Saturday, May 07, 2005


Many thanks go out to Peter (a.k.a. the Oranckay, a Korean term for "barbarian"), who hosted today's get-together. I hope he won't mind that I've taken some liberties with the truth about what transpired this afternoon. Thanks as well to Wooj for his kind donation to the BigHo cause, and to Mrs. Oranckay for her hospitality.


Peter had already bought a huge mass of beef (not pictured here-- marinated kalbi, or Korean short ribs), but when Charlie arrived he was toting a half-ton of goodies ranging from beer to Coke to Mountain Dew to "Hot Links" hot dogs to potato salad. Wooj brought various items as well, including cognac. I was the wuss who brought a cheapie bag of bakery items. Will try to do better next time.

butt steak

Conversation ranged all over. Peter's Korean is indeed scarily fluent. He's got high standards, too: when I mentioned that a certain person I knew was "fluent in Korean," he demanded, "Define fluent." Sounds like the way I used to think about French fluency: a person who claims "I speak French" might or might not speak it beautifully and well. Having gone through a very good French language program in undergrad, I wasn't impressed by the claim "I speak French" until I heard it spoken more than competently. Of course, with the passage of time, I've grown more compassionate as my own French has deteriorated. I no longer claim to speak the language "fluently," except in a somewhat-more-than-functional sense. The heyday of my proficiency was about twelve years ago.

Wooj and Peter were able to chat back and forth in perfect English and perfect Korean. It was something to behold. Charlie is also much more Korean-proficient than I am. (Too bad he's shipping off to the States this coming week.) Hats off to them all.


Pictured above: Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer, with the coffee pot of doom, from which pour armies of avenging angels.

who's the lush?

Peter's daughter (whom I don't name in any of these pics, for privacy's sake) is adorable. I had the chance to practice my broken Korean on her. She took delight in the three ajeoshis who'd come to her home, digging holes in the ground, building dirt castles, using bungee cord to tie us up and hold us captive, and giving me "poison injections" to kill various body parts-- my hands, then my arms, then my shoulders, etc. She did this to Wooj as well, and maybe also to Charlie. Female cruelty begins at an early age.

And no-- she didn't drink a drop of alcohol. In fact, she probably displayed more moral sense than the rest of us: I downed five cans of Coke, and I have no clue how many beers everybody else drank, but the plastic picnic table was a forest of green by the time we heaved ourselves to our feet to schlep back home.

seemingly well-behaved

Through the miracle of time-delay, Wooj and I were able to set our cameras to take the above shot. I think Peter, who's kind of a private guy, hid himself on purpose. Good thing we got other pics of him.

Wooj will doubtless be blogging his own pics from today, so check his blog out.


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