Schoolgirl pen pal acquaintances
SO. Funny story.
Around the time I started NMC, I chanced upon a blog about Seoul written by a Korean high school student! Naturally, I was very excited. Naturally, I totally e-mailed the author to tell her that I thought her blog was cute, that I came to Seoul every summer, and that this year I would be studying there!
And then we became pen pals.
Ohmygoodness. AND THEN WE MET!
How weird, right?! Hyeonjeong brought her best friend Hyejin, and we sat at a cafe with iced coffees and juice and broken English and Korean communication and it was very cool. It was soso crazy meeting these very Korean high school students, and by “very” I mean the kind of student-in-uniform-that’s-studying-24/7-for-that-one-huge-yearly-Korean-exam-of-death-coming-up-soon.
I think the strangest thing to realize was how easy our completely separate worlds had just made contact. Hyeonjeong and Hyejin are studying constantly for an exam that will determine their college future, know American concepts like going “duh-chee” (Dutch) as Konglish words, and can be found in the subway on Saturday mornings on the way to their public girls’ school. And that day, I got to see a piece of their lives.
This world just gets smaller and smaller.
P.S. Hyeonjeong’s blog is part of a Korean nonprofit called VANK that promotes Korean culture to the rest of the world. One of their campaigns involves real Korean high school students that simply write about their lives in the city of Seoul. Why is Korea so innovative? I mean, is that not one of the best ideas ever?! (It totally worked on me, obviously.)