3.09.2012

Biggest compliment.

Tonight was 회식 and so I am naturally drunker than I ever like to be before 10 pm and even after a sobering coffee, and maybe after a good burrow down in my bed I'll be cohesive enough to cover what all is going on, but I had to make a blog entry especially to brag, because anyone who's been following this blog for a while will know that saving face has been my biggest obstacle in acclimating to Korean culture. It's safe to say I didn't have the first fucking clue how to even conceive of it. But I've been working hard on getting it and coming around to it. Tonight, my two longest-term coworkers told me that I'm better at saving face than the average Korean. It was within the context of a conversation completely unrelated to saving face, or me as a foreigner in Korea, which made it a bigger compliment somehow. Or, at least it felt somehow more genuine. And the one who said it? The very dear co-teacher of mine who I have considered my face saving mentor, since I met her and learned what the whole thing was really about.

I'm fucking pleased with myself. But mostly I just feel lucky to have them around to guide me. And on that note, I'm off to drink cheap beer in my pajamas and watch bad television until I pass out. Goodnight.

4 comments:

Tófuskott said...

Congratulations!!! Really! You deserve it because you spend so much time caring about these cultural nuances and genuine attempts to blend in are really what's appreciated above all else. I find these things a challenge too, and I'm not even in the country I want to go to yet... Your grounded, thoughtful (and often slightly pissed-off) entries are such a breath of fresh air when it comes to expat blogs (Japanese, Korean, whatever). More often than I can be bothered to count, blog entries moan and complain in such a way that it's just like reading a bucketload of culture-shock vomit on a page. Adjusting is never easy but obviously with a good attitude it can be done. So yes. Hats off to you, ma'am.

Roboseyo said...

maybe you can parlay that into work as a "face coach" for people looking to do business here, make a good impression on future in-laws, and the like.

Sidney said...

So like, are you going to be teaching classes on this soon?? All I know is that I'm the best at unintentional ass-kissing. Please teach me how to turn that into facesaving instead.

Gomushin Girl said...

Badass!