Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Surviving Seoul Singly

I am the last person on earth who should be giving this kind of advice (after all, I am the girl who just the other day nearly reduced a taxi driver to tears over a . . . well, that's another post) but what the heck! It's my blog and I'll advise if I want to^^

Gomushin Girl's Guide to Surviving Singles Seoul

Tip Number 1: Learn Korean. Other than the obvious fact that this will help you by making your life easier in just about every way . . . now you will be able to communicate with those hot boys on the street.
In learning any language, there's always that awkward stage where you know just enough to start speaking, but not enough to be practically perfect at it in every particular. Your grammar is iffy, your pronunciation off, and you often forget or confuse words. Congratulations! This is the point in your language learning where you will be most attractive to the natives - you have entered the stage where your Korean will be considered "cute" and men (and women, and just about everyone except small children, who will just be confused or skeptical) will coo over your adorable little mistakes. Please note that in Korea the bar for this stage is set extremely low, and the ability to say "thanks" will be enough sometimes.
Now, you may reach a point when either your Korean is too good to be properly precocious (or that people have simply known you long enough for the charm to wear off.) That's alright, because now you can play new tricks with your language skills. Try this one: meet somebody who obviously wants to show off their English. Agree to coffee or dinner or cow tipping and let them do most of the talking. Then, when the waiter or friends or cowherd shows up, let the Korean rip! The shock of hearing you suddenly burst into decent Korean will either impress the pants off your date, or send him into cardiac arrest (and isn't that almost as much fun?)
Really, in all seriousness, learn Korean. It will make your life here so much more enjoyable, and open up new friendships and avenues to you that are simply not there if you can't speak the language. Living your life here in English-only filters out opportunities like smog filters sunlight.

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