Happy Birthday to G

Yes, March 4th was my birthday. I’m posting on the 5th, but only barely.

I had no classes, but I hiked the mountain and the most entertaining moment was running into a crazy Christian lady who segued so suddenly to “Do you believe in Jesus? Believe in Jesus so you can go to Heaven!” than I was confused — I thought she was talking about art, as the Korean word for art sounds similar to how Koreans say the name “Jesus.” She thought I didn’t know who Jesus was, and immediately pantomimed the scouring, crown of thorns, and crucifixion. Finally, I said, “Ah, Jesus. What about him?”

“Do you believe him?”

“Are there people who don’t believe in him?”

“Yes, it’s terrible,” she replied, serious-faced.

“I see.”

“Are you a priest,” she asked me.


“Believe Jesus and go to heaven. Campus is that way!”

“Ok. I can go this way too.”

“I want to introduce you to my son. He’s in Australia. When he comes back, you can meet him on the mountain.”

“Okay, thanks, bye!”

No, I so don’t wanna meet her son. She was nice enough to show me the shortcut down the wrong side of the mountain, though, when I found myself there.

The afternoon was quiet — I had a meeting with a prof about program stuff and a course schedule we needed to be clear on, and then I headed into Seoul and finished up a short story draft I’ve been meaning to polish up for critique over the past a few days. Lime met up with me for dinner (Mad for Garlic, Apkujeong) and then we saw the Brad Mehldau concert. It was outstanding, if a bit short. He ended (in his second encore) with a Nick Drake song, not sure which one but it was amazing. I picked up a few of his CDs after the show, since I had nothing of his trio’s work.

On the way home, got a rice cooker I’ve been needing, and some random groceries, and found a big chunk more of my Emart orders outside my door. Still no milk, though, and a few other things are still missing. I did get my whole wheat flour, though, so I’m making brown bread for tomorrow night’s pot luck dinner. So I’d best hit the hay, which will let me get up early enough to do my hike and set up the baking machine before my first class.

6 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to G

  1. Is Yoido Full Gospel Church (여의도 순복음 교회) still there? This sounds like suspiciously like you ran into one of theirs. Very neopentecostal, and David Yonggi Cho (조용기) actually had a very strong recent influence on neopentecostal fundamentalism in the USA. There’s a lot of research posted online on both Yoido and Yonggi Cho.

    I don’t know how active they are outside Seoul, but I would suspect they’re at least somewhat active in other cities at least in the southern part of Korea. And I’m right with you on not wanting to meet her son. Conversations like that make me twitch, and not in good ways.

  2. Oh yes, that church will always still be there. Horror that it is. But I’ll be honest, it’s just the biggest in a whole industry of Christian fanaticism here. Lots and lots of people are like this: it’s pretty much the form that mainline Presbyterianism has taken in Korea: speaking in tongues, Wednesday night prayer meetings, marching in the street with signs threatening hell to infidels, and so on. Quite stomach turning.

    They’re active everywhere. Churches are a whole industry here–when you taker a train at night, you see forests of glowing red crosses on top of every random family businessthis post I wrote a while back…

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