Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Presents From The Far East

Yesterday we received a Korean Christmas card from our good friend, Jeff. He worked with the location agency in Seoul that helped us move to Korea and any problems that would arise during our stay. He was a lifesaver and completely orchestrated our move back to Korea in 2011 from procuring our favorite apartment to furniture shopping with me while Rocketman was in China at the time. Isn't that card just beautiful?
                     Also his note inside including a lovely photo of him and his lovely wife.
For six weeks now, Rocketman is hosting two co-workers from Asia. They are staying in a hotel but he is responsible for them during the day. One is from Taiwan and the other from China. I don't know if you know this but Taiwanese and Chinese adopt "Western" names to make it easier for their American counterparts to remember and pronounce correctly when working for and with American companies. Koreans uses two initials from their name and the Japanese uses their actual names and you add "san" when speaking their name.  It can be confusing if you are new to it but Rocketman has been working with and visiting Asia for almost twenty years and we have piles of books on the customs and culture of each country. It has always been important to Rocketman to honor the culture of each country and there are differences.

In Asia, it is customary for the visitor to bring a gift for those he will be working with or to bring to close friends. So if you wonder why we go to Korea with suitcases full of presents, now you know why. It is very important to show respect in the Asian culture and it really means you do care. The Chinese co-worker brought him some green tea as a gift which is greatly appreciated because we both love green tea.

Rocketman isn't surprised too often but he definitely was with these two recent visitors. He had been emailing them for months and assumed they were female by their choice of "Western" names. The Chinese chose the name "Darling" and the Taiwanese chose "Megan." He was shocked when he had a teleconference one night  a few weeks ago with them and heard a distinct male voice out of each. It was a first for him because they generally seemed to  choose a common name.   One of his Taiwanese co-workers uses the name "Albert" which is close to his Taiwanese name. It still makes me smile when I ask him how his day was with "Darling" and "Megan." He also is in charge of introducing them to co-workers at several plants so that should be interesting too.
          The Taiwanese co-worker brought Rocketman some black tea and a really cute keychain.

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