Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Development at Yoga

After yoga, we always sit on the floor around a table and drink some tea. Conversations go on around me in Korean and I usually have a conversation with my 72 year old yoga buddy. It has been this way since I started back in March. Last week as I sat down to drink my tea with my yoga buddy, the manager (owner) came out. She doesn't teach very often but she recently told me in her limited English that she really wants to learn English. She sometimes joins us for tea but what was unusual this time was that everyone got up and left as soon as she came into the room.

This left me and my yoga buddy. They began a conversation that got more heated by the moment. After about 10 minutes, I asked him what was going on and he didn't want to tell me. After five more minutes, I asked again and he said that the manager was complaining that we were talking in English too much. My yoga buddy was really offended and was letting her know. I was really shocked! I asked him if someone had complained and he first denied it but later confirmed that it had happened.

Apparently, people are wondering what we are talking about. In our defense, most of our conversations he interprets for the others because a lot of times I am asking questions. I know a little Korean but not enough to carry on a conversation. I do talk to the other women in the dressing room even if we don't totally understand each other. I've had most of them show me their phones which have pictures of their grandchildren.

Finally, after 20 minutes, she looked at me and said, "Becky! I love you!" I said, "Kamsamnida (thank you in Korean)." We then got up and left. My yoga buddy was really angry and I was still in shock that the whole thing happened. I have no idea who would have complained about it. My yoga buddy also said that they complained that when he spoke English, he spoke very loudly which isn't true at all.

Honestly, this did upset me and I wondered how I would feel about yoga. I am only going on Tuesdays and Thursdays right now because of how busy I am. When I went the following time after this incident, everything was as it always was. I decided to do a little shopping after yoga, and as I exited Home Plus, I ran into one of the yoga ladies. She speaks absolutely no English but we seem to communicate fine and she is one of my favorites. She always has a huge smile to greet me. She insisted on taking me for mandu for lunch. My bag was pretty heavy and she also helped me carry that with her taking one handle and me, the other handle. It's a common thing to see in Korea.

She ordered mandu for us and honestly, seven mandu fills me up. Somehow that got lost in communication and after the mandu came the pork cutlet above for me. I thought I would die! I was so full but I had to at least make an attempt and I ate half of it. She was watching everything I was doing and I didn't want to offend her.

While we were waiting for our food, she wanted to see what I bought at Home Plus. So I pulled out my spaghetti sauce, potatoes, milk... She was fascinated with what I bought. We had a great lunch and parted afterwards. It was a wonderful experience.

She did let me take a picture of her. I really need to learn her name but I have a hard time remembering Korean names. They are very different than U.S. names.


CreekHiker said...

Becky, I'm so sorry about all of this. I hope you keep going. I can't believe that instructor even humored such a complaint.

Becky said...

Holly! How are you feeling? We need to talk soon!

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