More lil’ ol’ bits o’ life in Korea (these are copy-pasted from other places, so apologies if you’ve seen some of these before):
– The doughnut lady at the grocery store wooed me with her adorable Korean as she pointed at the sign that said “5 for $3.50” (approximately in USD) and held up 8 fingers and a baggie. A donut sale where I can get 8 for the price of 5? Ok adorable doughnut lady, you win this round.
– Drama rehearsal:
“Hey, we decided to re-write 80% of your lines. You hadn’t started memorizing the old script yet, right? And don’t forget that randomly while you’re reading the script during rehearsal we’re going to tell you that those lines are totally different now (no, even more different from the re-write), but we’ll expect you to know that already. That’s cool, right? Oh, and that one huge paragraph you need to time correctly? Let’s skip that part today. But you know what? The unimportant three-word sentence that really has nothing to do with anything? We’re gonna make you practice that at least five times. And yeah, why not, we’ll allow every other cast member to come up and give you pointers during that line. Oh and one more thing: why aren’t you being your happy, bubbly self today?”
– I recently discovered that Korea has its own version of an ice cream truck.
I discovered this when I heard a repeated Korean message coming from a moving megaphone outside our window. At first I figured, this must be how they tell us the zombies are coming. Either that or they want to round up the foreigners for concentration camps.
Then I heard the word “tomato”…
Turns out guys will record an advertisement message about their produce and play it on megaphone scary-sounding repeat while they slowly creep their vegetable truck up and down city streets.
Best part is: little old ladies flock to these trucks like children to ice cream on a hot day.
– Explaining the English words for body parts to a handful of Korean woman, and when I asked if I’d missed anything a woman in her 50’s or 60’s grabbed one of her boobs and raised her eyebrows.
“Right. Of course. Uh, that’s called your breast… Or… boob. But only say that with friends.”
I stood silently working very hard at keeping a straight face as everyone around me solemnly wrote down what I’d just said in their notebooks.
“… Great. And since you took that so well, I’ll also tell you that this is called a crotch.”
– First real negative public experience: old Korean guy at the grocery store just now almost exposed half my chest trying to pull my top to the side so he could check out my tattoo. Luckily both his wife and Eric came to the rescue. In the guy’s defense, he seemed genuinely confused that he was being inappropriate. But yeah, that happened today.
– Free ice cream bar? Awesome, thanks!! What is this, hazelnut flavored? Wow, delicious! Wait, there’s a flavored filling? Ok… Banana?? Whhhhyyy would you do that?!
– Korean lady showed me an English phonics book and asked me what I thought. I stood there quietly for a long while because the only thing going through my brain was “Hu-oo-ked on puh-hon-ix wur-ked fu may!”
– An older Chinese woman at the church has asked me (through an interpreter) if I can help her learn English. After a lesson she gave me a perfectly wrapped package of sunflower seeds “from China”. Little old Chinese ladies are the cutest!!! Seriously, these adorable Asian ladies. Seriously.
– Were told last week that lunch started at 11:30. Marched down to the cafeteria at 11:45. Noticed that no one else was there and it looks as though the food’s not ready yet. Snuck back to our desks and quietly waited to notice when other people go to lunch.
– TOOTHBRUSH HOLDER!
– Met a Korean girl today. Assumed she was younger than me. Found out we’re both the year of the tiger! So as it turns out, we’re the same age, right? Just kidding, she’s 40. What-the-what??
– Alright adorable little old Korean lady selling your mountain of homegrown cherry tomatoes, you win this round. …We are going to be eating tomatoes all week…
(One of the many meals we made with our mountain of tomatoes.)