Two Tales and a Tail
Tale 1 – Two Guests From Jong Ok’s Generation
Apron-clad Jackson became the hostess with the mostest as he single-handedly wiped down the table for the guests’ arrival. Compare this domestic scene to the bored Jackson pictured above from episode 1 who complained that cooking together wasn’t a Roommate fun event in his book. You’ve come a long way, baby!
KHG: What’s wrong with your pronunciation?”
J: I’m Chinese.
KHG: “China? I can tell you’re not a native.”
J: (lifts guest’s sunglasses) “I know you! You’re, you’re…I’m Jackson.”
For once, I’m wondering where Se Ho is when you need him (he invited the guests). I’ve got to hand it to Jackson, though, for being attentive and taking care of the guest. Heung Guk was fascinated by the concept of twelve random people living together in such an amazing house. He perked up when he heard Jong Ok’s name (“She lives here?”) and was shocked when Jackson told him she was home right now. After greetings, hair stylist Jackson and proprietor Jong Ok set up a make-shift salon and pampered Heung Guk with a homemade hair growth tonic treatment (Jong Ok mixed a hair restorative concoction pictured in the large jar in an earlier episode). It was just another one of those random Roommate events.
Meanwhile, Sunny and SeHo set out to pick up another guest, Lee Gae In. He appeared on Happy Together recently and is known for being a rough-around-the-edges historical drama actor and telling outrageous tall tales without skipping a beat. Meeting up with Jong Ok after so many years thrilled Gae In and he presented her with a lovely bouquet of purple hydrangea – a nice touch. It was a mini Korean entertainment guild reunion with the three veteran actors sharing stories and hardships. The two guests serenaded Jong Ok who commented that the words of the older songs touched her heart. (Veteran singer Kim Heung Kook’s 80s hit, “Swallowtail Butterfly” (“Horangnabi”): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS7DnGXE_NA
Ryohei arrived with a huge crate of fresh king crabs, a gift from friends. With apologies to Joon Hyung, I crown Ryohei the man with the BAM this week as he roasted crabs in the backyard for an awesome feast. Around the dinner table, Heung Guk got a bit sentimental as he talked about his family. He is one of South Korea’s so-called “goose fathers,” men who stay behind to work while their school age children, accompanied by their mothers, go abroad to study in the United States (or another English-speaking country). His daughter is fifteen years-old and the children and his wife have been in the U.S. for twelve years. Once thought to be a necessity for preparing Korean children in education and for success, it is becoming an outdated practice. The topic was discussed on Abnormal Summit, episode 31 as well.
Wait! Is that a rare Min Woo sighting there in the white sweater next to Sunny? Min Woo, we miss you!
Tale 2 – Korean Lesson (if you can call it that)
As a follow through to helping Ryohei (who is Japanese) and Joon Hyung (who grew up in the U.S.) learn Korean, Dong Wook arranged for lessons. The special teacher was none other than Jun Hyun Moo, well-known announcer and MC. Hyun Moo is everywhere these days with a high profile in the K-entertainment world. In addition to his morning radio talk show, he is MC for Abnormal Summit, K-pop Star 4, Hidden Singer and recently appeared on I Live Alone (the perfect show for him and his friends to lament about their single status at age 39). Although his personality is not my style, he seems to enjoy a lot of popularity. In spite of their charming, traditional Korean student outfits, I’m not sure they actually learned one iota of formal Korean language. Joon Hyung was busy providing his own version of American slang pronunciation, LA style. His imitation of how a Korean says English slang phrases versus how it is said in America was pretty funny. And who could do it better that our 46-year old Korean American man-child? Dong Wook could only laugh, and was probably wondering how he gets himself into these things, anyway.
I had completely given up all hope that Oi (Cucumber) would ever get any training or even a consistent care schedule in her little dog life at the Roommate household. It was a welcome surprise, then, when Nana and Kang Joon headed to the dog training camp with Oi in tow. Under the instruction of a capable trainer, and to the amazement of Nana and Kang Joon, Oi was sitting, heeling, and running the course in no time. They even tried their hand at commands and praises. I hope the two of them will make an effort to continue the dog training and lessen the step-in-the-mess incidents that happen so frequently in the household. Practice makes perfect!