Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Korean giggling

Around a week ago I was asked by my South-Korean classmate Jun to accompany him to a lecture about Buddhism. It was held in a conference room in one of the hotels located on Laisves aleja, Freedom avenue, the main street of Kaunas. Two other South-Koreans joined as well. So there I went, the blonde giant with three adorable Asians by my side. The lecture was given by a charismatic Dane aged 62. He told us about what Buddhism is and about what it’s not. He for sure seemed to have found his inner peace. His whole body language and way of speaking confirmed that. After around two hours, now being philosophically active about ‘space nature’ and ‘nature awareness,’ we kind of thought it was enough. Beautiful, this Buddhism, but during this lecture I discovered I am already a very happy person and that I don’t really feel the need to stir up more awareness about all my feelings and the world in which I live. My friends felt the same and when a bunch of other students decided to leave we quickly used the opportunity to sneak out as well. 

 Jun and Nienke last semester

Our bellies were crying for food and therefore very pleased to find out we went to Charlie Pizza. There I ordered a pizza for the astronomical amount of LTL 3,33 (which is € 0.97). During a well deserved meal we brought back some memories from last semester. One night Marco, Jun and I had a tasty diner at the sixth floor of the dormitory. In the kitchen there was a list with the word ‘dick’ and ‘pussy’ in all kind of languages which students were asked to fill up with words from their own languages. I was kindly requested to do so in Dutch, since that language was still missing. Without too much thinking I managed to write down around five different words for dick, even though there are probably many more. Also the South-Korean part of the list was still missing. I had never seen Jun being so uncomfortable when he was asked to write down one tiny Korean word. In fact, he started to giggle like a small girl. It took at least one hour to convince him that this innocent list couldn’t do any harm and that it was just for fun. He just didn’t have the courage to write down dick in South Korean, not even to mention that he would dare to speak it out loud. Yet half an hour later he slowly started to write something down being close to invisible. There it was. The scientific word for dick in Korean. When talking about this occurrence during our diner at Charlie Pizza Jun started to laugh again, as well as the other two Koreans. I challenged them to just say the word out loud. There would anyways not be anyone around understanding it. The giggling didn’t stop and I felt like a primary school teacher slowly losing track of this showpiece. Then out of the blue one of the guys mumbled a indefinable word after which they all started laughing from scratch. Fascinating, these cultural differences!

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