I've never been at ease around the cleaning lady at my school.
Despite the fact that she is adorably affectionate and grandmotherly with my
students, I'm a little bit scared of her. For one thing, she is wholeheartedly
devoted to the ajumma uniform, and you mayrecall, few things frighten me more
than an ajumma in a visor. Also, one time, she happened to see me accidentally
step into a garbage can (I'd like to explain why, given the circumstances, it
wasn't such an outrageous thing to do, but no amount of explanation can do
justice to just hownot
outrageous it was), and she kind of cackled at me and said something
in Korean, which I assumed to be something along the lines of, "Andyou teach our
Yesterday, as I herded my class into the bathroom, she walked past
and paused momentarily in front of me, resting her hand on my necklace and
Now, when an already-scary old lady touches my neck and mutters
something in a foreign language, normally I would go crazy imagining all of the
horrifying things she might have said to me.
But that didn't happen this time!Because just twelve hours earlier, I had spent the evening
aimlessly studying Korean and Ijust
happenedto learn that 예쁘다 means "pretty" and not any of
those horrible things. Less than a full day after studying a word, I was forced
to use it in real life. Pretty convenient timing, if you ask me.
Given this turn of events, I think I'll
cancel my plans to learn how to say, "Help! I'm being assaulted!"