Lindsay and I have developed somewhat of a relationship with the male janitor at our school. He always says hello and goodbye to us in Korean. He always asks us if lunch was delicious. He always waves big at us and laughs when he sees us ride up or away on our bicycles. He clearly takes an interest, but speaks no English. Thursday I rode to school without Lindsay and just the same as every morning he was in the trash room right next to wear I park my bike.
“Anae?” he asked then in English “wif-uh?”
“She is coming,” I said and then gestured toward the school entrance, “later.”
“Uh,” he grunted.
He thought for a moment and then said: “Sect-jee.”
I thought for a moment. This usually is how Koreans say sexy. Huh.
Then again. “Wif-uh….sect-jee.”
“Yes…Nae,” I said a little stunned. “Gamsa hamnida…thank you,” I said unable to think of a proper response. Having never seen his wife I couldn’t honestly return the compliment.
Eventually, we smiled at each other, bowed and I walked into school my chin a little higher having had my thoughts on my wife reaffirmed by the middle-age Korean janitor at my school.