It's official. Korean girls are fucked up. I don't know whether the emphasis is on "Korean" or "girls." I was actually going to make a node for that, but decided I should avoid highly subjective writeups and just make it a day log.

First, a couple of older stories, to show that this isn't an isolated incident:

Exhibit A: So Jung. Met her at a bar last year and started chatting. She was impressed that I spoke Korean and we hit it off. We exchanged numbers and I called her a few days later. She immediately said she wanted to meet me that night, so we met. The date went well and she started emailing me things that sounded unambiguously positive. I won't list them all, but here's the most blatant. Her: "Do you like chocolate?" Me: "Yes. Why do you ask?" Her: "It is soon Valentine's Day. In Korea, woman buy chocolate for man to declare her love for man. I want to buy chocolate for you." Little room for misinterpretation, right? So, with all these positive signs, I decided to initiate a bit of physical contact. I know you're supposed to move slowly with Korean girls, so I do so. I hold hands with her. She's responsive. I put my arm around her the next time we're sitting together. She's cool with that. A month later, Valentine's Day rolls around. As promised, she gives me chocolate (I wasn't supposed to give her anything, since they have a separate day for that, in Korea, called White Day... but I gave her a little amethyst necklace anyway). That night, I walk her home. Being Valentine's Day, I figure it's a good time for the first kiss. I lean in... "No," she says. "Okay," I say, and give her a hug and go home. We had already made plans to meet a few days later. She doesn't show up. I call her. She doesn't answer. The next day, I email her. No response. I try calling her again. No answer. Finally, a few days later, I get this email (grammar mistakes hers):

Alex. I think you are a my friend. I do not think you are a my boyfriend. This is something that bothers my conscience for many days. I cannot love you. I already have a lover. But I like free. So I do not make a boyfriend. I must undeceive you on this point.

Exhibit B: Su Mi. A good friend of mine for a long time. Eventually, I started having feelings for her more than just friendship. To let her know, I decided to buy her flowers. So that there'd be no ambiguity about what I meant by them, I opted for red roses. She thanks me for them, and seems happy, but doesn't give me any further signal. Is it possible she didn't understand the message I was trying to convey? Apparently, yes. A week or two later, I say it straight out. She's completely surprised. Had no idea. She says that she's not sure what to say. She likes me a lot, and knows that I'm good boyfriend material, but until that point, she hadn't thought of me as more than a friend. She needs some time to think about it. "Love is dangerous," she says. She had a boyfriend a few years before and he broke her heart. So far, this all seems reasonable. Not the most favorable result for me, but she handled it very well. A few months later (just the other week), she tells me what was really going on. She proabably would have gone with me, except her asshole ex-boyfriend, who hurt her so much before, had spotaneously decided he wanted her back, and had proposed to her. So, rather than taking a chance on dating a guy that she thinks will probably treat her well, she's planning on marrying the jerk who already tore her heart into a million tiny pieces once before. Such a reasonable girl in most things, which is part of what drew me to her in the first place... why can't she make a good decision when it comes to love?

Which brings us up to the present, and Eun Jung. Sweet little girl. Cute as a button. Used to work at a bar called Parthenon (recently quit, so she'd have her evenings free to do things like go out with me). I started chatting her up one night when I was drunk, and exchanged phone numbers with her. The next morning, I figured that nothing would come of it. You can't honestly expect to pick up a bar waitress. But she calls me that night and tells me she wants to see me again. I go back to the bar a few nights later and stick around until closing at 2 AM and go out with her afterwards. The next week, she gets off work early, and asks me to meet her. I do, and she introduces me to her sisters. Every Korean I've mentioned this to says that if a Korean girl introduces you to her family members, it's a sure sign that she's interested. In front of her older sister, she keeps asking me questions about my job, and my plans for the future, as if seeking approval, and her older sister seems to be giving it. She text messages me on my cell phone and asks me if I've fallen in love with her. Wary of Korean girls, and knowing that they like to play games, I message her back and say (in Korean) "I don't want to answer that. Keeping it a mystery is more fun. Anyway, when talking about love, you have to confess before you ask." She's actually the one to initiate physical contact this time, as she started taking my arm whenever we walked together. Last night, I try to move it along a little bit, and when she goes to take my arm, I hold hands with her instead. No complaint from her. That night, she walks me home, and comes into my apartment with me, much to my surprise. Back home, if you're dating a girl, and she goes home with you at the end of a night of drinking, it probably means she wants to sleep with you. Still, I figure I'm not going to take any chances, and instead of making a physical move, I tell her (in Korean again... she speaks no English): "You were right when you sent me that text message. I have fallen for you. How do you feel about me?" And she says she just wants to be friends. She gives me a long speech that I can't really understand, but I just nod and pretend I get it. It's a case of "I don't know what you're saying, but I know what you mean." You don't need to be fluent in a language to get the gist of a let's just be friends talk. Then she asks me for a blanket and sleeps on the floor in my living room. In the morning, she wakes me up and asks me for some money for a taxi. I think I agreed to go bowling with her this afternoon.

So... how are you supposed to go about dating a Korean girl if girls who just want to be friends act as if they're very interested in you? Who knows... certainly not me.

Strangely, the only woman here who treats me right is the 37 year old divorced mother of two that I was sleeping with when she was the supervisor at my school, but who now lives in a different city. Maybe I should forget about finding someone my own age (I'm 24) and just stick with her. I feel something resembling love for her, I know she loves me, the sex is great, and she's never played any stupid games with me. The only problem is that I'm never going to want to marry her. I can't be a father to her daughters... I can't stay with someone 13 years older than me forever. Will I really feel comfortable being in a relationship with her while knowing all along that when someone closer to my own age comes along, I'll abandon her? It's certainly not fair to her, even if she knows it as well as I do and accepts it.

6 days until I go back to Canada for Christmas. Hopefully that will give me a chance to get my head straight.