Friday, October 14, 2011

바람 먹기러 가자

I like the feeling of wind blowing into my face. My spirit, like a kite that catches wind, soars every time that happens. "바람맞다" is a Korean expression which when literally translated means "hit the wind". "바람" is wind and '맞다' means to hit. No, "바람맞다" doesn't mean putting your face in the wind and let it 'hit' you. It means someone stood you up. Imagine this, someone you are supposed to meet did not turn out for the appointment and you were alone out in the open with only the wind blowing into your face. Not a good feeling right? "바람맞다" conveys quite an opposite feeling to what I usually feel when wind 'hits' me.

In Chinese, "바람맞다" is known as "放鸽子" (let loose a pigeon, 비둘기를 날리다). I do not know the connection between being stood up and letting loose pigeon. But since language is a social contract, I have to use it as it is. It does not matter if I cannot make sense of it. Another similar expression, but slightly more 'ridiculous' sounding, is "放飞机" (let loose a plane, 비행기를 날리다). Again, that's how Chinese language goes, so there is no need for deeper explanation.

In Hokkien (a Chinese dialect), there is an interesting expression which literally means "eat wind" (吃风, 바람을 먹다). What it actually means is to go on sightseeing in a car or go on a tour. When I was kid, my father frequently took me out to "eat wind". As the car, travelled down the peaceful East Coast Parkway, I liked to wind down the car window and open my mouth. To feel wind blowing into my mouth was yet another way which I 'enjoy' its company. However, my mother always showed disapproval look. She would hit and scold me for sucking in all the dirt in the air. Well, that was my naive and innocent childhood.

Silver grass swaying in autumn wind

In autumn, tall silver grass (억새) of human's height grows all over the fields. Whenever cool autumn wind disturbed them, the graceful swaying of their lanky figures which ensued always touches me. That is nature's beauty in its rawest form. I relish standing in the autumn wind again and let its coolness freshen up my weary face. When 'hit' by wind, I always smile. 바람이 거세게 차갑게 불어도 우리 바람을 먹기러 가자! (不管风有多大多冷,我们一起去吃风吧!)

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