Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Could Zeus be off to the Land of Morning Calm?

While on Spring Break, I noticed the human pet studying some rather interesting symbols. I had never seen these before, and so I took note of them:

너가 이는 까 라고 여보세요

When I asked the human pet what it said, she said it meant, "Hello. How are you?" I then asked her what language it was, and she said she was teaching herself Hangul: the native alphabet of the Korean language and official script for both South and North Korea.

Raising an eyebrow, I inquired, "Why are you teaching yourself? Are we planning on going there?"

"Well, it's possible. However, it's just as possible that we go to Japan or China, even Taiwan or Thailand."

I sat back on my haunches and looked at her blankly. "You're serious?"

"Yes, Zeus. I'm serious. There's plenty of opportunities out there for someone with my background, and once graduate school is finished, it'd be nice to have some sort of game plan. I'm just investigating which country I think is best." It was then I noticed two books on Korean culture and history sitting beside her.

She was serious. She'd started reading.

Since having this conversation with my pet, I have mentally resigned myself to becoming an international diplomat. I suppose I would make a good choice for such a task, but I never thought it would be thrust upon me. I have a few years yet so I think I can come to acceptance by then.

On a different note, though, if anyone who reads this blog has any knowledge as to what materials exist for practicing the actual writing of Hangul, please send me an email. (It's one thing to be able to read it and another to actually write it!) Through various searches for my pet, I have located minimal resources at best.

Another bothersome detail is that there are no local programs for teaching the Korean language. If you know of any program (either sponsored by a college or through a faith community of some sort) within the Houston area or recommend any language software for learning, please send me an email as well.


The Meezers said...

we fink that you would make a great foreign diplomat.

Anonymous said...

Your human pet may be able to find somebody willing to help her or give her more information by contacting a Korean church in your city. Korean Christians in the USA often prefer to attend Korean Churches and they may be listed in the yellow pages.

Exciting prospects for both of you!!!!!

Sparky Duck said...

my cousin is currently in So. Korea teaching the english language. He seems to be having a great, but exhausting time. If you have questions, i can ask em or get his email address or whatever

though zeus, um what about quarantine?

Anonymous said...

Holy crap! When did you plan on telling my human pet?
~Henry, Portsmouth, NH

Cheysuli said...

Zeus, I can't think of anyone more suited to be a diplomat.

I do have to ask you about quarrantine as well. I think that would be a great hassle.

kailani said...

My MIL is from South Korea, I could ask her. Oh wait, that would mean I actually have to talk to her. Hmmm . . .

yao-lin said...

I really can't think of anything intelligent to say. So I will simply say this: don't they eat cats in Korea?

Zeus said...

The quarantine is only ten days to the best of my knowledge, provided all vaccinations required by South Korea are in order. My human pet is allowed to both visit and provide food for me while I am there.

As for cat-eating, I have not heard of this occuring. Raising dogs for food, however, is a culturally accepted practice in Korea. I will have to look deeper to find out if the same can be said for felines.

Bob-kat said...

I think you would make an excellent diplomat Zeus! Wishing your human pet lots of luck with her study adn research. It is always good to have a plan!

Carmen said...

Zeus, make sure your human pet checks on the rules for bringing you into those countries. I wanted to move to Australia, but Pooh would've had to be in quarantine for 6 months!

Daphne said...

gosh, your pet must be smart, Zeus!

And I think you'd make an awesome ambassador!

fivefamous said...

hi zeus' human pet. you left a message on my blog a while back, when i posted about Mia having a big litter.

anyways, i'm korean-american and have been living in korea for the past 2 years. it'd be great to meet zeus and isis in person!

the advice about finding a korean church is probably your best bet. you can probably exchange korean lessons for some kind of tutoring. for something off the top of my head, you can go to Sogang University's online learning modules. i actually took classes at the school, which were great. you can find the link here: http://korean.sogang.ac.kr/

as for quarantine, it's not that bad coming into korea, but i've heard from many people that it's nigh impossible getting back into the US. homeland security is being very careful about suicide kitties.

* 여보세요 = hello
* 너가 이는 까 라고 = you are peeling this, or something...

let me know if you have any questions!

DaisyMae Maus said...

I think that you'd be an excellent feline ambassador to Korea! You have the right catitude already, Zeus!

PrincessMia said...

Zeus, that sounds fabulous. You will definitely make a great diplomat. I have found the place for you

Zeus said...

Thanks Five for the advice. It's still a very long way away from now, but it helps to find out more information. There's been lots of reading going on around here involving South Asia so I'm sure as time moves along, the decision will be narrowed down.

I had not heard of suicide kitties. Would you possibly be able to provide links to information I could read up on?

Thanks for the corrections as well. Lord knows she tries as hard as she can. I'll remind her she was wrong. It's always a pleasure to do that for someone. ;)

Thank you, Miss Mia! The human pet had no idea how meet-ups work so she was a bit concerned, but if you endorse it, then it must be ok!

sage said...

to your human pet--I spent two weeks in Korea in 2000 and loved it. I've also been to Japan and even though Japan is beautiful, if I was going to live in one or the other, I'd take Korea. Don't have any suggestions on language guides. As for knowledge of the country, Pearl Buck's The Living Reed gives a good overview of how the country was divided (and since it's a novel, it's easy reading). The novel spans the mid-19th though the mid-20th centuries. I have other books on Korean history, culture and folktales.