Sunday, November 19, 2006


My girlfriend came down with sickness yesterday, so her mother recommended that she eat a particular type of soup which we didn't have. So armed with little more than a few stock phrases of Korean and a cue-card with the name of the soup on it, I went down to the mini-mart at the bottom of our building and asked the shopkeeper to help me in Korean, before handing over the name of the soup. In the end he pointed out three different kinds and I bought them all just to be on the safe side.

I realised that while I might have the advantage of being totally immersed in Korean society in a way some ex-pats are not, it does mean that I'm not having to learn Korean through the necessity which comes from having no-one by your side to help you out. After a promising start, my language ability has clearly stalled and the mini-mart situation really emphasised that.

Korean Mother came round later to drain some blood off from her daughter's fingers. I've come across this before with some other Asian cultures so it looks like Korea is no different. The blood came out thick and dark - a sign of illness apparently - but she felt a lot better afterwards.

I've come to the conclusion that it's very hard to be ill in Korea; it's impossible to sleep when everyone in this phone-obsessed society seems to be phoning you up to ask how you are...

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