March 12, 2010 | Korean
Bye for Now, Indiana
I find Indianapolis International Airport a surprisingly pleasant place to study.
This was my last day in Indianapolis. I finished teaching my final writing class of the week at 3 p.m., at which point I went downstairs to wait for the Carey Limousine car that would be taking me to the airport.
To my surprise, an actual limo showed up—a long white stretch one. I guess the name is meant to be taken seriously.
It rained quietly but steadily all the way to the airport. Things were not looking good for my flight, especially since I was flying into La Guardia, which does not have many runways and can therefore quickly end up with massive delays, even for minor weather problems.
Indeed, my flight was delayed. And delayed. And delayed. And yet, I never got all that bummed out. Why? Because I had Dr. Pimsleur with me.
En route from security to Terminal A of the Indianapolis International Airport, Dr. P. and I passed an unmanned Rosetta Stone kiosk, stopping barely long enough to take a picture. Once in the terminal, though, we entertained ourselves for hours.
One of our stops was a restaurant called Harry & Izzy’s, where I had a cheeseburger and a few toxic sodium fries. We also went to a deli, where I got a toxic sodium chicken sandwich. And we walked to the end of our terminal, to a Cold Stone Creamery, and got a mix-in with Reese’s peanut butter cups and Snickers that was supposedly a medium, though it looked to me to be about a pint and a third of ice cream.
After finishing the ice cream, I needed a short sugar-crash-induced nap at the gate before I could continue on with my Pimsleur work. I don’t normally eat this way, but a shortage of healthful food options in my Indianapolis neighborhood had resulted in my eating ten salads, five of them identical, over the five previous days. Confronted with a long airport wait and nothing healthy other than more (anemic-looking) salad, I couldn’t take it anymore, and gave in to sin.
In spite of all the poison I ingested, and in spite of the steady flow of loud airport messages over the loudspeakers telling various passengers they would lose their seats immediately if they didn’t get their respective behinds to their respective gates, I managed five half-hour Level I Pimsleur lessons in total (including two repeats). I even finished lesson 28, finally. It was my fifth try.
How do people get through these things on the first try?!
On the plane I studied my big orange Elementary Korean textbook. I like the book, kind of, but it has a transliteration system that I find nearly impossible.
How am I supposed to know how to pronounce these?
Isn’t the point of a transliteration system to use symbols that you can recognize? I am having to look up their symbols every few minutes. It’s like learning a second alphabet, on top of the Korean; I might as well just go straight to the Hangeul.
I need a transliteration system for the transliteration system.