Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Years resolution : Smile at ajuma's!


Many people warned me about "ajuma's" (married Korean women, especially the ones in their 40's and over), but I never took it to heart. I love old people and I always give them my seat on the bus or subway if there are no other available seats.

...but then, I started being elbowed by ajuma's, pushed aside as they hurry out of the subway or shooed aside as they want to climb onto the bus before me.

About two weeks ago, when I was at a transfer station, the inevitable happened. An ajuma cut in front of me, and there I went - flying over her trolley bag! That was it. Ajuma's had better unite, cause I decided I'm standing my ground. I thought, "Ajuama's, I will stand aside for you... but please, don't push me like that!"

And then today, on my way home from Seoul, about 3 stops before I got off, an ajuma got on to the subway wearing a shawl and a hat - and I noticed the rosary she had in her hand.

The subway was full, and no one seemed prepared to give up their seat for ajuma. She looked around, and there weren't even railings available for her to hold on to, and she was too short to reach the higher ones.

She caught my eye, and I smiled at her. She smiled back.

The subway took off and ajuma nearly lost her balance. So I extended my arm to her, so that she could hold on. I didn't expect her to, but she clutched my arm so firmly for two stops. Before I got off at my stop, I asked her if I could please take her photo, to which she agreed.

So - smile at ajuma's and maybe, you won't be elbowed away in the future!

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