Adventures of an American Seoul-Sister

Adventures and Observations of an American Seoul-Sister

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Upside Down

Excerpt from Chaim Potok's I Am the Clay--a book about three refugees' struggle to survive, set in the final months of the Korean War.  Punctuation is as written--which it can be confusing because if it's lack of convention. 

She thought: Who was he, the silent soldier with the gift of rice?  One of the pale-skinned ones with the upside-down eyes?  Sometimes kind and sometimes cruel creatures.  Mother told me this how when she was a servant once in the house of the provincial governor and saw with other servants through finger holes poked in the paper doors and screens the governor dining with a pale-skinned man.  Odd how he removed his hat when he entered the house.  Ill-mannered creature.  Mother said she learned from her grandfather that different kinds of creatures eat different kinds of food, some eat stones, some wood, some grass, some water, some air, and the highest creatures, human, eat rice and pork and raw fish, and the pale-skinned creature ate rice and pork and was clearly human even though his eyes were upside down and he removed his hat upon entering the house when it is known to all that a hat is put on to show respect not taken off what good is a hat as a sign of respect when it is not on the head where it belongs.  Mother said that perhaps everything is upside down where they live, because they live on the other side of the world.

I can totally relate to this.  Everything is upside down here.  ^^ 

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