Monday, May 13, 2013

Proselytizer

9:34pm, on my way to taekgyeon class. The streets of Palyong-dong are pretty busy. An older man (아저씨) in a suit looks at me as I approach, then steps forward and addresses me. The following exchange was in Korean:

아저씨: Excuse me, are you a student?
저: Hm? No.
아저씨: You're not a student?
저: No.
아저씨: I see. Well, I'm here to blah blah blah blah blah in this area blah blah blah blah blah...
저: ...
아저씨: Blah blah blah church blah blah blah mother of God blah blah blah...
저: Uh -- I'm really sorry, but I'm not Korean. I don't understand.
아저씨: Where are you from?
저: The United States.
아저씨: When did you arrive in Korea?
저: What?
아저씨: When did you arrive in Korea?
저: Last year.
아저씨: Your Korean is very good.
저: No, it's not. I just told you I couldn't understand a word you were saying. Oh, thank you.
아저씨: Are you religious?
저: What?
아저씨: Are you religious?
저: Oh, yes.
아저씨: Christian?
저: Yes.
아저씨: Have you heard of the new name for Jesus Christ?
저: Huh?
아저씨: Jesus Christ. Do you know about his new name?
저: Oh frick, you're in a cult, aren't you. No.
아저씨: You don't know?
저: I'm really sorry, but I'm kind of late. I have to go to a class at 9:40. I'm sorry.
아저씨: Oh, you're going to a hagwon?
저: Yes.
아저씨: Okay, well I blah blah blah blah blah...
저: Goodbye!
아저씨: Goodbye, thank you!

This is the second time this has happened to me in a week, although the first time was with Buddhist proselytizers. And to think people usually find me unapproachable...

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