Foreign Is As Foreign Does

Last night Good Man said to me, “I could always tell Korean man at [University] because they dress like gay.” I laughed and he continued, “Seriously. And then they speak Korean, so I know, but do I dress just a little gay?” I shook my head and kept laughing, “And Korean woman! I always can tell because they dress Korean! Not like Chinese students.”

I had flashbacks of living in Korea and knowing immediately whether the foreigner I was talking to/spotted was American, Canadian, or from the UK.


“OK, hon, you need to learn how to cash a check and how to deposit it at an ATM. And you need to order checks. Monday, go to the bank and order checks! Please.”

Good Man nodded, “But I do not want to learn because it’s bullshit.”

I showed him how to do it, in any case.


I need to figure out why I want to continue studying Korean.

One thought on “Foreign Is As Foreign Does

  1. Comment from: Jennifer [Visitor] ·
    Good Man does not dress GAY!!!! Sung Hyun on the other hand………hummmm
    10/19/08 @ 05:27

    Comment from: Wandering Girl [Visitor] ·
    If you need convincing why you need to keep up with Korean, here are a few reasons I came up with:

    It’s a good hobby to speak a different language.

    Through keeping up with, and therefore continuing to know Korean, you and Goodman can better understand each other. Language reflects sensibilities and culture, right?

    In case/when you have children with Goodman or any other Korean (don’t mean to be impertinent.), they might want to learn Korean, in which case I think you’ll be better off knowing Korean. You’ll know what they say for one, and you’ll understand their sub-culture that revolves around the language.

    What do you say?

    10/19/08 @ 06:30
    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    Jen, agree about both Good Man and Sung Hyun.

    Wandering, no kids, ever, but that would be a good reason if we wanted to have kids.

    I don’t actually need convincing that I need/want to study Korean. I do want to/need to. What I need is to figure out what my new goals are and how I’m going to study. Since I’m no longer living in Korea, my goals and my study methods need to change. What I was doing before won’t work. So I need to figure out a) why I’m doing this, which will help influence b) what my goals are, which will help influence c) how I need to rework my study methods to best meet those goals.
    10/19/08 @ 08:09

    Comment from: Diana [Visitor] ·
    Yeah… I guess the desire to one-up the obnoxious foreign guy with a way-too-awesome-for-him Korean girlfriend at the western bar would rapidly drop off the list of “reasons why I study Korean” should I return to the states.

    In all seriousness, readjusting goals is an EXCELLENT thing to do, even if your circumstances hadn’t changed as dramatically as they have.

    Goals might include:
    1. Maintaining good relations with Good Man’s family.
    2. Keeping in touch with your pals back in SK (Master included) through cyworld and the like.
    3. Filling in all that time while your toe heals… (sorry hon!)
    4. Understanding Good Man’s culture on a more profound level.

    Each of these might change the kinds of things you study and the way you approach it.

    아만다… 이해해요. 한국어 공부하기 어려워요. 특히 미국에서 살 때 힘들어요. 와이팅!
    10/19/08 @ 20:56

    Comment from: Jonathan in florida [Visitor]
    You were doing language exchange in Korea, weren’t you? I’m sure you could probably find a similar situation State-side (though that might be more of an option in a diverse urban setting, not sure how diverse your location is right now…) Maybe pursue a PT job at the korean grocery?
    10/19/08 @ 22:17

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    Jonathan, yep, I was doing a language I’m going to write about what I’ve found in the post I’m writing right now. (Actually, I’m writing two posts, so the one about language might not be posted ’til tomorrow.)

    NO interest in working part-time as working at my school is MORE than enough work(!) right now and thankfully, thankfully, I don’t NEED the money. (Amen.) Anyhow, to work at the Korean grocery store you must either be Korean or Latino based on what I’ve seen. ㅋㅋㅋ
    10/19/08 @ 22:18

    Comment from: Jonathan in florida [Visitor]
    haha yeah, I made that suggestion in jest, of course being a teacher is a more-than full time job, especially apparently with all those meetings!
    10/20/08 @ 16:52

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