Friday, October 21, 2005

Roommate Update

O.K. I don't know if you remember I told you Junko has been giving me the cold shoulder?

I tried to talk to her the other day. I came back from class and she was working on her computer. It was one of the few times when the others were not in the room as well, so I took the opportunity and said

You seem to be upset about something. Are you o.k?
she ignored me, so I said
Is it something I have done?
she turned around and nodded and I said
Can you tell me what you are upset about?
she rattled off this long monologue in Korean and I said
I'm sorry, I do not understand what you are saying.
she went off again, in Korean. She was speaking very fast, but I picked out the word for "Korean" (as in, the language).

(I think the issue is she thinks I should be able to converse in Korean instead of her having to speak English)

so I said
I am learning Korean, but I do not understand what you are saying.
If I have done something that has made you upset, you need to
tell me in English, because I don't know why you are upset.

(I know she understands English enough to know what I was saying, and I know she knows enough to be able to communicate a little, because we've had conversations (sort of) before.)

She went off at me in Korean again, so I looked at her and said
Junko, if you are not going to talk to me in English, I cannot have this conversation. I do not know what you are saying and I do not know why you are upset. So when you are ready to talk to me in English, we can try to sort out what the problem is.

she muttered in Korean again and turned back to her computer, so I left.

I've tried several times since then to try to communicate with her (asking her if she wants to go to dinner, etc), but she will not even look at me. I don't know what to do, so if any of you have had an experience of this sort, can you give me some pointers? I honestly do not know what I could have done to put her off, because we seemed to have been getting along o.k. before.
Since Junko is the only one of my roommates who knows English, we've talked through a mediator (my guidance councellor - Jiran) before to sort out a problem (that time they were upset (to use an indequate word) at me because I turned off the light while one of them was out. It turned out I had been sleepwalking. But, boy - hell has no fury like a pissed off 18 year old Korean girl. When she got back and found the light off, she slammed the door and threw stuff around on her desk and started talking in heated voices with the others (who were also asleep), all of which woke me up - something I was NOT happy about (it was about 3am, so I'm sure the people in the rest of the dorm weren't too happy about the slamming door either) - and asked them to be quiet. At which she walked out and slammed the door again. At that stage I had no idea what they were chucking a spack about. In the morning I figured out that they were angry at me, and even though I eventually understood what had happened and figured out I had been sleepwalking, and tried to explain this, they didn't understand. I arranged the meeting with Jiran, and the topic came up, so she was able to explain what sleep walking was. I still don't really understand what the big problem was - Kyung could of just turned the light back on).
I may need to arrange another meeting with Jiran.

Anyway, it's not very pleasant to have to share a small space with someone who appears to hate you but will not speak to you about it. And since the others don't speak English, it's not going too well at the dorms. (I asked one of them "how was work?" and she didn't understand. I tried to use different words and slow down how fast I was talking even more than I already was, but no luck. BTW - when I get back to OZ, you will have to excuse how slow I've gotten into the habit of speaking).

But oh well.
8 weeks to go.

Everything else I really love, and I will be so sad to say goodbye to the friends I have made, and to my smallgroup at church.

I most definitely will not be sad to see the last of the dorms.

Captain Chopsticks
torn between loving life (jokes going around on email, learning a new language-even though verb conjugations are hurting my brain, going out for SamGyeopSa, having the enjoyable challenge of leading my small group at church, going hiking, going sightseeing, playing scrabble and talking to people in the EC, teaching english to kids as a teacher's assistant, becoming better friends with so many people...) and being miserable and lonely in the dorms (oh!! BTW - I was able to get a second mattress!! Maybe I'll get some better sleep now that I won't have my bones hurting from laying on a hard and unyielding surface).

I think I choose the former.

1 comment:

Fernby said...

ahhh, the age old problem of inter-cultural cross-communication issues!

Thankfully, something I have never had to encounter. Hopefully, things will improve (or, more likely, perhaps not and it may go all Ring-style horror movie on you....but i doubt it) and you and her can move on with your life.

If it all gets too hard, just raise your middle finger towards her, and stalk off in a huff. That might work to diffuse the situation a little......

oh wait, maybe not.

Look, learn the phrase: "Excuse me, you daughter of a flearidden donkey, could you please step off a cliff so I can go back to my normal, nice life here without your head exploding every time I so much as think in your general direction" and give her that with a straight face.

Or, as Emma would probably do: poke her dead body with a stick.

Or, alternatively, Emma might just quote some Monty Python at her.

have I been helpful. Probably not, but then, I am just a man.

Have a good day..... if possible. Remember, the New Pad awaits you in a mere eight weeks!!!!