A Little Bit of Seoul, Now.

When I was growing up in a small town in —

Hold up. I’mma pause the blog for a second. I have to apologize for starting this blog, or any blog with the phrase “when I was growing up.” I am sorry for being that guy. Fatherhood, as it is so many things, is also the dawning realization that whichever guy may be referred to at any given moment, you are, or soon will be that very guy.

So, sorry.

But anyway. When I was growing up in a small town in Iowa, my family had HBO, and thus I considered myself (not unjustly, relatively speaking) cosmopolitan. We would go to see family in Madison or Boise, and weren’t we so traveled? In High School I became aware that Ireland had a strong musical tradition because my brother brought home some Pogues CD’s from college. In Northeast Iowa terms, this boy was a Scholar of Global Cultures.

It used to be so easy for a nerd to feel superior.


My son, as you may guess, has a much harder row to hoe. We ride the bus and my little guy will hear, literally as many as 4-5 languages spoken. There are entire theater companies in the cities devoted to Asian theater, Latino theater, puppet theater, and museum, don’t get me started on museums.There are science museums, art museums, children’s museums, museums dedicated to electricity to trains, there even used to be a Museum of Questionable Medical Devices.

Minneapolis lost a little bit of its soul when that place closed.

What I’m trying to say here is that my son’s superiority complex may have to be based entirely on actual personal accomplishment. Poor guy.

But all is not lost, because at almost-three, my son may be able to speak Korean.

Maybe. A little. We’re not sure.

I can’t really wrap my head around it. The internet, is, of course, to thank. Or to blame. To thame.

We watch videos in the morning to give mamas and papas a chance to wake up a little, and then again before his bedtime. I’ve mentioned this before, I think. And he’s been into a few cgi cartoons from the land of Kim Chi and Bulgogi. Both of which involve anthropomorphized heavy machinery. And mama has allegedly heard him parroting lines from these shows.

It stands to reason, really. The human brain is just a wrinkly little language sponge at 3 years old. He learned English the same way. Why shouldn’t he speak Korean?

If nothing else, he can explain to me what the hell Gangnam Style is about.


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