Friday, May 22, 2009

Alouette, gentille Alouette

No, this post has nothing to do with plucking birds! The title lyric? I'll get to it.

George and I had 2 Korean classes this week at Haeundae beach. On Mondays there are 4 of us, but Wednesdays are a private lesson. I may be totally overwhelmed by the amount we covered, but I think I am going to be able to make basic conversation within a month. We have learned 20 basic verbs in the present tense and are able to change the endings to ask a question. We've also learned who, what, why, where, when, how, always, never, sometimes, often, usually, and rarely. With these and the verbs we can ask and answer basic questions. "When do you go to the beach?", "What do you drink?", "Who do you meet". Pretty impressive stuff!

Today one of my students didn't have his notebook, so I said "oh, 없 어 요 ?", which basically means, "oh, you don't have it/ it is not here" and all the kids around him oooh'd and aww'd. I also found that today I could pick out more words as my Korean co teacher was speaking o the students. I'm still a long way off, but its encouraging to be able to understand even a little of what is said. It's also really nice to use my brain again ... I feel like the hours spent speaking the most basic of English to elementary school kids is turning my brain to mush.

So why the French title? I've found that whenever I'm wracking my brain for a Korean word the first thing that pops to mind is the French equivalent of that word. Weird, right? I've haven't studied French since grade 10, and thought it was all forgotten, so where is this coming from!? Since I've been studying Korean so much this week I've also been reviewing French, and "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi" (the only other French lyric I know) just didn't seem appropriate, hence the Alouette lyric as my blog title. Consider yourself informed.

Last night George and I decided to spend some time at the beach since the waves were significantly bigger then usual because of a storm that had passed though. After a relaxing coffee we decided to take a few pictures. Jumping pictures. It turned into a 45 minute marathon photoshoot. I'm sore today from the jumping ... and cartwheels. The 50 or so Koreans hanging out on the beach probably thought we were crazy. Oh well, it was a great workout and so much fun!

I also summoned the nerve to approach the large group of people I see doing open-water swims on any morning that I run along the beach. I figured I'd finally found a triathlon group, but apparently they just like open water swimming, or that's what I gathered from the conversation with a man who only knew a few word in English, but was great at interpreting my charades. They swim from Haeundae beach every morning of the week at 6am, using flippers and snorkels. I'm not sure if I'll be joining them. I need to get in better shape before I attempt my first ever open water swim. In an ocean. More than a km out from shore. In an ocean. For some undetermined distance. In an ocean with seaweed. And sharks.. And crazy marine life that I see in tanks everywhere I walk in this city. Hmmm... doesn't sound like I'm quite ready for it yet!

Plans for this weekend: travelling to an island a few hours away for water sports, hiking and a dinosaur expo! I can't wait :)

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