Today I was walking home from the Teacher Training luncheon and I ran into a couple of kids, one of whom I sort of know. She’s a student of my co-worker and friend Kimberley’s. So anyway, she knows me by name, and I know her face, because she’s the daughter of the woman who runs our apartment’s local little corner shop (“the super”). Anyway, the girl quickly greeted me, “Hi Gord!”
It was odd enough because I’m used to people calling me Go-duh, the Korean pronunciation of my name. But anyway, I said to the girl, since she’s an English student, “How are you?” After I asked a couple of times, she didn’t know what I meant, nor did her friend, so they asked me in Korean. I explained (in Korean), and then we had a whole conversation (also in Korean) as we walked back to the same place, the Jae Il building where I live.
Girl #1: Hi Gord!
Gord: Hi! (pause) How are you?
Girls #1&2: (silence)
Gord: (pause) How are you?
Girls #1&2: (silence)
[switch to Korean]
Gord: Hey, study the English you does with Kimberley?
Girl #1: Yes. But my friend doesn’t understand you.
Girl #2: What does “How are you?” mean?
Gord: Um, how you is feeling is today?
Girl #2: How do you say, “I’m fine” in English?
Gord: You say, “I’m fine!”
Girl #1: What does I’m fine mean?
Gord: It means, “My feel is today is good.”
Girl #2: How do you say that again?
Gord: “I’m fine.”
Girl #1: My friend doesn’t speak English.
Girl #2: Yeah, I don’t speak Americanese.
Gord: What? I’m not American.
Girl #2: A-MER-I-CAN-ESE! I don’t speak Americanese.
Gord: Ah, Americanese? We don’t say it be Americanese. We say it be English. English is coming from England. No America. England language. So English.
Girl #1: She doesn’t know any English at all. Hey, do you like kimchi?
Gord: If I don’t the kimchi, I like, if I don’t, life in Korea is living hard, no? So, I like the kimchi.
Girl #2 (pointing at a truck full of raw cabbages): Is that kimchi?
Gord: Hey! No. It’s not spicy. And not red-coloring. Not kimchi. Only cabbage! Oh my God!
Girl #2: You speak Korean well!
Gord: No I don’t! I is many thinking and no can saying.
Girl #2 (laughing): Do you like Korea?
Gord: Yes, it’s a good.
Girl #1: I’m going to the store. Bye!
Gord & Girl #2: Bye!
Girl #2 (to Gord): Wow, that was neat!
Gord: Good, yes, funny! Ha funny nicely! Bye!