Saturday, April 30, 2005

Two subway rides / 지하철 여행

To and from the Immigration Office in Jung-ang Dong, I was asked, "Are you American?" (What's wrong with "Where are you from?"??)

중앙동에 있는 출입국관리사무소로 가는 지하철에서 "Are you American?" ("미국인일까요?")냐고 나에게 물었더군요. ("어디서 왔을까요?"냐고 왜 안 물나요??)

The first time by a young chap who told me he owned a fitness centre in an area of the city I hadn't heard of and chatted away at me enthusiastically for 3 stops.

첫번째 헬스를 소유인 젊은 놈이 물었고 3 정류장동안 열심히 나한테 얘기했다.

The second was an old guy who demanded the same question rather abruptly, then quickly became a humble smiling gent when I told him in polite Korean that I was British and, yes, I knew a fair slice of Korean. "You number one!", he kindly reminded me in English, his thumb in the air. What can I say?^^

두번째 똑같은 질문을 험하게 하신 늙은 놈이 존대말로 그에게 나는 여국인이고, 네, 한국말을 나쁘지 않게 할 줄 있다고 말한 후에는 그 놈이 겸허하게 되셨다. "You number one!" ("너는 최우수다!")다고 상냥하게 일러주셨다. 난 뭘 말해햐 됄까?^^


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Sergiu said...

Yes, this is quite frustraiting sometimes. I can understand their hate for Americans, but since you're a white guy most of the Koreans will consider you - American. I experienced the same thing while in Korea.
I love Korea and their culture, it just needs time to understand them. They are great!