My ping-pong sucks, actually. Park Ki-yoel, the admin guy who has adopted me as his American daughter, took one look at my ping-pong moves and sort of hacked a loogie and shook his head.
But my school has the best middle school girls’ team in the nation, so I had a lot to live up to, playing on their ping-pong table and all. I’m gonna stick to badminton and volleyball. I’ll whip y’alls butts when I get home.
Things I find unusual, but I like:
Dog Dyes: People mostly have toy dogs here, and they dye their hair. So every now and then I am surprised to come upon a little white dog scurrying up the street toward me, bright yellow-tipped ears flopping around its head, bright yellow-tipped tail wagging furiously, tongue flapping in the wind. Some time afterward, a middle-aged man will walk along behind it and call it back to him.
Monstrous Males: The boys (middle school-aged boys, mind you) love the color pink. When we made nametags with their English names for Dani’s English class, and they had every color of the rainbow to choose from, boys would often pick pink. Many of them also decorated their nametags with hearts. Now I’ve also seen plenty of them decorated with laser guns and mutilated bodies and, of course, the token “sex” or swear words…but more often than not the pictures are much happier and very colorful.
They also like to pick girls’ names and often insist upon these names even after I explain that these are names for women. Some, like Coco, I have been informed are soccer players’ names. Some, like Andrea, are the kids’ CHURCH names. I would like to speak with the pastor at Andrea’s church. Still others just seem to want to appropriate female names as if for some kind of masculine movement. I would like to note here that I tried to look up a term for a proponent of men’s rights (think male feminist), and this is what I got back:
Yes, as a matter of fact, I did mean monstrous! Thank you, online dictionary.
awkward?: Often, a Korean sansangnim (teacher…get used to it) will sit down next to me at lunch and say “Many!” or “Many many!”. I really want to come back at them with “Are you saying I’m fat?”
which brings me to…