Thursday, September 10, 2009

Random Family Mart Conversations

I love being able to talk to random folks on the street sometimes. It can be so entertaining.
Last night two friends and I sat outside my local family mart. I made my guacamole, and I have a big block of cheese that I got at costco a while ago that I still haven't finished and my boyfriend made some Korean pancakes so we were out there munching away when a older Korean woman walked over and started curiously checking out our food.

"What's that you're eating?" she said in Korean, pointing to the guacamole. I guess the bright green color is a bit unusual to someone who's never seen an avocado before...
"Guacamole" I respond. "Do you know avocado?" She gave me a curious look as she continued to investigate.
"Would you like to try?" I ask her. Without hesitation she reached into our bag of chips and took some guacamole for herself. But, before she would put it into her mouth, she tried to lick the guacamole to figure out what it was.
"How is it?" I asked.
"I couldn't taste it" She responded. She put the whole chip in her mouth. She gave no comment on the taste. She then proceeded to sit down at our table and start asking the typical questions the Koreans always ask.
"You're Americans, right?" Well, at least she didn't say Russian. That seems to be only men that assume that.
"Well, I'm American, my friend is Canadian".
"Oh, Canada and America are close, right?"
"Yes, yes, they are close." Is there some other meaning of 가깜다 that I don't know, or does she really not know that Canada and America are right next to each other?
"You're married, right?" She asks me.
"No, not married."
"But you're so pretty! Americans have such white skin."
"Uh.. thanks.."
"Why are you in Korea? Do you live here in this apartment?"
"No, just next door."
"Oh, I live down the street, by the gopchang (roast cow intestines) restaurant."
"Ah, I see"

Finally, after a few more of the typical questions about where I work and how long I've been here (and of course the typical "wow, you can speak Korean so well!".. which they also say when you can say "kamsahamnida"...) the woman got bored of sitting with us and took the chair, and some more of our chips and sat about 10 feet away. Korea would be so much more boring without these random conversations. This is why I need to focus harder on my Korean studies so I can have real conversations about things more complex than the average how long have you been here, what do you do type things....

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