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The Invisible Truth

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Sunday, July 23, 2006


Since I spent too much money in Seoul (it is quite a bit more expensive than Masan, as you would expect) the weekend before, I decided to take it easy last weekend. On Sunday I hiked halfway up Mt. Mahakasan to find the café I discovered the last time I hiked. I intended to get a beer to sip while I finished “The Plot Against America” by Philip Roth (excellent book, incidentally). I sat down and started to read, but no one came over to take my order. I noticed that there was people only at the one table, and they were laughing and carrying on. Looked like they were having a good time. After about half an hour of reading and taking photos, the aforementioned people waved me over.

The only woman of the group vacated, and from what I understood, she was the patroness of the café. Next thing I know, I’m being offered moccoli (rice wine), plum wine, and kimchi (pickled cabbage) with tofu. One of the group was due to travel to Canada himself, to Vancouver. He was also a chiropractor. As I had begun seeing a chiropractor in Canada before I left, I tried to let him know that I would be interested in seeing him as a patient.

This was the first time that I got frustrated by the language barrier. No matter how hard each party tried to understand the other, I could not get his business card or phone card. He kept asking for mine, and weird as it might seem, I still don’t know my number because the school takes care of all my bills and subtracts it from my salary. About an hour later, I ambled down the lower portion of the mountain, slightly tipsy.

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