Thursday, May 5, 2011


It's not unusual when you live in a foreign country to experience things that make you go "why?"  I've had a few like these two halmonies (grandmothers).  I see them quite often walking, each with a sheet of styrofoam in their hands with their hands behind their backs.  I know they are together, although they don't walk side by side.  They walk a few blocks and then sit in front on an office building.

What is the styrofoam for?  To bat away bugs although until recently, its' been too cold for bugs.  To whack any ajoshis (older Korean men) that irritate them.  To fan themselves from the hot temperatures although we haven't hit those days yet.  It just makes me wonder.

The second "why" that is more heavy on my heart is in regards to a halmoni in my yoga class.  When I lived in Korea before, she was my champion.  Once, a batch of 4-5 new ajummas (older Korean women) started at yoga and were picking on me.  She was one of my staunch defenders against these women and they finally backed off and left me alone.

This time back, she seemed very happy to see me initially but things have changed.  She is the one that likes to hit me hard when we do warmups in a circle.  She's the one that complained to the manager that I should be speaking Korean since I live in Korea.  She's the one that now gives me stink eye when I enter the room.  And finally, she is the one that grabbed one of my breasts and gave it a few squeezes the other day in the yoga changing room.  I did have that happen before the first time we lived here so I wasn't totally shocked by it.

Yesterday, I made sure she didn't stand next to me in warmups because I knew she would smack me good.  Everyone saw me move right after we formed the circle.  The lady next to me knows like the whole class that I don't like to be hit hard and she was gentle.  Afterwards though, she got a earful from the halmoni and although she smiled at her, she shook her head meaning she disagreed.  While the halmoni was doing this, I thanked the lady in Korean.

So I'm left to question what has changed and caused this. This woman is in her eighties so you wouldn't think she could hit so hard but I had the bruises in the past to show for it and I disagree that it's good for my health.  I talked to Choi, my yoga buddy, about it and he shrugs his shoulders and says to ignore her.  Secretly, I think he's afraid of her too. 

It won't keep me from going to yoga but I am giving her a wide berth even wider that before.  And before, I would let her hit me just to not make a scene but I will not allow her to do that to me anymore.  I wonder if she doesn't feel well or if she is having financial problems.  I probably will never know.  I just keep wondering.............why?

1 comment:

  1. Do they sit on the styrofoam so their bums don't get cold?
    That lady sounds mean. I don't know what her problem is but think it is a really good idea to stay away from her. But I wonder if you could talk with her through an interpreter and find out what the problem is. BTW is it typical for women to grab each others breasts over there? I think I would have given her a right hook before thinking about it. Maybe grab hers next week and you'll be friends again? Just kidding.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...