they even stopped to get the signature read bean cakes of the region for us. they gave us money. they bought us tickets for the fast train back to korea so we could have more time back in seoul.

then they asked us to forgive them…..if they did anything wrong.


they did nothing wrong. they opened their home to me. they lavished generosity on me. they made every effort to show love. their humility humbled me. their desire to welcome me into the family left me silent.

Posted under korea, world tour
  1. Gordon Said,

    That game, I have played. It’s quite painful.

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