Mr. Lee.

Mr. Lee is one of my absolute favorite people I've met since I got here, but I don't know what the hell he's doing these days. Today he came down to meet me and Mr. Kwan for lunch for the first time in a long time, and Mr. Kwan was lagging behind as usual. Mr. Lee asked me in Korean where he was. I know this just because it was obvious what he was saying and I heard "Kwan", not because I understood what he was saying. Then, throughout lunch, he kept speaking Korean directly to me. He's a Korean teacher, and has started pushing for me to learn more Korean because he says it is the best language in the world, but I don't know why he's suddenly decided it's a good idea to speak to me only in Korean. Maybe he's trying an immersion technique of some kind. Or maybe he just didn't feel like speaking English today. Either way, it's bizarre how much you can understand without understanding a single word, if that makes any sense. Maybe my ability to pick up on what someone is saying even if I don't technically understand has him thinking I understand far more than I do. Or maybe I'm understanding more than I realize. I have no idea.

Anyway, I was telling him how I'm dying because exams are next week, so a lot of my classes (especially the second grade classes, which are the only ones where I can actually teach anything) have been cancelled for "self-study". He said I should just watch movies on the computer, but I explained that the problem is I can't stand just sitting still for nine hours. It's not okay with me.

He suggested I go and play football out on field outside. I said, by the look of the boys, I'd probably end up having to go to the hospital. Mr. Lee then launched into some bizarre and enthusiastic tangent in Korean about how if I got hurt, I would go to the hospital and then I would meet an incredibly handsome male nurse and he would ask me to go to the movies with him. Because of all the Konglish in that particular bit of Korean, I understood exactly what he was saying. Mr. Kwan started to translate, but I interrupted him and told Mr. Lee to stop watching dramas.

Mr. Kwan then laughed so hard and suddenly with a full mouth that he spat rice onto the table. At which point Mr. Lee said he was dirty and suggested to me that we should move to another table away from him.

Mr. Lee was talking about how his wife manages the money (as is apparently the traditional way of doing things here) and Mr. Kwan said it sounds like Mr. Lee is a slave. I told Mr. Lee Mr. Kwan is just jealous and to ignore him, at which point Mr. Kwan asked why I was taking his side and why I was sitting by Mr. Lee, for that matter, instead of next to him. Mr. Lee then said, "Because she is my friend now and you have no friends." He then sat the tissue container in the chair next to Mr. Kwan and said, "Best friend."

This was so ridiculous that I started laughing uncontrollably, and they had a short exchange in Korean about how hard I was laughing, how I don't usually laugh at anything, and how it wasn't that funny. Mr. Kwan pretended to get angry and asked why I was laughing at Mr. Lee's terrible jokes now, on top of everything else. He said, "I am very funny man. He have very low humor."

Mr. Lee retorted with, "Me. Very high level humor."

Oh dear.


MikejGrey said...

Are Mr. Kwan or Mr. Lee funnier than me?

haw haw

I'm no Picasso said...

This comment is even better after telling you that Mr. Kwan reminded me of your today before seeing it.

They're funny in a different way.


MikejGrey said...

Funnier than me?

I'm no Picasso said...

No, Mags. No one is funnier than you. Just funny in a different way....

MikejGrey said...

Funnier than me