Saturday, 12 September 2009

Everyday Living in Andeok



Good morning, sweet Andeok. Your shrill rooster crows and deafening tractor drive-bys are the perfect combination to wake us up at six o’clock in the morning. Who needs ten shots of impeccable, soothing Maxim coffee, when we can get an equivalent rush from your rural wake-up call?

Myungdang-ri, Andeok, really is a fascinating and beautiful place. The quiet, serene environment is really what allows me to listen to the crickets singing in the sheer ebony blanket of the night. The vast openness of the blushing apple orchards and feathery

rice fields allow me to smell the seasonal deliveries of juicy, sugary perfumes and sweet starches. Just as gratifying, if not more, I am lulled to a satisfying slumber by the wind caressing the date trees and sesame leaves in front of the house.

Where else can I cross the distance of a town, in the span of four minutes? Where else can I find a local marketplace, bustling with four times the town’s usual population? Where else can I recognize every charming individual, every single day? In Myungdang-ri, Ken and I are treated like immediate family, and it’s more than we could ever ask for.

I can usually spot some of my cheeky, blushing students from Andeok School, waiving frantically from inside the convenience store as I walk past. I can strike up a Konglish (a mix of Korean and English) conversation with some of my bubbling students, as I wait for the Hyenseo or Hyendong bus to arrive or depart from Andeok. I can see groups of my students, walking through the streets late at night – their young, hyper voices echoing through the empty streets.

The closeness I feel with everyone around me and the comfort and safety I feel as I saunter through the dimly lit streets, leaves me wishing for nothing more, than to bask in Andeok’s comfortable ambiance, for three-hundred and fifty-two more satisfying days.

- Jess


  1. It sounds peaceful

  2. Christine(Jess's mom)14 October 2009 at 20:49

    I can see, smell and feel it around your place. I'm happy with both of you like the environment