Sunday, October 30, 2011

할머니 and 할아버지

Ok back to back posts are weird I know, but I just had an amazing thought about the experiences I've had here in Korea. This post is going to seem especially weird since it is so opposite of the last post. One of the biggest reasons I love Korea is because of the 할머니 and 할아버지. Old people in Korea are the best as long as you are respectful and treat others kindly. See, Koreans believe that you can feel if a person is good or bad without exchanging words. I believe this too. Mostly because I have such good relationships with people that I cannot communicate well with. Anyways back to the old people. A big example of their kindness is a couple of experiences I had today. I had gone shopping at Costco and I had a big backpack full of groceries. This old lady asked me several times to sit next to her and I told her that I was ok standing. Finally, I told her that my stop was next. She was so concerned about me, a person that most people consider a foreigner and could careless about (and if you read my last post, even kick me out of their restaurants). Seriously, it was very touching. Then, on my way home I decided to get 만두빵. The old man serving it teased me because I didn't say how many I wanted at first. He said you want twenty? I told him I only wanted one, and he said no you have to buy twenty. It was funny. I really thought he was serious at first. So I was like, yeah I guess I'll have twenty. Then, he told me it was going to be twenty dollars instead of one dollar. Hahaha. Then, he asked me if it our transaction had been fun and I told him that it was. He definitely recognized that my spirits had been lifted a bit and so he told me to always be happy. Old people are so much wiser than younger people. I'm sure if I met that man everyday I would always be happy. The truth is everyone has difficulties. Everyone has a hard life. Everyone has stresses. We think that the people we run into everyday have it easier than we do, but the truth is they don't. No one in this life has it easy. You never know what anyone is going through at any time. A person may get angry at you or do something to hurt you for seemingly no reason at all. Sometimes you just have to let it go because the truth is you don't know what they are going through. The old man I met today may or may not have been able to feel how heavy my heart was, but he knew that after meeting him my heart was much lighter. You never know what differences you can make in another person's life just by treating them kindly. It is because of people like the 할아버지and the 할머니that I met today that I love Korea and wish to stay here a very long time!