Wednesday, April 20, 2011
"It's Dangerous - There Are Ajummas"
I'm getting off the bus today and two older women approach me. The one rattles in her native tongue and asks if I speak Korean. I tell her I only know a little. At that point the second ajumma goes to the other side of me (so now I have ajummas on either side of me) and they each take a hand. As we hold hands and converse in Konglish, they ask me where I'm from, if I'm a teacher and so on - the normal questions I get asked as a foreigner.
Then they go on to ask where I'm going (home...) and ask where my home is... Odd, but I just tell them I live behind my school. The one ajumma asks me if I know Spanish. I'm assuming she didn't because I asked her for a beer and told her I'm drunk (the only Spanish I know) and it didn't seem like she understood.
The second ajumma (the one who knows slightly more English than the other) gets out her planner and writes something down. They inform me that they will come to my house tomorrow at 20 p.m. (she writes 12...) and insists I write down my phone number. She'll call me.
Even sadder, me being the nice foreigner, complied and wrote it down for her. I think they wanted an English lesson. In that case, I'd charge them and it'd be awkward as they know close to zero English... Or they could be Jehovas witnesses (I hope not!) and will try to convert me. I think I'll turn my phone off tomorrow at 20 p.m.
I tell this story to some of my Korean friends over dinner. As we're leaving I say that I'll walk home. Rachel (who drove to the restaurant) insisted that I get in the car and she'll drive me to my apartment. She adds, "It's dangerous." (Pohang, South Korea isn't dangerous at all, even at night.) "There are ajummas. They will hold your hand and go to your home."