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3 February 2004
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Korea Life Blog - Local Restaurant Ajumma

I just posted this on the ESL discussion board, but then I decided to copy it here too:

There's a restaurant nearby where the food is really delicious. I love it. I always get Kimchi Chigae or Dwen Jang. They make an ever-changing variety of side dishes which are 95% of the time wonderful. The problem is the ajumma. She is too kind but she cannot fathom I can't understand what she is saying. I've told her a hundred times I can't speak Korean well, but she keeps talking and asking me questions. Sometimes she'll even sit with me. I really wish I could speak Korean, but even when I do know what she is saying, I'm afraid to reply because I learned most of my Korean in the banmal form and my pronunciation is terrible, especially to older people and kids, they never understand me.

Well, it made me feel really uncomfortable so I stopped going there. I feel awful because I pass her place everyday and sometimes she asks me why I don't eat there. I went there tonight for the first time in ages and she was so happy. She kept telling me to come everyday, but it was the same story. She sat down and started talking to me again and everyone was watching and laughing. I'm in a small town and there's not many places to get such good food. Perhaps I should have a Korean write her a letter for me? or just eat there and feel stupid. I guess I should just learn how to speak Korean better, but that's not going to happen soon.

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