Coffee break

17 05 2010

I will never tire of people-watching on the porch of a coffee shop.  Short list of Korean commonalities that make me giggle:

1.  Very drunk business men stumbling down the sidewalk hand in hand bantering passionately about God-knows-what.

2.  So many young couples walking around in matching outfits you would think it’s Sadie Hawkins.

3.  High, high heels with short, short shorts.

4.  Men and women alike constantly pulling out mini vanity mirrors to ensure they still look flawless.

5. The eruption of umbrellas at the slightest indication of rain.

All these things I used to find insanely bizarre are starting to become quite endearing.  Although it angers and frustrates me when overhearing “way-gook” (which is a less than congenial term for ‘foreigner’) among some locals when entering a store or restaurant, there are those who will make a point to come up to say “Hi” in the street, or go out of their way (sometimes very far out of their way) to try to help you out.  These simple gestures of kindness, consideration, and curiosity more than make up for those of the ‘we hate foreigners’ persuasion.

I am waking up early tomorrow to trek to the PNU area for my first Korean class; excited to finally start learning other words besides “ne” (yes), “anniyo” (no), “kamsahmnida” (thank you), “yeogi” (here, taxi), and “muliao!” (I don’t know!).  Also trying to learn “Kai, Bai, Bo”, which is the Korean version of Rock, Paper, Scissors with slightly different rules.  (Honestly, “trying to learn” and “Kai, Bai, Bo” are two phrases that should really never be used in the same sentence, but it seems the only opportunities to learn are posed in the middle of the night after a few too many rounds of soju…)  Once I learn this my kids might think I’m cool.  Although I did win my boys over today during our “What did you do over the weekend” conversation at the beginning of class.  They always answer with “play computer games”, but this time I got a bit more detail – “play GTA.”

Me: “Grand Theft Auto?”  Boys: “Brittany Teacher! You know Grand Theft Auto?!?”

I won some major brownie points with that one…

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