Anyong! Lindsay here.
It’s been four months since we have arrived in Asia and I must say we have learned a lot. From how to artfully use chopsticks with every meal without thinking twice about it to not-so-artfully learning how to use a squatty potty. Details withheld for your sake. Mom and Dad, start practicing your squats! 🙂
But one thing we certainly have not mastered is the language. I came over here with big goals. Oh, I’m going to learn Korean in a jiffy! I just love languages! Well. Hmmm. Let me look back and rephrase that. I love French. I love its jes, tus et the way les mots roll together off your tongue and spring out of your mouth like a fresh bouquet of les fleurs. But now looking back, j’aime that I could read its letters.
We quickly discovered the complexity of Korean after making halfway through a two-month Korean class and realizing we were never going to be fluent. Not even close.
Over the last four months, we have learned some survival phrases. Hello, thank you, please, how much, delicious, and a few other random words like bulgogi (marinated meat), noraebang (karoake room), bali! (quickly! for the students); yogi! (here! again for when I want to move a student for talking); and most recently, sonsaengnim, the word for teacher or anyone who is older (translated: wiser) than you.
But some of the key Korean words we have apparently missed out on are: heat, water, temperature and timer. We know this after we have now gone about a month without hot water. It wasn’t cold. It just wasn’t hot. It was barely lukewarm. Just cold enough to make your showers short and your mood raunchy in the morning. Finally, after stomping mad and cold out of the bathroom, I had enough. I called my Korean friend to the rescue.
She came over, simply read our thermostat, and said, “Ahh. You have your water temperature set on ‘We are away.'” Silly foreigners. Apparently, I was about the sixth foreigner who called her for heat help.
So we have a long way to go with our Korean. And today, I set out on a mission. To practice my reading because we almost have that down. And to learn a little more than the basics.
Wish me luck.
Anyong Hee Keseyo! (That is good-bye.)