Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Awesome Things about Korea #28: Having random conversations with Koreans

There are no fewer than four public schools on my walk to school.  Everyday on my way to work I watch the masses of students heading home or to academies, chatting with their friends, or dodging traffic.

It is inevitable that every day, at least one student will stop to say "Hi!  What's your name?  Where are you from?"  I answer their questions with a smile and ask the same, but don't expect many responses due to shyness.

I'm used to this, as well as the occasional short conversation with a taxi driver who knows some English.  Most will ask the basic questions in Korean:  "Where are you from?  Are you a teacher?  Do you like Korea?  Do you speak Korean?"

But occasionally I have some very random conversations with Koreans that make me smile and remember them long after we've parted ways.

On my way to school yesterday, I happened upon two high school boys walking home.  The more confident one of the two enthusiastically told me that he and his friend attended the technical high school nearby.  He then asked me where I was from.

"America," I replied.

"Wow," the first boy answered.

"Oh sh*t! Oh sh*t!" the second added. (I'm still thinking, ?)

"Obama!" the first cried. "Good!"

"Yes," I said, "Obama is good."

Then their English ran out on them.
"I'm sorry, I don't know English," the first boy said.

"It's okay," I assured him. "한국말을 조금 알아요." ("I know a little Korean.") To this they were both really surprised.

I continued on my way, leaving them at the bus stop. They crossed the street in true jaywalking fashion, all the while yelling, "Goodbye! You're so pretty! I love you! Goodbye!"

I shook my head in amusement.  Korea is sometimes very random but still awesome in that way.

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