“I didn’t know you liked movie that much.” said my dad. I just shrugged and answered, “well, who doesn’t like movie?” I expected this movie conversation to end at this point. Instead, my dad turned to my mom, and kept going on. “Since when did she watched that much movies? Was it from junior high, or highschool? college?”
Now my mom was confused a bit too, just like me. “Well…” she said, “she was in Midwest, and there’s not much to do except sports and weekend movies.” I nodded too. It was a small, suburban Midwestern town. You don’t have that much option on entertainment, unless you have a car, or can do drug or drink loads of alcohol. I did neither of them – I did not want to get kicked out from school.
So I couldn’t really understand why my dad started to have this idea of me being a big film fan. Sure, I like movie, but I don’t think I like movie more than average people. If you think that’s wrong because I talk about this strange Asian movies and Hong Kong film stars, well, I’m Asian living in Asia. Duh. I took a film class in college, but that was just for one semester. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. I am nothing like Tarantino or Spielberg, who loved movies so much that they started making their own film from teenage times. Besides, if I really liked movie that much, I would have gone to New York University. I couldn’t help wondering what gave him such an idea. But I couldn’t really ask him directly, since I was scared of “offending” him again.
It turned out that since I memorize all the western names of American/British actors so well, he thought I am a big movie fan.
Understandable, but really, me memorizing western names so well isn’t because I’m a big movie fan. I grew up in States. Almost everyone around me had names such as John Radstone, Skyler Woskobski, Sarah Crnich, Tim Schnake, and so on. Kims and Chois make minority. Compared to other Koreans, those “foreign names” are not that foreign to me. So name like Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Armitage and Jake Gyllenhal aren’t big deal to me. Frankly speaking, I feel like I get the western names more quickly and easily than Korean names.
“Er, dad,” I said, “it’s not that I am a big movie mania. I like movies but no more than average.”
“But how come you memorize all those western names?”
“She’s just used to it.” My mom intervened.
“Yeah, like…I spent so much time in Midwest so I’m used to hearing and memorizing all the western names. And I watch more American and British TVs than Korean. That’s it. It’s not like I am a passionate movie fan or anything.” I said, and looked my dad’s face. He looked pretty confused and disappointed.
I couldn’t help thinking about a fellow TCK (Korean background)’s blog posting. After she came back to Korea, she kept bombing her English exam. Her parents thought something is definitely wrong with her – their daughter was speaking fluent English, but kept failing her English exam! The thing was, she could not understand any of the grammatical terms in Korean.
Time passed, and she started to learn another language other than Korean and English. Then everyone, including her parents, started saying, “oh, it would be easy for you, you speak some foreign languages already anyway.” She was confused, because she never really thought of herself as speaking a foreign language. She grew up, living with English language. One day, as her dad sad another foreign-language-thing, with a lot of gut, she said to her father:
“Dad, I’ve never spoken in foreign language in my life. Not once.”
You can pretty much imagine her father’s face.