So it turns out Hanoi has a
reasonably-sized Korean community. This was great news as I was keen to keep up
my Korean, so I went trawling for lessons. Given that most Koreans are here
with corporate jobs however, rather than the English-speaking community who
almost all do some kind of teaching, the only place offering such a thing was
the Han-Viet Family Centre. This is an institution set up and funded by the
Korean government in response to rising numbers of Korean-Vietnamese marriages.
We went along to see if they wouldn’t mind me signing up, despite being
distinctly non-Viet, but after seeing that I fulfilled the ‘married-to-a-Korean
side of the bargain they said it would be fine.
Fast-forward to a week later, and it seemed
like it might not be quite so fine after all. Given that I’d turned up for a
pre-intermediate class, which I’d asked the way for in Korean, one would have
thought I might be able to understand an exchange along the lines of: