My Brilliant Korea

They could have been contenders

Blogging | July 19, 2012

While packing up my apartment in South Korea these last few days, I have come across several yellow post-it notes, stuck on book shelves, hidden under books, attached to other documents. These post-it notes could have been contenders. They could have been somebody. Instead, they represent the blog posts that never were. Here are three:

Post-it note 1: “No sex before or after marriage”. I jotted this note down as a potential blog post idea when a Korean friend of mine told me that after she gave birth to her son, her husband was sent to sleep on the lounge room floor, where he has been ever since. Her son is now four-years old. This is, by all accounts, not entirely uncommon in Korean marriages.

Post-it note 2: “The many shades of ajumma: Grandmother, carer”. This note came about while I was waiting for a bus at a major transport terminal in Seoul. Nearby stood an ajumma, decked out in classic ajumma attire- visor, permed hair, parachute pants, bum bag- carefully scanning the crowd. I eyed her warily, thinking that she was probably already plotting ways to push in front of me in the bus line. Suddenly, I heard a squeal of delight from somewhere behind me: “Grandmother!!!!” A little girl dashed through the crowd, threw her arms around the ajumma, and wouldn’t let go. When the little girl finally released her grip, she took all of her grandmother’s bags, and held them in her tiny arms. With a start I realised, ajummas are more than just pushy women lining up for public transport. They’re loved ones too.

Post-it note 3: “Fingers crossed”. This scrawl came about after a student told me she had a job interview the following week and would not be able to attend my class. “Fingers crossed!” I said, and held up my hands. She looked at me, looked at my fingers, looked at me, looked at my fingers (and so on and so forth). As it turns out, Koreans don’t cross their fingers for good luck. Who knew?

It took a while little post-it notes, but in the end you made it to the world wide web. And just in the nick of time too.

One more post to go.

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About Blythe Seinor

When Blythe was a journalism student at the Queensland University of Technology she interviewed the former Indonesian president, Abdurrahman Wahid.
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