Transitions commence new adventures. Make 'em last…

The Village

Waking up and then eating a hearty breakfast with Michelle’s family at their home in the outskirts of Namyangju, I caught myself staring out the wall-size kitchen window and enjoying the moutainside view. While a good portion of the view was innocently obstructed by a young pine tree in the front yard, I didn’t verse any qualm about it and continued eating breakfast in solace. However, it wasn’t before long that Michelle’s mother or father (I can’t exactly remember whom because I was still in a morning-daze) also looked out the window and mentioned something about the tree and asked my opinion of it. I was still amid waking up and nonchalantly concurred that the tree was kind of an annoyance. I should have known better to say something like this, as immediately after my response, talk circulated around the breakfast table about whether to trim, remove, or just leave the tree alone. Michelle’s father seemed to be for trimming or completely removing it, her mother agreed with trimming it, Michelle thought it best to leave it alone, but was okay with a little trimming, and I honestly fostered the need to trim it nicely or remove it all together. Therefore, trimming was the agreed upon option around the table, and the conversation soon shifted towards other random subjects.

Not long after breakfast, while Michelle, and her Mom and I were washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen, her father began trimming the tree without warning. I dropped what I was doing and went to help. Soon, Michelle and her mother followed and began to commentate on what should be trimmed or not. Then after the tree in question was adequately trimmed, Michelle’s father began trimming several other trees in the yard and a cordial family debate ensued that caught the attention of many members of “the village.”

Michelle’s home is amid an enclave of several dozen neighboring homes in between a river and forested mountainsides that she labels “the village.” Among the handful of times I’ve spent at her home and walked around the village, I noticed that neighbors were always coming over to chat, share food, or simply gossip about what so-and-so did or what so-and-so bought, etc. Just like any typical village, everyone knows portions of everyone’s business, and in some cases, neighborhood feuds and dramas occur. However, there are no feuds or dramas here; everyone gets along and it’s a very peaceful place.

It was nearly 8am on a Friday morning, and after the said tree was trimmed, we were soon visited by a few village members initially responding to the trimming.

Village members hanging out and chatting with Michelle's dad on the left. Trimmed tree in immediate center-background.

Village members hanging out and chatting with Michelle’s dad on the left. Trimmed tree in immediate center-background.

Then a few more showed up…

More village members show up at 8am, Friday morning to discuss trimmed tree and to hang out

More village members show up at 8am, Friday morning to discuss trimmed tree and to hang out

As I mentioned before, it was 8am Friday morning, and I facetiously questioned: do these folks work? Many of the people living in the village are powerful company executives, and it kindly seems they head to work whenever they please, which is quite a luxury. “K2 Man”, “KT Man”,  and “LG Man” are some of the nicknames Michelle’s parents and I share to help me identify who is who is based on where they work. It’s actually a bit comical to me, but it’s extremely helpful in remembering who is who.

After a thorough discussion amid Michelle’s parents and several village members, to my surprise, the entire tree would soon be removed, and once it was removed, village members agreed on how it made for a better view, then they said their goodbyes.

Tree removed

Tree removed

What a view!

What a view!

What a view!

Perhaps there will be more happenings from the village soon. Stay tuned.

One comment on “The Village

  1. Carmen
    August 29, 2013

    I wish you would have taken a picture before the tree was trimmed. I’m curious what the view was before

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This entry was posted on August 23, 2013 by in South Korea and tagged , , .

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“Experience, travel – these are as education in themselves.”

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