It all started when my landlady verbally attacked me after I arrived home from work. I only understood the word samgyeopsal in our conversation. Was she asking if I liked it? Was she wondering if I’ve had it? Was she offering me some? Did she just call me fat?

I said something stupid about kimchi and rice, giggled a bit, and bowed a lot before leaving. It was so awkward. It’s always so awkward when I interact with my landlady. But, she’s sassy so I love her. We’re destiny.

Around 7 o’clock there was a knock on my door. I opened it to find my landlady gesturing wildly, talking about samgyeopsal again. Then she left. Was I supposed to follow her? I decided to throw on something decent to wear in case she came back.

About ten minutes later there was another knock on my door. This time it was one of my students. All he said was, “Come,’ and I finally understood. 

I followed him down the stairs, and into my landlady’s shop where I was greeted by many of the other tenants in our building. They were grilling samgyeopsal (common type of meat used in Korean BBQ), and wanted me to join for dinner. How nice!

At first I was told to sit at the table with the women and children. But when my landlord showed up, the soju was busted out, and everything changed. Within an hour I was tipsy with my student’s aunt, landlord, landlady, and new friends. I became an honorary uncle too.

At one point I remember seeing my landlady grab a big pile of raw meat with her bare hands and place it on the grill. I later learned there’s a common saying in Korea. Something like the touch of a mother’s hand makes everything taste better. No wonder the meal was so delicious.

I spent the rest of the night prancing about my apartment, naked. Don’t worry. My landlady wasn’t with me. She was simply the cause of it. I didn’t plan on getting drunk on a Tuesday night, but it happened and I’m so glad it did. I live for these experiences.


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