Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Things I Talked About With My North Korean Student/Soulmate




  • David Beckham and his hot bod
  • The movie "Once"
  • The Korean movie "Poetry" (시)
  • Colors--I mean, a serious discussion about colors. She busted out a color palette--she's a fashion design student--and we talked about pastels.
  • Jason Mraz and how infuriatingly popular "I'm Yours" is in Korea 
  • Language--she speaks Chinese, since she lived in China for 10 years 
  • Big Bang and G-Dragon's kick ass style




  • Where the best/cheapest shopping is in Seoul (she said Hongdae, I said the underground shopping mall at Jamsil
  • North Korean nangmyeon (냉면)--icy noodles--and how tasty they are  
  • That book "The Secret," and how everyday now she is "thinking...money" because of that book
  • How she loves to eat meat. She showed me a picture of her decimated piggy bank, which she apparently destroyed to buy a steak dinner :)   
  • How we both kind of have the hots for Obama
  • The famine in Somalia. She showed me her CyWorld page (the Korean equivalent of Facebook)--which was loaded with pictures of starving Africans from UNICEF's page. It occurred to me--probably way later than it should have--that she was probably starving at some point not too long ago...
  • Incheon's (the suburb of Seoul where she lives) Chinatown and how delicious the food is there
  • Incheon's beaches and how they are kind of dirty and gross


  • She showed me pictures of her and her family on her smart phone. Hundreds of pictures of grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts and uncles her mom and dad. Pictures of her in China and more recent pictures of her with university friends in South  Korea . There were pictures of her as a teenager where she definitely looked a solid thirty pounds thinner--I can only imagine they were taken right after she arrived in Korea from China. She said, "Then, very thin. Now, big. Diet," which made me die a little on the inside/want to scream.
    There were really old, scanned pictures of her when she was a kid, most of which were of her with a smiling, gap-toothed, chubby little Korean boy. I read the caption of one--보고싶어요--"I miss you". She told me "From China, I go to South Korea. My brother, North Korea. Die Apart."

    I couldn't think of anything else to talk about for a full ten seconds. I just tried not to cry while taking a huge swig of tea. She said..."very sad," and I nodded. She was the one to change the subject, and we talked about:
    • "Dewey"--the book about the cat in the library
    • How Harry Potter used to be really cute but now he is really meh...
    • How Leonardo diCaprio used to be very hot but now he is really meh...
    • Babies and Korean babies vs. American babies. I said Korean babies were cuter but she said that Korean babies have "too big heads"
    • Our "types"--she like athletes. "Superman," she said. I told her I typically like artists/musicians^^
    • "Home Alone" and how she never knew that Christmas existed until she came to South Korea when she was 15 
    • How I wanted to marry Macully Culkin when I was six
    • How she can't really eat Western style food--no cheese, or milk, or bread. She didn't know what spaghetti was...
    • Our Dads and how they both love fishing
    • How we hate mosquitoes 
    • Our Moms and how they both love sewing
    • How our friends are all typically a lot shorter than us. We are about the same height  ;)
    • How it can really suck to live alone sometimes
    • How we are always losing buttons off of jackets
    After two hours (we were only meant to talk for one), it was time for her to go home, and me too. On the subway home, I just sat, with no music or smartphone or Kakao Talk to distract me, and I thought about justice...and righteousness...and pain...and what people do to deserve the things that happen to them...and what they don't. And how unbelievable unfair life can be. And how despite everything...people continue to live...   

    1 comment:

    1. You had such a wonderful conversation to somebody. It goes to show your intrapersonal skills.

      ReplyDelete