I'm a smiley person. If you've ever met me, ever, this should be pretty obvious.
I like to smile about the little things. Being in an airplane and flying on top of the clouds. Finding a good ranch dressing in Korea. Explaining something to a student 10 times and actually seeing the "Aha!" moment when it finally clicks. Having a cute old lady talk to you the entire train ride home. This video. Etc, etc.
But in particular, one of the many many things about Korea that makes me smile is talking to random children you see out and about. Whenever I'm out in public, I attract stares, often blatant stares from little children. A lot of times if I notice such a stare, I'll give them a little wave and say hello. This usually results in them either a) shyly saying hello back with a cute little wave or b) them nestling towards their parent who then nudges them to say hello back. Either way, we usually end up having an adorable little conversation about how old they are, where they're from, all the basic question it's ok to ask a 7 year old you've just met on the street. It's really really cute and never fails to bring a smile to my face! I don't know that I've ever had the same kind of encounter in the states, probably because most parents are reluctant to let their children talk to strangers (and with good reason...). But here, they're paying enough in hagweons to make sure their child knows English, that they're completely fine with their child spending five minutes talking to a native speaker they've just met on the street. I love it! Makes me smile every time!
Also the fact that my students say "Englishee" and "Finishee"...
Me: "Richard, did I just hear Korean?"
Richard: (*Eyes wide wide open) "Nooooooo, Teacher! Englishee!"
So adorable! Have I mentioned I love Korea?
- Christine -