I saw a homeless lady going through a public garbage today. I see the lady all the time around Noksapyeong stn. sometimes she sleeps on the bench and sometimes she just sits around mindlessly or smoking cigarettes. she doesn’t carry a lot of stuff with her, which i like. i like people who are always on the go. i wanna live without too many belongings attached to myself, always ready to leave whenever n wherever i’m needed at a heart beat, but living simply is truly challenging.
녹사평역을 지나가다보면 가끔 앉아계시는 노숙자 아주머니가 계신다. 일하러 갈때마다 항상 보곤하는데 어쩔땐 벤치에 옆으로 누워 세상모르고 주무실때도 있고 어쩔땐 그냥 멍하니 앉아계시거나 쪼그리고 앉아 담배를 피우신다. 다른 노숙자들에 비래 살림살이가 적다. 난 어디든 항상 갈 준비가 되어있는 가볍게 사는 사람들이 좋다. 나도 그렇게 많은 살림살이를 끌어안고 살고 싶지 않지만 쉬운 일이 아니다.
i always felt like giving her something, but usually she seems like she doesn’t really want much from strangers. but when i saw her going through the trash can today picking out unfinished cigarette stubs, i’s thinking i’m pretty broke myself, but at least i have money to buy cigarettes(of all things!). so i walked up to her and gave her the brand new pack of cigarettes i’d just bought.
지나가면서 바라보면 항상 뭔가를 드리고 싶었다. 근데 이분은 행인들에게 뭔가 바라는 노숙자가 아니고 그냥 바라는거 없이 길거리에 나와계시는 분 같다. 근데 오늘은 버스정류장 곁에 있는 쓰레기통을 뒤지면서 피다 만 담배꽁초를 모으고 있는걸 보고는, 나두 요즘 돈이 없어 끙끙 대지만 담배(다른 거 다 제껴놓고!) 살 돈이 있다면 여유롭게 사는 거다라는 생각이 들었다. 그래서 아주머니께 다가가서 방금 전에 산 새 담배 한각을 드렸다.
she took the pack. she didn’t say thanks. she looked surprised more than anything. she put it on the top of the trash can with total confidence knowing that the pack belongs to her and no one else, and immediately went right back to going through the garbage. i was totally taken aback because i thought she’d stop going through the garbage once she got a whole pack from me. In the end, i felt like i was disrupting her work.
고맙단 말도 없이 받으셨다. 좀 놀래신거 같기도 하고.. 담배를 받고서는 뒤지고 있던 휴지통 위에 그냥 올려놓으시더라. 자기거라는 누군가 가져갈 이도 없다는 완벽한 확신이 부러웠다. 그러고는 곧바로 계속 휴지통을 뒤지시는거다. 새 담배를 드리면 휴지통을 그만 뒤지실줄 알았는데… 일하시는데 방해하는 기분이었다.
I may be a little short on funds these days, but i’m generally content with my life, and people seem to tolerate me much better. I’m okay with that.
요즘은 좀 돈이 없어 힘들지만 전반적으로 내 인생에 대해 만족스럽다. 주위 사람들도 나를 좀더 쉽게 견디는것 같다. 괜찮은 상황이다.
I visited some midde eastern country to see Mona and we were walking on sanddunes in the desert before I meet my host family. After taking some pictures with my T2, I realized I did not bring any other extra rolls of film so I started to really freak out, only I actually did bring them and they were in my luggage. Once I found them, I started regreting that I didn’t bring the FE2 to capture all the amazing beauty of the place, but soon I got over it. Then, on the way to the host family’s house in the car, a woman keeps bawling and i ask her why she’s so upset and someone else says that’s just the way she is. the woman all of a sudden stops crying and starts talking about some random shit and I’s like o…k…. the mother and father of the family sit in the back and I happen to sit next to the father and he starts putting his arms around me and gets a little too friendly in front of his family. and then he says he wants me to be his mistress in front of his wife n i wake up.
my friend June invites me to this club event thing and i’s like shit my friend markus’ organizing that. she’s all we booked a spot called powder room just for us and our friends and i’s all sweet. so i call up Markus and go yo my friend June tells me there’s a thing at this club and he’s all that’s right i own that motherfuckin place n i’s like oh fo real? n he goes u can have the powder room n i’s like word. so i show up and June’s there and she’s all yo who’s this markus guy. i’m all check it out he’s a totally awesome friend of mine from college and then i c him for the first time since college. i’s like markus! and he’s all joooooooooooooooon! and we hug and kiss and it’s like no time has gone by. i introduce him to my friend June and then he excuses himself for being busy and leaves. June’s like yo i thought he was gonna b an old dude and i said nah he’s our age he’s a real g. so the party begins and we drink and dance and all these real g rappers are like girl u so fine and i’s like man i should hang with black ppl more often. and my friend krack shows up with shades on and a ciggie in his mouth n all these skinny coked-up models in both his arms, real hollywood style, and some paparazzi start busting out flashes. i’s like DANG i haven’t seen this guy in ages either! so i go yo krack! and he goes jooooooooooooooon! so we hug and kiss and start partying together. and my friend dj bluz starts spinnin’ and ppl start going maaaaaad! and i c in the corner my friend mona and her boyfriend hitting on different people n i’s like yo rn’t u guys engaged? n they’re like uh huh and i’s like o.k. there were nice beats blasting ur eardrums, people buying each other fancy drinks left n right and doing lines and all flavors of smoke foggin up the joint and i’m thinking shit this place is crazy mad for monday night, then i wake up.
i started visiting my aunt(the youngest girl of my dad’s 9 siblings!) ever since I moved to Seoul. We live relatively closer and my dad’s (half-assed) divorce kinda brought us closer and I take great joy in visiting her since then. I met up with Uncle and we bought some sashimi for dinner (which took forever since he was shooting bull with his friend who owned the seafood joint) and we were drinking beer and enjoying the fresh fish. we were talking about all kinds of stuff and naturally we ended up on the story of how they grew up after the Korean War.
The war broke out when she was two so she was only a child going through the post-war era. she was talking about the stories she heard as a child. how the family was split in the midst of the war and she was her two older brother and father and my dad, one of her older brothers, was with his mother and the rest of his younger brothers and sisters.
The whole thing began with what a frugal person my dad is. he would never waste a grain of rice even after he became pretty wealthy, and according to Aunt, it’s all because he was (they all were) so hungry growing up as a child after the war. as refugees of the war, with no place to go and mouths to feed, he would have to go around the neighboring areas to go begging for food. some generous and some slamming the door on him, he would gather a scoop of rice or, what I consider, inedible porridge at a time for his family. his mother would work for a well-off family as a farm labor and my aunt would walk 20-40 km with the youngest baby on her back to where her mom was working so that her mother could breast-feed the baby and the children would get what little food the workers were willing to share for their only meal for the day and they would walk back the same distance. the two groups later reunite in their parents’ hometown, which is very fortunate for war refugees of the time.
I also found out my paternal grandfather was a carpenter, which was a news to me. I always thought he was a farmer for some reason. She said all her siblings got the crafty talent from the grandpa, except for my dad, who was always the studious one. He would the most educated one out of the whole family and even when he was a child and didn’t have anything, he’d be constantly reading. He would tie a book to his firewood cart and read it while he’s taking a break from gathering firewood. he later leaves his hometown to enter a prestigious high school in Gyeongsang province, from which a lot of former presidents and influential figures have graduated, and he remained one of the top students of the school until he had to proceed to a 2-year commerce school instead of a 4-year university like the other kids of the same ranking in his class because of the financial reason and, later had to drop out of school to start working hands-on in Seoul.
That explains so much how he doesn’t know jack-squat when it comes to building or fixing things unlike all my uncles. It also explains how my brother and I are the most educated ones out of all our cousins. though my brother, cousins and I all graduated from university, the emphasis on education put on us by my dad was different from our uncles. It was almost like we were raised by a merchant who were meant to be a scholar. he always learned something new and didn’t cease to further his knowledge and he encouraged me and my brother to do the same, no matter what academic discipline we chose to follow. learning was a way of life.
Although very fragmented, I really got a kick out of listening to the story because my dad never really talks about any of the stuff with me. He probably thinks it’s way beyond the scope of my reality or capacity to understand, or maybe it just isn’t as fun to talk about it with us as it is with his own siblings who went through everything with him. plus his memory is not as good as it used to be.
I shall remember to bring a recorder next time I go over to her house. u never know what kind of valuable stories ur gonna run into.