Posted by quirksalight on December 10, 2010
For me, a big part of traveling is absorbing cultural information and history, so I tend to hit the museums. Also, I really like museums; I think it may have had something to do with growing up with easy access to the Smithsonian.
Jen and I started the museums at the Hong Kong History museum, after a dim sum brunch. When we got there, we got the week-long, all-museum access pass (which is an AMAZING deal, $30 HK for 7 museums).
We get stamped in, and of course, the usual random chitchat with the ticket attendant about where we’re coming from, etc. Upon finding out that I was from Korea, she told me that my English was really good for a Korean, to which I answered that I was an American.
Finding out that I was bilingual in English and Korean, the ticket attendant asked if I could tell her how to say a couple phrases in Korean for the tourists that come by. She was pretty happy and excited that I could, and so I helped her with the translation and pronunciation in English for “Opens at 1 o’clock” and “How many tickets”.
Pretty neat. And later, when we needed to get back to an exhibit, she called the other museum guard to let us in. 🙂
Posted in adventure, ancedotes, history, Hong Kong, Korean, museums, travel, vacation | Tagged: travel, vacation | 1 Comment »
Posted by quirksalight on August 2, 2010
I’ve been at Embassy Seoul for little over a month now, and it’s been a rollercoaster. From running around, planning visits, to meeting contacts, managing (actually, more being managed BY) the LES, and mentoring interns, it’s been a trip. For the most part very good, some low points of frustration and wanting to hit my head against a wall as I scrabble up the “learning curve”. Though, at times, it definitely feels like a cliff. But I’m getting it. And the little things makes me smile.
Getting up at 3am, running around on adrenaline and realizing at the end of the day, EVERYTHING was OK.
Laughing with a new contact as an introductory interview becomes more of a conversation between new-found friends.
Realizing that I CAN conduct at least a part of a meeting in Korean – well, it was about food, eating, Iftar and Ramadan – but STILL… no translator needed for that, and it was official, with some technical words and stuff! 🙂
Amazon delivers in a week – no extra shipping charges. I ❤ APO.
Yongsan has an amazing library; with better hours than back home!!!
And realizing that my creative skills weren't rusty – I make damn good mango-banana bread, and assembled my own pillow-top bed.
Posted in adventure, amusing, ancedotes, Books, Embassy Seoul, geek, Humor, Korea, Korean, language, meeting, Seoul, work | Tagged: Foreign Service, Seoul, thoughtstream | 1 Comment »
Posted by quirksalight on August 11, 2009
Just found out that I passed the phone test for Korean, but they wouldn’t disclose the score. Passing is a 2/5 using the ILR scoring system. Now my score is a 5.7 (5.3 + 0.4 language bonus) which would put me a little higher on the register when I actually get on it. (think positive! 😛 )
So… back to waiting for security….
Posted in application, Korean, language | Tagged: exam, Foreign Service | Leave a Comment »
Posted by quirksalight on August 5, 2009
Tuesday (Aug 4th) was also the Korean language test. Just speaking, over the phone. Passing with a 2/5 proficiency would give me an extra 0.4 on my ranking, which would allow me to get off the roster for training faster. (once I get ON the roster after all the clearances and the suitability review are finished)
The scale that the Foreign Service uses is here.
My language test was about 30 minutes long and run by two examiners; one speaking in English and the other in Korean. The English speaking examiner was the one giving the instructions and listening in to my conversation with the Korean speaking examiner. There were three separate sections. The first was free conversation. The second was a directed conversation about a given topic. And the third was an interview style, where I had to ask the Korean speaking examiner questions about a given topic, and then report back the results in English to the English speaking examiner. That’s it. Apparently I can call in to find out my results in about a week.
Posted in application, Korean, language | Tagged: Foreign Service | 2 Comments »
Posted by quirksalight on January 30, 2009
North Korea tears up agreements
Great…. Slow deterioration of N-S Korean relations….no bilateral agreements, closing of South Korean industrial investment zones in the North… I’m not sure if it’s good that I’m leaving or if I should stick around to see it play out.
Posted in Korean, news, Politics | Tagged: Korea, North Korea, Politics | Leave a Comment »
Posted by quirksalight on December 6, 2008
Posted in history, Korea, Korean, military, People, Politics, US history | Tagged: atrocities, history, Korea, US | Leave a Comment »