Tuesday, August 28, 2007

gluttonous nun

Lunch with the sunim was very good. We went to a Middle Eastern resto near the edge of Itaewon closest to the Yongsan base and chowed down on some delicious vegetarian appetizers. Our waiter was an elementary school kid who, according to Soen Joon sunim, speaks at least three languages already. The kid's family (Sneem, did you say they were originally from Morocco?) has been in Korea a few years, and they own at least two restaurants in Itaewon. The resto's atmosphere was relaxed and friendly; a cluster of people close to us turned out to be French, but despite a powerful temptation, I chose not to dive into conversation with them.

I don't know what Soen Joon got out of our conversation, but for me, it was an eye-opener: I asked a lot of questions about her life as a nun, and SJ was her usual outgoing, forthright self. Out of respect for her community, I won't go into detail about the topics we covered (not that we were delving into state secrets or anything, but still). It was good to see the former Andi again... I passed along the one emailed message I received (she's probably gonna email you, Joel, but her day is kinda busy).

Apologies for the off-tint picture. I took that with my phone camera. It captures the moment quite well.

Note to Charles: the sunim is very, very interested in learning more about Korean-to-English translation. Her Korean has improved immensely since last I saw her; in fact, I'd say that her progress has leapfrogged my own. She might be emailing you at some point to pepper you with questions about the hows and whys of translation. Apparently, there are many translation projects in the works in the Buddhist community, some of which are being handled by foreign nuns right now, some of which might fall to Soen Joon later. Please don't be surprised if she visits Liminality (which, she says, she already does) and leaves a comment.



Anonymous said...

You may tell the sunim that I will be glad to answer any questions she might have. I can't say how much help I will be, but I am always up for discussing translation.

Lorianne said...

Hey! It's great to see my favorite Sunim, especially since I just received a letter from her yesterday. I'm glad you had a good visit.

Anonymous said...

Argh, I meant to send a note as well.

Does she have an e-mail address through which I can contact her.