Feeling uncomfortable around Jihae, the Korean girl

Don’t know what to make of the second Korean encounter.

Although no longer a stranger but a Korean acquaintance now, sutiben still felt a lil’ shy.

Or maybe ‘tis just because she a girl.

(*¬*) *nods* Oh yes. With a few words earlier in the week, the Korean girl had agreed to meet suti again. We skipped last week only because she had to go out of state.

Even still… why does suti feel no as comfy? What could be the cause?

  • Shyness?
  • Bad social skills?
  • Sleepiness?
  • Crush?
  • Other?
  • All of the above

( /)u(\ ) *covers face with hands* Aw… suti always do bad with multiple choices.

So, what happened this time?

The silence that never leaves after one encounter

On Saturday morning, sutiben gets ready to see language partner but despite the preparation, somehow steps out of the house late. 1 The night before sutiben stayed up long so he rushes with sleepy eyes.

No matter how fast sutiben moves, he fears he won’t make it at the set time of 11am.

Panic sets in!

If sutiben doesn’t come on time, Korean partner might think suti just trying to get back at her for last time.

*shakes head* But ’tis nothing like that!

As the meeting spot appears on sight and sutiben looks at the time, suti’s heart sinks. Not gonna make it. How will suti explain?

However, upon reaching the street corner 13 minutes late, sutiben doesn’t see Jihae anywhere.

≧(´▽`)≦ Yatta! Now, no one needs to know sutiben tardy.

In the meantime, sutiben takes out a blue rubber ball to bounce on the wall while waiting. Luckily, it doesn’t take long before she arrives. Suti is even able to spot her from afar unlike last time.

Drawing of a guy and girl separated by a streetWe greet each other once nearby but for a few moments silence takes over.

\( ̄□ ̄)\ suti no know what to say. Mind go blank.

That slight awkwardness goes away walking inside Central Park as sutiben stops midway and notices a beautiful flying bird with reddish feathers.

Woaaah, suti never seen one colored like that. And ’twas tiny too!

Sutiben then attempts to take out his camera to go click click but bird flies away. (◡︿◡✿)

Hehe when Jihae— who is ahead about 10 paces— looks back, think she grows a small smile seeing suti gush over a bird.

She was bound to find out suti like a lil’ kid.

Confidence can break any English teacher

Drawing of worried guy sitting next to a girl on a park benchAnyhoo, we settle on starting the English lessons and find a bench further down a small path.

Sutiben’s partner really impresses suti. Like last time, she takes out her yellow notebook with her list of prepared questions, ready to get started.

Deep down, sutiben always scared when ’tis suti’s turn to teach English and no can get rid of that fear. It’s just that sometimes sutiben not too confident in suti’s English. Think do ok with grammar but since sutiben always been quiet, no really practice vocals.

The English problems a Korean trips over

She then hits sutiben with question after question. Today most of her problems revolve around her job search. For example,


This word is one of the responsibilities for a job posting she didn’t understand.

*stares at the floor* suti didn’t know meaning either when asked. Only found out after the fact.

To separate into groups according to kind; classify.

So guess ‘tis like the sorting.


Another job requirement bullet point: “Rig the room prior to our group meetings”

And again, a word sutiben doesn’t really know. Luckily, heard this before on TV like, “He’ll rig up an explosive”. Based on that example and this context, suti offers a good guess: fix or organize. In this case, “Get the room ready for a meeting”. Looking at the dictionary, ’tis close enough:

grouping the elements of parts such as limbs in an animated 3D computer model.

How to say things when traveling?

Jihae then asks for help on what to say when trying to get to places. Fortunately, sutiben gives lots of help here with different variations:

  • I’m on my way to 42nd
  • I’m on my way to Grand Concourse station
  • I’m heading towards Penn station
  • What time will the train arrive in New York?

Sutiben did stumble a bit trying to figure out when to use “in” vs “at” but no big deal.

Want vs Won’t

Although it wasn’t part of the lesson plan, Jihae struggled pronouncing “want” and “won’t”. To be precise, sutiben didn’t know which word she was saying and so had her practice.

Actually, think suti also struggled a bit too. While repeating them, there was one time where she didn’t understand which word suti meant.

We moved on after going nowhere but now think came up with two helpful pictures.

Simple illustration on how to pronounce the English word want.Simple illustrated guide on pronouncing the English word won't

It’s not really the same sound-wise but close enough and could give another perspective.


Lastly, we also revisited last week’s pronunciation problem with the name “Georgia”. The way she says it sounds a lil’ weird. We tried to fix it but didn’t go anywhere either.

Only next day did sutiben come up with an idea. Not sure if this helps anyone but could be another way to view this.

First, say “jaw”. (Sounds like “law” except with a j sound) Next add another “J” sound followed by ㅓ. Basically:

‘Georgia = “jaw” + jㅓ’

Got inspired from this video.

Confessions of a language exchange partner

For that one hour or so, sutiben was an illegal English teacher once more. Uncertified but cute. (‐^▽^‐) Hehe JK. Suti wish was cute. Although will say that sutiben tried to change things up. Last time, suti avoided eye contact at all cost.

(( (, ,* )=(* , ,) )) *shakes head* Not this time!

Took a lot of energy but sutiben stared at her face when addressing her and not just a few seconds. Well, more her eyes.

Eh… probably not a good idea to do with a girl.

Maybe because suti doesn’t do it often, but suti felt something while doing it. Not sure what. Like you can now see the person, if that makes sense. Sutiben also got the feeling Jihae was scared or worried?

No know. ╮(╯▽╰)╭

While on the topic, gotta admit two other things:

  1. Sitting together in the public bench, sutiben can’t believe hardly thought about other stuff beyond the immediate area. Usually suti easily gets distracted thinking about what needs done, cookies, etc. Not this time.
  2. Felt it on our first meeting but didn’t mention it. After today though, think suti beginning to like to teach. Think it’s the fact that teaching makes you look for weird ways to explain and make things easily understandable. ^ ͜• ^

Taking a short trip from one bench to another

With her questions covered, Jihae turns to sutiben giving a look that says, “It’s your turn”. We decide to get up in order to talk and walk for sutiben’s “class”.

Drawing of a guy keepings eyes on the face of a woman

Who wants to stay still the whole day? Packing up our belongings, we follow the narrow path leading us who knows where. With the shiny sun out and the beautiful scene, it didn’t matter.

The table detour on Hangul

Picking up from the last meeting, sutiben asks for a continuation of Hangul pronunciations; something suti still doesn’t have down. Teacher 2 goes into it but since sutiben keeps asking about every character, she asks if suti knows about the table.

He doesn’t even know what she’s talking about.

It’s at this point, we stop talking and move towards the hand rail as Jihae draws what looks like a multiplication table except with all the Korean symbols. She goes on to explain what it means and how to use it. 3 Now satisfied, both return to the walk to discuss other stuff. Think sutiben surprises her when he mentions “Daebak”.

‘Tis so fun being able to mention lots of expression suti learning. Watching lots of Korean shows will do that to you. One thing sutiben will add is that Jihae keeps saying suti has good Korean pronunciation but suti still can’t believe it.

Won’t include Korean lesson here but if wanna see Jihae’s takeways, just check for upcoming post in a few days.

Suppressing a secret request for fear of refusal

While the walking conversation goes on, sutiben been hiding a request this whole time, one that she may not agree to do for sutiben.

Drawing of two fingers touching

Turning head towards her, sutiben begins fumbling a bit trying to find the best way to ask her the following: is she willing to watch a kpop music video with suti and help translate the lyrics together?

(´⌣`ʃƪ) Hehe. She must’ve seen suti scared when asking because she said yes almost right away, but in an even more friendlier way than usual. She even hurried sutiben to get started on it now. The way she motioned her hands was like she was saying, “Of course. Of course. Don’t worry about it. Come on. Let’s do it now.”

Naturally, this activity requires sitting and writing. At once, we locate another bench. Sitting down, sutiben pulls out an iPad and clicks play. Jihae watches the MV 4 and apparently recognizes one of the idols. For the next minutes, both partners peer over a piece of glass at the same time.

Illustration of a guy and gal watching a music video on an iPad

*covers face* (つω⊂* ) suti heart go thump thump throughout. No help she moves closer.

Going over the Hangul isn’t bad, but ’tis not the same as trying to make sense of Korean sentences. We work as a team trying to translate the lyrics. It actually works out for the best that her English not that strong. We both try hard on our end figuring out how to boil it down to simple English. So much fun.

(◍•ᴗ•◍) Wooooah, to think suti would be listening to kpop with an actual Korean. Sutiben happy happy! Who would’ve thought it would ever happen?

The return of the awkward times

Without notice the clock soon hits 1pm and sutiben remembers time is almost up. We had spent the remaining session on a few lyrics.

Not wanting to hold her back, sutiben closes his written notes and suggests finishing the current line next time. However, she adds she is in no hurry and would like to finish this last line at least.

^_^) And so we stay out a bit more.

Once done, we pack up and get going. As we walk on the path, sutiben expects we’ll depart anytime soon. Yet, we carry on. Then Jihae mentions how she likes tennis 5 but hasn’t played for some time and that there’s probably a court around here somewhere.

(;^^) suti never played tennis before…

She finally asks if sutiben willing to walk with her to find a court.

*blushes* oh no…

Nodding, both begin the search together. Before suti knows it, they march ahead for a long time looking for any signs that might point them somewhere.

Nervous, sutiben would at times walk away from her in the name of looking around. Worse, silence fills most of the trip, more so than in the beginning.

Don’t know why felt so nervous? Maybe because it was after our “official” time?

(*゚ー゚)ゞ.。oO( wonder if this is how a date with her would be like? *shakes head* no, no can think things like that )

Eventually, the duo find a map sign and discover the location of the tennis court. It doesn’t take long before they stand right outside the fence looking in. Unfortunately for Jihae, they find out you have to pay a big fee.

‘Twas so sad. She actually stands there staring from the outside with a covetous desire, slowly mumbling under breath, “Awww, I really want to play”. 6

A simple drawing of a guy confused why a girl is sad

Putting hand in front of her eyes, suti tries snapping her out of it. On the way back, more silence fills the air before they finally say goodbye and separate.

The next time they meet, things take a twist.

  1. It happens all the time. Whenever sutiben arrives late to an appointment, it’s usually not because of waking up late. Always think have more time than do. ↩︎

  2. suti so wanna call her this in Korean but no know how to say it. (•˘︿ ˘•) sengsanim? ↩︎

  3. The ground slanted downwards and was very much like stairs. Sutiben stood on the lower section and Jihae on top. Suti once again forced self to no look away from her eyes. If you can imagine, suti having to look upwards. By this time, suti actually getting a lil’ bit used to looking Jihae in the eyes. ↩︎

  4. Sutiben chose the one music video suti and Poochie worked on translating a few months back. We only got a few words but ’twas fun. ↩︎

  5. Hmmm, Chinese friend also likes Tennis very much. And if think back to the Taiwanese drama, It started with a kiss *shakes head* oh, suti no know. ↩︎

  6. Looking back now, wonder if she hinted at something. *looks at floor* suti no know how girls think think. ↩︎

Add new comment