White sticky rice and wooden pull-apart chopsticks
Visible breath in the morning wind & instant coffee packets to keep warm
Bows and smiles and, “Annyonghaseyo”
Animated characters everywhere: stickers, hand creme, clothes, facemasks…
Cold to the tongue, hot to the lips: kimchi
Fathom story towers full of livelihoods
Neighboring round mountains dusted with trees and rocks
Black and white magpies with stripes on the wings flitting through sandy trees away from the seagulls on the salt splashed rocks
Laughing eyes, clapping hands, peace signs, and gasps with wide open eyes
Every busride united nations nap and scroll Twitter
Scoffs and cheers over office-screen curling matches – live forty minutes away
Water cooler lunch time chats in accented English: Remember Sochi? Rio? London?
Warm, crisp, guest passes fresh from the laminator
Snow sailing straight horizontal
Meals with six side dishes in miniature plates
“Broken English” is an unfortunate concept. As if language were shattered like pottery. Instead it is shaped by careful precision and is soft to the touch.
Conversation is communal: they come half of the way, and I come the other half. We piece together understanding one another.
Laughter is universal, as is a helping hand.