Wednesday, October 04, 2006


So here is my lover........................yes you heard that correctly, LOVER!!!!! In Korea, lover is often used in place of boyfriend/girlfriend. So how did I find this out???? I asked the trainer at my gym one day what he was doing after work and he said he was going to talk with his 'lover'. Now when I think of this word, a husband cheating on his wife (with his lover) is what comes to my mind.

Anyways, for all of you back home who wouldn't get the chance to meet my boyfriend in person, here he is via the net (haha).......

the gym -- so this is where we met!!!! I used to work out in the morning before work but one day I skipped my workout and did it later in the evening. I noticed this really hot (well hot according to my standards) Korean guy. So instead of continuing my workout in the morning I decided to switch to the evening. He was too shy to speak to my in english (probably b/c he spoke so little) that he would speak to the 'trainer' in Korean and than the trainer would translate it to me.
Oh yah, my boyfriends name is LEE SUNG HYUN (the last name is at the beginning -- opposite from Western names). For the longest time I could not remember his name, so I just called him 'Opa' -- which means older brother (and this is perfectly acceptable for girlfriends to call their boyfriends). Anyways, to this day my parents still can't say his name so whenever I talk to them at home they ask me how 'gym' is doing (hence I met him at the gym). My bf thinks this is quite hilarious so he has officially adopted the name 'Jim' as his english name :)

kissing in public -- a big NO NO!!!! Korean couples are always holding hands or cuddling on the subway, but it is extremely rare for them to ever kiss in the company of other ppl. So here I am at my birthday dinner with my lover (haha, its funny to say that) and his friends, and all of a sudden he just attacks me when I am about to get my picture taken. As you can tell I was not expecting that one.

slurping noodles -- so how am I suposed to eat these cold glass noodles with chopsticks? Well slurping them up (noises included) is perfectly acceptable. Letting them half dangle out of your mouth is fine too!!!

spa time -- after I got back from Thailand, my boyfriend surprised me at school with some fruit and these goofy face masks (which I assumed that just women used -- but I was wrong on that one). So that night we had a spa night at my cute is that???

couple tee's -- so I have conformed to one of those strange Korean couple things. After we were dating for only about 3 weeks Sung Hyun wanted to get couple rings.....couple rings after only 3 weeks, are you crazy?????? I guess it's the thing do here, but I didn't think it was a good idea for him to spend a couple hundren dollars on some girl he had only known for a month so I opted for the t-shirt. Now there are ones that say: "this is my boyfriend" and "this is my girlfriend" but I wasn't into that. Instead, we just got 2 shirts the same. To this day we still have not worn them together on the same day. What the hell is the point of couple shirts if you don't wear them together???

"I LOVE YOU Jennipal............" now how many Canadian guys would you see doing this????

the squat -- if you come to Korea you can see this oh-so-famous squatting pose starting with young children up to and including men in business suits. Since it is dirty for Koreans to sit on the sidewalk they adopt this extremely uncomforable positions where they place both feet FLAT on the ground. If any of you can do this back home I will give you MAN won ($10). I wasn't so successful at it as you can tell form the picture.

How many beers have you had??? -- "I've had two, yah met too" This peace sign dominates nearly EVERY picture I am in. I don't know WHY on earth Koreans have insisted on doing this silly thing but just like them, I too have joined the club (I am becoming more Korean everyday). Another thing that I have noticed is that when Koreans drink alcohol they turn red. Just look at Sung Hyun -- case in point!!!!

Nothing special to say about this last picture, besides that I think I look cute ;) Behind us is the wonderful view of Seoul -- my home for the last 14 months.

Meeting Sung Hyun has been one of the best things that has happened to me in Korea. Because of him I have been able to see a different side of Korea -- one that I would never have gotten to experience had we not met. I like to think of myself as an independant person; afterall I came to Korea after I recently broke up with my bf of four years and there was no special family members waiting for me on the other side to help me out with the huge transition. But it's nice to know that there is someone here who cares for you and always has your back no matter what, so thanks Sung Hyun!!!!. My friend sent me an email that I had written a year ago to everyone back home. Basically it says that I really missed home and that I was crazy for spending a year in Korea -- since that is such a long time. So here I am one year later and I am proud to say that I did it all my by myself (along with my family and amazing friends back home -- your encouragement means the world to me). I will see you all very, very soon, I can't wait!!!!!!!!


Liz What? said...

Congrats on you happiness. You have seen a lot with him. Its so good you were able to learn so much about another culture especially with the language barrier.

Anonymous said...

I know I haven't left comments for you Jen 'cause I just prefer talking to you all the time, but I have to say, I love your lover and everything about him because he makes you happy. So much so that I am willing to forgive the whole scooter thing ;)

Anonymous said...

i forgot my id for this blog. i'm Charlie.
this is a really good story. I thought it's kind of dramatic story as i read how you've met. you're such a nice and wonderful couple i hope you get along with him and make a wonderful memories with him

Anonymous said...

Jen, you look really happy. I can't wait until you are back home. How many sleeps?