The week before I moved out, my landlady led me down to the 시장 to treat me to some 떡볶이.
“Remember when I brought you here three years ago?” she asked me.
Yes, I remember. One of the first days after I moved in she led me to the traditional market to show me where to buy panchan. She gave me a small container of Kimchee and her phone number.
As my Korean began to improve more and more she would utilize me as her translator. Whenever a new foreigner moved in she would knock on my door. “살구시,”she would call out through the door to see if I was home. She’d tell me to tell them about the management fee which was due every month or that we got a new food waste trash can and make sure you don’t throw your bones and eggshells in it.
I have been lucky to have the sweetest landlady the last three years. We both arrived in Jochiwon at the same time. My building was brand new when I first moved in, so she was new to owning it too.
As I was getting ready to move out she was super helpful~ she kept poking her head in my door and asking if I needed her to help me pack. She could see I was struggling with fitting the last of my stuff in the two suitcases I’d brought. “Why don’t you mail it?” She suggested and even brought me a cardboard box.
On my last day she ordered 짜장면 and invited me upstairs for lunch. She insisted on driving me to the train station and her husband helped me carry my bags from the car to the platform. He commented as we walked that he felt like he was sending his daughter off to school or something.
They weren’t my family, but they’d become the uncle and aunt that lived upstairs. They told me to make sure and stop by when I’m in town. I guess, when you are wandering, you collect family wherever you go.