Mom and I Discuss My Recent Trip to Costa Rica
In the weeks leading up to my trip to Costa Rica, I would remind my mom that I was traveling to Central America for a week and she would respond the exact same way each time:
Mom: “Oh my gahhhh. You be careful! My gah. You going with friends? Okay, good. You be careful. You go places with Jason–don’t go places by youself. My gah. I raise you all by myself! You my baby! I worry about you!”
Since my mom is Internet-illiterate, I wasn’t going to be able to email her that we’d arrived safely, and since I didn’t want to rack up a huge cell phone fee by calling her, I told her that I would email my siblings and have them call her to let her know I was fine. My trip was fun and the race I had flown down to do, the Rev 3 half Ironman, went really well. I ended up taking second overall female, my best ever finish in a triathlon.
When I got back home, I called my mom to let her know how my trip went. I was excited to tell her about my podium finish and was curious to hear how she’d react.
Me: “Hey Mom.”
Mom: “Hi honeyyyyy! You back?”
Me: “Yeah, I got in late last night.”
Mom, angrily: “You siblings never call me and tell me you get there safe!”
Me: “Oh, sorry. I told them to let you know!”
Mom: “Nobody tell Mommy anything!”
Me: “Sorry.” I found myself apologizing for something that wasn’t remotely my fault. This tends to happen a lot when it comes to appeasing my mother.
Mom: “How was trip? Nice?”
Me: “Yeah, I had a good time.”
Mom: “You have good race?”
Me: “Yeah, I took 2nd overall female, so I was the second-fastest woman there.”
Mom: “Whaaaaa, that’s a lot. Are you that tough?!”
Me, laughing: “I guess!”
Mom: “Wowww. You are my little baby!”
Mom: “…you were my wimpy baby! Ha-ha.”
Mom: “You little thing! You cried a lot!”
Me: “You always tell me I never cried when I was a baby!”
Mom: “When you baby you don’t cry. But when you little nobody could say anything to you. A little loud and you would cry. Nobody could even touch you. Oh my goodness. Second place, wow.”
Confused by the juxtaposition of being simultaneously dissed and praised by my mother, I was at a loss for words.
Mom: “How’s food there? Good?”
Me: “Eh, not really. Some of it was good but a lot of it was just okay.”
Mom: “Ohhh, really?”
Me: “I did eat a raw turtle egg when I was there.”
Mom: “Huh? Whoahhhhh. Turtle egg? Oh my gah, you change. Ugh. So you ate that?! Ha-ha-ha! Wow. Ha-ha! How they prepare?”
Me: “They put the raw egg in a little shot glass along with a spicy, Tabasco-type sauce, and then you just drink the whole thing.”
Mom: “How taste?”
Me: “It was pretty good. The egg was creamy and the rest was kind of spicy.”
Mom: “Wow. Expensive?”
Me: “No, it only cost a dollar. I guess in Asia there’s high demand for turtle eggs though because they think it has healing properties, so they buy them for $100 per egg on the black market.”
Mom: “Oh my gah. Asia? No wonder…it’s not Korea!!”
Me, laughing: “No, China.”
Mom, in an “I knew it” tone: “Mmm hmm. Korea, no.” And thus Mom (and Koreans everywhere) wins this week’s Asian morality battle.