I feel put down somehow.

The captain comes to harass me. “Mot-jeng-i, Sara sonsengnim.”

He says it again. And again. I throw up my hands. I say, I don’t know. He pronounces it. Again. Deliberately enunciating each sound. He makes me repeat it.  This is ironic, actually, given the subject of my last post, but there is no reason why I should know this word.  It will not help me ask for directions or mail a letter.

I have reached the point where I am exasperated almost the moment I see him. “I don’t speak Korean! What are you making me say? Repeat it as many times as you like! It will never mean anything to me unless you tell me what you’re saying!” I want to cry, actually, or throw lukewarm coffee in his face.

He made me say “I am a fine lady.” This makes me hate him and I don’t know why my reaction is so strong.


  1. Side note: referencing an earlier post, the captain is the principle. On a number of occasions Koreans have referred to their principles as “the captain” in English, which I think is funny and is why I use it.

    And he does it because he likes me and surely does not realize how infuriating it is. For reasons which escape me, Korean men are always very taken with me, although the captain is unique. I don’t usually get a demeaning Korean lesson; everyone else is satisfied to say something like “When I see you, I think like movie star.”

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