Thursday, October 20, 2011

The First Glow; Father-in-Law

So... I promised to control myself, and only post the absolute best 416 pictures I've taken of babyseyo so far...

Nah, just kidding. Babies are beautiful, but many/most don't photograph well, because the cuteness isn't in a freeze frame, it's in the little squeaks, squirms, and mewlings, in the same way my friend from Busan, who is willowy, and graceful, and a stunner to meet in person, seems awkward in photos, because pictures don't show how graceful she is. He's usually wrapped up tight, but if you unwrap him, Babyseyo sprawls in every direction, and throws his arms as far up as they go. And it's not cute to take a picture of it or to tell it, but if it's your own kid, that little stuff is great.

Meanwhile, my in-laws came to town for a while. I've spent a few spells with my in-laws this year: first down in the south coast of Korea, Namhae and Yeosu, during parents' day weekend, where we traveled Korean-style, and tried to hit every well-known spot in the region in three days.

Here are perhaps the three best pictures:

We also went to Niagara Falls and Toronto with them for a week in July, and had a wonderful time. Here are perhaps the three best pictures from that trip.

(as you can see, I'm not wild about putting over-many pictures of my family members up on the blog... it's my blog, not theirs, so...)

 That gorgeous lady in the background there is my cousin, though. She's awesome.

Well, the Roboseyo and his In-Laws saga continues as Babyseyo polishes off his first week   (with a burp and a surprisingly rumble-y fart for his size, as usual).

An interesting feature of this week has been Roboseyo's occasion to hang out around the house with only Roboseyo's mom and dad-in-law around (read: nobody who speaks Englis to throw Roboseyo a rope). This has been a stretching but satisfying experience: there are times I bluff, or shrug and make the "blank face..." but I'm getting more and more, and finding myself able to say more and more, as time goes by. This is immensely satisfying: the light of understanding in my father-in-law's eyes is WAY better than sentence forms in a textbook, as study incentives/goals go.

Well, one thing we did in Canada was try out some Canadian beer, which my father-in-law liked a lot: his favorite was the Sleeman's Honey Brown Poposeyo had in his basement fridge, but we also tried a few brews near the distillery district in Toronto.  Hyangju has been encouraging me to take Popinlawseyo to my favorite neighborhood watering hole - a little place within walking distance of my house, that has a modest but extremely well-chosen selection of beers, including imports from Japan, Germany, America, Belgium, Canada, England and more. It's a great place, and the owners know me there, and sometimes stop by the table and chat. Most of my friends and connections who have met up with me in my neighborhood have been invited to meet me there. I'd put it on google maps, but instead I'll force you to invite me out to buy me a beer, to find out where it is.

So we went there and had some London Pride, some Samuel Adams, some Alley Kat, and some Anderson Valley microbrew.

Now, for old Roboseyo, the question is not how much can you drink, but how fast can you drink. Even back before my body made me pay more on Saturday than it was worth to get right sloshed on Friday night, I could drink a ton... as long as I got to choose my pace... and if I couldn't choose my pace, I'd probably end up barfing somewhere (and then getting back on the horse for more) or making a bad decision (and piling my sobbing self into a taxi).

With my friends, generally we get our chat on, and because I only invite very interesting people to drink with me, we usually have no problem filling up the spaces between sips with enough engaging conversation that the question of pace is pretty much moot. Not so with Popinlawoseyo, because my Korean chops, while improving, are not up to snuff yet, and Popinlawoseyo's English consists of about seven phrases (while Mominlawoseyo's English consists of saying "Why can't we just get popinlawoseyo to say it?" in Korean).

Meaning we were drinking at about triple our normal pace of consumption, simply because there wasn't a whole lot else to do. The liquid courage effect helped me to speak a little more as the tipple made me tipsy, but not enough to offset fifteen minutes a bottle, when my normal pace is forty or forty-five.

(proud grandpa)

I got home, and had a very funny conversation on the phone (in Korean, so that the in-laws could laugh along at my storytelling) with Wifeoseyo, and a playful broken chat with the inlaws, while teasing our two dogs (who have been quite lonely while Wifeoseyo is in the 조리원).

My in-laws are great people, and I love them. They do their best, they are learning to simplify for me (though the Daegu dialect still throws me sometimes), and even though they can't understand what I'm saying, I think they get me, and they see that Wifeoseyo and I pretty much love the hell out of each other.

Final side note: I love the simplicity of many Korean sayings and phrases: instead of some weird idiom like "He's good with babies" or something, the comment people were making, upon seeing me holding Babyseyo, was simply "애기 잘해" which might literally translate as "he babies well"

So... I'll be off babying. Everybody enjoy the fall colors, and see you again, soon.


Charles Montgomery said...


I understand less Korean than you, by a mile.. but I love stuff like "애기 잘해" and also love and hate how Koreans will stuff three syllables from three different words to create a new on.
It's like German, but without the pretentious bullshit..

Rebecca said...

That's one of the most beautiful baby pictures I've ever seen!

Caryn Ouwehand said...

"he babies well"...

I love it.