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Journals from Yonsei University, Korea

2009-09-17 Interesting Metro Ride and Film Festival

Everywhere you go in the city there are these banners and posters for CHIFFS, the Chungmuro International Film Festival. Chungmuro is the equivalent of Hollywood here. Anyway, I figured it would be a fun thing to do, so I got a group of people together to see a film. Movies here are typically expensive, so I was excited to see that tickets for the festival were less than $5. A group of five of us left from the I-House and hopped onto the metro to get over to Dongdaemun where one of the theaters was. On the way I was holding onto a handrail and talking to my friend when I feel a thwap on my butt. I know I am standing in front of some elderly people, so turn around afraid that I have somehow offended them. This old lady is yelling at me kind of aggressively, and I of course dont understand her. At this point I realize she is smiling and is motioning to her face. My friend who speaks a little bit of Korean translates for me: the lady wants me to know that she thinks I am pretty. I of course blush and respond in English with a thank you, but then use one of my two Korean words I know how to eke out a butchered version of "thank you" in Korean. The lady and her husband laugh and get all excited that I spoke Korean to them, think it is the cutest thing ever, apparently. When they get off at their stop the old man and lady come by and kind of grab my elbow and say a few more things to me that I cant really understand but from the smiling and nodding can tell were nice things. Definitely made my day. We went to try to buy tickets to White Butterfly, the only Korean film that was being shown that day. One of the guys had said on the way over that it was a total chick flick, so was excited when it was sold out and we saw Tracing Shadow, a Hong Kong film that ended up being a martial arts comedy ( I didnt know if it was supposed to be a comedy until the end, but there were some tell-tale signs. There were some hilarious music bits and one part about people trying to find Jackie Chan (his son was in the movie). The screen was bigger than the ones Im used to in the US, and the cool part is that they had English subtitles on the bottom and Korean ones on the side of the screen. I did get to go home with a cool poster, too--they were taking them off of the table and when I asked to have one before they threw it away they brought out 5 new ones for me. All in all it was a great way to end the last free day before school starts. Ashley Price Yonsei University Fall '09

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