September 24, 2008

Corner Masala


The Bangladeshi family who owns this place run a UHaul rental center from the back door, an Indian buffet from the side door, and a grocery from the front.

We recently hauled a truck of boxes down to my mother's for storage and had occasion to talk to the sixteen year old behind the counter. They'd moved there from Park Slope, Brooklyn and though she said they were lonely at first they'd taken to driving to New York regularly enough that they felt at home now. When asked about the two young boys industriously sweeping the parking lot she told us she was having her sweet sixteen that evening with six hundred guests. And oh, we should drop by if we can.

This I love. It reminds me of how my mother also sees possibility in everything, how Koreans have no problem tackling one vocation, then another even if they've had no experience or training whatsoever. There's a kind of sheer exuberance and willingness to work hard, a world view that all was possible that to me is so attractive about our culture.

Now on the flip side, Koreans have a harder time with reality, like um, laws which can get in the way (ever look up how many infractions with the law the Rhee Brothers have gotten into? This is just one) and don't even mention taxes, but there are plenty of success stories as well.

I wonder if my boys will also internalize a sense of this because their lives are so much more ordered than mine. This fluidity, this total sense of opportunity.

posted at 11:08 AM by jenn

Filed under: personal history


09/30/08 10:43 AM

i guess its not just yuns playing "loosey goosey with the law"

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