Thursday, February 10, 2011

지금 어디야?

What's a true love story? Nah, it's ain't living happily ever after, that's fairytale.

Two meanings of "Where are you now?"

"Where are you now?"

Once in a while, Soon-jong would be taken aback by Yoon-hee's unexpected call from home.

"What do you mean where I am? Of course I'm in office..."

After Soon-jong had replied, Yoon-hee then moved on to talk about other matters before hanging up. The question seems innocent, but when asked repeatedly, it slowly got on Soon-jong's nerves. One day, just after Yoon-hee had finished asking the same question, Soon-jong suddenly blew his top.

"Why? Do I look like I'm seeing another woman? Why must you keep asking the same question over and over again? It's office hour, I can only be in office, so where do you think I can go?"

The unexpected talk back from Soon-jong, left Yoon-hee totally stunned. To her, asking "where are you" is just another form of greeting and to find out for curiosity sake "what are you doing now?" As they say, "He that commits a fault thinks everyone speaks of it" Suddenly, Yoon-hee began to suspect that Soon-jong might actually have an affair after all. Why was Soon-jong angry and why did Yoon-hee become the target of his sudden outburst?  

In working life, one of the things which employees hated most is to receive a call from their superiors asking them, "Where are you now?" After pagers were replaced by mobile phones, the most stressful thing for employees was to be caught off guard by call from their superiors giving them business-related instructions. Their main gripe was they were unable to escape from the stress of being under constant surveillance. However, after caller ID was introduced, the chance of running into a one-on-one situation and parrying off onslaught from their superiors like a goalkeeper was greatly reduced (since they could choose the call to answer). Despite that, the persistent feeling they were under constant surveillance didn't help to make their mood any better. So, "Where are you now?", has subconsciously become a form of invisible attack which can instantly trigger off some sort of defensive behaviour. In contrast, asking  "Where are you now?" is something intimate and part of woman's efforts to maintain intimacy with her partner. Asking "Where are you now?" or "What are you doing now?" is quite a normal action a woman will do to confirm and picture the situation her partner is in, so that she can find a common contact point where she shares his experience. It is not her intention to secretly check on her partner whether he is up to some mischief behind her back, but a simple query out of curiosity of his current situation. But when a man feels that he is a victim of constant surveillance in the first place, quibble will ensue inevitably.

(Translated extract of the article "지금 어디야?" 라는 말의 두 가지 의미" by 하지현 교수, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Department of Neuropsychiatry)


One of my teachers said, "During courtship, guy will pretend to be ultra-caring whilst girl will try hard to act demure. But after marriage, there is no end to quibbling. Things that we don't see eye to eye aren't big issues like global warming or terrorism, but trivial things like why he drops his shirt on the floor when the laundry bag is only 10cm away? Why does he like to press the toothpaste tube at the middle?" However, when asked if she is happily married, her eyes gave off an affirmative 'yes'.


  1. Equinox 씨, 지금 어디야? 한국에? 싱가폴에?

  2. 어디긴 어디야 집이지.
    정말 오래만이네 ^^

  3. Hmh, what was the subject of the class? It seems the teacher said more than he intended.

  4. i like your blog..are you a korean?

  5. @anonymous 4:37am: nah, we were just chit-chatting

    @anonymous 12:19am: thanks, no i'm not korean

  6. I like this article. I think it would make a great piece of love and relationships in Korea. I am with a group putting together a book about Korea. Here is the site:

    Please email me at:

    I think we would like to collaborate with you.