I’ve been out of this blogging thing for a while now. It’s always in the back of my mind, but I’m afraid I haven’t been able to muster the motivation to do anything about it. Honestly, I’m not even sure I want to keep this blog focused on books, like I’ve done in the past.
When I think about it, why should it be all about books anyway? After all, it is ramblings of an amateur writer. So why not ramble? Here goes. 🙂
About a month or two ago, I had this great idea. I’d start watching Korean television in order to improve my Korean. And thus my journey began.
Well, it all started with my military service. Part of my training included over a year of Korean training. I admit, I never got great at it. I think I scored something like a 1+ Listening/2 Reading/1 Speaking on the Korean proficiency test, which is pretty poor. And since that was going on two decades ago (please don’t do the math), I’ve lost even that little bit of knowledge.
Here’s the thing. I happen to live in an area which has quite a decent Korean population. I eavesdrop. 🙂 Something I naturally do as a writer, looking for tidbits to write about. ha ha I caught snippets and can gathered what the topic of a conversation was about, but had no real idea what exactly was being said.
I decided to look for a bit of Korean TV and came across K-Drama. It’s quite addictive, and once in awhile I find a great song.
Curious about my progress with Korean? Well, I see some improvements. My vocabulary is improving along with my understanding (at least when it comes to listening). I went from catching a few words here and there to understanding maybe 30-40% of a conversation, depending on the complexity.
I’ve never been to Korea, so I’m not savvy to all the cultural nuances. However, I found a few interesting trends when it comes to K-Drama. Today, I’ll be sharing a few with you. 🙂
Wrists are meant for grabbing
At least if the wrist belongs to a woman. Apparently, it’s perfectly okay to grab a woman by the wrist and drag her where ever you want to take her and whenever. If she screams that she doesn’t want to go, no one worries or listens to her. Bystanders won’t come to her rescue. If anything, they’ll smile, most likely reminiscing about their own Neanderthal moments.
I don’t know how prominent the wrist grabbing is in Korea, but I found a reason for it. Apparently, the wrist is more of a neutral zone as opposed to the hand. Even so, the wrist grabbing looks a bit painful to me, and not something I’d tolerate. Which brings me to the next item.
Skinship is Awkward
If you’re wondering what skinship is, that relates to intimacy–holding hands, hugging, kissing. From what I’ve discovered, public displays of affection (PDA) is frowned upon in Korea. As I mentioned above, hands are not neutral. When it happens in a Korean drama, it’s a big deal… a statement is being made… like staking a claim.
Along with that, hugging in a Korean drama is one of the most awkward things. Men hug from the front. All of a sudden, they’ll wrap their arms around a woman and lock them in place. If he has to swing her around to face him, he’ll do it. But once they’re in an embrace, he’s like a boa constrictor. Women, on the other hand, are a bit better. But they’re only allowed to hug men from behind. Like a seductress, she’ll slip her hands around his waist, while he stands there unresponsive with his arms hanging limply at his side.
Finally, we come to kissing. There is the kisser (the one doing the kissing) and the kissee (the one receiving the kiss). 95% of the time, the man is the kisser. And like the hug, the kiss comes all of a sudden… as if to make a point, usually during an argument. The kiss could be really sexy, but it’s not. He yanks her into a kiss–lips pressed together. Her eyes are wide open and her lips are unresponsive. The perfect kiss must not include tongues or anything wild. The couple must simply press their lips together and hold for… well, hold until the commercial break, while allowing ample time for the camera to catch the lip press from every angle.
Two degrees of separation
Ever hear of 6 degrees of separation? Well, in K-Drama, there are 2 degrees of separation. If you don’t know someone, your friend does. Everyone knows Everyone in Korean dramas. Weird thing about it… no one realizes it. So if you’re looking for your long lost brother and he’s staying at your boyfriend’s place, you’ll never know it. Why? Because you’ve put every important detail you could think of in an envelope, along with your one and only picture, and handed it over to your boyfriend’s best friend, who happens to be a detective. And you’ve done this all without letting your boyfriend garnish even a single peak. And since you never visit your boyfriend’s place, you never get a glimpse of his roommate (AKA, your brother). Doh!
Koreans are super fast healers
Apparently, Koreans have superior healing abilities. If they’re in an accident or get their face pounded, it only takes a day or two to heal a busted lip, bruises or cuts. Even more awesome, ripping out an IV leaves absolutely no evidence the IV was there in the first place. No blood, no bruising, and no marks. Wicked regeneration!
The only exception to their powerful healing ability is when it comes to a brain injury or illness. So, if someone gets brain cancer or brain surgery, they don’t heal… ever. Instead, they get to wear an off-white knit cap throughout the rest of the series.
Talking in a whiny voice is cool
Apparently, women are allowed to talk in a whiny voice. Instead of coming across as annoying and childish, it’s an endearing quality loved by all men.
Oh… and men can stop being men when talking to their mothers and grandmothers, because grandmas and mamas always give in when their little boy reverts to a childish voice.