Sunday, August 09, 2009

Random Korea Reflections, 1

How generous are my wife's family? This generous: One brother-in-law put my name on his auto insurance, and offered me the use of his car while I was staying with him--he'd take a taxi to work and back. I declined, of course, of necessity as well as courtesy. The streets were too narrow and the traffic was too wild for me to navigate. In America we can turn right on red, but in Korea they go straight on red. Plus, I couldn't read the signs, and would have gotten lost immediately.

And this generous: Another set of in-laws were moving into a new home, a luxury condo in a hi-rise, at the same time we were there. They hurried up to move in, more so than they should have, so that we would be comfortable. The big bed, the hiking trail on the mountain in back, and so on, were partially chosen with me in mind, they said. That was beyond generous and verging on ridiculous, to my mind--but I was no less appreciative.

This generous: My kids couldn't turn around without someone giving them an ice cream cone. I already mentioned how another brother-in-law put us up in a 6-star hotel in Seoul, and gave us a lot of money to go see the sights. And how still another set of in-laws booked us into a beachfront condo on Jeju Island's gorgeous south shore. They treated us to meals at fine restaurants several times weekly. One of them bought some expensive Oriental medicine for me. I don't believe in the principles of Qi and such, but I drink the foul stuff twice daily anyway, because the love that went into its making is as strong as whatever medicinal powers it's supposed to have.

And on our last day, we had to take the overnight bus from Gwangju to Incheon airport, there to catch the plane for home. Several of them turned out at 3:00am to see us off at the bus station, after having dined with us just a few hours previously. What a family...

In return, I've managed to find small ways to help them over the years. I'm an American and a native English speaker, which comes in handy from time to time. One nephew is studying in the U.S. at the moment, and our home is his American home--his parents are grateful for that. I only hope that more of them can come visit in the years to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! Please keep your comments civil and on-topic. Spammage will be cheerfully removed.