My Wonderful Landlady


My landlady is a prime example of Korean kindness; any of the foreigners in my building can attest to that.  She treats us with such care and consideration and I am very touched that she takes the time to look out for us.  In some ways she is very motherly to us, and that quality does not go un appreciated.

Today I was walking home from the grocery store and I heard an “annyeong” from behind me.  I turned around to find that she had turned the corner just after me.  First let me say that my conversational Korean is very lacking; I am doing well with vocabulary, but putting sentences together is still somewhat challenging for me.  My landlady is always interested in talking with me when she sees me around, and I try my best! Unfortunately I usually play most of my conversational role as a listener, but that is still good practice!

Today we talked a little about what I had bought; I told her I was going to make some jajangmyeon (a korean/chinese noodle dish).  She asked me if I liked jajangmyeon, and I told her that I did.  I must say that I make a pretty tasty jajang (the sauce that goes on the noodles). After a couple blocks she starts on the topic of Kimchi, asking me if I like it.  I told her “Ne, kimchi johayo” which means “Yes, I like kimchi”.  After that I was not able to fully understand what she was saying due only to my need for improvement in Korean.  I do recall her saying something about “not spicy”; this made more sense to me later.

After I got home I had a thought.  It was not news to me that she was a very kind lady, for chuseok I was given some seongpyeon (rice cake).  So as I was chopping onion for my dinner I was thinking that she was probably going to knock on my door and give me some kimchi.  I was entirely correct. Not even five minutes after I got home, I heard a knock on the door.  I answered the door, after putting the knife down, and greeted my smiling landlady.  She handed me a styrofoam container and told me that it was kimchi! I of course gave her my thanks and she went back upstairs.

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The kimchi that my landlady gave me.

Later that night I had some of the kimchi and I realized why she was saying something about “not spicy” earlier in our conversation.  The kimchi was very mild and delicious (though I enjoy spicy kimchi as well).  It is so wonderful to have such a kind and caring landlady!