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What do you usually do when you are bored? These days most of the kids play computer games, chat, play with a smart phone, or with other machines. And because of them kids spend most of their spare time alone. In the 1970s, when there weren’t computer games and cell phones, kids used to play outside with friends. When they went out, friends were waiting to play and they would play until sunset. When my brothers and I are watching television or playing games too much, my father tells us a lot about his childhood, how he used to play.

My father grew up in the countryside. His family did farming. After breakfast he would go outside to play. He said that his friends were always there. In the summer, or on hot days, my dad and his friends would go to the river and play in the water. Sometimes he would catch frogs or tadpoles and play with them. They used to blow the frog with a straw and when it got big like a balloon, they played soccer with it. It sounds a bit cruel and disgusting. He said that he feels sorry when he thinks about it now. In the 1970s people used to wear black rubber shoes. When kids caught tadpoles or a killifish they putted them in the rubber shoes and played with them.

He used to play lots of games with his friends. Sometimes they played with little stones or glass beads. My dad would bring some of them and his friends would bring some too. The most ordinary game was hitting glass beads. You have to place the beads on the ground and hit the other person’s bead by hitting yours. And if you hit the other person’s bead you get to have it. Sometimes they would play with cards. The rules are basically the same with the bead game. Except you have to flip over the other person’s card by hitting it. There’s also hide and seek, soccer, 말뚝 박기, and other games.

In the winter, when it is cold, he and his friends used to go inside a huge pile of rice-sheaves that the adults piled up after the harvest. If you put out some of the rice-sheaves in the middle, it becomes like a small cave. They went in there and play. Sometimes when it is very cold they brought matches, and made fire inside. Once when dad and his friend were playing inside the rice-sheaves and making fire, the rice-sheaves caught fire and they accidently burnt down the whole pile. And they didn’t want to get into trouble so they just run away.

My father feels sorry for us because we couldn’t grow in nature like he did. I also think it would be much better to play with nature outside with friends than staring at the screen the whole day. For the rest of the holidays I’m going try not to play with machines.

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