So for various reasons, I’ve had to take a taxi four times in the past week. Each and every single time, I’ve been unable to tell the taxi driver where I want to go, even though I’ve only got one destination, the same one each time.
Last year, if I was running late and I had to take a taxi to school, no one could ever understand my pronunciation of Baekyoung high school. This year, no one can understand my pronunciation of CheongPyeong high school.
Last week I had to call a taxi to pick me up from school and when I told him where I was at, CheongPyeong high school. He literally yelled at me to speak Korean, damn it! This morning, I was running late and I saw some students waiting at the bus stop. The local bus shelter doesn’t have any schedule or bus numbers on it, but since I saw students waiting, I figured I could grab the same bus they were grabbing. It wasn’t until I was impossibly late before the three of us realized that I was waiting for a bus that would never come, and that the girls were waiting for a friend who had a car! So I ran to the only taxi stand in town, told the taxi driver I wanted CheongPyeong high school, and he looked at me like I was not just retarded but purposefully trying to make his morning difficult.
So after morning broadcast, I asked my co-teacher if I was pronouncing high school wrong, and she said, “no! it sounds just fine!” I guess I just got lucky, because I have no idea what I did differently. Later, having to run to the bank and back between classes, I was fortunate enough to get a taxi driver who was excited to practice English with me. He, too, gave me a strange look when I asked for CheongPyeong Godan Hakyo. (I’d only just this month realized it was Godan Hakyo, and not Gotan Hakyo…once again, the “t” sounding letter “d” had messed me up) and he was kind enough to say it with me several times, and he corrected me to say GoDang Hakyo. Later I got the address of our school from DongJa, and looking at it, sure enough, the Korean hanguel alphabet letters phonetically spelled out Godang Hakyo.
Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you. I thought being yelled at to “speak Korean, damn it!” was too funny to keep to myself!