Last year, when I arrived in Korea, I decided that my first major language-learning goal was to order delivery from a restaurant…in Korean. The majority of people who own or work at restaurants in my neighborhood don’t speak a lick of English, so it’s pretty intimidating. I’ve had the phone in my hand several times, only to chicken out and walk to the restaurant.
Tonight, I decided to step up to the plate. I grabbed one of the seemingly endless stream of takeout menus stuck to our door daily and searched for something that looked delicious.
Unfortunately, this didn’t help my confidence as the menu is intimidating. Despite the fact that I read Korean well and had no problem understanding the menu, it made me nervous. Every page is packed with a million different options and exploding with bright colors and designs. After deciding that I wanted chicken, I found a page that wasn’t quite so seizure-inducing.
I called the number on the page and a Korean guy who sounded like he was about my dad’s age answered. That was a bad start because middle-aged Korean guys tend to speak the least English and have little patience with foreigners. But I powered through and told him that I wanted delivery. He asked what I wanted, and I told him. I didn’t want to give him the chance to spit out any super-fast Korean and confuse me, so I immediately started rattling off my address. As soon as I finished, he said “yeeaaaahhhh” and hung up. Success!
I’d love to stay and chat, but I’m HUNGRY!
Until next time.