Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Hazards of Not Speaking Korean

Those who know me well know that I have a bit of a germ phobia. I'm no Adrian Monk, but I don't touch bathroom doors or elevator buttons, I hate using coin money, and I dislike shaking hands. I probably wash my hands about fifty times a day at least. Since all that washing chaps my skin, I like to use hand sanitizer or wet wipes to keep my skin relatively soft. So, earlier last week I went to Lotte and bought what I assumed was a package of wet wipes. It was in the baby aisle, so it seemed a reasonable guess.

On Thursday of last week, I decided to open my package of wet wipes and use one after a class. When I opened the package, however, I soon discovered that what I had purchased was clearly not wet wipes. Thoroughly perplexed, I handed the package to Jackie, one of the Korean teachers, and asked her what on earth I had purchased. Jackie laughed, and announced to me that my "wet wipes" were actually white clay!!


Clara Yi said...

"not touching elevator buttons, hate using coin money, dislike shaking hands, washing hands about 50 times a day, using HAND SANITIZER OR WET WIPES..." Miss Thompson, you're Adrian Monk! :D

Stephanie said...

I'm more like his semi-sane cousin. And I have really transitioned a lot since this post -- I shake hands willingly now, for one thing.

"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"