From abroad

24th April 2009 at 01:00

It's last thing on a Friday. I'm tired, so are they. I decide to begin by asking if they did anything interesting last week? To which Andy replies: "Last week ...?" with a quizzical cocking of his head. So I asked, more for my benefit: "Eat any interesting noodles?"

The week before, when asked whether he preferred cake or ice-cream, he said, with a superior look, that he ate only noodles. To the best of my investigation, he does indeed only like noodles.

Undeterred, I asked Doc about his week. To my surprise, he became quite animated and told me his money was stolen. I was shocked. I had always been told Korea was a safe country. I asked: "Where?" causing an extended discussion in Korean. So I said: "Ansan?" which is the city we live in. For my help, I got a look as though I was stupid and a chorus of "yes".

Then he said: "In my apartment," which I repeated incredulously. He made the shape of a rectangle with his hands and I said: "In your apartment block? You were mugged?"

There was more discussion in Korean and Andy said, "playground". They started making punching actions, and I said: "What? Did you hit him or he hit you?" He said: "I hit him." Then I asked why he gave him the money and if the attacker had a knife. I got blank looks, so I drew a knife on the board and they laughed. I was confused, so asked again: "Why did you give him your money?" Then he said "no" and made more punching motions.

At this point, it dawned on me I had made an armed robbery out of a playground fight, but I decided to go with it and drew a gun on the board and a masked robber. It was fun.

Colette Lynagh is gaining teaching experience prior to applying for a PGDE course later this year.

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