Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I was Jung once

Good Evening, the part of the Korean blogger will be played by a slender white dude. I'm the accidental occidental!

Seriously folks, my name causes much consternation for folks.

When I was in high school, I had to live through the embarrassing "bus chase" scene that most of you thought you'd only see in the movies. I attended a private school, so my bus stop was just me. First day of school, bus pulls up, driver opens the door and stares at me for all of 2 seconds, then closes the door and starts to pull away!

Incredulous, I had to run after it, pounding on the windows as I ran all the while the kids inside we're laughing "with me." Fortunately, my torture ended within a block, but the words would haunt me forever... "I'm sorry, I was looking for a Korean boy." I was never right after that, but in fairness I wasn't right before it either.

I can hardly expect everyone to have read any of the SWISS psychiatrist Carl Jung's many books, but this was the 80's! He was featured on a Sting album! (Synchronicity) I suspect the overwhelmingness of one of the most popular Korean names was too much for that poor bus drivin' woman.

Fast forward some 20+ years and I am traveling for work. I've been at the client site for an hour and one of my co-workers from our west coast office is just arriving. I've spoken to him many times and we've worked separately together on more than one contract. Zero face-to-face interaction. So he comes up to us in the hall and is introduced to the client. There isn't any need for my being introduced because we "know" each other. A few hours pass and he catches up with me at lunch. So now he wants to apologize for staring at me this morning, but "I thought you were Korean." Yeah, I thought you were a chick, so call it even.

Believe it or not, I have never met a Korean guy named Jung. Sure I friended a guy with my same name, because I thought it would make me look mysterious, but I never met him and for all I know he isn't Korean either. Maybe he's just trolling for Korean girls?

Senseless tragedy of this whole thing is that other than being able to use Jung like young in many sentences, my name isnt that magical. Sentences such as:
That's me, Jung MC the ninja DJ.
Forever Jung, I want to be forever Jung.
I even had fantasy football teams named The Jung Guns and The Fine Jung Cannibals.

I am constantly asked how I pronounce it. "Should I call you Jung or Young?" to which my typical reply is "I don't care what you call me so long as you call me to dinner." It doesn't take a bad phone line to seriously botch it either. "Was that Jones?" "Was that June?" From as early as I can remember, I've always had a bondesque name reference, J-u-n-g... Jung. Ok perhaps it isn't bondesque, but spelling your name is sexy, except in this and all other cases. The worst was when I started getting the junk mail for Scott Jayuengee. Maybe worse than chasing that bus!

Speaking of the 80's, who remembers Sixteen Candles? Molly Ringwald was cute and actually mattered and Jon Cryer had interesting fashion sense and pined for girls he couldn't have, wait not much changed there. Anyway, how about the "Donger", Long Duc Dong. Now THAT was an Asian name!

Pity my male children who carry forward the Jung MC name.

- rudely screwed up by using BlogPress from my iPhone

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