August 13th, 2010
Talking with 경진 Gyeongjin and her friend about my research was really good for me. Since the conversation I have kept thinking about other ways to explain or how to expand upon what I was saying. I explained about how traditions always change through the example of family Christmas—how the family still does many of the same things but some new idea has been integrated, and something only interesting to children is phased out when the kids are grown. Gyeongjin’s family (grown brother and Gyeongjin, and their parents) may now go overseas for the holidays! I mean, you may have a tree for years, but it’s not necessary, you could just use a big poinsettia or other potted plant when the host gets tired of cleaning needles off the floor. My mother has certainly taken to that method.
I went to get Karjam at the airport, I was so worried I’d be late, by the time I bought red roses and hopped on the airport bus (thanks be it came one minute after I got to the stop, even though it’s only about 4xs per hour) it was one hour from when his plane was scheduled to land. It was rush hour and I was really worried, but as it turned out I got to the exit for his flight (A) just 15 minutes after the plane landed. I stood, expectantly, with the roses under my arm and a white Tibetan kata or prayer scarf (used in such situations as when an honored person arrives) draped over my arms. And waited. And waited. Then someone said that a lot of the Seattle flight was exiting through B, so I paced back and forth, worried I’d miss the moment. After an hour (when no one was coming out of either gate from Seattle) I had them page Karjam, then again. No Karjam! I contemplated calling mom (though it was after 1 a.m. and she really doesn’t appreciate middle-of-the-night calls) as I started to really get upset, at last I spotted Karjam (he’d come out B a couple minutes before, not seeing me, he was trying to figure out how to make a pay phone call when all I’d given him for emergency money was 10,000 won). It had simply taken him forever to fill out the English on the immigration and customs slips. He was able to bring both instruments no problem!
Our sweet landlady made Karjam a rice and duck soup! He ate some of it, and a lot of watermelon that Gyeongjin and her friend brought and went to sleep.