Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Magpie and the Tiger: A Story of Childhood Stupidity Lasting Into Adulthood

New layout! Check it out!

Okay so if I actually know how to google for a pretty layout, why did I have that weird magpie + tiger combo up there originally?

The magpie and tiger are the only things I remember clearly from the first time I came to Korea, back when I was like 8 or 9 years old and thoroughly bored by the whole affair. When you are a fourth-grader, there is absolutely nothing more boring than traveling to the other side of the world with your parents to meet boring old people you happen to be related to. I'm the youngest in my family (the next youngest count as my nieces and nephews, and I'm only 19 myself), so back then, most of these kids didn't even exist, and I probably wouldn't have played with them anyway. My other clearest memory of that trip is watching The Princess Bride about twenty times in one day and falling absolutely in love with Cary Elwes (blond, sneering, flippant; my later infatuation with Draco Malfoy did not really surprise anyone).

If only Cary Elwes still looked like this.
Anyway, the point is that I ended up going to Jeju-do, a small island that the tour guide kindly explained to me as being Korea's "rabbit poop," since Korea itself is rabbit shaped and Jeju-do is located near its, uh, butt. Look, these are the things you focus on when you're a fourth grader.

I'm not actually crazy, you see it too, right??

At some point in time, we went to a museum where I was told that I should buy a pretty gold bookmark because the magpie and the tiger were lucky symbols. Over time, this became confused into a single magpie-tiger; half-bird, half-tiger, lacking the power of flight, and presumably subsisting off of canned tuna and birdseed, this was pretty much the ultimate expression of Korean identity that I could think of. It wasn't until I came here and googled this mythical magpie-tiger that I realized, ...oh wait, it's two animals.

Yeah. I'm dumb.

(btw, the magpie and the tiger are indeed lucky symbols. the magpie brings prosperity and good news, while the tiger brings luck. so, you know.)

Peace <3


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