"I'm not just saying this because you’re related to me, but I used to think that all foreigners were dirty and smelly... but you're not." - a close relative who I am not permitted to name by title until the statute of limitations expires.
Does this mean I've pushed down the barriers of prejudice in Korea by just a little? Perhaps not, because this close relative went on to expand on that thought by adding "When I pass them in the street, I can smell their bad smell, they look unkempt and their clothes look years old. But you always look neat."
And apparently I don't smell that bad either. If only foreigners could smell as wonderful as Koreans.
Filed under 'accidental truths close Korean relatives tell you when they finally let their guard down after five years'.
The observant among my two remaining readers will have noticed that I don't often write this blog any more. This is a function of many things such as my work as a writer elsewhere, aching fingers, a bad keyboard, my hatred of the updated Blogger interface that often no longer lets me post comments on my own blog, and the increasing amount of time I spend with the underground railroad here in Busan.
It is also - as I have previously mentioned - in no small part connected with the extra work and frequent interruptions that come with having a 22-month-old child, who is, shall we say, high maintenance. For example, this morning the wireless landline phone handset in our apartment was nowhere to be found until I finally spotted it in our aquarium, which led to a couple of hours of disassembling, drying, cleaning and re-soldering (it was not disassembly-friendly). This is the tip of the iceberg.
All small children can be a challenge I'm sure, but one of our close relatives evidently arrived at the conclusion that my son represented significantly more of a challenge than any Korean child they had previously experienced, prompting them to pose the following philosophical question:
"Do you think his temperament is the way it is because he has mixed blood?