EDITING : 2023.9.11 월 09:45
The Gachon Herald
That’s the Proof That I Rushed into the Waves Again TodayThe story of people who take care of each other’s injury, Ding
Lee Hae-Jin  |  huckey@gachon.ac.kr
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Updated : 2023.09.10  13:20:31
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 ‘It is natural that I get ding if I surf. That’s… the proof that I rushed into the waves again today.’ It is the phrase representative of the novel Ding written by Moon Jin-young and several people are consoled by this phrase. Have you ever heard of ‘Ding’? It refers to a mark or scar on a surf board damaged by waves. Ding is literally the story of people who have the ding. The plot of this book is that the main character ‘Ju-mi’ who runs a motel in the neighborhood that has many surf lovers overcomes her injury with a ding, her damaged heart, by communicating with her friend ‘Ji-won’.

Whale
 We can hear the story of Ji-won in the first section, ‘Whale’. Ji-won has lived with her father until she turned 15 years old and lives alone now. Ji-won hated her father because when they eat fish, her father eats its eyeball and he can’t conceal his delight when he catched a whale. Other people can ask whether it can be the reason for hating her father, but Ji-won feels sick to the stomach and vomits due to her father’s delighted face that time. Therefore, when she gets out of the home before admission into a high school, she arranged everything in her room and doesn’t leave anything at home. It would be fine to plug along, but Ji-won realized too late that her father has been battling with colorectal cancer, and she went to counseling because of the guilt. Before long, her father passed away eventually and she encounters ‘Ju-mi’, her childhood friend who lives in the same neighborhood, in a funeral hall. Ju-mi gives her card to Ji-won and smiles, saying “The next time you come to K village, make sure to contact me.”

The Motel Caribbean
 The main character of the second section, ‘The Motel Carribbean’, is Ju-mi. The second section begins with the scene where a customer enters the motel Ju-mi runs with her mother, and the customer makes a strange request to Ju-mi. She asks whether a person has died in this motel, and she says she wants to stay in that room. People usually avoid the room where a person died, but the woman rather has stayed in room 401 for several months and looks for a part-time job at a surfing board store nearby the motel. One day, Ju-mi gets to know that the dead person in room 401 is the woman’s boyfriend, thanks to Young-sik who runs a cart bar in front of the motel. After hearing that, Ju-mi reminds her previous lovers, and it comes to mind that one of her lovers used to ask her ‘Don’t you want to leave this village?’. As Ju-mi answered that she doesn’t agonize about that, the lover leaved the village after graduating from the university in order to get a job, saying that Ju-mi is so unambitious. Thanks to him, Ju-mi realizes that a reason for wanting to stay in this village is to run the motel Caribbean for her mother, and decides to leave somewhere if her mother passes away. However, she is confused about whether she wants to leave or her mother to die. Actually, she ‘wants to be a departee’. Her first lover and the second lover who were customers of the motel, even her friend Ji-won left the village, and the awareness that she is always left alone is held deeply. So, Ju-mi goes to the funeral to show that she lives still happily in the village which Ji-won left, after hearing the news Ji-won’s father passed away.
 One day, Ji-won really visits Ju-mi’s motel. They go to the cart bar in front of the motel immediately. At first, they only smile clumsily but the atmosphere comes loose thanks to the menu of the cart bar. Then, they head for Ji-won’s house. They talk about the old story, eating tangerines which have their memories. They have been friends since they were in childhood, so they know each other’s circumstances. Also, they can talk openly. Ju-mi originally was going to go back to the motel right after drinking, but she sleeps at Ji-won’s house with her agreement. Ju-mi closes the curtain for Ji-won who can feel inconvenient due to blinding sunlight, cooks the dried pollack soup, and leaves the house to run the motel in the early morning. Ju-mi sees the woman who stays in room 401, and the woman is preparing the surfing board store. Ju-mi greets the woman and the woman also waves her hand to Ju-mi. She is dazzled by the sunlight.

 This book is composed of four sections, and I only explained the first and second sections. Three characters aren’t described properly including the room 401 woman and Young-sik who was mentioned before, and a total of five people, including Ju-mi and Ji-won, are connected around village K. In village K, where all the five people live now or lived in the old days, these five characters take care of each other’s injuries and help to overcome just like Ju-mi and Ji-won in the latter part of the second section. Although we can’t live without injury, I wish that you feel the injury less heavily because of the cute word ‘ding’ and remember that this book puts the center not on ‘injury’ but on people who aid the ‘recovery’ each other’s injury.

 

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