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.










Learning About Changing a Flat Tire in Oklahoma

Yesterday, when I went out of my house, my tire was almost completely flat. I was on my way to a Spanish Bible class, and really didn’t want to miss it. I decided the thing to do was just go to the nearest gas station and get some air in the tire, and then decide what to do after that, whether to find a place to get it changed or go on to the Spanish Bible class. When I got to the gas station, I know they had to have a place to air up tires, but I didn’t know where it was, so I went inside to ask. One of the ladies behind the counter directed me to the air machine. I pulled my car up close to it, took the cap of my tire, and tried to connect the air nozzle to my tire, but nothing worked. I really didn’t know what I was doing. I went back inside hoping they would give me some instructions on what to do. The lady who directed me to the air machine told me just to go back to my car, and she would be there in a minute to help me. She came and showed me a big red button I had to push. She insisted on putting the air in the tire for me. I appreciated her help and let her know, and then I went on down the road.

There was a red button on the air machine I needed to push to make it work after I put the air hose onto my tire. Photo by Pedro Figueras on
I didn’t do as well as the woman had done on Saturday. After I put air in my tires, it was still a bit low. I was learning.

I still had a decision to make. Should I go on to the Bible class or miss it and go directly to the Wal-Mart garage to get my tire changed? I wasn’t sure how late Wal-Mart stayed open and wasn’t sure I had enough cash to pay for it. I decided to go on to the Spanish Bible class and check how my tire was doing when I got there because it was close to Wal-Mart.
When I got there, it seemed that no air had escaped from the tire at all. I was encouraged, so I went into the class. After the class, I came out and checked my tire again. It seemed that no air had escaped at all, and that made me happy because it was almost time to get my daughter from work. I drove home and after a bit, I got in the car again to go get my daughter. My tire seemed fine, but I knew it wasn’t. I knew I would have to get someone to look at it and fix it even if it seemed temporarily fixed. However, I knew it was just too late to find someone to fix it, so we went on to bed.

This is not an actual picture of the church where we have been worshiping, but it is a big church, maybe bigger than this one. Photo by Xiaoyu Chen on

The next morning, I went out early before church to see what the tired looked like. It had lost quite a bit of air during the night, but the tire wasn’t flat yet. I told my daughter we would have to leave early for church so I could stop and get some more air on the way to church. I stopped at the gas station for air again. I struggled trying to do it myself because it wasn’t as easy as it looked, but I got some air in it. We drove it on into town discussing what we should do, go on to Wal-Mart to get it fixed or on to church. We pulled into the church parking lot, and it looked the same as when I had put the air in, so we decided we could stay for church.

We had barely enough time to get to the Wal-Mart garage before they closed. Photo by Pixabay on

After services, my daughter went outside right away to check the tire again. It didn’t seem to have changed. We thought perhaps we could go to Bible class after services too. We had never had our car looked at for anything at Wal-Mart, but I thought of their garage because it was the weekend, and I was afraid others would be close. My daughter looked them up on the internet, and they were open, but the website said the garage closed at 12:00, so we decided we had better go on to Wal-Mart and get the tire changed and go to Bible class next time because it was already between 11:15-11:30.

We were told to put our car between the wall and the cones. There was a line there when we did.

When we got to Wal-Mart, it was 11:45. We were hoping there would be no problem, and they would take the car right in and change the tire. We went in, and they told us to put the car between the cones and the wall. When we went back and got our car, there was a line of cars between the cones and the wall. We were last in line, and I was hoping they wouldn’t decide to just close before we got up to the front of the line. We finally got up to the front of the line, and there was a man there asking us lots of questions about our car so they would know what they had to do. He gave us a ticket with a number, and we gave him our name and phone number, and we left the car with the keys in it.

There is a Subway sandwich shop in Wal-Mart, so we ate lunch there.

We went into Wal-Mart thinking it was a good time to eat lunch while we waited for our car because we knew there was a restaurant in Wal-Mart. We at lunch at Subway Sandwiches. After that, we decided to shop a little while we waited, and surely we thought by the time we were finished, our car would be finished or almost finished. However, when we were finished, they hadn’t even started on our car. It made my daughter worry because she had to be at work at 3:00. There were lots of people trying to get their cars fixed, and the line was long at the cash register to pay for getting their car fixed. We found some benches and waited. My daughter just kept worrying about the time because she didn’t want to be late to work, not so much because it would hurt her with her boss, but because she has a job where someone must be there all the time, and if she was late coming, the person she would be relieving would be inconvenienced and have to stay late. She kept saying that she had never called an Uber (a modern Taxi company in America), but that she might have to if she wanted to be to work on time. I was really hoping she didn’t have to.

This is what the key to our tires looked like.

We got encouraged because they called our name over the loud speaker, and we thought our car was done. However, it wasn’t. They were looking for what they called “a key” to our tires, and could find it. I have seen many tires changed and my dad even tried to teach me to change a tire, but I had never heard of a key for the tires. The mechanic said that every car had one, and without the key, he couldn’t get any of the lug nuts off the tires. I suggested it might be in the trunk because I know the crow bar, the spare tire, etc. were all in the trunk. However, he went to look, and it wasn’t there. He came back telling us it wasn’t there and wanting to know where we bought our car. We bought our car from a mechanic, so surely he would have known about that key, but I didn’t even remember his name at that point. The Wal-Mart Mechanic suggested that it might be in the glove compartment, so my daughter went to check the glove compartment, and she found it! I felt like it was just odd because I had never heard of cars having keys to get the lug nuts off. My dad used to have a tool that had different sized ending on it that looked like the key to our tires to take the lug nuts off, and each ending was a different size, but I never learned what it was called.

At the cash register at the Wal-Mart garage.

My daughter said that by 2:20, if they hadn’t changed the tire, she would have to call an Uber. Luckily, about 2:15, they called our name again, and the car was finished. We paid a little over $60.00 for the tire and the taxes. I drove my daughter on to work.

The Wal-Mart garage is around in the back of the building.

I appreciated it because it was a real learning experience for me. I learned how to put air in a tire. I learned that if you get enough air in the tires, you can drive it on to wherever you need to go to get it fixed. I also learned that it takes a long time at Wal-Mart to get something fixed in the garage that only takes a few minutes to do because everyone is there trying to get waited on. I looked on the sign by the door that went into the garage department at the back of Wal-Mart, and it said they were actually open until 6:00 on Saturdays and Sundays, but it was kind of in parenthesis unlike the other numbers. I decided that maybe it is because they stop taking cars at 12:00 to try to be out of there by 6:00, but perhaps since they are there until 6:00, if it an emergency, they would take your car anyway after 12:00. It had already been too late for me to try to get my tire changed Saturday evening by the time I realized I had a tire problem, and I had suspected it. That is why I didn’t take the car there on Saturday. I also learned about the key to your tires. I had never heard of it, and both my dad and my husband worked on cars. My dad was good enough that he was hired as a mechanic at one point, but didn’t continue because he said it didn’t pay enough. You would have thought someone would have mentioned that key to me before because I can talk car engines with the best of them, check my own oil, add anti-freeze and water, give a jump, etc., but even though I had been shown how to change a tire, I never have. I learned a lot trying to get the tire taken care of, and I am always happy to learn. Finally, our tire is fine.


A Spanish Bible Class in Midwest City

This evening, I went to the Spanish Bible class again. It is in a different place every week, but this week, it was at the Autumn House in Midwest City. When I went to my car to go, my back tire was almost completely flat. I have never changed a flat tire, and we live kind of out in the country. I decided to drive to the closest gas station to get help. There was an air machine there, so someone helped me put air in my tire. I didn’t have it changed because I was already late. I was just hoping it would get me to my class, and after the class, I would see if the air held. If it didn’t, the class was close to Wal-Mart, and I know there is a garage there. However, even though Wal-Mart stays open very late, I don’t know how late the garage part stays open. I was just hoping my tire would be okay. When I arrived at Autumn House, my tire was fine, so I decided to go on to the class and look at the tire again after the class to decide what to do.

I began the evening with an almost flat tire. I was worried it could destroy my evening, but it only made me late to the class.//Photo by Gerd Altmann on

I went to the building, and the doors to the building were locked, but there was a speaker phone for me to call someone to enter the building. I called and told them I was there for the Spanish Bible class. After a couple of seconds, a lady speaking Spanish came on the phone. I told her who I was and asked if my new Mexican friend was there, and they told me to wait because they would come right away and let me in. A woman who was at the class last week came with a special card to let me in. I think the Autumn House is a retirement community full of nice apartments for elderly people with extremely good security.

Autumn House is a huge brick building that is put together like a dormitory with long halls with lots of door inside and small nice apartments behind each door. It has very strict security. Photo by Immortal shots – See latest on

As I entered the apartment, there were many women there who weren’t there last week, but some who were there last week were there. I learned they were from churches all over Oklahoma City. Not all of them were Mexican, but some were. Some were Puerto Rican, and one young girl said she was Mexican and American Indian from Oklahoma. Her Spanish wasn’t very good, but she was trying. One of the ladies from Puerto Rico told me that she grew up in New York City. She spoke Spanish well, but couldn’t read very well, and she kept trying to speak English because I was there, but kept destroying English too. There was a young woman with a baby from Chicago who spoke English and Spanish both well. There were just all kinds of ladies. The apartment belonged to a lady in a wheelchair that I had met at the Spanish Bible class last week, and I learned she was Puerto Rican. There were about 12-15 ladies in the small living room. I wanted to take pictures, but my phone is having problems, and it was impossible.

We began the class with a prayer, and then sang some songs, all in Spanish.Photo by Public Domain Pictures on

My Mexican friend began the Bible class with a prayer. Next, we sang some songs in Spanish. I can’t remember every one we sang because I hadn’t heard some of the before, but I remember we sang “Bellas Mansiones” (Pretty Mansions), and in English, some of the words go like this, “I’ve got a mansion just over the hill top in that fair land where we’ll never grow old, and some day yonder, we will never more wanter, but walk the streets that are purest gold.”

The Bible class was about managing our money as a Christian and giving to God. Photo by Pixabay on

After that, my Mexican friend asked me to begin reading from the book, “Hijas de Eva” (Daughters of Eve) for them. We took turns reading out loud in Spanish, and read all of a lesson called “La Viuda Pobre” (The Poor Widow). It was about managing our money as Christians and about giving money to God. An important scripture that kept coming up goes something like this: “Where your treasure is, is where your heart is.” There was a lot of discussion about earthly treasure and spiritual treasure. When we got to the end of the chapter, there were questions at the end of the chapter, and there was a lot of discussion about the questions. There was a problem because one of the ladies was insisting on something the others ladies didn’t agree with. No one got angry, but no one likes to disagree. When I choose something to study for a Bible class, I always choose directly from the Bible, then we have the authority right there in from of us, and no one can disagree. I discussed it with my Mexican friend after the class, and she understood why I thought we should be reading directly from the Bible, and she agrees with me. The book will be finished soon, and then we can go directly into the Bible. I didn’t choose the book, and I am glad they want to study directly from the Bible. God is the authority. The Bible is the authority.

The meat wasn’t chicken, but maybe pork, and the rice was like Mexican rice. Nothing was spicy at all, and everything tastes good. Photo by Rajesh TP on

When the class was finished, there was food. The lady in the wheel chair from Puerto Rico had cooked for us. There was rice that is very similar to Spanish rice, but I didn’t see any onions or bells peppers in it. Instead it had a kind of beans mixed with it that I had never seen. The rice was good. On the side of the rice, there was meat. I’m not sure, but it may have been pork because it was the right color and not as dry as chicken, and the bones just didn’t seem like chicken bones. They were shaped wrong. The pork had a delicious sauce on it. I tried to get a picture, but my phone is acting up. The Puerto Rican food was good.

After we ate, all the women stayed around talking. Photo by ELEVATE on

After we ate, all the ladies stayed around to talk. My Mexican friend sat next to me, and it was really good for me because we had a really long conversation in Spanish. We are really getting to know one another slowly. She is a very nice lady. When we were talking, she learned that I was a little bit late because I had a problem with my tire. She told me she lived close to there, and she would help me if I went outside and found the tire was flat. After we talked a bit more, people began leaving, so I decided I should go check my tire and see if it still had air. I told al the ladies “bye.”

When I checked my tire after the class, everything seemed okay. Photo by Lina Kivaka on

I went out to my car, and thankfully, there was still air in my tire. I drove home, and next I have to go get my daughter from work. Tomorrow morning is church. I just hope my tire lasts through it all until it isn’t inconvenient to have someone look at it and see if it needs changed. Until then, I have learned how to use the air machine at the nearest gas station, but it would be nice not to have to worry about it anymore. My evening started out shaky because of my car, but I had a really nice evening with the ladies.


Doxology (Imn de Lauda)

Buna Ziua. (Hello). Ce mai face astazi? (How are you doing today?) Sunt bine. (I am fine.) Sper ca tot prietnei me si sunt bine. (I hope all my friends are fine too.) Daca cititi blogule mele puteti sa vez ca laud pe Dumnezeu fiecare zi. (If you read my blog, you can see that I praise God everyday.) Merita lauda. (He deserves praise.) Si astazi, vreu sa te trimesc un cantec pe care lauda pe Dumnezeu. (And today, I want to send you a song that praises God.)


Imn de Lauda

Photo by Oliver Sjöström on

Praise God from whom all blessing flow,

Laudati pe Dumnezeu de cine tot binecuvantarele curge.

Praise him all creatures here below,

Laudati pe el, toate fapturele aici desubt

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Praise him above, ye Heavenly hosts.

Laudati a el deasupra, voi multimer Ceresc.

Photo by Juhasz Imre on

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Laudati Tatul, Fiul, si Duhul Sfant.

Photo by Pixabay on

Amen, amen, amen, amen

Amen, amen, amen, amen

Photo by Luis Quintero on

Praise God.

Laudati pe Dumnezeu.


Yo Creo en Cristo (I Believe in Christ)

Benos Dias. Como estas? (How are you?) Espero que estas bien. (I hope you are fine.) Ultimamente, he estado enviando alugunos blogs acerca de el nacido de Jesus. (Lately, I have been sending out some blogs about the birth of Jesus.) La gente por el tiempo de Cristo estaban buscando por el mesias. (The people in the time of Christ were looking for the messiah.) Dios hablo’ con las profetas del Antiguo Testamento y los dijo muchas cosas a buscar si se querian encontrar el Cristo. (God spoke with the prophets from the Old Testament and told them many things to look for if they wanted to find the Christ.) Si hacemos el estudio de ‘estas cosas, hay mas que ciento profesias del Antguo Testamento que cumplieron en Cristo. (If you make a study of these things, there are more than one hundred prophecies from the Old Testament that were fulfilled in Christ.) Es asombroso! (It is amazing!) Arestoteles dijo que si queremos probar que algo es verdad necesitamos al menos tres razones. (Aristotle said that if we want to prove that something is true, we need at least three reasons.) La Biblia nos da mas de ciento razones a creer en Jesus.(The Bible gives us more than one hundred reasons to believe in Jesus.) Y afuera de Biblia hay muchos razones tambien.) And, outside the Bible there are many reasons too.) Es obvio que Jesus es el mesias. (It is obvious that Jesus is the messiah.) Es obvio que Dios es Dios. (It is obvious that God is God.) Es obio que la Bibla viene de Dios. (It is obvious that the Bible comes from God.)

Yo Creo en Cristo

I Believe in Christ

Photo by Magda Ehlers on

Creo en aquel al que llaman Cristo.

I believe in the one they call Christ.

Photo by Emre Can on

Creo en aquel que in Galilee vivo.

I believe in the one who lived in Galilee.

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Creo en aquel que camino’ sobre el agua.

I believe in the one that walked on water.

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Creo en aquel que a mi me salvo’.

I believe in the one that saved me.

Chorus (Coro)

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!Si’! Creo en aquel a quien llaman el Cristo.

Yes! I believe in the one who they call Christ.

Photo by Pixabay on

Creo en aquel que en el Calvario murio’.

I believe in the one that died on Calvary.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on

!Si’! Creo en aquel que salio’ de la tomba.

Yes! I believe in the one that came out of the tomb.

Photo by Matheus Viana on

Y creo en aquel que mi vida salvo’.

And I believe in the one that saved my life.

Verse 2:

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Creo en la voz que de la Biblia me habla.

I believe in the voice that talks to me from the Bible.

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Que me cuenta como al ciego sano’

That tells me how he healed the blind.

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Cuyo poder al mudo dio’ el habla.

Whose power gave the mute speech.

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Por eso ‘El Tambien mi vida cambio’.

Because of this he also changed my life.

Verse 3:

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Creo en Aquel que a Lazaro le habla.

I believe in the one that talked to Lazarus.

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Al que la tomba saco’.

That he took him out of the tomb.

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Creo en Aquel que ahora reina en el cielo.

I believe in the one that now reigns in Heaven.

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Y que yo se un dia volver prometio’.

And I know that one day he promised to return.


해보다 더 밝은 저 천국 (There is a Land That is Fairer than Day)

안녕하세요. (Hello.) 잘지내요? (How are you?) 내가 천국에 가고 샙어요. (I want to go to Heaven.) 많은 좋은 기도교 진구를 많은 국가 에서있어요. ( I have many good Christian friends in many countries.) 하나님에서 맣은 축복들 받았어요. (I have received a lot of blessing from God.) 항싱 네 진구를 보고셉어요. (I always want to see my friends.) 하지만 이 새성이 노무 켜요. (But the world is too big.) 많은 이듀에서 내 소망이 촌국에 가요. (I want to go to Heaven for many reasons.)

해보다 더 밝은 저 천국

There is a Land That is Fairer Than Day

Photo by Skitterphoto on

해보다 더 밝은 서천국 믿음 만가지고 가겠네

There’s a land that is fairer than day, and by faith we can see it afar

Photo by Pixabay on

먇는 자 위하여 있을 곳 우리주 예비 해 두 셨내

For the father waits over the way to prepare us a dwelling place there

Chorus (후렴):

Photo by Dennis Magati on

며칠후, 며칠후, 요단 강건 너가 마나리

In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.

Photo by Daniel Jurin on

며칠후, 며칠후, 요단 강건 너가 마니리

In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.

Verse 2:

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찬란 란 한 주의 빛 있드니 거기는 어두움 없도다

We shall sing on that beautiful shore the melodious songs of the blest

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우리들 거기서 마날때 기쁜 낯 서로가 대 하리

And our spirits shall sorrow no more; not a sigh for the blessing of rest.

Verse 3:

Photo by Yulia Rozanova on

이 세상 작 벌 한 성도들 하늘에 올리가 만날때

We shall meet those we lost long ago When we rise to receive our reward

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

인간의 귀롬이 끝 나고 이별의 눈물이 없 겠네

Tears of parting no longer to know neither grief, only joy in the Lord.

Verse 4:

Photo by Luis Quintero on

광명 한 하늘에 계신주 우리도 마신고 살겠네

To our bountiful Father above, we will offer our tribute of praise

Photo by on

성도들 즐거은 노래로 영광 을 주 앞에 돌 리 리

For the glorious gifts of his love, and the blessings that hallow our days,


Quiero Cantar una Linda Cancion (I Want to Sing a Pretty Song)

Buenos Tardes. (Good evening.) Como estas? (How are you?) Estoy cansada porque ltamamente, cada dia mi hija me despierta temprano porque tiene muchos recados, y todavia no puede conducer sin yo en el coche. (I am tired because everyday lately my daughter gets me up early because she has a lot of errands.) Y despues de ‘esto, necesito llevarla al trabar y entonces la recojo tarde por la noche. (And after this, I have to drive her to work, and then pick her up late in the evening.) Parece que no hay tiempo a escribir mucho ni a trabjar o descanos mucho. (It seems that there isn’t much time to write a lot, neither to work or rest a lot.) Pero, despues de tiempo, tengo esperanza que todo va ser diferente. (But after time, I have hope that everything will be different.)

Photo by Cinestyle India on

Hoy un de mis mejores amigos en Corea se caso’. (Today, one of my best friends in Korea got married.) Si hubriera podido, lo habria adoptado. (If I could have, I would have adopted him.) Fue un de mis estudiantes, fue in muchos de mis clases de ingles, fue en mi oficina a estudiar Biblia cada semana, y fue en mi casa para cada vacacion.(He was one of my students, was in many of my English classes, was in my office every week to study the Bible, and was at my house on every vacation.) Sus padres no vivieron en Corea. (His parents didn’t live in Korea.) Porque nosotros ambos amos a Dios y hablamos muchos lenguas, podiamos entendernos muy bien. (Because we both love God and speak several languages, we could understand one another very well.) ‘El no fue de Corea, pero trabaja como un traducator entre coreano y ingles en una gran empressa. (He wasn’t from Korea, but works as a translator between Korean and English in a big company.) Y ‘el estudia’ hacerse un professor de la idioma ingles y un predicator. (And, he studied to become a an English professor and a preacher.) Pienso que puede hablar cinco lenguas. (I think he can speak five languages.) Quieria ir a su boda, y me contacto diciendo que queria que viniera, pero era imposible. (I wanted to go to his wedding, and he contacted me saying he wanted me to come, but it was impossible.) Esoy muy feliz por ‘el hoy. (I am very happy for him today.) Regreso’ a su pais, y como es costumbre en ese pais, sus padres le encontraron una esposa. (He returned to his country, and as is the custom in that country, his parents found him a wife.) ‘El estaba muy feliz que de leer la Biblia conmigo. (He was very happy that he read the Bible with me.) Y yo Tambien estaba. (And I was too.)

Quiero Cantar una Linda Cancion

I Want to Sing a Pretty Song

Photo by Pixabay on

Quiero cantar un linda cancion.

I want to sing a pretty song.

Photo by Juhasz Imre on

De un hombre que me transformo’.

Of a man that changed me.

Photo by Oleg Magni on

Quiero cantar un linda cancion.

I want to sing a pretty song.

Photo by Emre Can on

De aquel que mi vida cambio’.

Because of him, my life changed.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on

Es mi amigo Jesus, es mi amigo mas fiel.

He is my friend Jesus, he is my most faithful friend.

Photo by Stokpic on

‘El es Dios, ‘El es Rey, es amor y verdad.

He is God, He is King, he is love and truth.

Photo by Pixabay on

Solo en ‘el encontre’ esa paz que busque’.

Only in him I found this peace that I searched for.

Photo by bruce mars on

Solo en ‘el encontre’ la Felicidad.

Only in him I found happiness.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on

Quiero que sepas, amable oyente,

I want you to know, kind listener,

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on

Que Cristo te tiene amor.

That Christ has love for you.

Photo by Pixabay on

‘El puede darle sentido a tu vida

He can give feeling to your life,

Photo by Pixabay on

Entregate hoy al Senor.

Give yourself to the Lord today.

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Cristo tiene poder, nada hay que temer.

Christ has power, there is nothing to fear.

Photo by Designecologist on

‘El es Dios, ‘El es Rey, es amor y verdad.

He is God, He is King, he is love and truth.

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on

Solo en ‘El hallaras el perdon y la paz.

Only in Him you will find forgiveness and peace.

Photo by on

Solo en ‘El hallaras el Felicidad.

Only in Him you will find happiness.


Explaining Romanian Grammar in the Christmas Story, Part 8

Up until this point, we have talked about the grammar from chapter one of Matthew beginning at verse 18 to the end of the chapter. As far as the story there, Mary came up pregnant, and Joseph knew it wasn’t his. He was going to break up with her privately, but an angel of God came to him in a dream and told him not to be afraid to marry Mary. The angel said that the child was from the Holy Spirit and that Joseph should call the baby “Jesus.” After that, Joseph goes ahead and marries Mary, then Matthew explains that the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 7:14 prophesied that a virgin would be pregnant and give birth to a son, and he would be called “Immanuel” which means “God with us.” The unique thing was that Isaiah prophesied in 740 B, C., and Matthew was written some time between 50-70 A. D., and Christ was born about 33 A. D. It was a whopper of a prophecy!! Prophecies like this prove that God is real, the Bible is real, and that Jesus is the son of God because there are over 100 of them from the Old Testament that Jesus fulfilled. After that, Matthew said that Joseph didn’t sleep with Mary until the baby was born which means that Mary was not “forever a virgin” as some people like to teach. When the baby was born, Joseph did as he was instructed by the angel and called the baby Jesus.

Photo by Jonathan Meyer on

After that, we went on into chapter 2. The wise men came from the east because they had seen a big star, knew it means something special had happened, and followed the star. These men were Zoroasters from India who believed in God. They weren’t Jews, but they were looking for the one who was born to be king of the Jews. It is important to note that who the Romanian calls “Emperor Herod,” we call “King Herod” in English. I already explained that he was an extremely bad guy. He killed even family members to get into the kingship and then to hold on to it. He had bought his position from Mark Antony of Rome, yes, the same man who was known for spending time with Cleopatra of Egypt. Herod bribed his way into his kingship. In other accounts of this story in the Bible says Mary and Joseph had gone to Bethlehem for a great registration where people had to register in their home towns for paying taxes. There are only twice in history when this ever happened, and this and the name of the King is one of the ways that Bible scholars date the life of Christ in the Bible, how they figured out when he lived. Now, we are ready for Matthew 2:3. As far as a review of the grammar, as I will be explaining all the grammar in each verse, you will get a review as well as new information as I explain.

S-au tulburat. (They were upset.)Photo by Rômulo Carolino on

Matei 2: 3: Cand a auzit imparatul Herod acest lucru, s-a tulberat mult; si tot Ierusalem s-a tulberat impreauna cu el.

Imparatul Herod s-a tulburat. (King Herod was upset.)Photo by on

Cand a auzit imparatul Herod acest lucru, – “When Emperor Herod heart this thing.” This is a “when” clause. A clause has a subject and a verb that are not the main subject and verb of the sentence. This is unlike a phrase that doesn’t have a subject and a verb. A “when” clause is a dependent clause. That means that is is not the main part of the sentence, and it can’t be a sentence alone because of the “cand” (when).

The “a” in “cand” should have an inverted “v” over it, and it is pronounced way down in your throat. It is not a sound that is in English. To make it, make the sound in your throat and kind of grunt. “Cand” means “when.” “A auzit” means “he heard.” The pronoun “he” is embedded into “a auzit,” and you know that because of the “a” before “auzit.” When you see “a” and the “t,” on the end, it means that it is third person singular past tense. The pronoun could be “el” (he or it) or “ea” (she or it), but since “Imparatul Herod” is a man, we know that the subject is “el” (he). Yes, “imparatul Herod” is the subject, and it comes after the verb, “a auzit.”

In Romanian, there are a couple of specific places you could find the subject, before or after the verb. In Romanian, they don’t have the rule that the subject comes before the verb like in English. Their rule is, “Put the word first that you consider more important,” so often the subject comes after the verb because, in that case, it means the person speaking thinks what was done is more important than who did it. You know Imparatul Herod is a subject and not a direct object because if it were the direct object, it would have “pe” before it. “Pe” comes before direct objects that are people in Romanian.

“Acest” means “this,” and it is masculine and singular. In English, we only that “this,” “that,” “these,” and “those.” However, in Romanian. they also have masculine and feminine forms of each of those demonstrative pronouns. Yes, “acest” (this” is a demonstrative pronoun which means it points to something or someone. It “demonstrates.” “Acest” is masculine and singular.

“Lucru” means “thing,” but it could also mean either “work” (the noun) or “to work” (the verb). Here, “lucru” is a noun, and it also has a masculine and feminine in both singular and plural forms. There are an extreme amount of forms of this word. “Acest” and “lucru” match in number and gender. They are both singular and masculine.

s-a tulberat mult; – “he became very upset;”. This is the main part of the sentence, the independent clause. It has a subject and a verb without a word that subordinates it like “when” subordinated the dependent “when” clause. This part of the sentence could be a sentence by itself.

“S-a” is a contraction. I comes from “se” and “a.” Romanian has a tendency not to use two small words with vowels in them, but to make them into contractions. “Se” means “himself” or “herself.” “A” is the first part of the verb, “a tulberat.” “A tulberat” is third person singular past tense. You know that because of the “a” before “tulberat” and the “t” on the end of “tulberat.” This means the pronouns “he, she, or it” could be embedded in “a tulberat.” Since we are talking about “Imparatul Herod” and know he is a man, that means that the pronoun embedded is “el” (he). “Mult” means “a lot” or “very.” “Mult” is an adverb telling about “a tulberat.”

This part of the sentence ends with a semi-colon (;). This means that the sentence we just talked about and the sentence that comes next are so close in meaning that you could have put them in the same sentence, so the writer almost did. What is on either side of a semi colon must be a complete sentence. The first letter of the next sentence will not begin with a capital letter.

Tot Ierusalem s-a tulburat (All Jerusalem became upset.)Photo by BECCA SIEGEL on

si tot Ierusalem s-a tulberat cu el – “and all Jerusalem became upset with him.” “Si” should have a comma connected to the bottom of the “s.” “S” with a comma connected to the bottom is pronounced “sh.” The word “si” is pronounced like the English word “she,” and means “and.” “Tot” means “all.” There are many forms of this word too, masculine, feminine, singular and plural. This one is masculine and singular because there are no “a’s” in it and there are no “e’s” or “i’s” on the end. “Ierusalem” is “Jerusalem.” Often, where there is a “j” in English, in Romanian, there will be an “I.” “Ierusalem is pronounced “yehroosahlehm.” I explained “s-a tulberat” already if you look back in this blog. The pronoun embedded here is still “el,” but this time, it means “it” because it is referring to Ierusalem.” “Cu” is pronounced “koo,” and means “with.” “El” is a subject and an object pronoun which means it can mean “he” or “him.” Here, it is an object pronoun because it is the object of “cu,” a preposition, and “cu el” is a prepositional phrase. This means that, here, “el” means “him.”

Let’s put this verse all together:When Emperor Herod heard this thing, he was very upset; and all Jerusalem was upset with him.

A adunat pe carturarii norodului. (He gathered the scribes of the people.)Photo by Victoria Borodinova on

Verse 4:A adunat pe toti preotii ce mai de seama si pe carturarii norodului si a cautat se afle de la ei unde trebuia sa se nasca Hristostul.”

A adunat – “He gathered.” This verb, again, is in the past tense because of the “a” before it and the “t” on the end of “adunat.” There is a third person singular pronoun embedded in “a aduntat”” because of the “a.” We know that it is “he” because we have been talking about “Imparatul Herod.” “A adunat” comes from “aduna” (to gather). You might be interested to know that when the church in Romania comes together to worship, they call it “adunarea” (the gathering). In this sentence, the embedded “he” is the subject.

pe toti preotii ce mai de seama – “all the high priests.” “Pe” at the beginning of this phrase tells you that “toti preotii ce mai de seama” is the direct object because “pe” is used before the direct object that is a person or people. In other places “pe” means “on,” but not here. “Toti” means “all.” I already told you that “tot” means “all,” and I told you that word had a lot of different forms. This form, “toti” should have a comma attached to the bottom of the second “t” which makes it pronounced “ts.” The “i” on the end of “toti” is pronounced like the English “ee,” but it is barely voiced and barely audible. “Toti” is masculine and plural whereas just “tot” was masculine and singular, so that “i” on the end makes it plural.

“Toti” must be plural because “preotii” is plural. “Preotii” means “the priests.” Just “preot” means “priest.” One “i” on the end means “the,” and the other one means “s” making it plural.

“Ce” at the beginning of a sentence means “what.” If you say “de ce?” it means “why?” If the sentence is more of an interjection like, “How wonderful!” (ce minunat!), they also translate it as “how.” If you want to point something out as special, you can also say “ce mai mult de oameni” meaning “most of the people.” “Cel” and “cei” are also forms of this word. “Cel mai mare” means “the one that is the largest.” “Cei pe care vin” means “those who come.” This “ce” in this sentence points to the priests. In this sentence, this “ce” is a demonstrative pronoun that begins an adjective phrase telling about the priest. In Romanian, usually the adjective comes after the noun. At times, I actually translate “the” into Romanian as “ce,” “cei” or “cel” to put more emphasis on it. Romanian has several word endings that mean “the,” but at times, I want to make it a special “the,” so I use “ce,” “cei,” or “cel.”

Astazi, metropoli e preot mai de seama. dar bible spune ca Iesu e preot mai de seama nostri. (Today, the pope is the high priest, but the Bible says that Jesus is our high preist.)Photo by Pixabay on

“mai de seama” is a phrase that would literally mean “more remarkable” or “more notable.” The “de seama” means remarkable or notable. “Mai” means “more.” However, it must have “mult” with it to be “more” alone. “I want more” would be “vreau mai mult.” However, “mai” can be used as a comparative: “Mai tare” means “stronger.” “Mai mare” means “bigger.” “Mai minunta” means “more wonderful,” and “mai de seama” means “more remarkable” or “more notable.” This means these priests were the more notable priests, the ones that in English, we call “the high priests.”

si carturarii norodului – “And the scribes of the people.” “Si” needs to have a comma attached to the bottom of the “s.” This gives the “s” an “sh” sound. The word “si” is pronounced like our English “she” and means “and.” I have actually never seen the word “carturarii,” and it is not in the dictionary. In the English Bible, it says “teachers” here, but I know this word doesn’t mean “teachers.” I looked it up in the Spanish Bible, and in Spanish, the word they use translated into English means “scribes.” A scribe was someone know used to sit all day long copying books by hand. They would have had a lot of knowledge. In Romanian, the word for “book” is “carte,” and in Spanish, the word for “letter” is “carta.” That tells me that “carturarii” is probably “scribes.” There are two “ii’s” on the end of “carturarii” which means “carturarii” is plural and in English should have the word “the” in front of it. It would make sense to call a scribe because they see lots of books and learn from copying them all day. It also makes sense that in English, they translated this word at teachers because the scribes would have had lots of knowledge.

I have also never seen the word “norodului,” and it is also not in the dictionary. In English, they use the word “law” here, but in Spanish, they use the word “pueblo” which means “village” or “people.” In Korean, they use the word 백성 (bekseong) which means “people.” It looks to me like “norodul” means “the people.” That “lui” on the end of “norodului” is a possessive like apostrophe “s” in English. However, the word order is very different from English or even Spanish. In Spanish, we have “Los escribes del pueblo” which is “the scribes of the people.” “Del” means “de” “el,” which means “of” “the.” We have the same word order unless in English we want to say “the people’s scribes” which means the same thing. In Romanian, the “lui” is on the end of “norodului” like the apostrophe “s” is on the end in English, but in English, “people’s” comes before “scribes,” and in Romanian “scribes” (norod) comes after “carturarii,” (the scribes). The “ul” in the middle of the word “norodului” is a masculine “the.” I would actually have used the word “poporul” for “the people” rather than use “norodul” because you heard “poporul” much more often than “norodul.”

si a cautat se afle – “and he searched for them to find.” I have already explained “si” which in this blog. If you want the explanation for it, look above. “Si” means “and.” “A cautat” is “he looked for” or “he searched for.” “A cautat” is past tense because it has the “a” before “cautat” and the “t” on th end of “cautat.” That “a” tells you that “a cautat” is third person singular. This means that “he, she, or it” is embedded into “a cautat.” We already know the subject of this sentence is “he” referring to Herod, so I went with “he.” To say “to find” in a Romanian sentence, you would say, “sa afla.” However, this is another form of “sa afla” which is “se afle.” Normally, I would say this form, “se afle,” is just future tense third person plural. That means that “they”or “them” is embedded into “se afle,” but if you translate this as “they will find” in English, it doesn’t make any sense, so I left it with the infinitive “to find” because we can use the infinitive form at times to make it future, not always, but sometimes.

de la ei – “from them.” “De” can mean “of” or “from.” This “de” is just like the “de” in Spanish with the same meaning and pronunciation.” “La” means “to” or “at,” but in Spanish, it means “the,” so don’t too excited if you know Spanish because “la” never means “the” in Romanian. This means that “de la” means “from at” which is never how we would say it in English. We would simply say “from.” “Ei” means “them” or “they,” and in this case, it means “”them” because “ei” is the object of the preposition “de.” “They” is the subject pr0onoun in English, and “them” is the object form in English, so “ei,” here, is translated “they.” I learned to pronounce “ei” as “yey.” However, I have heard that in other parts of Romania, it may be pronounced “ey.”

Unde sa fi-e nascut Hristostul? (Where will the Christ be born.?)Photo by Jessica Lewis on

unde trebuia sa se nasca Hristosul – “where the Christ should be born.” “Unde” always means “where” in Romanian. Here it is used as a relative pronoun that begins a relative clause. This relative clause is used as a direct object clause here because it answers the question “what?” “What did they want to find out?” “Where the Christ should be born.” This makes this relative clause a direct object clause.

“Trebuia” or “trebuie” means “must,” “have to,” or “should.” My Romanian teacher had a really hard time with trying to explain to me how to use this this word. He said there was disagreement on how the word should be used. He said some people conjugated it, and others just used “trebuie” every time saying it should not be conjugated. I looked it up in the online Romanian dictionary, and they must have had trouble with it too because there is no record of it. I think it is probably a word that was conjugated at one time, but the meanings of the conjugations seemed irrelevant, so they stopped worrying about it, but some had heard the old conjugations, so still use them, but can’t explain them. Another form I have heard of this word is “trebuit.” “El a trebuit” is “he had to.” “Trebuia” is ” will have to.” “El trebuie” means “he has to.” Everywhere I put “has to,” “will have to, ” or “had to” can also be translated at “should” or “must.” We don’t conjugate “should” in English. We use it just as it is not matter if we are using past, present, or future tense. so in a way, we have done the same as the Romanians in English. This is a special kind of verb called a “modal.” In Romanian or English either one, we use this modal with the main verb, and we conjugate the main verb. In English, we understand the conjugation from the main verb, and in Romanian, some use “trebuie” the same way and decide the tense from the main verb, but others conjugate it. It is conjugated into future tense here: “trebuia.” “Trebuie” or the other renditions are always used with another verb with “sa” between “trebuie” and the verb.”

Some examples of how to use “trebuie”: “Eu trebuie sa merg” or “Eu trebuie sa mearga.” = “I have to go.” “El a trebuit sa mearga” means “he had to go.” “Tu trebuia sa mearaga.” = “You must go.” “Trebuia!” = “you should!” or “you must!” “El trebuia sa mearga.” = “He will have to go.” “Trebuiti sa mergeti”or “trebuie sa mergeti” means “you guys have to go.” “M-am trebuit” means “I had to.” “M-am trebuit sa merg” means “I had to go.” The “sa” makes “sa merg” into an infinitive, and it could also be said “m-am trebuit sa mearga.” Romanian grammar can get really crazy at times. I learned all these from listening because no Romanian could really explain to me how to use them. I just listened and copied what the said in the right place.

“sa se nasca” means is a reflexive verb in the infinitive form. The “se” makes it reflexive, and means, in this case, “himself.” If you only had “sa nasca,” it would be “to be born.” The English grammar is hard here too because “born” isn’t a verb. It is the past participle of “bore” used as an adjective or passive voice.

If it is passive voice, it means that something is done to you by someone else. Here are some examples: “He is loved by his mother.” In a passive voice sentence, the subject doesn’t do the action of the verb like in an active voice sentence. to say “He is loved by his mother” in active voice, we say, “His mother loves him.” It means the same thing, but the emphasis is put on “he” in the passive voice sentence, and on “his mother” in the active voice sentence. Another example: “The cake was eaten by me.” The “cake” is the subject, but the cake can’t eat anything. However, usually, the subject does the action of the verb. To change it to active voice, we say, “I ate the cake.” This sentence means the same thing, but in this one, the subject actually does the actin of the verb. If we want to know who does the action of the verb in a passive voice sentence, we have to look at the prepositional phrase, at the object of “by.” When my teacher taught me to recognize passive voice sentences, she taught me to look for “by,” and that usually works, but sometimes the prepositional phrase is left out. “The cake was eaten.” Is still a passive voice sentence, but it doesn’t tell you who did the eating. People use this form when they don’t know who did it or don’t want to tell you who did it. “Jesus was born” is a passive voice sentence. We all know it was his mother who bore him, so we leave “by his mother” off the end, and more emphasis is put on the fact that he was born. If I say “I was born on June 8th,” it could be said “My mother bore me on June 8th.”

“sa se nasca” seems to be just as complicated at the Enlgish word for “to be born.” It technically translates as “for him to be born himself. usually “sa” means “to,” but even in English, “to”‘ doesn’t always mean “to,” but “in order to” or “for.”

“Hristosul” means “the Christ.” This is the subject, but it is the last word in the sentence. This is because the author of the sentence was putting more emphasis on when Christ would be born than on “Christ.” In Romanian, they put the words they consider the most important first in the sentence.”Hristos” means “Christ.” The “ul” on the end is a masculine “the” that is placed before the noun in English, but after in Romanian.

Let’s put this verse all together: “He gathered all the high priest and the scribes of the people and searched to find from them where the Christ should be born.

Gramatica romaneaca poate fi treznit! (Romanian grammar can be crazy!)Photo by David Garrison on

I must say, “I am tired.” Just explaining the grammar in two verses in Romanian was crazy today because it got so complicated that even Romanian grammarians have trouble explaining some of today’s grammar. My Romanian teacher has a masters in grammar, and he had trouble explaining some of the grammar today to me. I saw that someone had posted on the internet once that Romanian was the hardest of the Latin languages. I was amazed because it only took me six months to begin speaking Romanian. I thought surely they were wrong. However, after having to explain some of the nuances in the grammar today, I am beginning to think that perhaps they were right. My kids all learned to speak Romanian without studying it, and I studied only a short time until I could speak. Kids have a talent to learn by listening and repeating like we learn as babies. However, it takes a baby almost two years to learn to speak and sometimes even more time. I learned a lot of Romanian just by listening and repeating like a baby does. Most adults have forgotten how to do it, but somehow, maybe because I have always been around foreign languages, I never lost the talent of learning a language by listening. As adults, we seem to need to know the grammar before a language makes sense to us, and it can take us a long time to learn to speak a language even if we understand the grammar because we forgot how to learn by listening.

Profetele din Vechul Testamentul au stiut ca Iesu va fie nascut. (The prophets from the Old Testament knew that Jesus would be born.) Photo by Bich Tran on

At this point in the story of Jesus’ birth, the Emperor or King (Herod) is trying to figure out where the prophets said the messiah would be born. Next time, we will find out what the prophets said because this blog got very long and complicated. You probably need a break as I do.