Laura – Korean Teenagers (2)
It’s the exam season and the atmosphere in school and even on the street is down. I don’t particularly like this time of year as it disrupts classes and makes planning an impossibility. In classes some students are so tired that effective teaching isn’t possible and you really notice the mood of students, some ride it fairly well and others are up and down and unpredictable. And all the kids are tested, from the youngest right through to high school students.
I haven’t seen too much of Laura lately but unlike Ben, she is usually fairly consistent in her temperament and always has a smile. This week, after asking me to comment on her latest perfume (which is actually her mother’s), she coyly tells me she has a boyfriend, and…. that he has kissed her! That it was only on her cheek doesn’t dampen her happiness. She takes out her mobile phone and proudly shows me the album she has created featuring him. In one photo, she excitedly explains he’d just had a shower and his hair, still wet, was sticking up. She is so excited at the captured image, which she describes as ‘cute,’ that she blushes and her eyes actually flutter.
Saturday was a ‘play Saturday’ (놀토) which of course, at this time of year, it’s not as any free time is used for studying. I met Laura on the street on Friday evening, as I was going home. She was going to a ‘reading room’ which are ‘libraries’ solely for study and which, like the PC rooms, are constantly open. When I asked what time she would go home she told me 2 am. Most perverse of all is she’s smiling as she tells me. ‘And what will you do tomorrow?’ I ask. ‘Study,’ she replies laughing. Korean innocence!