This is going to be a a very short note today, but I just wanted to mark the passing of an important date: Today, my wife and I celebrated our seventeenth anniversary. Sometimes that seems like a long time, sometimes it doesn’t. When I stop to think back over the years, it blows my mind to realize how much we’ve experienced together. But somehow it doesn’t feel like it could really be that long.
We celebrated with lunch at a place in Itaewon called Pizzeria d’Buzza, as HJ had been wanting to try it for quite some time. We ordered an appetizer of fried bananas, Gorgonzola cheese, hazelnuts, and honey, and our pizza was the “classic,” with pesto sauce (instead of tomato sauce), black and green olives, fresh cherry tomatoes, rucola, and shaved Parmesan cheese.
That’s our pizza buried under the rucola salad. I guess that’s more of a California thing, having a salad on top of your pizza. Not really what I would consider a traditional pizza, but good nonetheless. The bananas were excellent, as fried bananas always are.
I asked the waiter to snap this photo for us, and he obliged. Then the guy at the table next to us turned to me and said something that I have never had anyone say to me in my 18+ years on the peninsula: “Are you Korean?” Well, no, I take that back. I’ve had little kids say that to me, usually with an utterly perplexed look on their face, but I’ve never had an adult say that. I laughed a little and said, “Um, no.” Then he explained that he thought I might be Korean because I spoke Korean so well. I’m still not really sure what to make of it—it could mean that my interlocutor was either extremely sheltered (and thus incapable of conceiving of a non-Korean speaking Korean fluently) or very cosmopolitan (and thus aware that there are a lot of naturalized Koreans who are not ethnically Korean). Given our location and the man’s appearance, I’m guessing it’s the latter.
This has nothing to do with our anniversary, of course, but it is rare for me to have an experience here that surprises me. People make comments to me all the time, and they are generally very predictable, but this one caught me off guard. It’s nice to see that after eighteen-and-a-half years here, I can still be surprised on occasion. And that, after seventeen years of marriage, HJ and I are still having new experiences together. (I bet you were wondering how I was going to bring this back on topic.)