The Threepenny Review

Colonel Hayashi

ALTHOUGH MY wife and I don’t belong to any Korean-American organizations and don’t live in Koreatown—we live exactly one hundred blocks north of it—we don’t shun our Korean heritage. Quite the opposite: in many ways, we’re hardcore Korean.

We both speak Korean. We cook and eat plenty of Korean food—not just Korean barbecue but also everything else. And we root for South Korea in international sporting competitions like the Olympic Games and the World Cup, partly because of our heritage but also because we see South Korea as a perpetual underdog. Perhaps most telling of all, we’ve held on to our funny-sounding Korean first names that instantly tag us as being different.

This isn’t to suggest that there’s anything un-kosher about adopting a mainstream first name. People can choose to be called whatever they want. There have been plenty of people who shed their immigrant names and adopted a more mainstream American name. Just look at Martha Stewart, Tommy Hilfiger, and Kirk Douglas, to name a few. My own children are named Hannah and Isaiah—although it’s uncanny how many times I have been asked what Asian language the name Isaiah comes from (the most frequent theory being Japanese).

But in any case, driven by ethnic pride, sheer lethargy, and/or an unwillingness to deal with the hassle of tracking down new IDs, my wife and I have both chosen to keep the Korean names we were given. This has often led to some comic confusion. Once, after my wife agreed to purchase

Citiți o mostră, înregistrați-vă pentru a citi în continuare.

Mai multe de la The Threepenny Review

The Threepenny Review13 min cititeMedical
The Big One
AT NINETY years old, Ms. R had already survived two lung cancers. When she came to the VA radiation oncology clinic to consider treatment for what was probably a third, one part of the workup was missing: a biopsy of the tumor. It would have been ris
The Threepenny Review7 min citite
How the Cicada Screams
I ONCE ACCIDENTALLY dug up a cicada in the springtime, killing it right before it was meant to fly. The house I lived in, my parents’ house, had a ring of plants around it—the man who lived there before, by most accounts a generally grumpy and not we
The Threepenny Review19 min citite
T O BEGIN with I held them in awe. Tell me one time awe turned out well. THE POET with the frank gap between her front teeth was once the seraph Suburban Housewife. Babies, martinis. Her gestures run from folding to stacking to tucking in to combing