Okay, that's a total lie. The truth is that I've found one woman isn't enough to handle all my manly manliness, so I'm dating three.
Okay, that's a total lie, too, though clearly more credible than the first one. Actually, this is Kate Yook, our school counselor, on the left; Qin Jie, our Chinese teacher, on the right, and Ms. Jeon, who comes in once a week to teach Korean to Qinjie and me, in the middle. We all had a dinner date tonight, in the Konkuk University area, which is famous for block after block of (genuine) Chinese restaurants. (If you're used to American "Chinese" food... yeah, that ain't Chinese food... notice, in the photo, the huge yin/yang-shaped pot of two kinds of soup; there were spiced sliced potatoes and corn salad with a touch of hot peppers and a couple of bottles of Tsingtao beer... no veggie fried rice or General Kapow chicken here.)
It was an exhilarating and enervating dinner; Qinjie speaks Chinese and English, Ms. Jeon Korean and Chinese, Kate Korean and English, and I English and Elvish. So the conversation sped ahead, halted, limped forward, looked over its shoulder, scratched an itch, and hopped on one foot. Mostly Ms. Jeon (Jeon Seonsangnim--Jeon Teacher--in Korean terms) would ask me questions in Korean and I would understand a quarter of the words, or Kate would explain something to me, or... well, once Qinjie told me an American friend had taught her a French term: "menage a trois". I explained what it means: "When three people love each other very, very much..."
It was really nice, being invited out to someplace I haven't been and just sharing food and time with these women, none of whom I ever would have met in my "real" life.
The Korean class is going well. Qinjie and I had coffee on Sunday and studied together. Both Kate and one of my students told me yesterday that my pronunciation is really good, almost without accent, and Kate and Jeon Teacher agree that I have enough vocabulary (mostly nouns) that when I get a little more practice with verbs and grammar, I'll actually be intelligible in simple, basic conversations.
I feel that, after many false starts, I have the key in my hand and I just have to fit it in the keyhole and turn the knob.
And I'd long forgotten the satisfaction of working to learn something. It's nice to have that feeling back.
And to be dating all the members of a K-pop girl group. That's cool too.