Thursday

My aunt, uncle and cousin returned from two months in Korea a couple days ago. They immigrated to the US from Korea about a year and a half ago and while they’re not fully fluent in English yet, they still like to stop by my place to “talk”. Take last night’s visit for example. I was just getting into my car to go grocery shopping when their car pulls into my driveway.

Amy: Hi! You guys just got back from Korea? I thought you weren’t coming back until next Tuesday.

Uncle: Uh… yes. Last- last night.

Aunt: [sleepily waves from car]

Amy: You were there a long time…

Uncle: We fly Seoul- JFK- Burlington.

Amy: Wow, that’s a long flight… You didn’t stop in California at all?

Uncle: Ehh… [pointing his finger in air] Seoul [arcing his finger to the right] JKF [arcing his finger up] Burlington.

Amy: But the plane didn’t stop in L.A. for gas or anything?

Uncle: Uh... AMY!

Amy: Yeah?

Uncle: You- have birthday [pointing behind him]…

Amy: On Monday. Yeah.

Uncle: You turn… seventy-two.

Amy: Twenty-five, but that’s okay man. Same thing.

Uncle: Here! [pulls money out of thin air and tries to hand it to me]

Amy: No, no, no, it’s okay.

Uncle: Here! You take!

Amy: NO NO NO NO NO!! [backing up] You keep it!

Uncle: Here! [advancing]

Amy: Okay. [Accepts money] Thank you very much.

Uncle: Okay. Bye.

Aunt: [sleepily waves from car]

They drive away and the only think I can think is: There’s no way that plane didn’t stop somewhere to refuel between Seoul and New York. Especially when you’re flying in that direction and you take the rotation of the earth into consideration. If they didn’t stop, the plane would have run out of gas somewhere over, like, Ohio. And then, what? They’d coast the rest of the way to JFK? I don't know. It doesn't make me feel safe.

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