Thursday, November 07, 2013


When a Chinese says "再會" (literal meaning: meet again), he means "goodbye". When a Korean says "재회" (再會), he means reunion. The two meanings of "再會" are nothing but two sides of the same coin. Without the sadness of separation, how would we ever know the joy of reunion. With each goodbye, the question that always lingers in my mind is, will we meet again?

Four years after I left Seoul, I met my friend again in Hoegi-dong for Samgyeopsal dinner. We attended two terms (one term is equivalent to 10 weeks) of Korean language class together. On completion of course, I left for home while she pursued her master in journalism and mass communication at Hanyang University. She was the "모범생" (模范生, model student) in our cohort, highly gifted in Korean language. While I struggled to compose a sentence in Korean, she wrote essay like a native Korean.

Four years is a long time but thankfully, none of us has changed. It felt like we have just met last week. Our conversation was like a continuation of where we left off last time than it was a start. Our day ended with coffee at Cafe Bene. When it was time to bid farewell again, we parted like we were going to meet again next week. Bye, 再见,또 만나, 또 연락해줘.

Will we ever meet again? Maybe.

Samgyeopsal sizzling on the grill plate. 오랫만입니다.

도네누 향기로운 볏짚 삼겹살, 맛있더라

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