My grandfather left Korea to live with us in New York when he was almost eighty years old. My parents fixed up the attic（阁楼） so that he had his own room. He wore traditional Korean clothes: shiny vests（背心） with gold buttons, and puffy（肥大的） pants that made his legs look fat even though he was really very skinny. He chewed on small dried fish snacks（快餐，小吃） that smelled up everything. He coughed a lot.
My grandfather spoke only Korean, so I never understood what he was saying. He scared me. I had never seen anyone so old so close.
“Take this tea up to your halabogee,” my mother told me soon after he had moved in.
“I don’t want to,” I said.
“He’s your grandfather,” she scolded. “Be nice to him.”
I brought up the steaming cup of tea, hearing him cough once, twice, and again. I peeked（偷看，窥视） around the corner and said, “Here’s your tea.” He looked up at me, chewing his dried fish snack, and smiled. He began speaking Korean to me, but I didn’t understand him. He waved me over and continued talking.
“What? What? I don't understand Korean,” I said. “I never learned.”
"Aigoo," he said, which was like “Oh my!” in Korean. My mother said that word to me all the time. He waved his finger at me and said, “Korean important. Yes?”
“I guess so,” I said, surprised. So he did speak a little English.
He smiled and nodded and sipped his tea loudly. He began speaking to me in Korean again. He talked for a long time, and I didn't understand a single word. I said, “Grandpa, I told you I can't understand you!”
But he just smiled and nodded and kept on talking. After a while, I just listened. I liked the sound of his raspy（刺耳的，粗糙的） voice filling the warm attic. My mother gave my grandfather a colorful shiny hand fan that he used to keep himself cool during the hot afternoons. My father gave him a small transistor（晶体管） radio, which my grandfather listened to late at night, tuned to the Korean Gospel station. My mother also gave him a goat-hair brush, rice paper, an ink stick, and an inkstone to practice his calligraphy（书法）, a special kind of writing.
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