Sunday, September 17, 2006

Me as a kid said the darnedest things

So, my first attempt as a tshirt designer didn't go over too well. Though it was good practice and I want to try again. But we'll see if I have any time to do another one. I already have several backlogs of things I want to be working on so I need to grab a weekend where I can work on those.

Anyhow, I figured I might regale you with two stories involving a pint-sized version of me instead of drawing. Coincidentally, these are also the top two stories my mom likes to tell about me.

Story #1:
So when I was around 3 or so we move to Korea permanently. I was born in Korea, but we did a little bit of back and forth between the States the first couple of years of my life.

I remember we arrived later in the day and spent the night in a hotel before moving to a military base down in Wonju where we lived a little bit until we moved back to Seoul.

In the morning hours, pulled back the curtains on the hotel room's window and looking down at all the people walking around. I stared for a bit then excitedly turned to my mom and exclaimed "Mommy, mommy! Look at all the Chinese people!"

Now, the thing that gets me about this story is I wonder if I thought my mom was Chinese...there's a good chance of course that she was my mom and I really could care less about that. I have this feeling that I learned about Asian-looking people being Chinese on Sesame Street and because of that I assumed Asian=Chinese. I don't remember if my mom corrected me or not.

Story #2:
After Wonju, around the time I was preschool aged, we moved to Seoul and the first apartment we lived in was in a nightclub+tourist/GI trap called Itaewon. This is where I learned to speak Korean since previously in Wonju it was mostly servicemembers, but living off base I played with more neighborhood kids and eventually picked up the language in about a year.

Not all of the neighborhood was that way mind you, but for the most part it was. Our apartment building in particular was in very close proximity to several nightclubs and what was known as "Hooker Hill." (Still might be, at least it was well into when I was in high school).

Anyhow, while non-evening entertainment people lived in the apartment complex too, we also had our assortment of nightclub owners, dancers, waiters, bartenders...etc. My mom's friend rented out apartments to some transexual/transgendered nightclub performers. One of these performers was "Auntie B_____," (since in Korea, the title "aunt" is used for any older woman who you know well or is an acquaintance of the family and whatnot) and it wasn't uncommon for my mom, her friend and Auntie to sit around their apartments having some coffee and gossip while I ran around playing with my toys.

One particular day after running around the living room doing my own thing, I ran up to the table they were sitting at and after a while I tugged on my mom's shirt. And in that whisper, but loud enough for everyone to hear kid whisper I decided to announce, " know, in this world there are some people who look like women but talk like men."

In the stunned several seconds that followed, Auntie B_____ managed to catch her breath and asked in her deep voice, "Why, who is like that?"

After thinking for a split second, I answered, "I don't know." And ran off to continue playing on my own.


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