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inane conversations
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Corporal



Joined: 25 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 4:54 pm    Post subject: inane conversations Reply with quote

What stupid exchanges have you had with a Korean lately? Mine yesterday went something like this.

Korean guy: You when Korea...err...come in?

Me: Almost two years ago.

KG: Ohhhh! Belly good! ....(short pause)....Do you like beer?

(Side note: I'm never sure what to answer when asked this. I'm not opposed to beer, but neither do I have an undying affection for it. So I finally settled on making a noncommittal "mmmm" and nodding.)

KG: Korean people...SOJU! GOOD! (and inserts a hearty thumbs-up in case I'm unfamiliar with those particular words)

At this point I really wanted to say "No shit," or whatever the Korean equivalent be, but being the mannered girl that I am, I simply smiled and chewed on my tongue.


Has anyone else had this sort of thing happen lately? Or, lest I be accused of cultural imperialism, if you're Korean, and you've had a similar experience with a foreigner, please feel free to share it here as well.
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Trinny



Joined: 01 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My two cents' worth:

He just wanted to have a little chit-chat with a foreigner, I guess. Don't let it bother you. Cool
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matthews_world



Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Location: Coming to a norae-bang near you!

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, I get the same conversations and I try to ignore the people.

One guy asked me if I was American. I simply nodded my head and went on my business.



Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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VanIslander



Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Location: Geoje, Hadong, Tongyeong,... now in a small coastal island town outside Gyeongsangnamdo!

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a couple of such short conversations everyday. He clearly communicated everything he had to say, though it was nothing more than small talk by a non-native English speaker. He expressed typical Korean values: an appreciation of foreigners who stick around for longer than a short time, an awareness that foreigners like to drink their beer and some like their Soju, both of which Koreans are proud of.

After nearly two years in Korea, do you need a break? Or were you just having one of those "It's too different here" kind of days?
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's see...

-The Dunkin' Donuts lady asked me in English if I wanted my stuff to go, and smiled and stuff.
-The lady at the restaurant last night wouldn't speak to me directly, and instead talked to only the Chica.
-The pharmacist that I went to yesterday seemed hellbent on telling me in both English and Korean that I should take my pills twice a day.
-The parking lot dudes yelled at me about parking my motorcycle in the wrong place.
-Some of my students spoke Korean when I expressly told them to speak English.

Actually, the only evil I've had lately has come from jackasses who don't know simple driving laws.
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Corporal



Joined: 25 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Zyz, you're the only one who seemed to get the point. This was not an "I hate Korea" thread, merely a chance to get some funny/poignant/stupid anecdotes out there to give us all something to read. I thought it would be more interesting than starting up another fight between Canadians and Americans, or Korean girls and Western girls, but if that's what you guys would rather do....
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duanemyhre



Joined: 15 Aug 2003

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You get the same thing in Japan.

I think they are just curious and trying to be polite. Some of our conversations in Korean probably seem the same to them. Some of it is culture. I think some feel that we are rude and donít take the time to make a comfortable conversation before we start talking about more serious issues.
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FierceInvalid



Joined: 16 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy at Buy The Way (It's 3am and I'm coming home from the 'Twan): "You are English teacher"?

Me: "Yeah. Olmaeyo?"

Guy: "What's the best way to learn English?"

Me: "What? Uh....practice. Try watching TV. Olmaeyo?"

Guy: "Cassettes?"

Me: <handing money> "Yeah, sure. Those are good too."

Guy: Thank you. Bye!

I like to be a good ambassador for all of us, and helpful as I can.
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get kindy kids telling me stuff in Koren all the time.

"Teacher, Karen blah blah blah blah blah."

"Hangul mal molaiyo, Eunice"

Pause

"Blah blah blah."

It's not the same thing, but in a way it is.

Other than that, I always get, "Christian? Me Christian." I figure it's the vacant look my lazy eye gives me that makes them think I'm into religion.
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On the other hand



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: I walk along the avenue

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tried to delete. No "X" in the corner



NOTE: To delete a post that you have made, click on the edit button. Then scroll down until you see five boxes for checking purposes under the message box. The very last one says, "Delete this post". Click on that.


Last edited by On the other hand on Fri Aug 29, 2003 8:49 pm; edited 2 times in total
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whatthefunk



Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Location: Dont have a clue

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

William Beckerson wrote:

Other than that, I always get, "Christian? Me Christian." I figure it's the vacant look my lazy eye gives me that makes them think I'm into religion.


That reminds me...
My new Korean co-worker asked me if I was Christian. I told her that I wasn't really religious. Then she asked me if I went to church. I said no. She was shocked and asked if I ever went to church. I said no again, then told her I had been to church under ten times, only when forced by my grandma. Then she asked if I believed in Jesus. I said uhhhh.... She was horrified and hasn't really spoken to me since. I don't blame her though...Im quite the heathen.

My middle school students yesterday asked me why I came to Korea. After much stumbling, I told them that I came to Korea for a fun job and because I wanted to see Korea. Maybe not the best answer, but at least it was partially true.
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Corporal



Joined: 25 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

whatthefunk wrote:
My middle school students yesterday asked me why I came to Korea. After much stumbling, I told them that I came to Korea for a fun job and because I wanted to see Korea. Maybe not the best answer, but at least it was partially true.



Yeah...it's odd isn't it. It's like they expect you to say, "I've heard about Korea all my life, and I've always been dying to go live and work there!" It's like if you said that, it would fulfill this image they have of themselves being so famous, world-known, etc. etc.
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peppermint



Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: traversing the minefields of caddishness.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, the usual small talk, is well, understandabe, it's hard to come up with witty repartee in a foreign language, and good on'em for even trying.

However, this is my favorite and it gets repeated with minor variations every month or so.

Whenever I go out with studentseither to a restaurant or a bar (stupid anju!) I repeatedly get offered meat, which I try to politely reject. Finally, as I can see they are puzzled, I explain that I don't eat meat.( Absolutely not preachy about it)

Student:"Are you a vegetarian?" Confused

Me: "Yeah, but it's not a big deal"

Student asks "How do you live? You must have meat. . . yada yada yada. . .Won't you get sick?"

Me: "No, I haven't eaten meat for many years, and do I look sick?"

Student: Shocked Shocked Shocked
I really like most of my students, but I try to dodge going out with them for that reason
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The Great Wall of Whiner



Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Location: Middle Land

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zyzyfer wrote:

Quote:
-The lady at the restaurant last night wouldn't speak to me directly, and instead talked to only the Chica.


I get that ALL the time. Goes a little like this:


Ajjuma: [looking at my GF] What do you want?

Me: One bottle of soju and potato soup please.

Ajjuma: [looking at my GF] Did he speak Korean?

Me: Yes I spoke Korean. One bottle of soju and potato soup please.

Ajjuma: [looking at my GF] How long has he been here?

Me: About 3 years.

Ajjuma: [looking at my GF] Where is he from?

Me: I am Canadian.

Ajjuma: [looking at my GF] How old is he?

Me: I am right here. Please talk to me.
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matko



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: in a world of hurt!

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had some Korean friends viait me here in Japan this summer.

The exact same thing happened. The waitress would always ask the Korean girl what we wanted. I would reply since they can't speak Japanese. The waitress would again ask the Korean girl another question.

Finally, I would just say "look, she is Korean and can't speak Japanese!"

The looks on the waitresses faces were priceless Cool
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