I love my tae kwon do studio. I feel like I have a growing crew of
protective little brothers. They’re so funny.
I took my belt test today. I was the only one testing. Now I have a
green belt (for the third time in as many studios) instead of my
purple belt. After the test, Tired Guy clapped really loud, Cocky Guy
(he’s 18 I found out today) yelled, “Good, Amanda!”
Then. It was soccer time. I got the soccer ball straight to the face,
smack on my glasses, whap. No damage, but glasses here are cheap and I
should probably invest in a pair before mine break. I asked one of the
boys on my team if I could take his glasses because he was holding
them in his hand. I asked in Korean and he looked shocked and smiled
and said, “Korean! Good!”
We had a break and played more soccer where we were all mixed up,
teenagers, kids, and the few adults there and I ended up playing
against Cocky Boy, which was my worst nightmare but I ended up doing
some good high kicks to the ball. And I smacked my foot hard into
someone else and I’m sure it will be bruised tomorrow.
I ended up staying after class and learning some names, ages and
phrases. I met a new guy who was breathless that I could read his name
in Korean. Tall New Guy shocked the hell out of me by answering
Breathless Guy’s “What’s your name” before I could. The whole name! He
got one part of my middle name wrong. I corrected him, he fixed it,
and got the P right, too! I gave him a high five and then he asked if
I knew his name. Nope, buddy. You may have all seven bits of my name
memorized (which would actually become something like nine characters
if I wrote it in Korean), but I don’t have your three characters down.
I think that hurt his feelings. Until I wrote down his name. Then he
wanted me to guess his age and I refused until he told me and guessed
mine (never got it). I wrote down “Tall New Guy” next to his name in
my little book. Then he wanted to know what that meant and followed me
around the studio, right on my shoulder, asking questions and striking
poses until I finally explained what it meant, as well as “short,
slim, fat, big, small.” I tried to get him to say “short” correctly
and finally wrote it in Korean, complete with blends (sh/rt) which DO
NOT exist in Korean but he got it right after that.
I use easy Korean phrases and they throw praise on me. Someone new
comes and the boys turn into protective brothers, sharing my name and
occupation but smacking little kids that don’t quit staring at me.
They give me water, chairs, benches, and watermelons first, teach me
Korean, practice Korean and English with me, and tease me about
They make me feel like I’d be missed if I weren’t here. I’ll sure as
heck miss them when I go home.
Oh, I’m pinning my belts to the wall as I retire them.