I think she is, by far, but then again, I stand at a distinctly unlady-like 5'9" so what do I know? I do know that I am going to miss Korea a lot. While here, I read a history of North Korea, which is kind of the same as reading a history of South Korea too since their histories are intertwined. I was completely surprised by what I learned. I had learned none of it in school and I suspect most Americans have no idea of their role in why Korea is what it is today.
If people had wanted to throw stones at me, I would not have blamed them. At the Contemporary Art Museum, I saw photographs from the early 1960s where Seoul is mainly some low buildings and mud. Although I am hardly a fan of new construction and development in most instances, I think what Korea is today is remarkable and hugely impressive. That no one threw stones at me but instead treated me as a valued guest, well, it brings tears to my eyes. I am sorry for what Americans did in Korea but I am even more sorry that this story simply is not told as part of our history education.
When I was at Myogaksa, we did 108 prostrations, counting our bows with beads as we made a mala. The nun leading the program told us it would help cultivate our "humble mind". That notion of a humble mind came up for me again and again thereafter. I would think about it when I was crossing the street and a car would want to cut me off - the New Yorker in me would scowl with a bit of "oh yeah, you wanna fight about it?" attitude and suddenly I would think, "humble mind!" especially after I saw others bowing to the driver who had tried to cut them off.
Humble mind. I am pretty sure that one could do a lot worse in life than to fully cultivate one. Now I humbly put my faith in the thin and pretty crew of Korean Air and their flying machine that will take me back to New York. Hope to see you there!