Korea: Egos May Enlarge When Taken
Well, I’ve been asked many times over the last week why I have become an absent blog author. The reason for this blog-sabbatical is my recent huge life change. Over the last couple weeks I have been in the midst of my move to my new home in Daejeon, South Korea. A brief overview of my team here can be summed up in two words: Ego and Konglish.
Ego: My ego has always been over-inflated. I think it goes without saying that the Carver bloodline all live very gifted lives in one way or another. Personally, this gift is my ability to have lived in constant travel, never truly worry about food/bills/health, and to have truly amazing friends that continue to challenge and support me. I’ve also always thought of myself as an attractive guy, and this part of my narcissism gets satiated often. Now, living in Korea, it’s so much worse. Everywhere I walk on the streets I hear “Oh, hello handsome!” and “hey handsome, where you going?” Usually this follows giggling and walking away from the younger girls. The point is, I’m getting extremely worried that my ego is going to expand to the point of bursting, at which point I will begin an endless search for Korean model girlfriends (refusing anyone else in the world), and I might even begin to refer to other people as “commonfolk.” So, to all of my friends back home, just send me messages talking rudely to me to ensure that balance is held.
Konglish:Konglish is the term for Korean-English; parallel to Engrish. As I’ve been walking around Daejeon I’ve seen so many great terms and phrases. For instance, there is a brand of gas stations called “oilbanks.” These are very similar to our gas stations, except you have had to visit them previously and deposit an ample amount of fuel for your later withdrawal.
In the first week of my time in Korea I stayed at a motel called, “Motel House.” It was neither of those things, but it WAS a love hotel. Did they give you a bed? Yes. Did they give you a flatscreen? Yes. Did they give you a big bag of condoms? Yes. It was as interesting of an introduction to Korea as I could have hoped.
Sometimes you love someone so much to the point that you give them a pet-name, like “Sweetie,” “Honey,” “Babe,” or “Beautiful.” When you REALLY love someone, you give them an acronym, like “Y.O.U. (Young Obliging Unique). Love that person even MORE? Then you compare one, or more, of their body parts to our aviary friends, like “your mouth takes flight like cardinals,” “your ears are adorable like a seagull,” but nothing is as poetic as “your eyes are soft like doves.”
For now on, I’ll be posting regularly again. Most of these posts will revolve around three topics: 1) Konglish, 2) Teaching stories, 3) The worldview of those living here in Korea.