My Mister Locations: Ji An’s House, #1

It starts with the question Yoon Hee poses to her husband, “Who is #1 in your life, honey?” He never answers her; I don’t think he could, for he himself does not know.  But as the story unfolds before us, is it possible that this mystery person in Dong Hoon’s life lives behind door number 1?

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by @popai5

To reach the top of the concrete steps where the less affluent resides, a hard long climb representing the daily struggles of the area’s residents will lead the way.

The cold, dark room has a small window that provides the only rays of light in the depressing space. A small window to provide a small ray of hope. During summer it feels like an oven. In winter it is an ice box. She has to get warmth from whatever she can. A little heater. A cup of hot coffee. A few blankets. Something to help her survive and beat back the cold harsh reality of life.

Yet it is home. Bare walls, sparse furnishings. It is nothing, yet it is something. A place she gains comfort as she rests. A place where she consumes leftovers from work and drinks coffee stolen from the office. Still, it is something to protect. A place to fight for in order to maintain her privacy and dignity. She will get beaten in exchange for a promise of keeping someone from stepping across the threshold. To protect the refuge for her only family member, she will get hurt, she will fight back. She will do this for the only one she cares for deeply.

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That is, until this man she really doesn’t know breaks into her space. A space she has wanted to keep private. He is someone she’s tried to harm without giving a second thought. Someone she has forced to buy her “expensive” food, something besides table scraps. And he is someone living “his life sentence of earnestness.” But there he is, waiting to carry her precious grandmother (who has just enjoyed her moments of happiness with her moon), so she does not have to be bumped about in a cold shopping cart, but instead feeling the warm comfort of his back.

Then he says something to her that she has never heard in her life. It sounds strange to her ears. Are those words directed at her? “You are a good person.” People put her down, ignore her, beat her, but no one has acknowledged her before. Now she is no longer a savage residing in a cold cave. She is human. This is a house, some place she can sit and repeat “You are a good person,” even if she herself does not believe it.

Now the room gets lonely without grandmother. Her physical struggles lessen without grandma, but her heart feels heavier. The heater and the coffee can’t warm her. It is the sound of his voice, his breathing, his heavy footsteps that warm her whole heart and being. She wants to reciprocate the warmth he gives her. The only thing she can do as he walks her home is a heartfelt “fighting” before she climbs up the steps. He smiles. She feels warm.

Her world grows by meeting his friends. They walk her home and treat her like family. They hail a neighbor she has never noticed to watch over her. It is an impromptu housewarming. She feels obligated to show her appreciation. A “thank you” emerges past her once beaten lips.

The cold dark room feels warmer. A bit brighter. But to give him a chance to live a brighter life himself means she must leave. She must find a new place to rest. No, just a place to lay her head.

Leaving everything behind, she takes only a backpack full of essential belongings. Grandmother is her only precious thing and she is safe.  Now all she needs is her phone, or so she thinks. I must still listen to him. He is my lifeline.

He comes by “just checking for cracks.” Then he comes again for another inspection, finding her belongings outside and needing to be stored. The neighbor agrees to be neighborly. “Just checking for cracks” in a place full of cracks? Is he trying to patch, perhaps heal, or at least comfort the one most important to him? Does he not know his words already heal the crack in her heart?

She won’t return to the room at the top of the stairs, she has decided. Room #1. The small space, the womb that has kept safe the #1 person of his heart, is now empty and cold. The possessions are gone. The tenant has left with sadness and nervousness, but also with the knowledge that she is a good person. A person who loves.

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24 thoughts on “My Mister Locations: Ji An’s House, #1”

  1. For God sake this Drama is a masterpiece so as this fansite blog, and the viewers themselves interpreting vague scene with explanation you could not imagine how did they think of those. I INFITY LOVE THE DRAMA AND I LOVE THE VIEWERS TOO! YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I am rewatching this drama when i got sad(like rn) It rly gives me comfort like LJA’s name. I can find comfort through this drama i love this drama so much I don’t know what to do! I am super thankful for the universe that gave me a chance to watch this! Thank you everyone! Thank you fans I am so grateful that you guys feel the as I did. I am the only watching this drama in my circle and I am rly annoyed that I can’t express it to them coz they cant relate to me, luckily i found this fansite blog and it helps me alot with the baggage I was holding, this DRAMA IS EVERYTHING. I am infity grateful. Thank you fans for making this fansite blog I couldn’t thank you all enough *cries for real*

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I feel you… None of my rl kdrama buddies have watched My Ahjussi, although I’ve told them it’s a great drama. They said the drama seems too dark, or too serious… So, I can’t talk to them about the drama and how it had affected me.
      So glad I’ve found great fans at the Soompi forum and then this wonderful fansite 👍💖

      Liked by 3 people

      1. No, I didn’t 😅
        Funny thing is I’d rather they didn’t watch the drama, or watch it on their own time, instead of watching it because I promote it too much and they ended up not as excited as me or worse, they didn’t like the drama…

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi everyone, this is the first time ever I write anything regarding this drama anywhere. I’ve been an avid reader of this fansite and my mister forum in soompi and I love all the insights and analysis people write there and I’ve actually read this one. However reading it again here this time somehow gives me feelings of warmth and melancholy. I went back to the scenes and they brought tears to my eyes.
    That you so much for re-posting it here and for reminding me of the feelings (I feel) of this drama.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Nanahana, thank you so much for choosing this site to finally share your feelings about My Ahjussi. It’s good to hear that there are other fans who are still deeply affected by this drama. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really like the fact that My Ahjussi is that kind of drama that originates lots of reflections, observations, thoughts, even music, articles an so on… I’m grateful about everything that takes form through My Ahjussi.

    Ps.: I’m reading every comment in soompi (since the beginning) and is so pleasurable, and I can read sadiesmith, justamom (…), and it’s awesome x) I was reading very slowly but I’m already at the end. So sad that I didn’t know about soompi back then, but better late than never.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha… You read all 300+ pages? Lots of great stuff in there that we can’t turn into a blog post. So yeah, everyone who hasn’t checked it out, please go and relive your first watch experience through the eyes of those Soompi watchers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 305 haha And yes! awesome stuff there. I always read while eating or drinking something… a very pleasurable moment for me, its like going back home… ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m reading this while listening to IU’song ‘meaning of you’ and I’m crying so hard right now. It was written well 👍👍
    I miss them much 😭😭😭
    I already re-watched this drama for almost 10 times in 2 weeks. I’m a huge fan of this amazing drama. This is the first time I can’t move one from drama and i guess there will no other drama can replace My ahjussi in my heart ❤
    btw, thank you for created this fan page 😊💕

    Like

  6. In the beginning of ep 14 when PDH made calls searching for LJA, the screen showed a few things: this blue door #1. … Have you also notice the two posters in PDH’s background: one poster showed “core” [structure?], and the other one showed a couple with two kids.

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  7. Rewatched again. the Core structure poster not random. Previously overlooked this allegory as it looked merely a steel company ad, but it actually popped up a few times:
    1. “earthquake-resistant”: “… the pillars must be strong and flexible”(ep 13, chat btn PDH and the director candidate)
    2. PDH made calls looking for LJA (ep 14 beginning): in his background the CORE structure poster (mentioned above);
    3. [The design team] decided to use the new earthquake-resistant material/structure (ep 14, after PDH’s love song scene, and before finding out the phone tap).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unbelievable… as early as ep9, in a scene that PDH has a flashback of his phone call from the loan shark (LKI’s partner) telling him LJA a thief, at the time PDH and his team was inspecting a building crack and the team wearing safety helmets with a large logo “HiCore”. No coincident… You can check in their previous inspection works (ep1 and ep3), they had different helmets (a small logo with no meaning?).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. A perfect example that PD Kim is able to utilize every scene, even the advertisements. [Another example is LJA’s coffee scenes (ads for sure – but two packets means normal vs three packets means bad mood).]

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  8. Ok first off: GREAT JOB on this website! I’m loving reading all your insights/analyses and so appreciate the dedication to digging into this beautiful show. Just finished watching it for the first time and having quite a hard time moving past it!

    Something I noticed: If I’m remembering properly, Ji An leaves red persimmons in the store twice due to outside circumstances to rush home, (the second time leading to a connection between Ji An and PDH). A google search said that red persimmons often symbolize transformation in Korean media. PDH’s determination to bring the persimmons to Ji An is perhaps another way of representing his need to help her reach the potential she’s been having to set aside to survive

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting! I never knew the meaning behind the persimmons…and the fact that DH is the one who twice is trying to give JA her persimmons is so heartwarming. The whole show is loaded with symbolism.

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