I worry sometimes that I will cease even to notice.

Tae Yeon’s mother pours more than a litre of soy sauce into a pot.  Explains, I think, that she will boil scallions in it.  She shakes in healthy tablespoons of sugar next, straight from the jar without measuring.  Then tells Hun Chal to bring the apple vinegar from the bathroom where it has been stored for the last few weeks for reasons which elude me.  I shrug my shoulders.  And wonder about the health of my curiosity.

I should stand and shout in outrage.  “An entire jug of soy sauce?  Ten times more soy sauce than I have ever purchased at one time, much less used in my cooking in my entire life?  What on earth could you be doing?  How, I demand to know, can this be necessary?”

But I accept it.  There are too many things I will never understand.


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