Tuesday, January 20, 2004

the "uh-oh" moment

Q: What does it mean when a married woman asks you, in front of her daughter, how old you are and whether you're married?

A: In Korea, it means she's probably thinking about setting you up with someone.

My English lesson with Mrs. Kang and her daughter went very well today, though it's obvious I have to scale waaaaay back on the exercises I'm doing with the daughter. I teach the daughter, Cindy, for an hour, then teach Mrs. Kang for an hour. Mrs. Kang's English is already very good, and her written English kicks the ass of my pathetic written Korean. She's gearing up to take a TOEFL exam, and has been graded about a 4.5 on her essays in the past (for those who don't know, TOEFL essays are each evaluated on a 6-point scale), which is pretty good. Having seen her essays myself, I'd actually be inclined to score her higher-- about a 5. Her mistakes are of the kind made by high-level students; very few basic errors for me to contend with.

Today, Mrs. Kang very kindly baked some muffins for us to eat while I taught; quite good. It was the first time I'd seen an oven in a Korean household. I imagine they're fairly common among some circles, but none of my relatives, even the filthy-rich ones, have ovens. People who remember my wistful entries on the glories of apple pie will know that I often miss baking and baked goods, so today was a special treat.

As I was about to leave, Mrs. Kang said, "I'm sorry to ask an impolite question, but are you married?" This was closely followed by, "I'm sorry to ask another impolite question, but how old are you?" These are scoping questions, obviously not for Mrs. Kang's benefit, but for someone she knows. More news on this as it happens (or NOT-- if events take a turn for the juicy). Meantime, turn to Conrad if you're looking for actual penis-romps in fields of fluffy estrogen. Here in the Hairy Chasms, we dwell on scatology, Buddhist monasticism, news topicality, Koreana, and philosophical issues related to religious pluralism. With occasional pictures.

More Natsios coming soon. Gotta run home & change clothes. I hate wearing suits. Would rather be wearing something loose and chopping wood in the Maximum Leader's ample back yard (and let me take this moment to compliment him on his prowess with the dreaded sledge-and-wedge, which I've never had the coordination or courage to learn correctly).


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