June 22, 2012

ARNABabe: Lost in Translation

Several Korean guys had spent a couple of hours coaching me how to say "What is your phone number?" in the local tongue. The phrase was many syllables long so I had a tough time memorizing it. Putting my new found knowledge into practice, I was able to successfully secure the digits of a stunning Seoul beauty despite committing some major blunders.

Me: Jonhabonhogamoeiyo?
Beauty: Do you even know my name?
Me: No. Do you know mine?
Beauty: Arnab.
Me: Oh...

Her voice was so melodious I had failed to capture the meaning behind the sounds she was making when she was first introducing herself. I gave her my phone and she dialed her number. For the follow up a few days later, I used a non verbal and harmless text message to query whether she was free for dinner.

She was grossly offended that I had offered her free dinner as "Korean girls are not so cheap". This time the miscommunication could be attributed to the language barrier. Tragically, the story came to a premature end before we could become Seoul-mates.


"To cement a new friendship, especially between foreigners or persons of a different social world, a spark with which both were secretly charged must fly from person to person, and cut across the accidents of place and time." - Cornelia Otis Skinner