The other day I picked up and took my work to a local café, as I am prone to do.
As a bit of background, two facts: first, I’m staying with family in a largely-Korean neighbourhood. Probably half the residents of this D.C. suburb are Korean, and the nearest café to home is owned and operated by Koreans. And most of their customers are Korean. The menu is in Korean, the sweets are Korean recipes and their best drink is probably their ginger tea. second, this is a spacious café and they leave people like me alone even when we over-over-overstay our welcome. But there is only one electric outlet in the main dining area. Anyone who is going to be working on their computer for a few hours needs to sit in that particular corner of the dining room.
And so I found myself in the table right next to a Korean man and a blonde American woman. His computer was plugged in and I wanted the other plug on the outlet. So not only did I sit near them, but I actually plunked myself down facing them.
Awkward? Perhaps. But GREAT culturtwined fodder.
The American girl clearly had a crush on the Korean guy. She was helping him write a business email for his real estate company, and she was acting like she was enjoying this chore. Her hands and her giggle told me she was nervous – as a girl, I could relate a little too well – but her smile and eager participation in the conversation told me that she was enjoying herself very, very much.
I didn’t have as good a view of the guy, and his voice was much more quiet and he looked down at his computer a lot. So I don’t know if he felt the same. I kind of doubt it, since he seemed quite engrossed in his business email. Guys out there… how would he be acting if he was into her??
At promptly 3pm, he put his computer away and she pulled out a Korean book. It was a language exchange session! What a beautiful thing. And how classic that at least one of them was so devoted to learning Korean because of the man who was teaching her.
Oh, yes, I could tell some stories of culturtwining through love. And my friends in cross-cultural relationships could probably tell some brilliant stories here. I’d love to see them!