Tie This On

I am not a hoarder like the freaks you see on the TV, but I do tend to hold on to trinkets and trash from my Korean Sojourns. Here is one of my more treasured items:
민철 handcarved this mini mask out of paulownia wood. The whole time I was at the master's, 민철 could be seen delicately carving this nugget. As you can see, it is about the size of a book of Denny's Korea matches, or a paper packet of Korean medicine. I expressed admiration more than once and he must have got it in his mind to gift it to me. For when it came time for me to depart Cheju in the Spring of 1997, he had fixed it on a lanyard of persimmon-juice-dyed cotton, and he gave it to me. It makes a unique bolo.

Such a good-hearted fellow. I never saw him again after the Spring of 1997.


Matthew Smith said...

how does that happen? never seeing someone again... ever wonder what he's up to?

anyways, I envy how you kept all the trinkets from the past. Perhaps we will indeed see you on 'Antique Roadshow' one day. Although, the old boombox from the 80s might not be worth a lot in dollars, it's priceless in terms of nostalgia.

White Rice said...

As I started putting this story down, I realized there were many mnay folks I knew quite well or had a fondness for that I have not seen since. (In addition to the ones with whom I parted on foul terms.)
Perhaps it is a bit of a dramatic way to phrase it in every case...?
"I never saw him/her again"?

In fairness, I did speak to him once on the phone after he had moved away from the Master's place. The Master also provdes the occasional update if I ask.

Ahhh...my Korea trinkets...
Ohhh...my poor wife...

Jae Young said...

I guess this leaves me wondering, do you still speak with the Master? The time flow can get a little confusing, though it makes for an interesting experiment. Also makes me wonder if you are sneaking in trips to Korea in the meantime between posts.

White Rice said...

Jae Young-
I know what you mean. I lived it and the timeline gets confusing. Sometimes I have to check the passport stamps to make sure.

I don't think it gives anything away to say that I am still in touch with The Master. Just got a Year of the Tiger card from him. he is very old school when it comes to phone conversations though. Very brief: "Are you happy? How is your health? Good-bye." Hilarious.

His whole family was recently featured on KBS TV.