Speaking in Korean – I had no idea what he was saying. But thankfully (and obviously) it was never anything too important.
I would turn on the TV. And sit..staring blankly as I flicked from Korean game show to Korean game show lost in the barrier called language.
I would then head to the bibimbap shop downstairs where I would eat my breakfast of ramen soup served by the same Korean lady conversing in only Ahn-nyung-ha-se-yo 안녕하세요 (hello) and Kamsamnida 감사합니다 (thank you). Every day her gaze would be attached to the Korean drama on the television set and I would sit waiting for her to finish cooking – hypnotized by the visuals. Was this – the Korean version of Coronation Street? Perhaps that is the Korean Pat Butcher? Hmmmm….
That was the problem in Korea – it was hard to make sense of anything. The choice of film at the cinema would be only the recent Hollywood releases – the Korean films for obvious reasons not subtitled – and living in a small town meant getting hold of anything translated into English was impossible (I mean it took me a month for gawds sake to figure out the difference between the pink and blue bin bags wondering why every time I left the apartment the Janitor would run after me in the street when I disposed of them in which I now know to be the wrong place).
And so I am quite excited about the London Korean Film Festival that will be running from the 3rd to the 17th November.
Not only does the festival host the best in Korean film but it also promises a range of subjects – from the North and South divide to light hearted comedies. It includes one of Cannes prize winners Ki Kim Duk’s ‘Arirang’ and a premiere of Arrow The Ultimate Weapon. On the opening night there will be also be a K Pop performance (YES! Korean Pop Stars! In London!) but who it will be is yet to be confirmed… Shinee? Super Junior? Generation Girls? The girls at my old school will be most jealous. But most of all I’m looking forward to being able to understand what’s actually going on instead of making the story up in my head. So…Korea – I welcome you to my world!
Here is the trailer for the film Sunny 써니 a light hearted comedy which will be shown during the festival:
They will… have subtitles right……?
See you there!