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Small Talk at the Han River - with Emi from Tokyo

I'm glad to introduce Emi to our readers. She is a foreign student studying Korean in International Language Institute of Hongik University. Emi is from Tokyo, Japan. It has only been a month since she came to Korea to study Korean Language. To help her get used to her new circumstances, I was willing to be her personal guide. We went on a picnic and I want to share our small talk from that day. Hope you enjoy it!

Emi Hi, Eonni¹! What are we gonna do today?

Dayoung I remember you said you want to try self-cooking ramyeon at Hangang Park.

Emi Yes, I've watched a video clip where JB of Got7, one of my favorite stars, went on a picnic to Hangang Park. He bought two packs of ramyeon and instantly cooked it on the spot! It seemed really fun.

Dayoung Then, let's go to the park exactly where JB visited. I found that it was Jamsil Hangang Park.

(Later at a convenience store in Jamsil Hangang Park)

Emi I'll pick Omori Kimchi Ramyeon.

Dayoung It seems that you're very fond of kimchi. Do you enjoy it?

Emi Of course, kimchi is my favorite. I love Korean food. There are so many delicious things to eat here!

Dayoung What is your favorite one?

Emi I can't choose one. Jajangmyeon, so delicious! Dak-galbi, I like it. Tteok-bokki, I love it. Oh, but Sundae doesn't suit my taste yet. Gopchang, it is perfect for me!

Dayoung I am totally relieved to hear that you don't suffer from the food. But don't you miss Japanese cuisine or home-made meals?

Emi Yes, though I like most Korean food, I miss Japanese food sometimes. I tried Japanese foods in Korea, but they're a little bit different from the originals in Japan. Besides, they are too expensive for poor students!

Dayoung Yeah, I agree... Japanese restaurants are expensive in Korea. While we're talking, the ramyeon is done. Let's move to the riverside.

(On a picnic mat, looking at the Han River)

Emi As I expected, eating ramyeon in front of the Han River feels really nice. Good weather makes it much better.

Dayoung Hangang Park is a perfect place for people who want a rest from their busy life in Seoul. Does Tokyo have any riverside parks like here?

Emi Tokyo has a lot of parks, but there are no parks along the riverside I guess. Instead, Tokyo has marine parks as it faces the sea. But it takes a long time to get there, different from the Hangang Parks of Seoul.

Dayoung I see... By the way, I was wondering what makes you want to learn the Korean language.

Emi Well, you know I've been a huge fan of K-pop stars like Bigbang and Got7. Recently I fell in love with Daniel of Wanna One! I hope I can communicate with K-pop stars when I meet them. That's why I started to learn Korean. And speaking more than one foreign language sounds cool, doesn't it? Haha.

Dayoung Yeah, it does. I think it is a good point that you have a good motive and aim to learn a foreign language. Most of the students in Korea study English for more than 10 years without knowing why it is necessary.

Emi I think English education in Korea is more intensive than in Japan. Japanese learn English too, but a large proportion of Japanese people can not understand and speak English well.

Dayoung Yes, I was troubled when I tried to solve problems in English while traveling in Japan. But I think it is no problem for the Japanese themselves. It only matters to foreigners who visit Japan.

Emi But for me, it looks really cool that Korean students are fluent in English. I'm totally hopeless at English!

Dayoung Really? Then haven't you read our magazine, The Hongik Tidings?

Emi Sadly, no. I first realized its existence when you showed it to me...

Dayoung Our magazine exists for students like you. One of the easy ways to get used to English is to keep close to the Hongik Tidings!

Emi Of course, I'll try my best. Haha!

Dayoung Okay, then let's go see a Korean movie. I know that studying Korean is more of a priority than English for you!

¹ Eonni is a Korean word used by females to address another female older than them who they are close to.

Yoo Dayoung  dpqxkaa@gmail.com

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