Curious neighbors check out the Westerner (September 2000).
(Please read this before you copy our photos or text.)

Warning: your Korean friends will tend to show up at your door unannounced -- or maybe after a mobile phone call from a half-block down the street. It's their way, so why wouldn't you expect it of the kids?

On a Saturday morning in September, while I was visiting again, Margaret's doorbell rang. It was the kids from the apartment across the alleyway. They wanted to see what the miguk was like, and they weren't a bit shy about it.

Well, language barrier or no, food always equals hospitality. Margaret had some grapes in the fridge. Alas, that didn't seem to make much of a hit with them. A few minutes went by, and they made a scramble for the door, grapes untouched. Margaret was a failure as a hostess.

Or was she? A quarter hour later they were back, and this time they brought their own goodies -- a plate of cookies. Meanwhile, Margaret had remembered the shipped-in Jello she'd made so her classes could try something completely American. She sliced the Jello into cubes and handed round the chopsticks. Now that was entertaining. You try eating Jello with chopsticks some time. The miguk scores!

The kids soon became regulars. Their parents probably wouldn't have much approved if they'd known, but they couldn't resist Margaret's new kitten Nabi.

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