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Friday, August 13, 2004

ddeokbokki ajumma

Media Daum has a "Life Today" message board, in which contributors submit stories of their daily lives. A story from a ttôkpokki ajumma, who is said to keep a small street stall selling ttôkpokki, odeng etc., has moved many readers, and Media Daum put it on its main news page. Already the headline, 떡볶이 아줌마 동네 이야기, works to create an image of the most ordinary of the ordinary people; poor perhaps, but this case is not representative of poverty but of the economic difficulties of the ordinary people.
Media Daum introduces the story of a woman in her 40s, who is a family head. This is the story of the most ordinary person, who doesn't lose hope but lives side by side with neighbors notwithstanding difficult circumstances. / 미디어다음은 한 40대 여성 가장의 이야기를 소개합니다. 어려운 현실속에서도 희망을 잃지 않고 이웃과 함께 살아가는 우리 시대의 평범한 보통 사람의 이야기입니다.
I just can't get the nuances of the Korean introductory text carried on to English.

Some choice quotes:
I'm a 45-year old ordinary woman (ajumma). This is a neighborhood where 90% live in single room houses. A neighborhood where the rent is so often due too soon, and where people need to consider buying even one piece of odeng. Here I'm known as ttôkpokki ajumma.
(...)
We are also four who live in a 250 000 W/month singe room place, worry about the rent paying day, worry about rice, electricity bill, but there are many who have it more difficult than us.
Today again I make my mind to earn some money, but my resolution is swept away when I have some money in my hands, and I cannot help but buy odeng and sundae sausages for people in need.

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