Thank you for a wonderful five weeks.
I know that you are not really set up for the kosher traveler just yet, but I sincerely thank you by taking a step in the right direction by giving the Chabad house official status. This will allow them to buy a permanent center and serve the Jews in Seoul even better. On that front, I apologize for taking three percent of the current Jewish population of Seoul home with me, but I think that perhaps the blog has made you a little less impossibly far away to my readers, and maybe one or two will decide to come visit themselves and replenish the supply.
While I am thanking you, I must comment on how remarkably friendly you have been to my children. It is not easy to travel with children of all ages, and you embraced them all. You waited patiently for them to board the subway, you didn’t flinch when they entered ceramics stores, and you even smiled when the baby fussed (or worse) while riding on mass transit. It seems like you went out of your way to give my children happy memories, and I am grateful.
I know it’s not your fault that we all seemed to get sick; you have different bugs than we do back home. I do appreciate the wearing a mask in public when you are under the weather. It was surprising easy to get used to and really much more comfortable than going without. I doubt that Westerners will adopt this practice any time soon, and more’s the pity.
I also must thank you for unabashedly mentioning “the great wisdom of our ancestors” in your museums. In this modern world where ancient practices are seen as primitive and useless, I really appreciate meeting another culture that also values the ancient ways. May you continue to modernize while holding on to the best of who you are.
It’s time for the children and me to go home now, but we leave Cloud Man in your care. I would consider it a great blessing if it turns out that some day, we can return and visit you again.
I leave you with a blessing of my people; may you go from strength to strength.
Annyonghi kyeseyo and Shalom,