Vices we love: Quick question

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Quick question

I'm painfully pale. I'm a wayguekin par excellence. Within three seconds, your average Korean will deduce that my Korean language skills are even more marginal than my Russian language skills (I took three years of mandatory Russian classes when we were all going to be good little Commies. Hungarians, craven back-stabbing shits that we are also took English classes, albeit illegally, just in case the whole USSR thing didn't work out). At least I learned enough Russian in three years to say "Go fuck your mother." (Idi minis praty, nicht to ye maty is the rough translation.) No such luck after nearly six months in Korea. So why, oh why, do Koreans, ever-smilingly blather on in their admittedly native tongue for 15-20 minute stretches after I exhaust my vocabulary with "Anyong Haseyo"? Is it because, just as they believe their kids could learn English just by rubbing elbows with a foreigner, the foreigner could learn Korean the same way? (Fucked up sentence, I know. Gimme a break, I don't speak English, I just teach it.)

Oh and one more query: If you are a Korean employer, and you rent an apartment for your newest employee, shouldn't hot water be pretty high on the list of things that apartment should have? Does it not make sense that said employee, who shall be nameless lest some Ajumma come to him in the dead of night (hint, hint), might get a smidgen aggrieved at not having hot water for a solid week?

Common sense boys and girls: Use it, don't lose it.

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