I Live in Cheong Dam Dong 5: Be Happy

*Is this the hardest day to just be that or Is this the hardest day?!?! RIP.  T__T *

This is the episode that I’ve fallen in love with this little drama with SO MUCH HEART and never look back.

Things are heading up for the CDD shabbiest boarding house, but life isn’t that easy, is it?

I thought for sure we are promised a guffawing episode surrounding a hilariously mosaic’d brown goop.

BH is skipping dinner to not get bloated in the face, prepping for her gig tomorrow, even though it’s only for leg modeling.  JE is settling into her new job, it’s a relief to be working (or is it?).  HJ, like all mothers, worries about JE’s job security, stepping down from a big hotel to a tiny ‘diner’ even though the pay is more.  Within another breath, HJ segues into concern about JE’s marriage prospects.

JE has eaten, she relieves WH at the front desk, who looks like he is busy figuring out the anatomy of cobra wuxia move.

It is harder to come back to Shabbytown filled with napping hobos after a day at Piace, the chicest exclusive hideout off internet searches for the Richest Elite 1% , where even laying a table cloth comes with SPARKLES! In her silly dream, JE thinks maybe she can get rich too by association?

And Mirror Mirror in her Hand, JE is the fairest…OK maybe not, SangYeob has just arrived, smirking richbastard-ly at her. Rubbing it in JE works here instead of a patron as she claimed, ‘You look kinda familiar…’

MS is on a serious mission in his scrubs and slippers *Erm… I have never seen a surgeon in open-toe footwear, no socks.*  He asks Younger Mr. President of clinic for his wages a day early.  Tuition for his sons in US is due today.

JE pokes Chef for more info on SY.  He’s not only from the elite family like everyone at Piace, he’s also an accomplished architect in his own right, with a famous Art Museum built under his design.  Chef corrects JE he’s not only a ladies’ man, he’s popular with the guys too *heh*. JE ogles some more at SY’s backside of his head, so much so he feels every bit of the attention, gives JE a passing glance, then turns back with an assured smile.

HJ is apologizing to the mosaic’d cow’s head.  She can’t do it, even after covering the poor dead thing’s eyes.   She will carry it back to be properly butchered.

As BH is leaving for her leg modeling gig, she scoffs at HJ carrying the cow head in a garbage bag in CDD of all places.  HJ puts it in a logo’d paper bag after wrapping head in a designer handbag’s dustbag.

JE bumps into a customer by accident, the guy is gracious about it, the elite patronage at Piace are not the fussy lot.  The young guy is none other than MS’ Mr. Director and SY’s guy friend.   He greets every one lunching, knowing each and every one of them.

Chef  prep talks JE on the essence of the Elite.  Being rich, with leeway to be accommodating and hampering (her) temper sure is charming, JE vexes.

At the clinic, MS is cramping in lunch, leaving a message for his wife while downing a cup ramyun.

For lunch, SY and his pal is having Kobe steaks and Lafite.  JE imagines herself the happiness of just licking a drop. Their meal is a million won down the drain in JE’s eyes.

This is HJ with her black cargo.  I’m not sure how much more discreet this is, for sure not enough to divert the three Richladies from the Club.

They are off seeing something rare and fantastic.  HJ has no choice but tagging along with Pinklady’s smiling coercion.  HJ goes along with Old Schoolmate mistaking her black bag as an expensive handbag purchase.

The RichCuties have left, JE is daunted by the table of leftovers worth an obscene amount of money.  She always finishes every bite of food, it’s money, it will break her heart if thrown away.

HJ is not amused by the Expensive Paintings.  Her WooHyun’s stuff is better.  When probes, she tells the ladies her brother is an artist, his art…youthful and humorous.

Pinklady is enthralled, thinking WH is a Pop Art artist.  Another white lie as HJ affirms.  The curator/saleslady tries to help HJ carry her black bag, but fails.  HJ swings it on her shoulder like it’s nothing.

MS is consulting a patient (comedian Choi HyeRyun).  She wants to elongate her neck, that’s the difference between herself and Kim TaeHee, or so she thinks.  MS is distracted by his text messages.

His paycheck has been deposited, but so are payments due on so many fronts!  He abruptly leaves his patient in a mad dash to the bank.

Chef offers to cook JE anything, like a steak, instead of her plain bowl of noodles.  JE insists that is exactly what she wants.  A cheap bowl of noodles she doesn’t have to be aware of the $$$ down her tummy or wasting a bite or two… She’s full, but old habits are hard to break, she finishes the very last spoonful to her absolute frustration.

The CDBB boys are singing Memory by Kim Bum Soo, ie my fav MV ever of Binnie and Lee Da Hae:

You do remember…our love?
We used to overcome obstacles together.
There isn’t anything left…

…as the poor boys rub their growling tummies together.

Pinklady signs on the dotted line to acquire the multimillion-won painting, which she is making arrangement to lock it up in some vault not to be seen right away.  HJ checks herself out at the absurdity, she’s carrying her heavy black bag with her to the lavatory.

SY and more of his guy friends are back for dinner, ordering a super rare caviar even Chef has a hard time getting some.  A call and SY’s chauffeur delivers some left at SY’s home.  JE looks on with her jaws on the countertop as SY munches on spoonful of caviar like it’s rice or sth.

Back from her bathroom break, HJ overhears the ladies fussing over what’s in her bag. It’s so heavy, it must be something weird instead of a designer bag.  HJ thinks up another lie, telling Old Schoolmate it is hefty bagful of gold.  The Richladies are flabbergasted as HJ walks off like a boss.

JE admires the sparkling KRW100,000 speck of caviar leftover on the crystal bowl.  She could make this into a worthy ring …or taste it.  And…

SY returns for his car keys.  Oops.

This scene gives me chills and tears and I wanna hug MS forever and ever.  And call my parents.  EVERY SINGLE TIME I REWATCH! T___T

Lunch and dinner we saw the RichCuties eating millions won.  MS had an instant ramyun, a convenient store riceball and soju in paper cup.  He finally can reach his family, he and his son exchanged mere words.  He starts in his finest Korglish, yet there is a hard earned smile on his face, quickly he switches channel asking how his grades and if he misses him in Korean, his son must’ve handed the phone over to Mom.  MS is instantaneously relieved yet fizzled.  The toll being away from each other is palpable between his wife and MS, and when he throws in the ‘Honey, I love you!’ as she’s hanging up telling him lets endure it a little longer.  He smiles like a dork, drunk as he says it, then defeated in that little decrepit corner by an atm machine in CDD.

I lost it.  All the little sacrifices during the day for mere minutes of mundane. He’s holding onto those split seconds of joy in his otherwise miserable lonely existence, which hurts the most when the voices of his family were mere seconds ago from his phone.

HJ walks home from the butcher, exasperated.  She wants to save pennies for her family butchering the cow’s head herself, yet she’s flung upon a day in the life of the RichLadies, epitome of wealth, with herself disgustingly faking she’s part of the elite with lie after lie, when all she has is a cow head in toll.

JiEun is making a philosophical oratory on life to her keen ears Doggy Poo.

How’s your life, Poo?   [Poo looks down]

Mine is nothing special.  Still, it’s ok. 

Funny, isn’t it?

I can abandon who I am and be a rich and pretty lady, but no way…I like the way I am!  I just want my life to improve a little.

BH [drinking down her sorrow…again]: PD Lee, don’t treat me like this, you said ‘leg model’, not incontinence panties!

I just want things to go well.  Just wait and they will.

Being poor will help me discover things others don’t even realize the need to, I thought.

MS: I’m a doctor!  I live in Cheongdam Dong! [while peeing along another fellow drunkard who is totally laughing at him.]

But my daily life is bringing me to tears.

HJ laboring over the stove.

I want to console myself, ” Oh JiEun, you are perfectly fine.  You are cool!  You are charming!  Without you, your world ceased to exist!  This world revolves around you!.  You rule it! King!  The only King this world knows! I’m King of the world!  I really AM!  I’m the King of the world!” JE screams to the Han river.

Jobless Hobo is sitting on the windowsill of the manghwabang, he is another set of keen ears unbeknownst to JE.  He smiles earnestly at King OJE’s cute manifesto.

With HJ’s cow head stew, the six of them gather at the kitchen table, life as usual.  They make it through another ‘eventless’ day.

Love yet?  This episode changes the playing field for me.  I thought MS is the typical know-it-all stooge, but you are not human to not get misty at a father providing for his family, missing them terribly, living his day, every minute, revolving around them while they are leading their lives a world apart from him.

Since we met JE, she is cute but superficial and materialistic, but can you help it but break out a rendition of One Day More fr Les Mis to cheer her on?!

How frustrating is life when you spend most of the waking hours being the outsider, surrounded by the miasma of wealth, dreaming of tasting a drop of the luxury, a fairy dust of that extravagance?  Despite all the temptations, she likes herself, she has hopes and dreams and faith in herself. She has her feet firmly to the ground, sticking with who she is, true to herself and dreaming of a life a little bit better and determined to just work on that with her own hands! Awwwwww~!

4 thoughts on “I Live in Cheong Dam Dong 5: Be Happy

  1. MS’s scenes always make me tear up. I love that he is the big bros to WH and SH, always fooling them into believing stuff that are unreal LOL but when he picks up the phone and calls his family in the states, tears start forming T___T poor MS ah when nobody understands his feeling of being under-appreciated

    And Hye Ja and her bag of gold or branded stuff? HILARIOUS!

    1. What is so lovely with the 3 stooges are they do not go on any Woe is MEEEEE! I can’t imagine a life at the cusp of all these bling around but yet u r so lonely providing for your family yet they r almost foreign to you. It hit really hard home wondering how my parents get through sending us off to school, it must be somehow like MS, taking in most of the crap of the day, yet living his life as is without the whining, treasuring those little moments with his family.

  2. Oh… I had no idea that Moosung had a family or is a doctor… This episode was so heartrending. What happened to Moosung’s job/family?! They seem to go by unmentioned from 99 to 104 (lol, which is where I’m at.)

    1. huh? His job was never at jeopardy per se, he is a plastic surgeon. It is time he has to spent apart from his family that is absolutely slaying him. He is solely supporting his family (wife and kids) in the States.

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