Friday, June 17, 2011

The Elephant in the Room: Part 1

I realize that I told all of you that I would write more about my visit to Seoul, but something more interesting has happened to me over the course of these last several weeks.  I met somebody.  And an interesting factor, that probably happens more frequently than not in Korea, came between us.  It was sort of the "elephant in the room."  For the sake of protecting her identity, I will call her Tae Hee.  

Tae Hee is a woman that hung out with the same friends that I hung out with, but she was one of those shy girls that sort of kept her distance.  She had beautiful long jet black hair, and looked unmistakably Korean.  She was extremely attractive, as she was well dressed, and composed herself elegantly.  Her English is, quite honestly, not very good, and it was difficult to converse with her.  But I found her broken English to be extremely endearing.  

Whenever I would say anything to her, her face would turn red, she would cover her mouth, crack an enormous smile, laugh, compose herself, then reply.  I really enjoyed it whenever she did that, so my goal was to cause her do that as often as possible.  I asked her if she had a boyfriend, which is a completely normal and kosher question in Korea.  She said that she didn't.  I then asked for her number, and she gave it to me.

Initially, she played hard to get.  She didn't answer any of my texts or calls.  I eventually told her in the form of a text, "I understand that ladies in Korea don't answer if they are not interested.  If you want me to leave you alone, I will."  

She finally replied, "I like you as friend, but nothing can happen with us because you are foreigner." 

I answered, "I am half a foreigner."  And I left her alone.  I still saw her whenever our friends would get together.  And she would still cover her mouth, smile, laugh, compose herself, then reply whenever I would say anything to her.  So, again, I wanted to see her do that as often as possible, but this time, without calling or texting her.

On a random night, I had a dream about her.  I dreamed that she was standing in front of me, silent, and waiting for me to make a move.  And she was ready to move on.  I saw it all in her face.  Then I woke up.  

I saw her a few days later, and the manner in which she looked at me confirmed the validity of the dream that I had about her.  So that night, I called her, as her number was still saved in my telephone.  She answered after three rings.

"Yoboseyo,"  which is the Korean telephone greeting.

"Hey Tae Hee."

"Oh! Chrisu?!"  Koreans pronounce my name, Chrisu.  

"How are you?"  

"I am so-so,"  she replied in a very strong Korean accent, as I was able to hear her laughing.

"What are you doing?"

"I am watching drama on TV."  K-ladies love K-dramas.

"Come meet me at Tom n' Toms for coffee."  It was 10:45pm.

"When?!  Tomorrow?!"  

"Meet me tonight."  I knew she lived near Tom n' Toms, a popular destination for coffee in my neighborhood.  She paused.

"I'm not wearing makeup.  I'm wearing comfortable clothes."  She gave a textbook 'sales objection.'  Prior to teaching in Korea, I had a job in sales for two years.  Sales skills are quite useful in interactions with ladies. 

"Put on some makeup, change your clothes, and come meet me,"  was my confident reply to overcome the objection.  She paused again.

"Tom n' Tom?."

"Yes.  Meet me at 11:30."


With a language barrier present, conversations can be quite frank, and "matter of fact."  I made my way there when it came time to meet her.

"Chrisu?"  I heard her as I was walking on my way to Tom n' Toms.  It was Tae Hee.  As always, she was well dressed, but this time, she was not wearing makeup.  And it was the first time I saw her without it.
"You look better when you don't wear makeup,"  I told her honestly, because she did.  She looked down, and blushed.

We made our way to the coffee shop together, and had an incredible time.  There is no mistaking the chemistry when two people are strongly, and equally attracted to each other, even with the presence of a language barrier.  I found out she loved music, and had terrific taste.  She loved baseball, and vowed to take me to a game.  She told me about her family.  And I also found out that she was fluent in Chinese, as that was her major in College.   

I asked her, "Do you go to church?"

She paused before replying slowly and carefully in her broken English with a strong Korean accent, "I…  trust in Buddha."

"Hmm…"  I nodded, and changed the subject.  And the great night continued, but with the "elephant" now firmly imbedded "in the room."

Those who know me know that I am a practicing Christian.  And I am unwavering in my beliefs.  It is a huge factor in determining a partner because I strive to make pleasing Christ the highest priority in my life.

As I stated earlier, I would venture to state that this is probably a scenario that happens more often than not in Korea.  Christians and Buddhists coexist here, and do so remarkably peacefully.  According to Wikipedia, 29.4% of Koreans are Christian, while 22.8% are Buddhist. 

Stay tuned.  I'll tell you the rest of the story about Tae Hee and I in my next post.  


  1. Ohhhhhh, sounds interesting and might be something to pray about. It might be plan. I am holding my breath here...

    Ms. Pam

  2. Ahhhh! You know, soaps are known for "Cliff Hanger Fridays", and that's exactly what this is, Dear Cousin. Don't leave us hanging too long. I'm DYING to hear the rest.

  3. i can't wait PART 22222222222.........

  4. So cute. I'll be praying for you dear.