Tuesday, 5 November 2013

떡 (ddeok) (A.K.A. How I still don't speak Korean, but I've gotten better at fooling people that I do)

I'm in a cafe working hard on drawing.  The man next to me (business man of some sort, middle aged in a suit) accidentally pulls out my laptop charger when he's leaving, and offers me some rice cake that he'd been given at an event as compensation. For all that Korea is full of discrimination against white people, it seems that each individual person is super friendly to strangers (especially if you bother trying to speak Korean instead of expecting them to speak English).  I think that's one of my favourite things about the country.

"Is this the same ddeok as in ddeokbokki?" I say after thanking him, proud of myself for making such a complicated sentence on the spot.

He assumes from this that I speak Korean, and starts rattling off what goes in the cake and how it's different from deokbokki and I just smile and nod and in the end I say the same "sorry, I don't speak much Korean yet" that I say every day to everyone I meet.

ddeokbokki ddeok

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