Great Wisdom of an Old Korean Man

Back in 2004, I was on a business trip with my wife to South Korea.

In free time, we loved strolling the streets of Seoul and going to suburbs that are not normally seen by visitors.

Two days before returning to Australia, I decided to look for Karate Gi (martial arts uniform) as I saw prices being very affordable. I needed a new uniform so it was logical to start the search in shops in Seoul.

My wife and I entered a small martial arts shop, which was run by a very old, lovely Korean couple. They did not speak a word of English. But, we communicated somehow. Language is not a real barrier when people want to share thoughts.

I tried many karate uniforms but all were too small for me (I am a big man). Whatever I put on, the uniforms were just not the right size.

Then, a young Korean man entered the shop. Since he spoke perfect English, he offered to translate, which we accepted with thanks.

Old owner said something in his language and we got the translation that he was willing to make custom-made uniform for me. Great offer which I had to decline because we were leaving Seoul in two days. Not enough time to make a full uniform.

Then the old, gentle Korean owner said something else. Here was the final conversation with the young interpreter.

Interpreter: The old man has a great idea for your problem.

Me: Please tell me. I am very eager to hear the suggestion.

Interpreter: The old man said that you need to lose weight!
To this day, ten years later, I smile at the smart thoughts of the old Korean gentleman. He was, of course, right. Beautiful conclusion by him!

Moral of the story: there are good people everywhere. And wisdom can be found at many unexpected places.