Last week I met my other LP after about three weeks where we couldn’t match our schedules due to work commitments. On Friday we finally managed to meet for coffee, cake, and a chat at a little café where she gave me my birthday present: a cooking book called Momofuku. This book is downright amazing and I cannot wait to work my way through it.
On my way home I carried it in my hands because I didn’t want to cramp it into my bag, and it caught the attention of a fellow commuter who suddenly exclaimed “can I ask why you have that book? those are my favorite places in New York. I ate there just last week!”. The food must have been really delicious for a Dane to strike up conversation with another Dane on a train station 😉
At the language meeting we tried to speak more freely in Korean over coffee and while taking a walk afterwards. Although I don’t understand everything that she says, the idea is to get exposed to a lot of spoken Korean, and if I really don’t understand something, she will just formulate the sentence differently in Korean. When I got home, I was mentally exhausted because it takes so much effort for me to listen, understand, and at least try to come up with an answer in real time. Texts and e-mails are much more forgiving, because you have more time to think, but what is the point if you’re unable to speak?
I remember visiting a friend in a small city near Manchester 13 years ago after her family moved back to the UK. After a whole day of speaking English and focusing so much on what was going on around me, I had a headache every night. Her mum took my English education very seriously while I was there and gave me a little notebook to carry around with me to note down words I didn’t know. When we were driving from one place to another she would test my vocabulary and pronunciation. Although it was tough I learned a lot from that experience so I’m pretty confident I can accomplish the same with Korean. I’ll just interpret the feeling of exhaustion as a sign that I learned a lot 🙂