Having just celebrated the second anniversary of Inspire Me Korea, we thought it would be nice for you to get to know our hard-working and dedicated staff members.
And with April Fools being the day of, well, fools, we decided to share with you some of our embarrassing Korean moments – from travelling mishaps to awkward situations to language errors!
“I was taking a walk towards Namsan Tower, and being so used to London crossings, we tend to press the button at the traffic lights to wait for the lights to change before we can cross the road. Having not really seen any buttons or noticed it in the many months I’d been in Korea before, I suddenly saw one and pressed it.
It then blasted out a loud jingle followed by a fast string of Korean words. Pedestrians, bikers and drivers alike all turned to me, and I was rather confused. I later found out that these buttons are to assist the blind in crossing the road…”
Diana Chan [CEO and Lead Writer]
“Once I tried to wish my sister’s Korean boyfriend a happy new year whilst we were on a video call. I meant to say 새해 복 많이 받으세요 (saehae bog manh-i badeu-seyo), which just means something along the lines of ‘Best wishes for a Happy New Year’…but instead of saying 받으세요 (badeu-seyo), I said 바보세요 (babo-seyo).
바보 (babo) means fool…so I literally called my sister’s boyfriend an idiot!”
“Another time, in Korea, I was sardined on the subway. I was kind of forced back to back with a guy who was the exact same height as me – which meant we were kind of standing cheek to cheek…it was so awkward cause the train was so full we couldn’t move until like three stops later…”
Matthew Keeler [IMK Writer]
“A few years ago, when I couldn’t understand any Korean, me, my friend and his wife went to a Korean convenience store to get snacks. My friend and I we’re bickering a bit as we went up to pay, and the 아줌마 (ajumma) at the register kept smiling at us. She eventually said something in Korean to him.
I had no idea what she was saying but I caught a few words – one being 친구 (chingu), which I knew was friend, but it can mean something else which I didn’t know at the time. Then my friend started freaking out and was speaking very frantically to the woman, who looked very confused.
It was only when we got back to the car that my friend told me that the ajumma thought he and I were a couple instead of just friends, and that she was telling him not to ‘annoy your girlfriend so much by arguing’. And to make it worse, she also thought his wife, who was beside us the whole time, was his sister – I was so mortified but she thought the entire thing was hilarious!”
Claudia Deborah [IMK Writer]
“I was dancing in public with a friend to Free Somebody by LUNA, and it was going fine until I landed flat on the floor!
I thought maybe no one would notice and I could just brush it off, but when I got up so many people were looking at me…some genuinely looked worried…I just laughed it off but I was so embarrassed on the inside!”
Patricia Ivy [IMK Illustrator]
Feature Image Source: ©Lights, InspireMeKorea, 24.03.2018, inspiremekorea.com