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Hello Hospitality!

September 6, 2010
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Moving has been difficult, like it always is. I’m so used to moving by now that little things really don’t bother me anymore but of course the larger issues come up and spoil my day.

The person who lived in the apartment before me was possibly the greatest slob who ever lived. There was a lot of crusting around things, hair in spaghetti like heaps, and general awfulness that was thankfully cleared away by a woman who volunteered to help clean up from my school and some maintenence men (also from my school)

One problem lingers. After any use, the washing machine decides to retain all its water, leaving me with a bunch of clothes swimming in a murky, lukewarm soup. I tried my best to translate everything on the machine but had no luck pressing the buttons so I gave in and asked Ryu for help. She arranged for the owner to come in and fix my machine because, more than likely, the problem was due to my inability to comprehend Korean metaphors or something.

The owner turned out to be just the sweetest woman imaginable. Although she didn’t quite connect with other foreigners living in the buildings, something about my situation endeared her to me. She told me how bad she felt for the state of the apartment and that I must be lonely being so far from my family. I had bought her a pastry so she left the apartment to bring me some snacks, too, even promising to cook for me in the future. The washing machine really didn’t give in to any of her tinkerings and Samsung Technical Department was called (they should come in tomorrow). Since my clothes were still wet and a little funky from the water, she offered to have them washed at a cleaners down the street, did so after wringing out my clothes, and brought them back so I could hang everything up to dry. Wow. Some time later, the landlady bought me dinner and we discussed Oklahoma, where her son is living, and the Korean and English words for “mackerel”

Sometimes Korean culture is unbelievably frustrating but most of the time it’s free dinners and unrelenting hospitality.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Angel Cartagena permalink
    September 7, 2010 10:27 am

    Hi Kristin!

    The Lord will always provide, especially when we are unable to help ourselves. I’m glad to hear your jacked up washing machine opened the door to a new and blessed friendship. 🙂

    God bless you and know that we pray for you daily. Have a great and fantastic week at school.

    Angel

    • aukissed permalink*
      September 10, 2010 12:28 am

      It’s funny that a lot of things just turn out that way here. When I first came here there was an excessive amount of hand holding just because all of the teachers worried about me being so far away from home. And I’ve rarely come across anything really bad that wasn’t immediately rectified by an older Korean woman. The hospitality here is something I will miss a lot when I leave.

      Thank you for the prayers. It was so great seeing you and Ruben when I was home. I definitely feel more confident in my future career choices after the night in Ellicott City!

      Many many thanks.

  2. Natosha permalink
    September 13, 2010 6:50 am

    That’s awesome. Last week I got lost walking in my new neighborhood and ran across two sweet Korean ladies, one of which spoke English. She was happy to see someone new and offered to by me coffee sometime in the future. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a cell phone so there was really no way for her to contact me. I assured her I’d stop around the corner again (this time I won’t be lost).

    • aukissed permalink*
      September 20, 2010 7:07 am

      That’s a great story – the internet could really use more positive ones. I swear when I was first considering teaching here, all I could find was just the worst information about living here. I blame that mostly on eslcafe, though.

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