Korean Shopping and out to Eat

We are Americans who live in Korea.  Living in Korea, is not hard for Americans.  In this blog, I plan to write and put pictures so that Americans or others who are interested in Korea can see how we live.  We have been here for 12 years, so we have learned a lot that will help people who are interested in coming here.  We will take the readers with us as we move about in Korea and teach them how to do it if they want to do it.  Today, we went grocery shopping and out to eat, so I will tell you about our trip out.

To begin with, we live on the 9th floor of a very tall apartment building.  When we lived in Romania, we lived on the 9th floor for a while, and we thought we were very high up, and the building was 10 floors high, but the 9th floor is nothing here in Korea.  The first year we came here, we lived on the 24th floor of an apartment building in a small town, and we were not at the top.  Koreans build the tallest buildings in the world.  When they need a tall building in a place like Dubai, they bring Korean builders in because they know how to build tall buildings safely.  They have such tall buildings because the peninsula is small.  Everything is crowded in Korea, and the land space is limited.  All the apartment buildings have elevators, and it is common as in our building to have two elevators. One elevator only goes to the even numbered floors, and the other elevator only goes to the odd numbered floors.  As we get on the elevator on our floor, we notice a suit case sitting by the elevator we don’t use.  Someone has stored it there because no one will come out that door, and it isn’t in the way.  In America, we would never just leave a suitcase in the hallway like that, but it is okay in Korea.  No one will take it. If someone took it, they would consider it stealing. Children in America have a saying about things just left around, “Finders keepers, losers weepers,” but that is not a saying here. You just don’t mess with or touch anything that isn’t yours even if the owner is not there.

After we go down our elevator, you can see the signs by the elevators telling you which elevator to take from the bottom floor. You can also see advertisements written in Korean on those signs. Those are advertisements put there by real estate people who handle the apartments. You can see it below the signs telling which elevator to ride as well as under the mirror, two different real estate agents. You also see a sign that says CCTV. That means that you are on closed circuit TV. You are being watched.  These TVs are everywhere in Korea.  About 80% of your life in Korea is on film.  As we walk out, there is an office with windows. The man inside is a guard.  He stays there watching everyone coming and going. He knows what is going on. If you have trouble, you ask him for help. If you park your car wrong, he will call you up and tell you he doesn’t like how you parked your car, and you must come and park it again.  He also helps you with another problem in the parking lot I will discuss in the next paragraph.


If the parking lot is full when you come, but you must park, you may park your car in front of other people’s cars.  If you do this, a couple of things are required.  First, all cars in Korea must have the driver’s telephone number displayed on the dashboard for people to see. If your car is causing trouble where it is, they will call you to move your car.  You just have to be patient.  If you are in bed, you jump up, throw your clothes on, and run out and move your car. Whatever you are doing, you must move because if you don’t, they become irate and mean with you if you don’t move right away.  You have the right to expect them to move right away if they are in front of your car too. You just have to learn to have patience and do it their way.  If you park it the way it is in my picture, then, you must leave your car in neutral and leave the parking brake off. In the picture, you can see a broken brick.  In this particular apartment building, the parking lot slopes, so they will put these broken bricks under their tires to keep the cars from rolling.  If you come out and someone has parked in front of you like that, all you do is move the brick and push the car out of the way.  If it is too hard to push, this is when you can go back and ask the guard to help you push the car.


Now that we are outside, I decided to take a picture for you to show you just how big our apartment building is.  I kept backing off and backing off in the parking lot to get a good shot of it from the bottom to the top, but I just didn’t have the space to back up and get the top and bottom at the same time. This tells you these buildings are huge.  They don’t have earthquakes like in Japan. Japan doesn’t have much land space, but they can’t build buildings like this because of their earth quakes. Here in Korea, the biggest natural problem they have is the typhoon, and it is good to be in one of these buildings during a typhoon.  The wind can’t touch these buildings because they are made of concrete, and they are huge.  If it floods, and you live up on the second or higher floor, you are in business. No water will get in your house.  However, we had to learn something about living on the first floor the hard way because in the last apartment we lived in, we wanted the bottom floor.  The bottom floor is cheaper, and not many people want to live there.  When it floods, the water comes in.  When the snow begins melting, the water comes in.  When it is hot and rainy outside, the apartment on the bottom floor may start getting black mold on the walls.  The drainage system is not good in these apartments, and if you are on the bottom floor, you may have water standing in your bathroom floor. It is normal to spray the bathroom floors in Korea to clean them because they are completely tiled with a drain in the middle of the floor. In fact, if there is no bathtub, often, there is just a shower nozzle coming out of the sink for your to shower with, and you flood your bathroom when you shower.  Water in Korean bathroom floors is normal.  However, when we lived in Romania, living on the bottom floor of the apartment building was good because it meant that you would never have water problems, but here in Korea, living on the bottom floor says you will have too much water that will give you problems.

If you look at the outside of the building, you will see that every apartment has an enclosed balcony.  The balcony is not heated like the rest of the house, but it will be enclosed, and Koreans use these either to grow plants, to hang clothes to dry, or for storage.  In many apartments, they put the washing machine on the balcony.  If you also look on the outside of the building, you will see metal units attached to the outside of the balconies.  Those are air conditioners.  They don’t have central air in Korea, but they do have wall air conditioners, and in some cases, free standing air conditioners that stand in the corner of a room. They call these “air con.”  If you use the whole word, they will have no idea what you are talking about.  Many Koreans have air conditioning, but not everyone uses it because the air conditioners are electric.  If your electric bill gets too high, the electric company doubles it to discourage you from using so much electricity, so many people who have air conditioners will hardly use them even though it can get very steamy here in summer.


As we get in our car to go, you will see that I have an SM3.  An SM3 is a Renault built by Samsung. In the beginning, I didn’t drive a car.  Many Koreans and foreigners use public transportation which is really good here. Public transportation is cheap and efficient in Korea.  In America, only the poorest people ride a bus to work, but it is not that way here. Often, even people who have cars opt out to use public transportation on a daily basis and save their cars just for family outings and things like that because the public transportation here is really good.  There are buses, subways, and taxis.  They are all cheap, and I will do another blog teaching you how to use them.  I used them in the beginning, and they are healthy.  Everyone usually loses weight when they first come to Korea because they are used to going everywhere in a car, but when you are walking to the bus stop or the subway station, you lose weight.  At one point, an American called me and sold me his second hand car. I was thinking like an American back then. The car was cheap, it ran, and it would make our lives more convenient, so I bought it.

It was better to have a car, but I ran into some problems. First, Korea is complicated to get around in with a car.  When we were going with the subways and buses, it was easy to know where to go, but I was always lost with my car. I was always calling my friends, telling them where I was and asking how to get home or to where I was going.  I had to learn that everyone who drives in Korea needs a GPS, a navigation system or they will get lost.  I bought a GPS from the same guy who sold me the car that was in English. That was a mistake.  The way the Koreans spell things in English makes no sense to Americans in the beginning until we get used to it, and I was always confused about where I was with that GPS.  Finally, the transmission went out on that old car, and a Korean friend of mine decided she was going to take over and teach me how it should be done in Korea.  Koreans don’t buy second hand cars. They buy new ones. They also buy the newest technology.  Everything must be up to date in Korea. I told her I wanted something cheap, and she told me she could get me a good new car that was cheap on gas with cheap car payments. I told her I also wanted a small car because there are many very crowded roads in Korea, and a smaller car would be easier to get around in. She wouldn’t even consider showing me a car as small as I wanted because she said they were dangerous.  She took me to a new car show room and insisted I had to buy one of those cars, and she wasn’t going to help me find anything else.  She actually guided me in a good way,  I now have a car that is cheap on gas, has cheap car payments, has a good GPS, and has a backup camera.  A backup camera is a must in Korea. The parking spots are smaller in Korea than in America, and having a backup camera helps you park.  Trying to go into a parking space frontwards at times is just impossible, but you can back up into it with a back up camera easily.  With the new car, I had a special service that I could call whenever I had car trouble. I will explain the car services in another blog, but she guided me right.  Now, we head out shopping in our SM3.


The place we are going is EMart, the Korean WalMart.  It is like a super WalMart with everything available in one store. There are other stores like it in Korea, but usually EMart is the cheapest.  At times, we go to Home Plus or Lotte Mart. They are comparable to EMart, but not quite as cheap, but you can find things there that are not at EMart.  Home Plus has a lot of imports from England because it is actually owned by a British company.  WalMart was in Korea the first year we came, but EMart bought them out.  Like our apartment building, EMart is several stories high.  Instead of a big parking lot, there is a parking garage.  These stores and parking garages are not just in Seoul, but in every small town too.  We end up on the fourth floor of the parking garage because everything before that is crowded. Today is actually Saturday, so the store is more crowded. If we come through the week, there are less cars and less people because everyone is as work through the week, but today, everyone is out.

Like in our apartment building, we must start at the elevators.  I took a picture of something for you to see that is on every elevator in Korea.  They are warning signs not to touch the door of the elevator or lean on the door because you could fall and get hurt.  As we get in the elevator, you will here either nerocabnida or olacabnida in a sweet Korean lady’s voice.  “nerocabnida” means “going down,” and “olacabnida” means “going up.”  We actually begin by going down to the third floor.  There is usually a food court on the third floor of this particular EMart, but they have blocked most of it off.  This is something normal in Korea. Usually, in this food court, you get the choice of Burger King, Baskin Robbins, and any number of traditional Korean restaurants, but they have blocked the Korean restaurants off. I took a picture of the sign explaining it will be open again in June.  We are often disappointed when they do this. They just randomly close off a place you have been going for a long time and enjoying.  The business isn’t bad, but they like to upgrade everything in Korea.  As with my car, they like everything new.  Over at the mall, there was a wonderful restaurant called “Burger Hunter” where they had big luscious burgers and homemade potato chips, and we often when there with our Korean friends, but one day, they blocked it off. We had no idea what would be there or why they would block off such a popular restaurant. When they were done, they replaced it with a corn dog restaurant and a Mexican restaurant.  We go to those restaurants occasionally, but we miss our hamburger restaurant.  As for this food court, they still have Baskin Robbins because Baskin Robbins is very, very popular everywhere, all over Korea. It is is every little town, and sometimes on every street corner.  Koreans love ice cream. We also find Burger King.  Burger King and McDonalds both are popular in Korea.

We decided to eat at Burger King.  When you order at Burger King or McDonalds, you have a choice of how to order now.  You can either talk to the person at the cash register who speaks just enough English to take your order if you can’t speak Korean (However, we have been here for 12 years, so we speak to them in Korean), or you can use one of the new machines. I took a picture of the ordering machines for you, but I haven’t messed with them and never use them to order although many people do.  After you have ordered, they give you a piece of paper with a number, and they have a board where you wait for your number to come up, and then your order is ready.


After you eat, you are expected to recycle.  There is a trash can, but there are also places to dump your ice, put your cups, and put your lids and straws.  Recycling in a really big thing in Korea. This culture thinks that if you are a good person, you will recycle.  My son in law recycles in front of our apartment building once a week. I did it in the beginning when we first came because they encouraged me to do it, bu my son in law has taken over, and I let him. In one of my blogs, I will show you the way they recycle at the apartment buildings.


As we leave the food court, we pass an Italian restaurant.  It has a display case with models of the food. This is normal both in Korea and Japan. When the food court was open, they had models of the food with prices.  You chose which one you wanted, then went to the lady and told her which one you wanted. You paid for it, then she gave you a number, and you sat down and waited, looking at all the Korean restaurants knowing your number would come up on the sign board on top of one of them, and then when your number came up, you would go to that restaurant to get your food. It works the same in all the food courts here, but if there is Burger King, McDonalds, Baskin Robbins, or something like that, they are separate even though they are part of the food court.

We keep walking and go past clothing and jewelry.  As I said, this place is like a super WalMart and has everything. To get to the food because we are grocery shopping, we must go to another floor, so we take a moving sidewalk down.  At the bottom, we see the pharmacy, the “yakgook.” Yakgooks are everywhere, and it is very convenient to get Tylenol, band aids, etc., and to fill prescriptions in Korea. Next to the Yakgook, you also see a place where you can buy glasses, like a super WalMart. However, there is something I took a picture of for you that you can find here that you can’t find in American WalMarts that is very convenient.  If you lose weight or someone gives you clothes that just don’t fit, or just whatever reason, your clothes don’t fit, you can bring them to a place like this. They are all over the place.  They fix your clothes for you, and it is cheaper than buying new clothes.

We go on toward the place where the food is with our shopping cart on the next moving sidewalk.  There are many, many things available.  I took a picture of the candy isle. There is also soda pop. There is a bakery where you can buy all kinds of nice bread, cakes, pizza, muffins, bagels, croissants, etc.  We continue. You can buy already cooked, dried rice in small plastic bowls. When you take these home, all you have to do is open them up, add a few drops of water, cover them again, and put them in the microwave for a little, and you will have a nice hot bowl of rice.  My son in law says he doesn’t even add water to his.  To go along with these, there are several other things that you could just heat and eat to make your busy life easier.  These are just many packages of different dishes. My son especially liked me to buy the curry rice packages for him when he was here. My son in law likes the meat ball packages, the steak packages, etc.  On the opposite side from all this, there is cereal, all kinds like in America. We also recently got toaster pop ups, and that makes my daughter happy.

We go on through the store. We go past the coffee and tea isle where they have all kinds.  We come to the isle where they sell peanut butter, jelly, and even marshmallow cream.  On this isle, we can usually find imported canned goods of all kinds like canned fruit or pinto beans.  We can also find lots and lots of cans of tuna.  We don’t continue to the next isles because we really don’t need what is there, but in case you are wondering, there is sugar, flour, mayonnaise, ketchup, pancake syrup, cooking oil, etc. There is no shortening, but if we want solid shortening, we use butter.  We are headed for the butter and cheese isle where there are all kinds of cheeses from all over the world as well as all kinds of butter.  Next, we pick up milk, and you can get low fat milk. You don’t have to drink it with the fat in it if you don’t want to.

We continue on and see all kinds of exotic things. They have meat prepared for you to buy and cook yourself, but I have no idea what it is. When we get to the regular meat isle, we always look for chicken, pork, and hamburger. These are always much cheaper at EMart than in a place like Home Plus. Chicken is always there. Pork is always there, but hamburger is not always there. Even if hamburger is there, it may be so expensive that we won’t touch it.  If it is Korean beef, they price it off the charts crazy.  If they import it from Australia, it is half the price of Korean beef.  We never buy the Korean beef, but always the Australian beef.  At times, the beef is so expensive, but we still want the kinds of dishes that take ground meat. I have used ground pork in those circumstances. When you make spaghetti and meatballs for example, you really can’t tell a big difference between beef or pork because you have put your condiments, bread crumbs, and eggs in the meatballs and then covered them with spaghetti sauce.  The taste isn’t so different that it isn’t doable.  By the way, you can buy already made spaghetti sauce in jars.  We have tried the Korean brands as well as the imported brands, and we like the imported brands best, but we can’t get them in EMart. We have to go to Home Plus to get them. You can also use the ground pork for taco meat.  You can buy tortillas here as well as long horn or cheddar cheese which means you can make tacos, but usually, they will have to be made with flour tortillas instead of corn because corn tortillas are only found in import shops here, but you can find flour tortillas in EMart and Home Plus. Sometimes at Home Plus, you can buy packages of spices already mixed together for tacos or fajitas. If you want refried beans in your fajitas, you will have to learn to make them from scratch before you come.

After we leave the meat isle, we go on and see all kids of exotic things the Koreans eat.  We took some pictures for you to see.  We don’t know how to fix any of this stuff.  We go on to the vegetable and fruits.  There are all kinds of things to see here.  There are things we would consider normal, and some you may have never seen.  My daughter begins snapping pictures.  In one of the pictures, you can see plantains, cooking bananas.  When we lived in Nigeria, we used to buy these.  You slice them up and fry them in butter and put salt on them, and they are a great snack.  She also takes a picture of chamwee, or as some Koreans say chamway.  These are just two pronunciations we have heard for the same thing. They are small yellow melons.  I have never seen them in any other country, but they are good.  There is also a picture here of the Korean pears. They are big and round unlike American pears. They also keep for weeks on end in the fridge like apples unlike American pears.  They don’t bruise or go bad and soft quickly like American pears, and they are delicious.  There is also a shot of what Americans would call tangerines, but the Koreans call them kyul.  They are extremely popular here. They come from Jeju Island, the Korean Hawaii, an island to the complete south of the peninsula.  Many Koreans go there on vacation, and they bring these back with them.  These little tangerines are everywhere. Everyone has them. Everyone eats them.  When I get on a bus with other professors or with students to go somewhere, someone is always passing out kyul, their small tangerines. After class, often, students bring me a kyul as a gift like they bring apples to American teachers.  Kyul are just extremely, extremely popular in Korea.


Across from the fruits and vegetables, there is a special section.  These are supposed to be fruits and vegetables grown in a healthier way than the regular fruits and vegetables, organic, and they are more expensive.

After we leave the fruits and vegetables, we go past some more Korean delicacies. There is a picture here of ginseng. Koreans love ginseng.  They even put it in candy.  You can get on a bus and smell ginseng products around you, especially if there are old people.  Korea is the ginseng capital of the world.  They believe it is extremely healthy.  They were pushing it on me so much when I first got here, that I looked it up on the internet, and it doesn’t have as many special things about it that the Koreans think it does according to what I read, but it doesn’t stop them from propagating it, believing in it, and using a lot of it.  There are also pictures here of dried fish.  From what I understand,  you are supposed fry these, but I haven’t ever seen it done or know how to do it myself.


We also go past the paper products and the soap isles. We stop and take a picture of the soft plastic bag like laundry soap containers.  You can buy the regular packages here like in the States, but they also make these packages for you to use as refills for your heavy plastic bottle of detergent to make it cheaper.

Next, we head back upstairs on the moving sidewalk.  We check out at the checkout stand.  The store is crowded, so many people are checking out.  At the checkout stand, the woman will say to you “punktul dirilkayo?”  She is asking if you want a shopping bag.  You can answer in English if you say, “yeah” because that means “yes” in Korean.  If you want more than one, you will have to tell her, but she won’t speak English at all, so this is the first place you will probably have no choice but learn the Korean numbers.  In many situations, you won’t need Korean, but to check out, it is much easier if you learn just a little.  As for us, on this day, we don’t need shopping bags because we bought some with us. We have to pay for shopping bags in Korea.  I took a picture of our shopping bags.  The strawberry has a shopping bag inside, and many people carry these with them.  If you look at the blue ones, there are pictures on them.  They show you can shop and use them for trash bags.  You can only buy trash bags at the cash registers in Korea.  They have separate trash bags also that can’t be used as shopping bags, but they can’t be bought at EMart. You can buy bigger trash bags if you go to a local “super” which is what they call a small shop close to your house, but you will have to know how to ask for them.  You say “tsuregi punctul juseyo” which means please give me a trash bag.  They come in all different sizes, and you can either buy one or a package, and in the beginning, you will think they are expensive.  However, you won’t have to pay for a trash service. We actually use our bags that double as shopping bags for our trash bags. You have to buy the bags in your neighborhood or they won’t like it.  Every apartment building has a place where you deposit your trash in these special bags, and it is picked up once a week like the recycling.

Now, we are back in our car and leaving the parking garage. There are so many cars, there is a traffic jam coming out of the parking garage, and we just have to be patient. We are all waiting perched on a slope. It is hard to perch your car on a slope during a traffic jam. One false move, and you have hit another car.  Finally, we get to the bottom, and there is a little booth.  Luckily, at EMart, they don’t charge you to park, although, when they first put these booths in, they did, but now, they just count how long you were there and how many cars have been in the parking lot. However, if you go to a big fancy department store like Hyundai Department Store in Mokdong, you will have to collect every receipt you receive.  You must prove to them you have been shopping and not just using their parking garage for something else because parking can become a really big deal in Korea. If you have bought enough, you will not have to pay to get out of the parking garage at Hyundai Department Store, but if you have not bought enough for the amount of time you have been inside, then you must pay to get out.  I have actually found a way around all this nonsense.  When we go over there, the first temptation is to park on the pink floor of the parking garage because it has flowers, statues, etc., and everything is painted in pink for women to park there, but I don’t.  I go all the way to the bottom of the parking garage, in the deepest basement.  Very few cars go down there, so when it is time to leave, they may not have posted anyone at the gate and won’t have anyone there to charge you anything as you go out if you are lucky.

Our shopping trip is finished, and we head back for our apartment building.  When I get home, I plan on blogging before I forget what we did. On the way home, we talk about all the other things we do or can do in Korea that foreigners will enjoy reading about, so this isn’t the end of my blogging, just one blog.










Easy Japanese, Lesson 19, Days of the Week

Japanese English Kanji meaning of kanji

にちよび (nichiyobi) = Sunday (日曜日) ( Sun day)

げつよび (getsuyobi) = Monday (月曜 日) (Moon day)

かよび (kayobi) = Tuesday (火曜日) (Fire day)

すいよび (suiyobi) = Wednesday (水曜日) (Water day)

もくよび (mokuyobi) = Thursday (木曜日) (Tree day)

きんよび (kinyobi) = Friday (金曜日) (Gold day)

どようび (koyo-ubi) = Saturday (土曜日) (Earth day)


  1. かいが は すいよび です。(kaiga wa suiyobi desu.) = The meeting is on Wednesday.
  2. かいが は げつよび です。(kaiga wa getsuyobi desu) = The meeting is on Monday.
  3. きよかい は にちよび です。(kyokai wa nichiyobi desu) = Church is on Sunday.
  4. クラス は どようび です。 (kurasu wa doyo-ubi desu) = Class is on Saturday.
  5. きよう は もくよ びです。 (kiyo-u wa mokuyobi desu) = Today is Thursday.
  6. あした は きんよび です。 (ashita wa kinyobi desu) = Tomorrow is Friday.
  7. きの は すいよび でしだ。 (kino wa suiyobi deshita) = Yesterday was Wednesday.
  8. あさって は どようび です。 (asatte wa koyo-ubi desu) = The day after tomorrow is Saturday.
  9. おととい は かよび です。 (ototoi wa kayobi desu) = The day before yesterday was Tuesday.


Photo by CHLOE HUISS on

おまつり は なん よび ですか? (omatsuri wa nanyobi desuka) = What day is the festival?

おまつりはどようびです。(omatsuri wa doyobi desu.) = The festival is on Saturday.

おまつり は らい しゆ の どようび です。(omatsuri wa rai shyu no doyobi desu) = The festival is next week on Saturday.

なつ やすみ は いつ から はじめさすか? (natsu yasumi wa itsu kara hajimemasuka) = When does summer vacation begin?

なつ やすみ は あさって から はじめます。(natsu yasumi wa asatte kara hajimemasu) = Summer vacation begins from day after tomorrow.

なつ やすみ は げつよび から はじめます。(natsu yasumi wa getsuyobi kara hajimemasu) = Summer vacation begins from Monday.

スミスさん は なん よび に イギリス から きましたか? (sumisu san wa nan yob ni igirisu kara kimashitaka) = What day did Mr. Smith come from England?

スミスさんはもくよびにイギリスからきました。(sumisu an wa mokuyobi ni igirisu kara kimashita.) = Mr. Smith came from England on Thursday.

スミスさん は いつ日本に 来ますか? (sumisu san wa itsu nippon ni kimasuka) = When will Mr. Smith come to Japan?

スミスさん は すいよび に きます。(sumisu san wa suiyobi ni kimasu.) = Mr. Smith wll come on Wednesday.


Again, I will tell you to do what my Japanese teacher used to tell me to do. Read the lesson and understand it. Copy it reading outloud and making sure you know what you are saying. Keept doing it again and again until the sentence patterns and vocabulary gets in your brain. When you can, make your own sentences.


Basic Spanish, Lesson 21, Fun Drill

I taught a Spanish class today that the students really enjoyed, so I decided to try to see if I could duplicate it a little here for you guys.

¿Quieres ir a la puerta? = Do you want to go to the door?

Si, quiero ir a la puerta. = Yes, I want to go to the door.

Va a la puerta. = Go to the door.

¿A donde vas? = Where do you go?

Voy a la puerta. = I go to the door.
¿Donde estas? = Where are you?

Estoy a la puerta. = I am at the door.

¿Quieres ir a tu silla? = Do you want to go to your chair?

Si, quiero ir a mi silla. = Yes, I want to go to my chair.

Va a tu silla. = Go to your chair.

¿A donde va? = Where do you go?

Voy a mi silla. =  go to my chair.

Voy a mi silla. = I go to my chair.

Siente te. = Have a seat.

¿Donde estas? = Where are you?

Estoy en mi silla. = I am at my chair.//I am on my chair.


Now, let’s see if you can do what my students did.

Teacher: ¿Quieres ir a la puerta?

Student: _____________________

Teacher: ¿A donde vas?

Student: _____________________

Teacher: ¿Donde estas?

Student: _____________________

Teacher: ¿Quieres ir a tu silla?

Student: _______________________

Teacher: Va a tu silla. Siente te.

Teacher: ¿Donde estas?

Student: ______________________

Teacher: ¿Quieres ir a casa? = Do you want to go home?

Student: Si, quiero ir a casa. = Yes, I want to go home. ///No, no quiero ir a casa. = No, I don’t want to go home.

Teacher: Vamanos a casa. = Let’s go home.


Now, do this drill with another person again and again until it gets easy. I began just by walking to the door, and saying to my student, “Voy a la puerta.” After that, I stood at the door and said, “Estoy a la puerta.”Next, I walked to the chair at the front of the classroom and said, “Voy a mi silla.” After I sat down, I said, “Estoy en mi silla.” After that, the students took turns, and I told them to go to the door one by one and asked them all the questions. We did it about three times, and then they finally all began getting it right. First, figure out what the answers to the questions are by looking under the pictures, then let someone ask you the questions while you go to the door and then back to your chair, and you answer all the questions as you are going.


Basic Spanish, Lesson 20, More Verbs (Mas Verbos)

Last time, I told you guys about a song about dancing named “La Bamba.” “Los Lobos” have a version of it on Youtube, and it was originally put out by Ritchie Valens, a young artist who died too young. There is a movie about him that is really worth watching. It is a really fun song that has a lot of life. “La Bamba” is a kind of dance, but I haven’t ever seen anyone dance it. I think I put the lyrics elsewhere in another blog, but I promised you the lyrics, so here they are:

La Bamba

Para bailar la Bamba, (To dance the Bamba)

Para bailar la Bamba, se necesito una poca de gracia. (To dance the Bamba, I need a little bit of grace.)

Una poca de gracia. (a little bit of grace)

Pa’ mi, pa’ ti, y arriba, y arriba (for me, for you, and up, and up)

Y arriba, y arriba (and up, and up)

por ti sere’, por ti sere’, por ti (for you to be, for you to be, for you..)

Yo no soy marinero (I am not a sailor)

Yo no soy marinero, soy capitan (I am not a sailor, I am the captain)

soy capitan, soy capitan ( I am the captain, I am the captain)

bamba, bamba,

bamba, bamba,

bamba, bamba, bam

Para bailar la Bamba, (To dance the Bamba)

Para bailar la Bamba, (To dance the Bamba)

se necesito una poca de gracia

Una poca de gracia (a little bit of grace)

Para mi, para ti, y arriba, y arriba (for me, for you, and up, and up)

Rrrr, ja-ja

Para bailar la Bamba (to dance the Bamba)

Para bailar la Bamba (to dance the Bamba)

Se necesito un poca de gracia (I need a little bit of grace)

Una poca de gracia

Pa’ mi, pa’ ti, y arriba, y arriba

Y arriba, y arriba,

Por ti sere’, por ti’ sere’, por ti’ sere’.

¿Qué hago con mis piernas?  (What do I do with my legs?)

Bailo can mis piernas. (I dance with my legs.)

¿Qué hace ella con sus piernas? (What does she do with her legs?

Ella baila con sus piernas. (She dances wit her legs.)

¿Qué haces tu con tus piernas? (What do you do with your legs?)

Bailas con tus piernas. (You dance with your legs.)

¿Qué hacemos con nuestras piernas?  (What do we do with our legs?)

Bailamos con nuestras piernas. (We dance with our legs.)

¿Qué hacen ellos con sus piernas?  (What do they do with their legs?

Ellos bailan con sus piernas. (They dance with their legs.)

¿Qué hago con mis piernas?  (What do I do with my legs?)

Yo me siento en la silla con mis piernas. (I sit on the chair with my legs.)

¿Qué hace ella con sus piernas?  (What does she do with her legs?)

Ella se siente en la silla con sus piernas.  (She sits on the chair with her legs.)

¿Qué hacen ellos con sus piernas?  (What do they do with ther legs?)

Ellos se sientan en las sillas con sus piernas. (They sit on the chairs with their legs.)

¿Qué haces tu con tus piernas?  (What do you do with your legs?)

Me siento en la silla con mis piernas. ( I sit on the chair with my legs.)

Por favor, sientate en la silla. (Please, sit on the chair.)

Gracias, quiero sentarme en la silla. (Thank you, I want to sit on the chair.)

¿Quieres sentarte en la silla? (Do you want to sit on the chair?)

Si, quieres sentarte en la silla. (Yes, you want to sit on the chair.)

¿Te gusta sentarte en la silla?  (Do you like to sit on the chair?)

Si, me gusta sentarme en la silla. (Yes, I like to sit on the chair.) 
¿Que 'el hace con sus piernas? (What does he do with his legs?)

'El esta de pie con sus piernas. (He is standing with his legs.)

¿Que 'el quiere hacer con sus piernas? (What does he want to do with his legs?)

Quiere estar de pie con sus piernas. (He wants to stand with his legs.)

¿Le gusta estar de pie?  (Does he like to stand?)

Si, le gusta estar de pie. (Yes, he likes to stand.)

¿Te gusta estar de pie?  (Do you like to stand?)

Si, me gusta estar de pie. (Yes, I like to stand.)

No, no me gusta estar de pie. (No, I don't like to stand.)

¿Puede estar de pie?  (Can he stand?)

Si, puede estar de pie. (Yes, he can stand.)

No, no puede estar de pie. (No, he can't stand.)

¿Le gusta bailar? (Does he like to dance?)

Si, le gusta bailar. (Yes, he likes to dance.)

No, no le gusta bailar. (No, he doesn't like to dance.) 

¿Te gusta bailar? (Do you like to dance?)

Si, me gusta bailar. (Yes, I like to dance.)

No, no me gusta bailar. (No, I don't like to dance.)


Note:  The verb for "like" doesn't really mean "like."  "Me gusta" literally means "it is pleasing to me."  "Te gusta" literally means "it is pleasing to you."  "Le gusta" literally means "it is pleasing to him (or her)." 

Note:  When a Spanish sentence has more than one verb together, don't conjugate the second verb. Use it in the infinitive form which means "to _____." Examples:  "querer" = to want.  "Quiero" means "I want."  "Quiero sentarme" = I want to sit. 
"Quieres sentarte" = You want to sit, and as a question, it means "Do you want to sit?" The "me" means that I want to sit myself down (me= myself, or me.) The "te" means that you want to sit yourself down (te = yourself or you).  

Another example of two verbs together in a sentence:  "Puedes bailar" = you can dance. "Puedo bailar" = I can dance. "Puede bailar" = he can dance or she can dance. "Podemos bailar" = we can dance.  "Poder" means "to be able to."

"Te gusta sentarte" = Do you like to sit, and literally "It is pleasing to you to sit yourself," and if you say it like a question, it means "Is it pleasing to you to sit?"

Note:  "estar de pie" literally means "to be on your feet."  There is no actual verb for "stand."  They say "estar de pie" for "to stand." 

Note:  If you want to ask someone to sit down, say: "sientate" which literally means: "sit yourself down" or if we are being polite, "Have a seat." 

Note: "Se necesitas" = you need, literally "you need yourself."  "Me necesito" = I need, and literally, "I need myself." This verb is not always reflexive. You can say, "Necesito" = I need, and "necesitas" = you need, and "necesita" = he or she needs, "Necesitamos" = we need, "Necesitan" = they need.

If you want to learn this, find "La Bamba" by Los Lobos on Youtube and sing along. Also, copy the sentences saying them out loud making sure you understand what you are saying. Just keep copying until you can remember them and they become easy.


John 3:22-36 (요한복음 3장 22-38절) John the Baptist with a Good Attitude (세래 요한이 좋은 태도를 가지고 있어요)

Many people don’t realize that John the Baptist was not the only person who baptized, but that Jesus also baptized. (많은 사람들은 침례 요한이 침례를 주었던 유일한 사람이 아니라 예수님도 침례를 주셨다는 것을 깨닫지 못해요.) In these verses, Jesus and his disciples were baptizing in the Judean countryside. (이 구절에서 예수님과 그의 제자들은 유대 지방에서 침례를주고있었어요.) At the same time, John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because there was a lot of water there and people were constantly coming to him to be baptized. (동시에 세례 요한은 살림 근처에있는 Aenon에서 세례를하고있었습니다. 그곳에는 물이 많고 사람들이 침례를 받기 위해 끊임없이 그에게오고있었어요.) I find it interesting that he was baptizing there because there was a lot of water because many people argue that all you need to do is put drops of water on someone’s head, but that wasn’t what John and Jesus were doing at all because of the amount of water they needed to baptize. (많은 사람들이 당신이해야 할 일은 머리에 물 한 방울을 뿌려 침례를주는 것이라고 생각하는 것이 흥미 로워요. 그것은 예수님과 요한이 한 일이 전혀 안아요. 그들은 사람들을 물에 담그기 위해 물이 많은 곳에 갔어요.) I also find it interesting that the John who wrote this book calls baptism, “a ceremonial washing.” (나는 또한이 책을 쓴 요한이 세례를 “의식적인 씻음”이라고 부르는 것도 흥미 로워요.) This is what Jesus asks us to do many times coupled with repentance and belief. (이것이 예수님 께서 회개와 믿음과 함께 우리에게 여러 번하라고 요청하신 것이예요.)

They had gone where there was lots of water so they could baptize. (그들은 침례를 받기 위해 물이 많은 곳으로갔어요.)

The people in the Bible didn’t have the same arguments that we have today over baptism, but they had one over baptism here. (성경의 사람들은 오늘날 우리가 세례에 대해 가지고있는 것과 같은 주장을 가지고 있지는 않았지만, 그들은 여기서 세례에 대해 하나의 주장을했어요.) Some of John’s followers were concerned because Jesus was baptizing too and everyone was going to him for baptism and leaving John the Baptist. (침례 요한의 추종자들 중 일부는 예수님이 침례를 주셨고 모두가 요한을 떠나 예수님께로 가고 있었기 때문에 염려했어요.) They saw Jesus as competition to John, and they went to talk to John about it. (그들은 예수님을 요한과 경쟁하는 것으로보고 그것에 대해 이야기하기 위해 요한에게 갔어요.) They expected John to stand up for himself and tell Jesus to stop or doing something else to cause people to continue to come to him. (그들은 요한이 자신을 위해 일어 서서 사람들이 그에게 계속 오게하기 위해 그만두거나 다른 일을하라고 예수에게 말할 것을 기대했어요.) After all, when we feel competition, we don’t want to lose. (결국 경쟁을 느낄 때 우리는지고 싶지 않아요.) As human beings, we all want to be the king of the mountain. (인간으로서 우리 모두는 산의 왕이되기를 원해요.) We want everyone to do things our way and to listen to us. (우리는 모두가 우리 방식대로하고 우리의 말을 들어요.) It would have been human nature for John the Baptist to feel hurt and want to fight back, but he didn’t. (침례 요한이 상처를 받고 싸우고 싶어하는 것은 인간의 본성이었을 것이지만 그는 그렇게하지 않았어요.) He took a humble, spiritual attitude and told them that what was happening was supposed to happen. (그는 겸손한 영적 태도를 취하고 일어나야 할 일이라고 그들에게 말했어요.)

Like Jesus, John didn’t feel the need to be the king. (예수님처럼 요한은 왕이 될 필요성을 느끼지 않았어요.)

John the Baptist had the same attitude that Jesus did. (침례 자 요한은 예수님과 같은 태도를 가졌어요.) Philippians 2:1-8 says, “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on the cross!” (빌립보서 2 : 1-8은“그리스도의 사랑에서 위로가 있으면, 영과의 교제가 있으면, 부드러움과 동정심이 있으면 그리스도와 연합하는 격려가 있다면, 마음처럼 내 기쁨을 온전하게 만드십시오. 같은 사랑을 정신과 목적에서 하나가되는 것 이기적인 야망이나 헛된 자만심으로 아무것도하지 말고 겸손하게 다른 사람을 자신보다 더 잘 생각하십시오. 여러분 각자는 자신의 이익뿐만 아니라 다른 사람의 이익도 바라보아야합니다. 당신의 태도는 그리스도 예수의 태도와 동일해야합니다.하나님의 본질에있는 사람은 하나님과의 평등을 파악해야한다고 생각하지 않았고, 인간의 모습으로 만들어진 종의 본질을 취하지 않았습니다. 그리고 외모에서 사람으로 발견 된 그는 자신을 낮추고 죽음에 순종했습니다. 심지어 십자가에서의 죽음까지 도요! “)

We need to learn to do things God’s way, not our way. (우리는 우리의 방식이 아니라 하나님의 방식으로 일하는 법을 배워야해요.)

We are called to be humble. (우리는 겸손하도록 부름 받았어요.) We are called to be like little children. (우리는 어린 아이처럼 되라는 부름을 받았어요.) Jesus said in Matthew 18:3 & 4, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.” (예수님은 마태 복음 18 : 3, 4에서 “너희가 변해 어린 아이처럼되지 않으면 결코 천국에 들어갈 수 없다는 사실을 너희에게 말한다. 그러므로이 아이처럼 자신을 낮추는 사람은 천국 에서 가장 위대한 사람이다.) John the Baptist didn’t get mad because he wasn’t making himself the most important, and it made him important. (침례 요한은 자신을 가장 중요하게 여기지 않았기 때문에 화를 내지 않았어요.) We are told to love one another. (우리는 서로 사랑하라고 해요.) 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 teaches us how to love: “Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it s not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (우리는 서로 사랑하라고합니다. (우리는 서로 사랑하라고 해요.) 고린도 전서 13 : 4-7은 사랑하는 법을 가르쳐줍니다. “사랑은 참을성이 있습니다. 사랑은 친절합니다. 부러워하지 않고 자랑하지 않으며 자랑스럽지 않습니다. 무례하지 않습니다. , 그것은 자기 추구가 아니며 쉽게 화를 내지 않으며 잘못에 대한 기록을 보관하지 않습니다. 사랑은 악을 기뻐하지 않고 진리와 함께 기뻐합니다. 그것은 항상 보호하고, 항상 신뢰하고, 항상 희망하며, 항상 인내합니다. “) If we are like John the Baptist who refused to argue over baptism or who was the greatest, but simply tried to do what God said and gave glory to God then we too will have the right attitude. (우리가 세례에 대한 논쟁을 거부하거나 가장 위대한 세례 요한과 같지만 단순히 하나님 께서 말씀하신대로 행하고 하나님 께 영광을 돌렸다면 우리도 올바른 태도를 갖게 될 것이예요.)


A Korean Vampire Wearing Pajamas Covered by Hearts, A Nine Tailed Fox, and Body Switching

Often, as I watch TV, I sit and fiddle on my computer. This evening, while I was watching TV and fiddling on my computer, I began thinking about the TV shows that I miss from when I lived in Korea. I watched what the call the Korean dramas. They are not soap operas. They are long running programs with several episodes, and they are always clean. Often, they are romantic, and often also funny. I decided to tell you about three of them that I really enjoyed that you might be able to find online if you want to watch them. The oldest one is called “Anyeong Francesca.” Another is, “My Girlfriend is a Nine Tailed Fox.” The last one is “Secret Garden.” I watched several, but these three always stick out in my mind because I enjoyed them so much, so I thought I would tell you about them.

Anyeong Francesca, from what I understand, had been around for several years when I watched it. It is about a family of vampires, and it very funny. “Anyeong” is the Korean word for “Hello.” Francesca is a vamp looking vampire like Morticia from the American show “Adam’s Family.” She is a Japanese vampire. The vampire family originally comes from eastern Europe, and the leader of the family is a Korean teenager which turns things upside down in Korean culture. Francesca is not the queen vampire, but the teenager is. They left eastern Europe, went to Japan, and then came to Korea. They don’t normally drink human blood, and to satisfy their hunger, they eat pigeons. Francesca sees a guy that is on the verge of death and wants to save him. He is a big, clumsy Korean guy. In order to save his life, Francesca bites him and makes him into a vampire. He joins the family of vampires and is the one who wears pajamas with big pink hearts all over them. He and Francesca aren’t married. They are both just part of the vampire family, but the group’s identity is secret, so he poses as the father of the family, Francesca poses as the mother, and the teenager poses as a teenager. Francesca is always getting mad and chasing the guy who wears the pajamas with pink hearts with an axe. She goes into business cooking and selling pigeons. For a while, they all live in a van because they have no house. There is an old man who likes to spy on Francesca because he thinks she is beautiful, and he has a Barbie dolls he dresses up to look like Francesca. Francesca likes to gamble. She plays a traditional Korean card game. Anyway, it is funny, and I recommend it. It is a series, and it is clean and not even violent even though it is about vampires.

The next one I want to tell you about is “My Girlfriend is a Nine Tailed Fox” (In Korean: a gumi ho). This show was written about an oriental legend. From what I understand, the nine tailed fox originated in China, and she also exists in Japan and Korea. The nine tailed fox is a pretty young woman with long dark hair who is immortal and is actually a fox with nine tails, and men have to be careful of them. At the beginning of the show, there is a nine tailed fox painted on the wall of a Buddhist temple, and people go in and pray where there is a picture of a nine tailed fox on the wall. However, they notice that the fox is gone from the picture. The fox became a girl, and she is hiding in the temple. There is a boy who looses his shoe and goes chasing after it and accidently arrives at the Buddhist temple in the mountains where the girl is. He takes cover in the Buddhis temple, and he hears something, but he is supposed to be alone. The nine tailed fox begins following him around and driving him crazy. He ends up in the woods and she saves him, and that is how they become friends. At first, he doesn’t realize she is a nine tailed fox. You see glimpses throughout the show of the girl in her past lives where she is a pretty girl that turns into a fox. You also get to see the girl with big beautiful tails rising up behind her. She moves in with the boy, and he figures out who she is and is scared to death of her and tries to keep her happy. She needs to eat lots of meat, and she runs him out of money because he is afraid not to feed her for fear she will eat him. You also see a tokebi, a strange little creature who is also eternal and causes trouble like an imp. It gets quite funny. It educates you in an old oriental stories. Like all other Korean dramas, it is clean.

The last show I want to tell you about is called “Secret Garden.” This is a romantic story about a rich guy who falls in love with a poor girl who is a martial arts expert. The guy also has a cousin who is quite funny called Oscar who is supposed to be a popular singing star, and the girl likes Oscar and wants the rich guy who likes her to go away. The girls wears socks with Oscar’s picture on them, and it really bothers the guy. At one point, he decides to give her a vacuum cleaner because he figures out how poor she is, and she is insulted by the vacuum cleaner and takes it back to him. He lives in a beautiful house in a big, beautiful garden with a big pond in front of it. When she insists on giving the vacuum cleaner back, he won’t take it and ends up throwing it into the pond. She wades into the pond and retrieves it because money means more to her than it does to him. I can’t remember why, but the three of them end up on Jeju Island, a vacation spot in Korea. They are riding bikes through the woods. The rich guy and the girl get lost and end up at some sort of restaurant type traditional store in the woods. The person who runs the place puts some sort of a spell on them so the next day, they both wake up in the other’s body. They both really act crazy when they realize they are in someone else’s body, and they keep trying to figure out how to change their bodies back. The man runs a huge department store, and the girl in his body has to go back and run the department store, and he goes to her gym and tries to do the things she normally does. The man is a really chicken and can’t ride elevators, and the girl in his body is confusing everyone because she rides in elevators. This Korean drama was a hug hit in Korea. There are very few people who haven’t seen it and enjoyed it.

I also recommend “Lovers in Paris.”

As I said before, these these Korean dramas are great because they are funny, entertaining, and clean. These are just three of the many I watched in Korea. I have checked, and you can find all three of these on the computer. Just put the name of the show in google, and then write “Korean drama,” and look at what is there, and there should be a way to watch them. Another good one is “Lovers in Paris.” It is a Cinderella story, and it has a really ironic ending that I would love to tell you, but then I would spoil the show for you. The nice thing about Korean dramas is that they are all clean and entertaining. They are often romantic and often funny. I recommend that you try. The ones online are not all in Korean. They have English subtitles, and if you are lucky, you can find them dubbed in English.