Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gomushin Girl is Guilty

or, why the boys'll just have to cook their own damn rice.

I done a bad, bad thing!
I skipped Chuseok with the host family. I feel bad about this, but not bad enough, I think. But the fact remains that my reasons for not going were pretty lame - it just wasn't convenient, and I didn't want to spend eight odd hours on a bus, or get up at five am and wait around Seoul St. to see if I could stand on a train for three hours while other people's luggage fall of the racks and onto my head.
I can't even say that I skipped for anything worthwhile. Sure, I had an out of town guest for Friday and Saturday, but there was nothing to stop me from dragging my lazy self off to 큰아버지's 집 on Sunday - except that daunting trip out to 대구. I might have been a little more motivated if we had our holidays in 안동 but 대구 fails to excite me. I'm probably being unfair to the city, but since the only thing I ever do in Daegu is hang out with the host family . . . can I be blamed? All holidays follow a similar pattern:

Go to 안동 to get in a car and drive umpteen hours through crazy traffic to 대구
Arrive in 대구 too tired to muddle through the 사투리
Men, Women, and Children (aka the unmarried) divide: men to the living room to watch TV and goof off, children to the bedroom to watch TV and goof off, women to the kitchen to slave for the next two days
Intermittent force-feeding

Don't get me wrong. I adore my host family beyond all reason or measure. I think it's a testament to that fact that almost five years after I lived with them I still get calls from my host brother to help him out with homework, from my host mom to make sure I have enough banchan in my fridge, and from my host dad to see when I'm coming "home." I try to go back when I can, but I just didn't have it in me this holiday. Normal visits are fine, but the extended relatives and holiday routine are stressful.
Besides, I've never quite lived down that time I told my 큰아버지 in a fit of pique that the menfolk should, "cook their own damn chesa rice!" Thankfully, he has a good sense of humor and took my comment with hilarity rather than offense.

1 comment:

thegrandnarrative said...

I completely understand! My 3-hour train trip from Busan to Jinju is never that bad, as seats are still available until surprisingly close to Chusok or Solnal, and it's great to get some country air, but getting up at the crack of dawn to bow 50 times to some candles and food and then spending the next two days watching my numerous male relatives-in-law drinking, smoking and eating, with nowhere to escape but the rest of my wife's boring village...isn't exactly my idea of a fun 3-day weekend. Once or twice, sure...but the same mind-numbing nothingness, twice a year every year? We can visit anytime, and even if my parent's in laws house wasn't the most ramshackle, dirty, tiny 1960 shack in the whole village, I can think of thousands of places I'd much rather spend time off in Korea.

Rant over! :)