Yesterday, as I was coming home from my private lesson, I heard the jarring classical music that signifies an incoming train. It seems so awkward in Centum City--something so fancy and beautiful playing is the everlasting construction of the subway stop.
Anyway, so, I hear this music right as I swipe my pass card and head toward the down escalator. I see an old Korean man right in front of me also get on the escalator, knowing full well that he will ride the whole thing with complete disregard to my haste of catching this train.
"Ugggghhhh, Ajushi*!" I mutter under my breath (maybe a little too loudly). I held out the "shiiiiiiii" part as a child might while whining for new roller blades in the middle of Wal-Mart in a "but, Mooooooom" sort of way.
We get to the bottom of the escalator to find that my haste was unnecessary, as the music was for the train going the opposite way.
The ajushi turns to me, and panic boils inside of me, manifesting itself in thoughts like, "Oh, crap, now I am going to be yelled at in Korean AGAIN for inappropriate subway behavior" (the other being talking one the train).
Instead, with a huge smile, he turns and says, "Where you from?"
Excited and proud to use one of the five Korean phrases I know, I said, "Cheonan mi-gook sarem imnida.*"
He quizzically looked at me, and said, "What? I am from Ohio."
*ajushi- term of endearment for an elderly man meaning grandfather or uncle
* Cheonan mi-gook sarem imnida- I am from the United States.