One Call, and One Hundred Will Come

Hoo-Gye-dong is a fictional place created by screenwriter Park Hae Young exclusively for My Ajusshi.  Enjoy this lovely Korean article on the magic of this imagined place full of warmth and cheer.

Translation by @chickfactor from Soompi


“One call, and 100 will come” – Najusshi’s Warm Hoo-Gye-dong people

A warm and cheerful place that only exists in “My Ahjussi,” the people of Hoo-Gye-dong gently moved the viewers. Never mind the whole neighborhood, people often don’t know their next door neighbors these days. But sharing with your neighbors your unremarkable daily life and to cry and laugh with them, it is fragrant like perfume.

“My Ahjussi” which is the story of plain people who use all their strength to endure the world, and has elicited strong sympathy from viewers. In this show, there is a neighborhood that feels like it really exists somewhere in this world, and so you want to see it for real. It may be worn-out and humble but it is full of “sticky” affection, that is Hoo-Gye-dong.

It is where the three ahjussi brothers were born and raised, it is said to exist at the “mouth” of Seoul, and it is where ‘ruined people’ live. At some point, they were vice-chairman of a bank, chief of an auto research division, board member of a pharmaceutical company – they had times when they were very successful. But now, they are middle-aged, and they work supplying towels to a motel, import mudfish, or operate a cleaning business. In the evenings, they gather at “Jung-Hee’s” and talk about trivial things and work out the difficulties of their days. Whenever they have time, they wear jackets that say “Hoo-Gye Soccer Club” and walk around as a team, earning the complaints of their wives. But they are somehow never hateful, and their “stickiness” makes you envious.

In Ep. 10, when Dong-Hoon was was beaten up Kwang-Il, seeing how enraged the Hoo-Gye-dong people became and ran in the middle of the night elicited joyful laughter. Whatever the reason was, based on a single fact that someone hit Dong-Hoon got everyone to shout, hopping mad, “Who did this? Just wait until we catch him.” And when a police car with sirens approached, they said, “he can’t go to the police station, this is an important time at his work,” and they shielded him with their bodies. When Dong-Hoon made the excuse that someone bumped into him and cursed at him, so he fought with him, they didn’t question him further, even though it didn’t sound like him. Instead, they concentrated on how to make excuses for his mother and his wife. It may seem childish, but we felt the affection and loyalty.

Perhaps this is why. This is the day when Dong-Hoon told Ji-An, “If Kwang-Il gives you a hard time, then call me. There are many people who will come to help with just one call. Call at any time. 100 people would come.” That their fathers were friends and all attended the same elementary school, and everyone knows each other – that is perhaps not the only reason. And it’s not as if they can solve the problem like extremely capable people, or a hero. But Dong-Hoon, who grew up in this neighborhood since birth, knows that when he is having the most difficult time, knowing that someone who will get even angrier on his behalf, and curse someone out for him, and be on his side – he knows how comforting that is. And he felt that that was what Ji-An needed most.

This is a neighborhood in which warm people gather and endure the harsh world together. When they begin the day early in the morning, they shout “fighting” for you, and will drink with you until late, and share trivial talk with you. Yu-Ra, who feared failure realized here that failure is okay. It made you look forward to when Ji-An, a “rigid person” would one day come here to relax. This space that feels like a fantasy, it makes you want to live in this neighborhood.

Comment by @justamom:

Yoon Hee never felt one of Hoogye, she wanted to leave the entire time they were married.  But Dong Hoon will never leave Hoogye. It feels almost like an imperial palace analogy.  She felt she was trapped in the palace.  But the king can never leave his palace. Either you marry into the neighborhood, or you live there unhappily. Which is why Yoon Hee finally left, and took flight.



4 thoughts on “One Call, and One Hundred Will Come”

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