He has blue eyes, a small face, a sharp nose. Beside he is a tall man. How nice he is. You may wonder who he is. He is Jiri Adamec and he is a foreign student of the University of Seoul. Originally, he is from the Czech Republic. I interviewed him because I thought it would be nice to become more familiar with his country. Above all, I hoped that the UOS students and I would gain more knowledge about the Czech Republic. Hopefully, after you read this article, you may want to meet him!!
I sent him an e-mail to plan the interview; however it took many tries to contact with him. You might be surprised at this fact and wonder why I didn’t call him to save the time to meet him. But he has no cell-phone. I asked him, “Why didn’t you buy a cell-phone? If you don’t have one, don’t you find it inconvenient?” “No, never” He replied.
We took a subway to go to a restaurant that serves food from the Czech Republic. I called there to find exact location of it. The restaurant employee recommended we take a taxi after getting off at Hongik Univ. station. But Jiri suggested that we walk down the street instead. I accepted his proposal because I thought it would be a good chance for him to look around the Korean street. While we were walking on the street, he took pictures when he saw wonderfully designed buildings. His major is Architectural Engineering at the UOS.
Actually, he is studying abroad because of an arrangement between the Department of Architectural Engineering at the UOS and the Department of Architecture in his home university in the Czech Republic. He said the majors are subdivided in the Czech Republic. I thought he wanted to be an architect in the future. So I asked him, “Why did you choose that major?” “Actually I don’t want to be an architect. Both my grandfather and father’s jobs are building houses. So I decided to major in architecture because of my family. But I hope to construct buildings inside rather than outside. For example, if you build a house, I can help you to renovate and choose proper construction materials and well-matched wallpaper, or help to arrange the interior design of the furniture.”
Although the subway was too crowded, we felt excited about drinking a beer from the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is famous for its beer. Generally speaking, we consider beer from Germany to be famous. The per capita of beer in the Czech Republic is the highest. Most people in the Czech Republic like Pilsner Urquell. In addition, more than four hundred beers are made in the Czech Republic. According to the Czech Republic’s regulations, beer is separated into 4 categories because of its color.
While I was thinking about the Czech Republic’s beer, Jiri said to me, “The subway’s corridor in my country is narrower than yours.” According to him, many Czechs ride bicycles as transportation. Because the Czech Republic is not that big, people seldom use cars in his country. The country is located in the middle of Europe. Originally, The Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic were one nation. On January 1st, 1993, the two nations were separated into different Republics. More importantly, their independence didn’t cause any fighting. I envied that fact because of the relations between South and North Korea. Also, I wondered whether Jiri knows about the history between North and South Korea.
“I know. Kim Joong-il? Kim Jeong-gil?” “Kim. Jeong Il.” I said. “Yes, he is famous in my country. I often talked with my friends about nuclear fear in North Korea. They know more about North than South Korea. By the way, I wish for the reunification of North and South Korea. If two nations were reunified, they could possibly benefit economically from each other.”
I thought Jiri might have a desire to move to Korea. So I asked him why he chose Korea to study. He answered, “Actually I came to Korea to study English, not my major. I thought I would improve my English ability when I studied it with Korean students rather than Europeans. So I wanted to go anywhere in Asia. Fortunately, I found a notice about recruiting exchange students from the UOS. I had no chance to select other universities because I checked I could apply for only the UOS. The UOS was the last chance that I had to be recruited as an exchange student. After I finish my English course at the UOS, I will go back to my hometown. I will stay here in Korea for 3 months.”
When we arrived at the Czech pub, Jiri recommended that I should order off the special menu of the restaurant. So I asked him to select the dishes that we were going to eat. He chose Beef Goulash and Prague Sweet Sour Pork. He said that these taste are very similar to the Czechs.
“I like meat and many different types of Czech’s food is made from it. Ah! Korean food is served with rice. It was surprising to me. When I eat rice, I feel hungry soon after my meal, so I prefer bread instead of rice. Also, I have difficulty eating spicy Korean food. There is a lot of hot food here in Korea. My favorite Korean food is Korean barbecue. Also, I like Korean pizza. I often eat it with my foreign friends near the UOS.” After I finished talking with him, I didn’t feel like he was a foreigner. He has already adapted to the new surroundings in Korea. I really hope for him to enjoy himself here and take good memories home from his experiences in Korea and at the UOS.