Monday, April 20, 2009

It's been too long

Wow it's been a long time. Sorry everyone!!!

Instead of the daily thing, I'll give you some highlights. Basically every day I eat egg fried rice for brunch, go out walking, play piano half of the days, and learn something new about Korea. For dinner I eat some kind of ramyun (Korean ramen).

Last Wednesday I went to see 벚꽃 (cherry blossoms) with 미주 (Miju) and two of her friends from school. That's what the pictures in the previous post are from. The weather was warm, almost too warm, and sunny. We went to 선유도 공원 (Sunyoodo Park), which is a man-made island in the middle of 한강 (Han River). There are more pictures here:

When we got to the island, there were people filming a reality show which I had ironically watched the night before. It's about a fat rapper and a chubby singer and their significant others (not fat) and they're competing to lose weight. The host is a famous singer. So, 미주 (Miju) was really excited because she loves the host. We watched them film for a while, then had our picnic where they were filming. The director came over to us and asked me to speak to the fat guy in English for the show. So, I was on Korean TV. My friends also got to go on the show just after I did, so we were all really excited. The rest of the afternoon was fun and tiring, scampering around the park taking ridiculous pictures and doing our best to communicate. One of the girls speaks a little bit of Japanese, comparable to my own, so we talked in Japanese a lot. None of them could speak English any more than I can speak Korean. But, it was really fun! After the long day, 미주 (Miju) and I could berely walk up the stairs out of the subway and into our 고시원 (goshiweon).

In my walks, one day, I was walking by a vendor on the street who makes rice crackers. He's in the same place every day and I usually just ignore him like I do the others, but he called out something to me specifically. Something about foreigner girl, you're so pretty, have a rice cracker. Something like that. So I stopped and he talked to me for a while, handing me a free rice cracker every now and then. He tried to seel some to me, and they're cheap but I didn't feel like buying any so I just told him I didn't have any money with me. Well, a week later, I stopped and talked to him and bought some rice crackers. They're so good, I finished them in two days. He told me to come back often. I just might. He's about 50 years old I'm guessing. Good salesman.

One day, I was really upset for no particular reason (maybe stir crazy?) and I decided to go out for a walk around dusk. As I was walking by a Paris Baguette bread shop, I saw and old man drop his lighter while smoking. So, being a nice person and not wanting him to injure himself bending over, I picked up his lighter and handed it to him. He was go grateful that he ushered me into the bread store despite my protests in broken Korean and told me to choose anything to eat. So I relented and chose the cheapest thing in the store: a croissant. At first he just watched me eat it, then he mauled it with tongs and took a couple huge bites, securing crumbs all around his mouth, then shoving it in my face. I was so embarrassed and uncomfortable, and most of all, confused. He was trying to throw out all the English words he knew, like city names and random vocabulary. I was trying to speak in Korean, but he had that unique Korean old people accent that I can't really understand. Finally, when the croissant was almost gone, he got up, said "see you next time" in Korean, kissed me on the cheek, grabbed my boob, and walked out. I yelled "no" and hit his arm as he walked away but then I just sat there dumbfounded. Then I laughed. So ridiculous. That's what I get for being polite. Oh well, no harm done. I asked the girl working if he had given her money. She said no. Good thing I chose the cheapest thing. I asked her if he did that every day, and she said she had never seen him before. All of this in Korean, mind you. I'm improving! ^^

After the old man incident, I was really upset. Why is it that I can get the attention of a sick old man so easily, but there are no young, handsome guys in my area?? I went into Dunkin Donuts for the first time and got an iced mocha. Then I walked around the streets for another half an hour sipping it, desolate. Finally I decided that for the first time in my life, I would drink alone. I asked a random guy on the street, who was taking a break from work so I knew he wouldn't follow me, where a good place to drink was. He told me to go to 소주호프 (Soju Hof). I found the place but it was on the second floor and I couldn't find the stairs. So I asked a random woman how to find the stairs, and she gave me directions. I didn't know the word for stairs, so I made a motion like my hands were feet and I was stepping up stairs with them. Haha. I got there and tried to ask the guy working there where I could sit, but he didn't understand my Korean and he didn't speak much English, so he just said, "wait." So I waited. A woman who could almost be my grandmother came up to me and asked me in English what I was doing. I said he told me to wait so I was waiting. She led me to a table and sat down with me. Turns out, she's the manager. After I had had a beer and eaten a bit, she came back over to chat again. Her English was pretty good. I asked her if I could work for her a little bit, just cleaning or something before or after hours. She said that would be too hard because I can't speak enough Korean to talk to the other employees. But, she called her friend who's an English teacher for children. Said friend came and joined us at the table. Then that friend called her friend, who also came. Those two were about the age to be my aunts. So, I drank and talked with them until like 6am, and got their phone numbers and a potential twice-a-month job. I walked the block and a half home with the sunrise and a smile on my face.

Everything works out in the end. :)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kristin!
    I'm sooo happy things are coming together for you. Sounds like your Korean is getting better too. Oh, about that issue with the older guy, I totally understand. Sometimes it seems like super old guys hit on you when all you want is a guy your own age too. It's super random & I totally understand.

    I miss you a bunch!!!

    Erika B