Now may be the time to start sending Mark some encouraging emails. His ego has officially taken a major beat-down these past few days. First, being told he looks like he's 40, then the incident at today's lunch....
Mark and I have separate language exchange partners that we practice Korean with. We were supposed to have a "double lunch date" today, but my partner was too tired and bailed. So I tagged along with Mark and his partner, Erin.
Just to give a little background, she's this cute little Korean girl who can speak English fairly well. She is also obsessed with learning English slang. (She actually watches American movies to try to pick up as much slang as she can.)
We started out talking about how Korean food is healthier than Western food. Mark mentioned that he's lost quite a bit of weight since he first arrived in Korea and that he used to be a lot heavier a couple years ago. Without missing a beat, Erin said in her broken English, "Oh, so you were a fat ass?" I nearly spit my water all over the table. Uh...
After that we had to explain to Erin that it's really never appropriate to call someone a "fat ass." Especially to their face.
That brought us to another MAJOR cultural difference between Korea and the US. Apparently, in Korea, the best way to tease friends is to tell them they're fat or that they've gained a lot of weight. Erin was shocked that it is a major no-no to tell anyone (much less friends) that they're looking fatter lately.
All in all, it was a very successful language exchange. We got to practice for our interview this week, and Erin learned two important lessons that may prevent her from getting beat up should she ever visit the United States or Canada. :)
::Image courtesy of cis.jhu.edu::