My family got together at a traditional Korean restaurant to bring in the New Year. We started with bows to our elders, then proceeded to make speeches of gratitude. I was selected to speak on behalf of So Gee and myself.
"When I first became a part of this family, I didn't know what to expect. But your kind and generosity have made it clear that I am lucky to be part of such a wonderful group of people. I truly appreciate how each of you has made me feel loved and welcome. It is my hope that although So Gee and I will be in America very soon, we will still get to make annual visits back to Korea to be with this family. I hope your New Years are filled with joy and happiness. Thank you for letting me speak."
The youngest of the family will not talk to any men except her father. Everyone is mesmerized by her extreme lovability.
Outside the restaurant was a natural spring frozen in winter.
My brother and sister-in-law contemplate whether I will be able to eat the spicy food that is soon to arrive.
My mother-in-law makes jokes at everyone's expense. I am given translations at times. Other times I simply watch everything take place, trying to pick up phrases or gestures to clue me in on the comedies transpiring.
So Gee is eating, so she is in heaven.
I enjoy the bean soup. I drink my tea. The spicy things that come later are difficult to swallow. I do so though. I smile. I feel my stomach gurgle. I smile again.
I didn't expect to be transformed into a Pomeranian from the spicy food. It happens though. The kim chi here has a bite to it.