Friday, February 16, 2007

Middle Age Crazy

We popped into a small mandu store today to grab some lunch. When we came to pay, my wife didn't have any money left on her so she repeated 'o-chon won' to me (5,000 won) and I repeated the figure back to her to confirm. The old woman (she honestly looked around 80) who seemed to run the store then asked my wife "Does your ajeossi ('아저씨') speak Korean well?" Well, fortunately I really don't otherwise at the very least she'd have been likely to get a 'yes I do and I'm right here by the way'. But I'll ignore the fact that she'd completely ignored me instead of perhaps asking directly, because I'm much more perturbed that suddenly I seem to look middle aged; ajeossi means middle-age man in much the same way that ajumma ('아줌마') means middle-aged woman.

I'm assured though that I shouldn't take it personally. It seems that being referred to as my wife's middle-age man is a sign of respect, even if it results in me feeling prematurely aged. But, after all the computer, Internet and health problems of the last few weeks, not to mention the craziness of the wedding and honeymoon, maybe I really have
physically aged significantly. A trip to the mirror beckons.

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