TGIF and other late-night ramblings

Well. Believe you me. I thought Friday would never come.

But another week has come and passed faster than the Korean drivers outside our apartment window. And believe you me. They are fast.

I have been thinking a lot today about how different life is in Korea. Of course there are the obvious things: they look different, talk different, eat different.

But here, I have found that we are finding in joy in much different, and, often, much smaller things.

Like yesterday. We have been trying oh-so-diligently to order take-out food from our local diner up the street for about two months now. We look up every possible Korean word we might be forced to mangle out of our mouths. We practice. And practice. And then we call. Despite their kindness to us every other night when we go in there for dinner, they always hang up on us.

“I’m saw-ly,” they always say before the click and the deadness. Again.

It is very frustrating and we have all but given up. Even our best Korean friend Han-na has felt sorry for us and has written down our order, our personal information and our apartment number to the diner in hopes of clearing a path of communication.

So yesterday, Whit and I arrived home after a long day of teaching “Englishee” and did not want to leave the apartment. We had the ingredients for spaghetti, the one meal we can make at home. But we both wanted Korean food. These days, we find it much, much better than anything else.

You call, I tell Whit.

No, he says. “I can’t take another hang-up. I just can’t. My heart can’t take it.”

He’s serious. I can tell my usual you-are-so-much-better-at-it-than-me speech is not going to work.

Fine. I say.

I’m desperate. I call.

“Anyong Haseo!” I say.

“Nanun Migukin.” (I am American. As in the ONE white face who comes into your diner.)

“NEY!” She says. She recognizes me! (She should!)

“Mmmm. Bipbampop. Too-gay. Tan Chong Chiggae. Hanna.” I say, rattling off my Korean.

“Nay. Joeun Gongan!” I say when she asks about our apartment. I am so excited. I think it’s working.

“OK” she says. Koreans know this word.

“Na-ay,” I say, the word for Yes which can double as Thanks.

I hang up. Whit looks at me in utter amazement.

We are so excited we jump up and down and do a dance for five minutes. Five minutes later. Our first take-out food is delivered.


  1. Summer says:

    Love your story–I almost feel your excitement at the end. And I can relate in a very small way. Most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing–PhD school often feels like another, very foreign world. But you guys are troopers to keep trying, and I really admire that.


  2. Brittany says:

    ROFLMAO I just learned this (from my sister yeah the one who is 10 years older than me…the one that that texts more than talks) and felt it very appropriate. Linds never underestimate the power of but-you-are-so-much-better-at-it-than-I -am. I fell for that line for four years during high school.


  3. Brittany says:

    We told Inn about this accomplishment. She was so proud. She said it took her 3 yrs in the states to muster up the guts to order take out.


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