한숨만 나는 이 시간에 갑자기 한국 방문 중에 모싯잎 송편을 처음으로 먹어보았던 시간이 기억났습니다. 지인의 추천으로 순천까지 찾아가 그 중 가장 맛있다는 가게를 찾아갔습니다. 가게에 들어서자마자 계산대 보는 아줌마가 반갑게 맞이하며 막 기계에서 포장까지 되어 나오는 모시 송편을 그 자리에서 뜯어 주먹만 한 떡 하나를 그냥 내 입에 밀어 넣습니다. 보통 시식은 맛보기로 조그맣게 잘라서 이쑤시개로 찍어 입에서 감질나게 먹는 것인데, 여기는 달랐습니다. 포장되어 나가는 제품을 그냥 뜯어서 입에 통째로 넣어 주는 것이었습니다. 쫄깃쫄깃한 맛이 입에 착착 달라붙었습니다. 들어오는 손님마다 그 큰 떡을 입에 물고 있는 모습이 가관이었습니다. 방금 뜯은 송편은 벌써 없어지고 또 새로 포장되어 나온 떡을 뜯기에 바빴습니다. 내가 봐도 아까울 정도로 퍼주는 인심에 놀라지 않을 수가 없었습니다. 그런데, 사람마다 두세 상자씩 안사는 사람들이 없었습니다. 저는 새로 나온 보리 떡 포장까지 뜯어가면서 시식을 하였습니다. 너무 맛있어서 혼자 먹는 것은 큰 죄를 짓는 것 같았습니다. 눈앞에 택배 된다는 안내문도 보였습니다. 이때 베델 성도님들을 아주 많이 그리워 했다는 사실만 알아주십시오. ^^ 각박한 지구촌의 소식으로 한숨만 나오는 이 시간에 모싯잎 송편 집 아줌마가 그리운 이유가 무엇일까요?
Terrorism and Ramie ‘Songpyen’
Rev. Bryan Kim
Last week, on the 23rd, there was an incident in Manchester, England where a terrorist suicidal bomber deliberately attacked a soccer stadium after a concert by Ariana Grande leaving many injured or dead. A couple days ago on the 26th, as well, there was a nonsensical terrorist attack that took place near Cairo, Egypt on a bus where around ten terrorists jumped on riddling everything in sight with bullets leading to the death of 26, including children, while simultaneously injuring 25 other people. They were targeting the Christians on board heading toward a monastery. Just last December, an ISIS claimed attack was carried out by suicide bombers at a church in Cairo leaving around 30 people dead as well. As the 9/11 terror attacks seemingly became the ‘opening number,’ all over the world these attacks have become more rampant, fully resulting in a sense of fear that there really is no place left that is safe in the world. The entire world is literally frozen in terror as repeated terror attacks have taken place in Paris, a major city in Europe, and in Brussels, one of the headquarters for the European Union. The refugee crisis that resulted also depicts candidly the state of suffering that the world is enduring through. The tensions that continue to build up on the Korean peninsula is heightening the anxiety the world is facing. North Korea is testing missiles at will while the four great powers surrounding the Korean peninsula seem to be more contentious with each other rather than placing emphasis and care on safety and security of the region.
At a time when we can only sigh, I was able to suddenly recollect the time that I ate ramie ‘songpyeon’ rice cake for the first time. Receiving a recommendation from a friend, I remember traveling to Suncheon city to find the absolute best store that sells them. As soon as I entered the store, the lady at the front counter was so welcoming. As the rice cakes were being cut and packaged by the machinery she suddenly ripped off a fist-sized amount and shoved it in my mouth. Usually when a store gives out samples, it is in a smaller quantity impaled by the end of a toothpick, but not here. Here, they rip off a huge chunk even as it is being packaged for sale. The chewy texture of the rice cake stuck closely all over my mouth. It was a sight to see as all the customers that came inside were chewing on the huge rice cake as well. As the rice caked that was ripped off was all gone, She busily started to go through the packaged ones. It seemed like a waste at the time, but I could not help but be surprised to her kind heartedness. But among the shoppers, there was not one person that did not buy multiple boxes. I took it one step further by tasting the barley rice cake that was being packaged as well. It was so tasty that I felt I was sinning by eating it alone. Afterwards, I saw a sign that said they deliver. Just know that I earnestly missed our Bethel family at that time. ^^ I wonder why I miss the lady at the counter in the ramie ‘songpyeon’ rice cake store at this time when all we can do is sigh at the continued incidents that occur in this cruel world.