Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas!

I visited my buddy JW's place on Christmas Eve.  Here are some pics from Christmas dinner and our subsequent gift exchange.  JW was held up in traffic, on his way home from a Christmas Eve session of golf with his fellow managers and a hugely filling Christmas dinner that was offered for free... as long as the diners sat in on a lecture about a medical service they could sign up for.  Despite JW's absence, the lady of the house, BH, insisted that we sit down to eat.  First pic (L: brother Jiahn; R: sister Minji):

JW eventually made it:

We've eaten dinner, and it's almost time for me to leave.  This is the moment to exchange gifts, so I brought out my Santa's bag, and the family brought our theirs.  Below, Minji is about to discover the tee shirts I'd made for her and her brother Jiahn:

Jiahn had asked for protein powder.  He's apparently going to start a weightlifting regimen in the coming year.  Turns out his mom had bought him some coffee-flavored powder; I got the giant, chocolate-flavored Weider set from Costco, so he can now make mocha if he wants:

The kids eagerly and proudly don their tees:

The presentation of my plaque to JW was marred by the way JW sang the praises of the walking trails down in Jeju Island.  "A hundred times better than these bike trails!" he claimed.  My heart sank when he said that because it seemed to devalue all the walking we'd done locally.  (JW took a trip to Jeju with his family a couple weekends ago, partly to explore the walking trails, and partly to take advantage of the low prices courtesy of the winter weather and the pandemic, which meant Jeju wasn't getting much tourism.)  I gave JW the plaque, anyway, and he seemed appreciative, but I think he now has an over-romanticized idea in his head about what counts as a "perfect" walking trail.  For him, after Jeju, it's now all about scenic vistas, grand waterfalls, mountains, canyons, and the ocean.  I'm not against any of that, but he has to realize that, in better weather, Jeju will be overrun with tourists, and all those beautiful vistas will be little more than vulgar commodities to be photographed.  JW wants me to go with him on a hiking trip down to Jeju, and while I'm not against it, I can't help feeling he may have missed the point about the Four Rivers trail and why I appreciate it the way I do.

Below, you get a good view of Jiahn's tee shirt's back:

Little Minji presented me with a portrait of me that she'd made based on a photo of me hiking with Jiahn, an eternity ago, back when the pandemic was young.  The portrait is... how shall I put this... embarrassingly accurate in its portrayal of my form.

Don't forget to smile.

And lastly, a closer look:

So that's how I spent part of Christmas Eve.  I hope Christmas Day finds you hale and whole.  Much joy, much peace, and many blessings to all the readers who haven't abandoned me because they somehow think I've become a racist, Trump-loving Nazi fascist who eats babies.  (I guess wanting less government involvement makes you a fascist.  Oh, well.)

Merry Christmas!


John Mac said...

Looks like you had a great evening with friends. Not bad for an introvert!

JW's perspective on Jeju is understandable I suppose--I too really enjoy the countryside vistas. But I also always appreciated the urban hiking experience available in the Seoul metropolitan area. I remember during my visit to Saigon thinking it is a beautiful city but other than some riverside paths, walking was a bitch. Same but worse in Manila. Enjoying one doesn't preclude the other and since JW lives in the city he is luckier than he might realize. Anyway, I'm sure the recognition for his accomplishment was not diminished by his preference for trails.

Enjoy your Christmas! I always appreciate your unique views and insights with my morning coffee. We're pretty simpatico politically but I have noticed that many on the left would rather make it personal than engage in a discussion of the issues. Lots of my "friends" on the left have blocked me on social media even though I don't post much on politics these days. It's all so Orwellian. We must all think and believe alike! Nope, not me.

Kevin Kim said...

Well, it's not as though introverts don't have friends: they do, but they use the word "friend" in a restrictive, particular way, which usually means they have at most a mere handful of friends.

No disagreement re: your political observations. People would rather unfriend me outright than engage in any sort of discussion or debate. Little to be done about that.

Thanks for the Christmas wishes. Long may you blog!

Daniel said...

Merry Christmas! On my way to Jeju now. Will post a review of a trail!

Anonymous said...

Big Ho',
I've been a voyeur of this and McCrarey's blog for probably 15 years.
It is the first stop in the morning with a cup of coffee before the day begins here. The content always refreshing and intriguing. Thank you for sharing.
May you live long and prosper,
Merry Christmas,
Happy New Year,
Etc, etc.,

-Curtis S.

Kevin Kim said...


You've been there since the beginning! Thanks for reading. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Have fun in Jeju!