Second episode of ‘Human Condition 2’ broadcast on KBS2 on 10th January 2015.
The men are gradually adapting to the discomfort of countryside living without some conveniences but in this episode, it is really tough for them to live on limited food and with hunger especially in the freezing weather. Reality living or not, I hope they do get a decent meal when filming is over.
One can see the level of heirachy which is strongly entrenched in Korean society where the younger ones have much respect for their elders. Sang Hyun being the eldest in the group mostly takes the lead and in the dinner scene where they had to cook rice again, it was served to him first when ready. In another scene when Jae Young brought out some cereal bars and put them down for Sang Hyun and Tae Hui, he and Hyun Woo did not take these until Tae Hui passed one to Jae Young. Also in the scene with the village elders, the group did the ‘keunjeol’ as pictured below.
Related clips for this episode:
Sang Hyun’s makeshift stove was leaking too much smoke so they had no choice but to move it outdoors. A pleasant surprise for me to see the slots with tubes where food could be placed on them and then pushed into the drum for cooking.
Sang Hyun looking longingly at the sweet potato which was not completely cooked yet but fortunately they also had eggs and sausages which were sufficient for their dinner that night.
After the meal, the men moved indoors to discuss what they needed to get such as a burner and toilet paper. They surely needed a burner as it was too time consuming to start a fire each time they need to cook their meals. Sang Hyun also proposed making their own furniture so they would need to get some wood and tools.
The men were surprised when Tae Gyu confessed that he had written a letter addressed to them. I think he had wanted to express his feelings about meeting and spending this time with them. When he read out the part where he said he loved them, it seemed a bit much for Ji Won but they were all touched by his heartfelt words.
Tae Hui had gifts for everyone and gave Sang Hyun a pair of toy sheep which he said signifies fertility and a wish that he would have children quickly. How thoughtful of him. I do like his personality even from the first episode as I find him a considerate and caring person.
The next morning on awakening, the men found a tray with a piece of toast and a cup of coffee which was mysteriously left outside their room. Tae Hui did not eat it as he wasn’t sure why it was there and anyway I think he isn’t the selfish type who would eat it by himself even if it’s a single serving.
Though Ji Won too had hesitated at first, he finally decided to eat it anyway though he shared it with Tae Gyu. I’m not sure whether this part was done according to script but if it wasn’t, it does not speak very well of a person’s character.
Before they headed out that morning, Sang Hyun reminded the men to only get the necessities and that they should learn how to get around so they can save on public transport. He also proposed that they should get help from the village head so they should first pay a visit to the latter.
When Ji Won mentioned that they should get toilet paper, Sang Hyun left them momentarily shocked as he replied that he did not use any when he had used the toilet that morning. When Ji Won asked if it wasn’t ‘messy’, his reply that it dropped straight into the toilet had the men laughing. Tae Hui was seen siding up to Sang Hyun and speaking softly to him as he probably felt it wasn’t appropriate to say such things.
Sang Hyun started laughing and asked that this part be edited out. I think Sang Hyun is not squeamish about such topics as he had also mentioned his bowel problems before, but I suppose it might not be suitable for national TV.
Meeting the village Head Mr Ho Meong Ki and asking for directions to Geum Chon’s 5 Day market which was held on that day. It would not be feasible for them to walk there as it would take around 2 hours but as the one-way bus fare costs 1200 won, Sang Hyun felt it was beyond their budget. He then surprised Mr Ho by revealing that he’s a native of Paju.
5 Day markets are traditional open markets in South Korea which are opened once every 5 days and where one could buy fresh food, meat and vegetables as well as other goods.
Paying their respects to the village elders and asking them for guidance on living a life with minimum necessities.
The village elders seems rather nice and jovial. The 2nd elder (pictured below) had everyone laughing when he suggested with a straight face that they could pass their rubbish to the village Head since Tae Hui was concerned about incurring more waste when they go shopping at the market.
A generation gap of 30 years but Sang Hyun and the village elder shared the same views about frugality.
They managed to borrow a gas burner from the village elders but Sang Hyun felt that the gas canister was considered a consumable which they need to pay for so they should check if they could repay by doing chores in return. The village Head kindly told them there’s no work for them at the moment. Thanking him, they said to let them know should help be required later.
Ji Won and Tae Gyu were tasked to go shopping at the market while the rest would go back to take care of the cooking. Before they split up, Sang Hyun brought out some chocolate pieces which he had wanted at first to distribute only to those who did not get to enjoy the piece of toast that morning. Of course both Ji Won and Tae Gyu did not agree as they too wanted the chocolate, hence the jostling above.
Both men then said that they would use their shopping money to eat rice soup at the market if they did not get their share so Sang Hyun had to give in. He got Tae Gyu to return some money as he had to manage the budget.
Back at the house, they were excited to discover 2 gas canisters in a shed which they could use for cooking.
Sang Hyun decided to make a trip to the village center to look for the necessary materials for making furniture. As the cost of buying the wood pieces was beyond their budget, he had to forgo these and just settled for the nails.
Halfway through dinner and while waiting for more rice to be cooked, a guilty Ji Won tried to avoid Sang Hyun’s eyes. While the group was suffering from hunger, he and Tae Gyu were enjoying free food sampling at the market. Sang Hyun said that the things he do would definitely be seen during broadcast.
Having starved all day, Sang Hyun said he wanted them to buy more food from the market the next day ….. especially Mandu (Korean dumpling).
Fortunately Sang Hyun had come upon a pile of discarded wood pieces nearby and managed to salvage some to make a dining table.
As they were talking about their DIY project, they wondered what the acronym meant.
Sang Hyun’s guess ……. D for dry and IY for I’m young?
Finally the table was done and mission accomplished. Meanwhile, Tae Hui and Jae Young seems lost while trying to find their way back from their shopping trip.