Sunday, August 28, 2011
2 Spanish Nuns, 2 Egyptian Kids, 20 Indians
I have wandered around Jeonju for a total of 10 hours (over the course of 3 days) and these are the only foreigners I've seen.
Are there any English teachers out there (echo, echo, echo)?!
I'm in a ginormous city (to me), population of about 700,000 (don't laugh.. I'm from TROUTville!). I arrived to the Seoul airport at about 4PM on Thursday.. the 22 hour plane extravaganza went well, but I must say I am not a fan of American airlines... I was jumping up and down when I got to switch from United to Asiana in Chicago!
Then, I took a bus to Jeonju.. no, not the other Korean cities of Gwanju, Jinju, Gyeongu... Jeonju (sounds like Jon-jew).. oooh Korea. And while sitting on the bus only half-way awake, I hear these two ladies speaking. I was amazed I could understand everything they were saying... I thought I was in the middle of a day dream where I could actually speak and understand Korean. Errr, wrong! They were speaking Spanish, before I turned around and looked at them I had to be sure that I was on a bus in Korea and not still on a bus through South America. I look at the man sitting next to me.. yup! Korean!
Turn around... 2 nuns! I asked them if they spoke Spanish.. in Spanish (dumb question), and then we started talking. One of the nuns actually lives in Taiwan, and the other has been living in Korea for 20 years.. both from Spain.
Thoughts: strange world.. I like Jeonju already!
These past few days have made me realize that I wish I knew Korean...I don't know how I survived last year without pulling my hair out. I don't know how to say bathroom, excuse me, where am I, I can only count to 4 - two different ways. I've been accidentally speaking Spanish to these people non-stop, "Si, Permisso, No se, Donde..."... and that works about as well as my English when speaking to Koreans. I have only encountered 2 people so far in my 3 days of wanderings where someone actually didn't lie to me and told me they spoke a little English.
That was my main pet peeve about Koreans who know a little English (stereotyping.. I realize this).. you ask them if they speak English, becuase you need help, and they say "No". I'm calling BS on that one, you obviously know the word NO, meany-weenie!
I just feel like if someone came up and asked me if I knew Spanish after I had taken 3 days of Spanish classes.. I would say POQUITO ( a little bit ).. and try to help the person if I could.. and if I couldn't, well sorry mister. But geeze, TRY!! Maybe that's just a personal thing because I'm outgoing, but most of the times you can at least kind of understand what a person needs without knowing a single word of their language.. how else have I survived traveling around China, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea.. where I know hardly any of the language.