Friday, 23 October 2009

You’re Younger Than You Look

In Korea, you’re one-year old as soon as you’re born, but Koreans always want you to say that they’re ten years younger than they look (well, it is flattering, most of the time). Then I’d have to tell them that they look like teenagers because they tend to look years younger, anyways. It’s always difficult to tell how old Koreans are because they age pretty gracefully.

Today, during my morning at Hyeonseo School, two of the teachers I teach (Mrs. Seo – the Korean Language teacher, and Mrs. Na – the computer technician) came over to my desk, and like little schoolgirls, they started to ask me to guess the ages of the male teachers. She pointed at Mr. Lee, the teacher across from my desk. “Thirty-five?” I responded. Both of them laughed.

“I am forty years old,” Mrs. Na said to me. “Compare his age to mine.”

“Forty-one?” I hesitated. They both laughed again.

“He’s forty-six years old,” she answered. Then she made me guess the age of the male mathematics teacher.

“Look at his pink, sparkly tie, and his skin. How old is he?” asked Mrs Seo.

“Okay…” I said, “…thirty-eight?”

“He’s also forty-six years old, He is trying to hide it with his tie,” Mrs. Seo replied. They both giggled again.

They both told the male teachers what I had guessed, and now, every time I look over at the two male teachers, they blush.

- Jess

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