한국 친구를 만난 날

I used to live in a city where spotting a Korean is a very rare situation. I’ve only seen scary-looking 아저씨들 doing some grocery shopping with their Filipina wife at the supermarket about once or twice and a small group of exchange students leisurely walking around the mall. I’ve never talked to a Korean in real life before because I have no Korean friends and I’m not the type of person who randomly blurts out 안녕하세요 to every Korean person I see. I’ve always admired some of my kpop friends who have the courage to approach Koreans and say hi even though they know nothing much about the language. I don’t have the guts to do so because I’m shy in real life but I’ve always wanted to try having a face-to-face conversation with a Korean. I’ve always wanted to know what’s like and the chance finally came. God knows how long I’ve waited for it to come.

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I met this Korean friend on Facebook a little over a month ago. He aid he’ll be in town for a business trip. I asked him to buy some second hand Korean novels for me. I told him my budget and to buy just one or two books. But he ended up buying 6 books. My jaw dropped when he told me that. 6 books for approximately $20. Haha.

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We finally met last Friday. I didn’t go alone, of course. That’s just scary. I went together with Arin, a friend who I also met not too long ago on Facebook. The three of us planned this meetup about a week before his flight to Manila. Hours before, Arin and I were sort of freaking out because our speaking skills isn’t at par with our reading skills. I simply cannot explain exactly how I felt as we headed to where he was waiting for us. My hands were sweaty and cold. I was so nervous. He was tall but Arin and I were expecting a much taller guy. He looked young for someone who’s in his mid(?) 30s.

Well, we really didn’t get to talk a lot or have a deeper conversation with him because our Korean was limited and he was doing most of the talking. I feel like all we ever did was eat and listen to him talk. He bought us huge ass burgers which I didn’t get to finish. We were supposed to pay for coffee but he ended up paying for it as well. I feel bad to be honest and to top it off, I didn’t get to prepare a gift for him. So that made me feel even worse.

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Surprisingly, the meetup wasn’t awkward as I had expected. But I was really frustrated that I couldn’t express well what I wanted to say in Korean. My brain was a mess and it was a nerve-wracking experience. It was either I knew what to say but the words just wouldn’t come out or I didn’t know what grammar point to use. Lol.

When Arin left, he and I got to talk more when he walked me home. (Whenever I tell this part of the story to my other friends, they were like “Aww, it’s like you two were on a date” 개소리 하지마! 좀! ㅡ__ㅡ;; ) He lit a cigarette as soon as we stepped out of the mall. When we reached the apartment building, I wanted to wait for him to get a cab so I could take note of the plate number. It was pretty late and it’s kinda dangerous for anyone (especially a foreigner) to go alone at night. But he insisted that I go inside and not worry about him. He finished his cigar, shook hands with me and left as soon as I walked inside.

When I got home, I realized I needed to study and practice more so that the next time the three of us meet again, I’d be able to say what I really want to say and thank him wholeheartedly instead of simply saying “오늘 너무 즐거워서 정말 감사했습니다”.

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1. 아홉살 인생
2. 개밥바라기별
3. 그대를 사랑합니다 1-3
4. 아버지

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12 Comments

        1. Yeah. But some of them are a little bit difficult to read so I started with 그대를 사랑합니다 since it’s a 만화.

          1. I can handle 만화책 since it’s shorter and I’ve grown used to 반말. There are novels that are really hard. Because the words used are too flowery and sometimes, really deep, it makes it hard to actually understand the sentence as a whole. But novels like 세상에 너를 소리쳐 is fine with me.

    1. I still wish I have a Korean friend who lives nearby so I can practice my speaking skills for an our or two and maybe get some tutoring too. ;;

    1. Two of the novels have a movie version. 아홉살 인생 and 그대를 사랑합니다. But I intend to read the books first.

  1. It looks like he picked a good selection of books for you. Even though the meeting didn’t reach your expectations, I think it’s awesome that you went through with it.

    1. The books are good. The 아버지 one looks kinda intimidating though. I haven’t started reading it but I feel like it’ll be a challenge.

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