This one dedicated to Jeff:
I was enjoying a peaceful late lunch and tea break at the small eatery next-door with E., somewhere between lovemaking session #5 and arguing session #253, when a noisy discussion, one table over, draw our attention:
Three obatarians were seated, twice as many teapots in front of them, loudly and excitingly commenting over what looked like exercise sheets scattered on the table. From the style of the exercises and the tone of their comments, it seemed like at least one of them was learning how to write kanjis: a peculiar explanation, seeing how they all sounded positively natives, with little chance of belonging to the 1% illiterate people in Japan.
But then, listening more carefully to their attempt at pronouncing strange guttural tchaw‘s and yow‘s and taking a closer look at their papers, we realized they weren’t working their Japanese kanjis: these little old women were indeed feverishly teaching each other Korean. At that point, I could clearly see the ghost of Bae Yong Joon hovering above the table and reflecting into their glistening pupils.
I suppose until that moment, I had woefully underestimated the spread of Yong-sama-mania among the greying Japanese masses, but E. confirmed that even her aging slightly xenophobic grandma had all but started to learn Korean, secondary to that mop-head single-handedly bringing Korea to the forefront of sappy insipid drama production for the Asian market.
And I naively thought that peace and understanding between countries would have to be slowly built over mutual respect and appreciation for millennia-old cultures.