Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Jesus Loves You, and so Does Park

Lately I've been feeling like a zombie. I think that this is mostly due to the split shift schedule I have this term. Today, during my long break, I decided to go down by the river to exercise. Korea is full of outdoor exercise equipment. See below for an example:

Photo courtesy of
There I was, on my 500th (approximate) leg press, when a man came up to me and said something. I didn't quite understand him the first time, so he repeated himself: "Where are you from?" "Meegook saram eyo (I'm from the US)," I replied.

His next question: "You know Mormonism?"

Folks. I wasn't even wearing my BYU shirt.

I told him that not only do I know about Mormonism, but I am one. He got really excited and started talking about how he saw missionaries walking around close by. The conversation then transitioned to his home planet, Mercury. He pointed out his invisible UFO on the rive, which I admired with him. This guy's name was Park (which is a name shared by about 20 million other people in Korea. Seriously), and he was hysterical (not least I didn't get that vibe).

Then he brought me over to a bench. We talked about many things, including:

  • The 300 mountains in Korea. Park has climbed all of them.
  • The legend of Achasan. "Acha" apparently means "Oh my," which is what a king in the Chosun Dynasty said when he realized that he had sent a fortune teller to death on false pretenses. Happens all the time.
  • The difference between zebras and pintos.
  • The most popular refrigerator brand in the US.
  • A place with good tteokbokki in Sindang, a neighborhood in Seoul.
  • Why some people (50%, according to Park) from the US are kind and warm, while the rest seem to be unkind.
  • Why people pay for themselves when they go to restaurants with friends.
  • What my opinion was about marrying a Korean girl.
Unfortunately, I had to go to get ready for class, but he took me to a shop nearby and bought me some ice cream. Then he said, "Jesus loves you."

He gave me a hug, shook my hand, told me to look for him when I go to the river again, and said goodbye.

Totally random. And I loved it.


  1. I am giggling like a crazy lady.

    1. Camille, there's more. I found out where he learned his English...dictionaries. As in Webster AND Brittanica. No class, no TV shows, no interesting books. Dictionaries.