Banner design by Helena, portrait by Eva


Saturday, October 28, 2006

My First Korean Friend! Yay!

His name is Jang Lim Chung, or Chung Lim Jang.

In order to communicate effectively, we have to write down what we say to each other, like the deaf. He understands my words on paper better than with inflections. Koreans' 'English names' are often their Korean names written backwards. He explained: "James Dean would be Dean James."

He is also alone- not because he's white and speaks English, like me, but because most of his friends are still training in the South Korean army. It's compulsery for all young men to join, because of the situation in North Korea. He finished his 2 year training at the end of September and has returned to work in Suwon.

I haven't been out at night, yet. We were supposed to go for dinner and Korean beer tonight, or to an American movie with Hangul subtitles, but I'm under the weather with this cold and need to prepare for my first real day of teaching tomorrow.... so we're going out next Saturday night!

It should be an experience! I said, "no night clubs," imagining glowing sticks pulsing to the beat of Korean techno music. He wrote, "I hate clubs too." Now we're getting somewhere! The funny thing is he thinks it's an honour to be my friend. He kept thanking me for agreeing to spend time with him. He exclaimed, "I am so surprised you want to be my friend!"

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