Met Lime’s dad and brother today for the first time, as well as seeing her mom again. The family was quite welcoming and nice, and my trepidation about meeting her dad was all for nothing. He seemed quite pleased to meet me and was very warm toward me, even grabbing my hand and holding it to communicate as much as he could with me despite the obvious fact that my Korean language ability sucks.
And besides the fact that the family is very sweet and welcoming to me, the other take-home message for me was that my Korean ability is horrible, and I really ought to study and practice a little more. Of course, families speaking together are harder to understand than strangers speaking together — familiarity breeds language complexity and weird idioms and so on — but if I blamed it only on that, then I’d be making excuses. This semester is going to be a bit too busy for anything like a Korean language course, but I will start in on private study again, I think, and maybe even think about a class in the summer or something, maybe, depending on what my plans are. (I’d prefer to be away in the summer, and even if Moscow or St. Petersburg are out, a short trip to Vladivostok would be educational for me.) But in any case, I gotta work a little harder on my Korean.
However, it was that the whole family was so nice, and accepting, and open-hearted to me even though we did have some trouble understanding one another at a few points. Someone once commented to me, sadly, “Why did God create so many languages to keep us from communicating with one another? Oh, I wish they never built that Babel tower.” It wasn’t meant literally, but I found the sentiment understandable. Even if, well, I like the fact there are many different languages in the world, it’s hard when you bonk into the barriers between those languages face-first.
Anyway, it was a short, but good, visit. And then we came back to Bucheon, to finish moving. Have I mentioned I’m exhausted?