I called Master this morning. We made plans to meet tomorrow night for dinner and chatted for just a few minutes. When I hung up, Mother was laughing and laughing.
“Amanda,” she said, “men say it like this.” She said hello in a strong voice like I said it. “You are a woman. Say it like this,” she instructed. She dropped her voice and sounded demure and gentle.
I laughed and laughed. I know that women and men speak differently. When I lived in Korea I had one language partner of each gender, and in America I specifically found a female language exchange partner because I wanted to sound more natural.
However. While I can do the whiny Korean voice thing with Good Man, and the demure voice with new people, I can not do anything other than the strong voice with Master. He taught me taekwondo. We bowed in and out of most classes with a loud, clear, “통-일!” and a salute! He taught me how to drink soju. If I suddenly changed my voice to be all demure with him, I’d feel like I were flirting!
I laughed and said, “Ah, Mother, I understand, but I learned Korean from Master, so, I sound like a man.” I decided not to try to translate that I would feel inappropriate to go all demure, too.
Mother laughed and nodded her head, “OK.”
I thought for a minute. I make my Korean 어s a little too North Korean. “I have a North Korean man accent,” I said.
Mother, Father, and Good Man all laughed.
Cousin is claiming that he has Korean grandparents now. Considering how many times Mother or Father have said, “When you have kids…” I think they’re happy to claim him.
Father and Cousin
(Christmas 1986, we went to Florida. Someone, someone in my family has photos of Aunt and I, Aunt and Johnny, making crazy faces at the camera. She hasn’t changed much since then, really. Hmm. It occurs to me that in 1986, Aunt was younger than I am now. Wow.)
Korean War Memorial at Night
Red Peppers at Grandmother’s House
Floating Bridge in Jinju