As I was at my local stationary store, shopping for Holiday cards to send the family, I soon became a part of something. When entering the stationary store you go down a flight of white stairs. At the bottom is the entrance, where near here were a shelf of cards, these ones of the more traditional imagery style.
I browsed these first and came upon one with recessed birds flying over a white washed background. It was nice, and I picked it up. I moved on to the other racks of cards that were further into the store. Here, standing next to an Ahjumma, I browsed around. The next thing I know she was pointing to my card and asking where I got it. Yes I understood that much Korean. I pointed to where I got it and told her, "Over there." She said some more words and seemed not sure of where I found it. Then she went over to that section.
A little later she came back over to me and said something about it not being over there. Not that she didn't believe me, just that she couldn't find it. So I went over there with her to see if I could find it, too. Alas, I couldn't find it either. Then she managed to ask a store clerk if they had more. He scratched his young head and then looked at the cards too. The next thing I know another clerk took the card from my hand and went to the back of the store. I didn't really mind. Actually, earlier I tried to give it to the lady but she refused.
I turned around and looked at some cards nearby, as they brought out a box and searched inside their stock. Apparently, I had the only one left. At this point the card was in the lady's hands and I made hand gestures that she should keep it and said, "Gwenchanaeyo" or "It's ok, really!" She seemed very pleased and thanked me.
I wasn't attached to the card, and really just wish I could have spoken more Korean to her so that she could understand it was ok for her to have it. Yet, when all was said and done I'd like to think I shared some Christmas spirit with this lady. I hope she brings this story home with her or that whoever gets the card finds out how it got into her hands.