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Chapter 2 “Hi, you must be Miss Smith. It’s nice to meet you, my name is Ken.” I think I looked scary and way too excited as I smiled at him, “Hi. It’s a pleasure to meet you,” I walked forward. I held out my hand to shake his, before I realized that this was an American custom, then realized my mistake, panicked, and bowed slightly. He laughed, “It’s okay, I’m pretty used to American greetings now,” he held out his hand and we shook. I smiled at him, grateful he wasn’t making fun of me. “Ken, you’re blocking the door,” I heard Hyuk say. I moved away from the door and Ken came in, followed by Hyuk who was grinning, “Hi. I’m Hyuk. It’s nice to meet you.” “It’s my pleasure to meet you too.” He moved away and Hakyeon filled the doorway. I bowed slightly at him, “Good morning.” “Good morning. Thank you for taking care of us and teaching us English.” “I haven’t taught you yet, you may not learn anything.” “They would not hire you if you were not capable. I look forward to learning from you.” I blushed and Hongbin and Ravi walked in quickly behind each other. ‘Okay Michelle, you’re doing awesome. You haven’t squealed or freaked out, nor have you gushed about your crush on Ken, and you will retain your calm façade and dignity even while meeting everyone. You’re doing good, doing good…’ I said to myself, trying to keep myself from bursting with excitement. “Thank you for teaching us English. I look forward to learning from you,” Hongbin said respectfully, with a warm smile. “I am looking forward to my English getting better.”
I bit my lip, trying desperately to not point out his adorable, yet very obvious Engrish that he used in his music and in many VIXX songs. I did however, laugh a little and tried to hide it with a cough. “I look forward to teaching you.” The last to file in while the others sat was Leo. He was quiet, as I expected, and shy, “Thank you for teaching us, I am Leo.” I bowed back to him, “I look forward to teaching you Leo.” He took a seat and I made my way to the front of the room, “Okay. Welcome to my first English class, to try to improve your English skills, and hopefully, help you learn a new language successfully. I am honored to be here and working with you, and I will support you and help you work hard.” “Please take care of us,” they each replied. After an hour and fifteen minutes, I released them so we could all get something to eat and get some coffee. I pulled out my protein shake and yogurt while most of them left. All except Leo, who was standing, but seemed to be in his own world. He was probably thinking about his song from earlier that morning. Pulling a paper bag out of my pocket I walked up to him, “Would you care for a Jelly Baby?” He looked at me like I was crazy for a moment, then looked down at my hand, “A…Jelly Baby?” he asked, sounding out the strange new words in Engrish. “Yes. It’s like…a little baby shaped jelly candy. I figured you might like to try one.” “Oh…thank you,” he took one, looked at it dubiously, and popped it in his mouth. Very soon, he grabbed two more, “they are very good.” I smiled in relief, “I’m glad you like them. They are some of my favorite too.” After he took a few more jelly babies, I put them up and went back to my protein shake and yogurt, getting ready for the second part of class. At the end of the day, I was proud that I had the basic concepts down and a few more vocab, on top of solidifying the words they already knew. It was a good base to start from, and I was going to do my very best to make it as simple and quick to learn as possible (but let’s be honest here, it’s English). After my class, Ken and Hakyeon chatted with me a for a bit, and finally they all filed out. I headed to the main office to give my report for the day’s learning, and then headed back to my apartment. We weren’t going to have class everyday with the same group, but for now he was testing the waters to see how successful I was at teaching English, so I would work two days, and have a day off, then work two days and have a day off so I had off at least 2-3 days off each week to do anything else besides work.
So the next day, my first day off, I decided to begin getting my bearings and set up my new Korean cell phone. How do I even get a cell phone? I decided to pull up my laptop and look up the information, and on the side, sent a message to some of my friends who’d spent time in Korea before. After a couple hours of research, my list of words to say for what I wanted in hand, and equipped with my “I’m not a stupid American” look, I marched to the closes store to buy a Korean iPhone. I was biased, I loved iPhones. They had always worked best for me, plus, they were pretty much the same price everywhere, at least, according to my research, so it worked out. Using a map I had printed off of the all the cell phone carriers, I went to the closes store for SK Telecom. They were supposed to be a bit more expensive, but had better benefits and customer service, apparently. That was vitally important to a foreigner like me, at least I thought so, so I decided to use their service. Finally, I found a store and as soon as I walked in, all eyes were on me. I had forgotten what it was like to be the center of attention because I was a foreigner. It hadn’t happened for a while now. I approached one of the clerks, “Hello. I would like to purchase an iPhone and get a contract for a year please,” I said politely, but firmly. I would not be duped just because I was a foreigner. “We have some phones here, if you would like to come look,” the clerk said with no smile. I could tell this was going to be a fight. After several minutes, I was trying to be firm but they were being so pushy! I was not going to be…okay, I’m a coward, maybe I can…no, I can’t give in —“stop harassing her,” a man’s voice said suddenly. I turned to look at the newcomer and practically choked. There was no way. Not in my dreams, never, ever, ever, EVER would I have imagined such a situation occurring. This was like, something from a story, not real life. It couldn’t be…
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