Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Am I a kid?

I like Abby's Book Nook in Itaewon not only because of all the used English books there but also because Abby, the self-assertive and adorable Korean-American daughter of the owner, never fails to give me a laugh. The first time she was there, I walked in and began browsing at a shelf near the front counter where her and her mother were sitting. I waved at her and she gave me a perplexed look and asked, "Are you a kid?"

I answered, "No...I'm not a kid. Are you a kid?"

To which she replied, with a serious look on her face, "I am a kid, but if you're not one, then why are you so short?"

On another occasion, I overheard her approach a 50-something man who was reading with a cup of coffee and ask if he wanted to play chess. He seemed somewhat uncomfortable with children and told her he didn't know how. "That's okay, it's easy!", she said as she set up the board, "What color do you want?" As I continued to search for the perfect book, I would hear overhear comments from Abby to the silent man, such as, "I can't believe you made that move! You should have..."

The last time I went to Abby's was to kill some time before meeting some friends for dinner. After a few minutes Abby came up and asked if she could draw a picture of me to add to her collection of masterpieces on the walls. I told her I only have five minutes. "I can do fast ones too," she told me as she plopped down on a red velvet chair and had me to take a seat across from her.

Well it seems she can...