Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lost in translation...

Yesterday I taught my lower level English classes. The kids are great but a bit rowdy.( did I mention you can hit the kids here) Don't worry I dont hit any of them. I let my assistant dole of the iron fist. I have this student... lets call him "Hueng". At the beginning of each class he gets me chalk, passes out papers, after which we do a brief language exchange. His English is coming along quite nicely. However yesterday he decided to put his newly acquired vocabulary to good use. "Miss you have boyfriend?", "No, no boyfriend " I reply. He smiles..."you look berry Beaauteeeful today. Your hair is berry pretty". " Gamsamnida" I say and go back to writing the Idiom of the Day. " I want be your boyfriend Miss", I smile and say " Awww sweetie.. you are too young and I am your teacher". Pointing at his chest " Not tooo young! I am and 60, and you are 27!" I correct him "Sixteen not Sixty". " Oh" he says looking surprised.Choosing a seat int he front row,throughout the class  he stares and makes hearts in his notebook writing my name in Korean. Needless to say he is sixteen in Korea and 15 in the states. Unlike most Americans I didn't come to Asia to sleep with little boys. So let's dispell that stereotype right now.
However, last night Fran and I embodied that old American stereotype about people of color and fried chicken. Leave it to Fran to find the only KFC in Anyang. As we wait for our nail appointment Fran and I decided to get a bit to eat.Knowing how much she LOVES KFC I say Let's go. Approaching the restaurant we see two floors filled with Koreans eating baskets of fried chicken. There is something so wrong with this picture! Behind the counter is the world's tallest Korean. He had to have been about 6'4 which is mammoth for a Korean man. Fran orders a two piece and I order what seems to be a chicken sandwich. We take our meal to the 2nd floor and take a seat overlooking Anyang Il Bonga.The fried chicken was extra spicy and pretty tasty, and my chicken "burger" was awsome! BK in the states you better watch out. It was good down to the last bite depite the strange hashbrown they put on top. Two enthusiastic thumbs up for Korean KFC. The funniest is the advertisments posted in KFC of a smiling, very petite Korean woman with a bucket of fried chicken, standing a a green pasture with the words "Safe and Clean KFC...Really!", as if one needed assurance of this. So strange, but so fun.
After reinforcing an age old stereotype Fran and I were off to the nail salon.Cosmo Nail Salon....the most fab and most expensive mani/.pedi ever in life. Apparently "Ninety and nineteen" are apparently synonymous in Korean vocabulary.Such a mix up in the states might get you cut by a black woman. But I dont know the rules about walking out on Korean businesses. So best to play it safe and just bite the bill. Damn I need to learn my numbers. So off to Say Cafe after that anal rape with no lube of a salon trip, I needed something sweet in my life. Let me just say ( no pun intended), Koreans know how to do cafes. One can be readily found on every corner. Most situated on the second to third floor of most buildings these swanky little bistros have more than sweet treats and good coffee. Overlooking the city you are treated to your own private "tea room" complete with plush velveteen french benches and a chandelier. It's like something out of Marie Antoinette's sitting room. So as the smooth euro fusion music plays, Fran and I review our day and the ridiculous nail experience we just had while sipping on frosty creamy beverages and sharing a freshly made Belgian waffle with Hagendaas Icecream. I could get used to this.

 Confucius say: be wary of Korean nail technician's faulty math you might find yourself  paying a price at first makes you cry then makes you laugh...


  1. WOW! Lost in translation for sure. Don't worry, nails are not my thing.


    P.S. Nice pic's

  2. wow! i would have did the, sorry me no undastand.. only have 20 dollaa... lol.