After Michael had spent several years in South Korea and following most every family members’ pilgrimage to visit, I followed.

I landed late afternoon with the instruction to be in a suit and ready to visit the Dutch embassy for a garden party. Why not? We are half Dutch, a blessing from our Mom. The night led from consularly conversations to more casual drinks with other comrade connections. Finally, at an early hour, and still with suitcase in tow, through a sudden downpour to the front steps of Michael’s Hanok.

His pride, his joy, his.... keys?? Lost! Still in the rain, he hatched an idea and disappeared around a dark corner. Moments later, a roof top silhouette appeared, waved and disappeared again into shadows. This shadow was not as quiet as most, with the sound of a roof tile or two hitting the floor - inside?? A loud ‘thump’ of something much heavier and definitely softer followed. I’m sure I heard an ‘oof’ and a groan. The fumbling sound of keys from inside the solid classic Korean wood courtyard door and the crack of light. A victorious Michael appeared proudly in the doorframe. I was saved! All at once, we remembered carefully placing his keys inside the pocket of my suitcase. Nevermind that, we were home!

- Paul Spavor

Free Michael Spavor