One Night Only

It was Sunday evening, my friends and I boarded the train a minute prior to its departure.  (After waiting for 8 hours at the station…hahaha!)  There was someone seated already on the seat next to where I thought I’ll be sitting.  I  was not sure though if I was on the aisle seat or window seat.  So, I checked my train ticket first before settling down.  I placed my violin on the luggage space while my bag rested on my lap.  I was not sleepy.  I took the book entitled “The Great Gatsby” by Fitzgerald and started reading.  I noticed that the man I was sitting with was restless.  He looked tired–dead tired.  I tried not to make any sound so as not to disturb him.  However, his restlessness bothered me a lot.  I could not focus much on my book.  After reading a few pages, I got my notebook and pen and scribbled few words.  Few words became few sentences.  Few sentences became few paragraphs.  Long before I noticed it, I had already written a five-page journal entry.  Hahaha! Tired from writing, I then ate gummy bears.  (**wink**)  Left with nothing to do with still one hour more ride,  I grabbed the Korean magazines in front of me and flipped through the pages.  Of course, I could not understand them.  A bright idea came into my mind.  ”How about if I copy the characters instead and try to read them the best I could?”  I talked to myself.  So I did.  All the while I did not know that Mr 3-11 (assigned seat..hehe) was already observing me.  I heard him cleared his throat for two times.  Suddenly, he popped out of his silence mode and said something like “jang”.  It was the continuation of the Korean word I was trying to read.  It was fun.  He even taught me the correct romanization of the word.  I was amazed with his friendliness.  It was far from my imagination.  Yet, I was happy with the outcome.  From that moment on we conversed till he got off the train.

**I know my experience does not sound special.  But for me, it does sound like it is because many people mistake me for someone snobbish, unapproachable and unfriendly.  That is why I am so grateful that he did approach me.  I am also thankful that he helped me with Hangeul.

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Posted on September 16th, 2008

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