Thursday, November 25, 2010

Family war

Yeonpyeong Island in flames - photo from Yonhap News

I've written and rewritten this post about a dozen times.

On November 23rd, the North lost its mind and a small island inhabited by fishermen and their families soon found itself in total chaos, with both military and civilian casualties. The whole country was in complete shock and bewilderment. Even my loquacious self was at a loss for words; exclamations full of foul expletives was all that I could manage.

Technically, the Korean War never ended. There has always been tension on the Korean peninsula, military skirmishes now and then. We in the South learned to live with it, tolerate, persevere, deal with the problems as they came. Why? Because we're not talking about a neighboring country. This is a country divided, a family torn apart, with some wounds so deep they'll never heal - but that doesn't change the fact that we're family. You don't give up on family.

But this time it's a bit different. Crazy brother has gone over the frickin' line. You give and you give and the selfish bastard just throws a temper tantrum of epic proportion, not caring who gets hurt in the process. So what do you do?

As a mere citizen, there's nothing substantial that you can do, unfortunately. You wait for the decisions made by the "big people", who might not necessarily be whom you voted for, whose decisions might not be to your liking. There's a Korean word for this: 'dahp dahp' (답답), i.e. 'stifling', where you feel helpless and frustrated and trapped at the same time. I am lost in a field of dahp dahp right now,

For those who lost their lives, R.I.P.

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