A Canadian writer teaches English and finds out what it's like to be a foreigner.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

When the Methodists come a knockin'

Today at noon I was still lounging around the apartment in my robe, when I heard the unexpected jingle of the hallway intercom. I could only imagine it was my boss so I opened up only to scandalize two elderly ladies with stacks of church literature in their hands.

I finally stood face to face with they who've been stuffing my door handle with evangelical pamphlets since the day I arrived.

After I explained to the bewildered and obviously embarrassed ladies that I didn't speak Korean, they persisted in handing me a pamphlet, pointing out the only part they needed me to understand.

"English service-u!"

"Haven't you wrenched enough poor souls from the calming balance of Confucius?" my head thought.

"Kamsa hamnida," my mouth said.

After they left I used the pamphlet to catch my finger nail clippings.

***

Later in the day, at school, we were going over some advanced vocabulary words. The topic was types of school. After explaining the difference between public and private school, we came upon the more complicated "parochial school."

Thankfully, the pervasiveness of Western movies proved to be a beacon of knowledge in this case. Judy pointed to the illustration of a nun in her habit and said:

"Teacher! Parochial school like in the Sound of Music? You know? Maria?"

I wish all my work could be done by singing, dancing nuns.

Joey suddenly had an epiphany.

"Teacher! Parochial school learn 'sky man'?"

"Sky man?" I said confused.

Joey scrunched up his brow and pointed aloft.

"SKY man!"

Then he shot off a Korean word to Judy, who replied, "AHHHHHHH! Teacher, it is like person who made the earth."

But of coarse!

"AHHHHH!" I responded in kind, "the english word is 'God.'"

"Teacher, his son name is what?" Judy asked.

"Jesus," I said, glad that Joseph (see "Jejus is delicious!") was not present.

Joey laughed at the funny sounding name. I think he preferred "sky man" (didn't he feature as an early Mega Man villain?).

I laughed too.

This kid was one soul the Methodists were going to have to pass on.

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