Crying in H-mart


I came into this book expecting one thing but got out something different entirely. Michelle weaves a memoir about struggling with her Korean identity in painstaking detail. I can picture every nook and cranny of her childhood home and of the pine nut soup served to her mother. At some point it became a chore to read through the sea of adjectives. Regardless I emphasise with Michelle. The details and seemeingly irrevelant descriptions are what make a memory come alive. What ensues is scramble to throw down everything in your head onto paper, in fear of any part being forgotten. In one sense its no different from hoarding.

Will my memoir on Home be the same? Now I'm scared of stuffing it so much that it'll also become too bloated to read. Are all memoirs this descriptive? Was I in a rush to go onto EA? Did I read this book at the wrong time?

What resonated with me the most was probably the first chapter. Michelle sitting alone in H-mart, describing how she'd look at aisles of groceries that suddenly looks alien without your parents guilding you through. I've felt it plently during my university stints to the local TNT. It feels strangely symbolic of the western asian ubringing. Am I really Asian if I can't go through a chinese supermarket by myself?

Korean food turned out to be more exotic and alien. It was strangely comforting to watch mukbangs with my parents while reading this book. Maybe I'll visit Seoul sometime.