I told my mom about a month ago that we planned a trip to South Korea for about nine days, and she didn’t seem very enthused by the idea. She’s never really known anything about Korean culture, nor has she been that interested in it. She thinks Korean food is too spicy and unhealthy (the unhealthy part… huh?), but she does enjoy kimchi, bibimbap, and japchae. She knows I like Korean food, though, so she wasn’t that surprised that we were going.

“Well, have fun,” she said reluctantly. “Don’t forget to e-mail your dad so that we know you’re okay over there. You have to be careful because a lot of Koreans are communists, so if you do something wrong in their country, they may kill you.”

“North Korea is a communist country,” I corrected her. “We’re going to South Korea. We can’t even go to North Korea even if we wanted to.”

“You just don’t know,” she said condescendingly (and erroneously). I could tell she was shaking her head on the other end of the line. “Many Koreans are communists. I’m warning you. I just know. Trust me. They’re just as bad as the Vietnamese.”

It’s always comical when your mom insists she knows more about the entire world than you do even though she can’t even identify any major country on a map if you gave it to her.

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