Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Travelogue #7: Say My Name, Say My Name!

<---Travelogue #6: Scary Stories for Korean Halloween
--->Travelogue #8: Come, Norebang with Me

November 1 2007

"Hey, Alex."

"Hey, Korean person who works with me. I know your name. You told me your name three times. I should remember it...it's...um..."

"Is this your first time in Korea?"

"Yeah, it is. Shit. Jaehun...Jah-hun...Hi-won...God, think think think."

"Is it going well, Alex?"

"It's awesome so far. And I get it. You know my name and you know I don't know yours. You win."

"Great. I have to go to class now. See you soon."

"Take care....you."

"Bye, Alex!"

I'm trying. I'm trying to remember. It's my second week in Korea and I've got so many new names of people and places and foods in my head that I can't keep them all straight. I wear my ignorance every time I mutter what I had for lunch, "Soon-day....guk-bop? I don't know, it's a soup."

I slur jibberish, as if I know Korean so well I don't even need to be bothered to form actual words. When well-meaning friends teach me a few phrases, I recite them silently, like a mantra, only to have them slip away into a morass of "bops."

I do the nod and little bow and smile routine, but hopefully I can pick up a little more of the language. And by little, I mean something beyond hello and thank you.

<---Travelogue #6: Scary Stories for Korean Halloween
--->Travelogue #8: Come, Norebang with Me


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