These days I am always sorry to see fish on the table

We sit down to eat and I ask my host father why he is cooking a rock on the gas range.  Through the dictionary –definitions including “to apply a poultice” and “Oriental medicine”– and some mime he explains that you wrap the hot rock in a towel and sit it on your stomach.  And this is good for something.  Maybe it would be good for menstrual cramps?  As Tae Yeon explains when she arrives, the rock has made a “whore” in the hot rock towel.  At which point I realize that “hole” is worse than “rude” as a word with a big trap for those who have trouble distinguishing between ls and rs.


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