Keep on runnin’

Now when I pass clumps of middle school boys on the way to the gym, I get shouts of “Jennifer phren-duh!” Better than ‘foreigner!’ I guess.

So I’m stretching beside the track. Jenny’s kid who seems to feel like he has status because he knows my name, does his joyful insa and then goes back to conversing with his running partner about oreum or something. And then who should run over and plop down in front of me –“Hi!”– but little Mr. No-front-teeth ajumma boy.

I say “I remember you. Don’t call me ajumma.”

Ajumma?

“No.”

Nuna?

“Ok.”

Majah?

“Fine.”

How did you get to Korea?

Bee-haen-gi.” I mean, how else would I get here? Swimming? I realize he’s small, but this kid must not have much sense of geography.

I get up to run. I hear him and his buddy shout “Gogi! Waeguk-een!” and the sound of their little running feet behind me until they give up, which doesn’t take long.

I wonder if I’ll miss it, hearing “Hey there! Foreigner!” every frickin’ day.

Nah.

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