Well, it's official. I just had my first 'I miss Osan' experience. If you must know, I've been sort of mocking all my Osan friends who have moved on and then pine for it. As you may know, or suspect, Osan is sort of dreary, and I have not missed it even once before today. Well, maybe except for the day the old lady annoyed me in the park in English instead of Korean. But it is a simple, pleasant life in some ways and it does have its little charms. Chiefly, all the fantastic friends and neighbors. The ones that don't say a single word when your kids streak down the hall or throw a tantrum in the post office. The ones that always have that weird spice you need on Monday when the commissary is closed. The ones that are always up for a stroll to Chili's for a margarita on a Tuesday night even if its 12 degrees with 3o mph winds. The ones that will take your kids off your hands with six seconds' notice for however long you need. I'm not kidding when I say that virtually ALL of my neighbors there fit that description, even the ones that secretly didn't like me. I guess I'm a little spoiled, you think?
Today I had a little chat with a neighbor, and let me tell you, she was NOT Osan-worthy. I've met most of our closest neighbors, briefly, but the boys have been playing with some kids up the street lately, and the mom came down to our end of the cul de sac this afternoon. Mostly to tell me, in a very humorless tone, that her kids aren't allowed to come in my yard, go on our trampoline or otherwise consort with us in any way beyond playing in the street. I could almost see the air quotes around 'trampolining'.
Sadly, I was not totally surprised by her dour countenance, because I had just been talking to her eight year old. Actual conversation:
8 year old boy: Where's Weston?
Me: He does an afternoon program at the church on the corner.
8 year old boy: I don't think that's a Baptist church.
Me: No, it's a United Methodist.
8 year old boy (smirking): Oh. See, we're CHRISTIANS, not Methodists.
I can sort of understand her concern- I mean, sure, she doesn't want her kids to hop on the hell train down here at Casa de Evil Trampoline Jumping Methodist Church Attenders or anything. It didn't help that our black cat was torturing a mouse in the driveway at the time. Good thing she didn't look in the house or she would have seen the half eaten ramen bar on the living room floor. The one true Baptist-only deity probably HATES that. I bet there is a commandment and everything. Number eleven, most likely, and I'm sure it addresses uncooked foodstuffs in a very severe manner. Boy, is she going to be sorry when the earthquake comes and it will be NO TRAMPOLINE AND NO RAMEN for her! I don't know what her policy on mouse meat is, but Henry will probably share.
I'm going to try to turn the other cheek, because that's the Methodist thing to do. Also, more monkeys might hit her that way. And if any of my Osan pals are ever in town, CALL ME! I miss you guys.