Be Like a Roach

“I’m a little nervous about this new job,” I said to Good Man last night, “because I am going to have so much more freedom in my teaching. And it’s a new school, new grade…”

“Be like a roach.”

I looked at Good Man. “What?

“You know, adapt to your environment.”

“Can you please tell me to be a dandelion next time instead of a roach? Do you remember what ‘dandelion’ is? That yellow flower that gets white poofy seeds that you blow off. It’s a weed. It lives everywhere.”

“Oh, 민들레. But it is Korean saying.”

I shook my head, “I don’t believe you.”

“바퀴벌레 같은 적응력. 바퀴벌레 means ‘bug with wheels—'”

“‘Bug with wheels’?!”

“Yeah, it is ‘roach.’ And 적응력 means ‘adaptable.'”

“Like 노력? ‘To make an effort?'”

“Same 력, it means ‘ability.'”

I thought for a moment. “No wonder Koreans are so full of han, they’re used to being compared to roaches!”