Monday, October 17, 2011

Korean-Style English

Because even English is just a little bit different in Korea:

contact lenses = lens, not contacts, not lenses, just "lens"
Coca-Cola = cola or Coca-Cola, nobody says "Coke"
Sprite or 7Up = cider (there's no apple cider here, by the way- there's Martinelli's and such, but nothing like real apple cider)
microwave = range (because the appliance is actually a 'microwave range' and Koreans apparently like to use the second word rather than the first)
app (as in, that app for my smartphone) = appil (which sounds just like 'apple' to me), a Korean-style shortening of 'application'
harddrive = hard (rather than 'drive', as in the States)
laptop = notebook

There are so many more, but I can't remember them when I'm trying hard to think of some examples. I should probably write them down as I encounter them. That's what the memo app is for, after all.

Blogging's been terrible lately, I know. I've been working until quite late every night, and then going home and having trouble sleeping. I don't usually sleep until 3 or 4; it's been an ongoing struggle for the past couple weeks.

Back to China this week. We're leaving on Thursday evening, which means that it's going to be a sleepless week as we prepare. We're staying until Sunday this time. I'm pre-upset because this means that I won't get any kind of weekend at all before I have to come back into work on Monday. Then on Tuesday, early in the morning, my mother arrives (hooray!) and I get to see her for a couple hours before I have to come into work.

It's going to be a long few weeks until this movie delivers, as we're already burning the midnight oil (I've had meetings that didn't begin until past midnight!) and burning that candle at both ends, all at the same time. Lots of burning going on.

My Chinese visa is done after this trip, so maybe I won't have to go back. I like going to new places and visiting foreign countries, but the part of Beijing that we stay in is not fun. Plus, the fact that I'm stuck in a building where everyone smokes indoors means that I really do not enjoy my working hours (of which there are many).

Alarmingly, it's gotten quite frigid here. I'm told (repeatedly) that Ilsan is colder than Seoul, which is disheartening. It's already cold, colder than LA winters, and I actually debated breaking out my puffy parka this morning (I didn't). My mother sent me some winter clothes a couple weeks ago when the temperature starting dropping and I realized that I wouldn't be able to avoid winter in Korea.

I am debating what to do with my professional future, and what would be the best course of action for me. No decisions yet.

There will probably be more random pictures of Beijing next week. I still have photos to post of the family get-together a couple weeks ago, plus the museum I visited, plus some other photos from Busan. So much to do, so little time! My mother arrives next week, so I'm sure I'll be occupied for a few days while she stays with me (I'm hoping I can work normal hours while she's here, otherwise that would suck).

I know that I'm in a strange place right now, in between a lot of things. The company for which I currently work has not really made me feel like I'm part of the family. I'm still a guest here, and I don't really like that feeling much. I am freakishly hermit-esque about my personal life at times and it takes me a long time to feel comfortable bringing people into my house, but I seek acceptance and approval at work. Feeling like I'm an outsider at a place where I spend nearly all my waking hours is crap.

More than ever, I also feel like I'm see-sawing between my Koreanness and my Americanness. I'm getting more Korean in some ways, in day-to-day ways, but I feel that I'm getting more resolutely American in other aspects, things that I see and don't like or don't agree with in Koreans. That hyphen between Korean-American is getting more and more jagged.

After I've gotten a consistent amount of sleep (sleep like a dead person for a week or two) and I'm not a zombie anymore, I'll give this all more thought.