Of Pocky and Pepero

SUMMARY: A South Korean transfer student is struggling to adjust to her new life here in Japan, that included getting used to the strange boy who she's been sitting next to for the past month. OC


Chapter 30: Prawn

NOTE 1: "Italicized" is Korean speech.

NOTE 2: Another interlude.


Dear Shintaro,

I had a conversation with a friend regarding the stickers on my folder. You know, the stickers that you sent me. I told her that they were prawn and not shrimp, but she didn't believe me. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Love forever,

Soo-Jin


Dear Soo-Jin,

They are shrimp.

From,

Shintaro


Dear Shin-Shin,

SOMETIMES I TIRED ALWAYS. Life so bad. Why so bad? Shrimp so bad! Life very tiring like school and everything and life. TIRED TIRED TIRED TIRED SO VERY TIRED. Cookie fish peanut pancake rice rice rice rice rice. DKLJS DFKLJ. Japan Korea Japan Korea. Okay, time mail the letter. I so am tired.

Sincerely,

Soo-Jin


Dear Soo-Jin,

Your words in your letters don't match up with the picture of yourself that you had sent to me. I'm not one to jump to conclusions, but a kept appearance, firm posture, and tidy haircut tend to allude to a mild-mannered persona, which contrasts to whatever you're being. An imbecile, I suppose. Please cease your lamentations.

From,

Shintaro

P.S. Don't call me Shin-Shin.


Dear Shinta,

My mom made me look nice on that day. Afterwards, I shucked off my uniform jacket and loosened my tie. Also, if you're mainly referring to the previous letter that I sent you, I wrote that when I was half-asleep and grumpy. Before, my computer had shut down (so no Google Translate), and it is not like I have the entire Japanese vocabulary memorized, so I wrote down what I could. I admit, I did it after I woke up from a nap in class. My teacher was not happy with me.

With care,

Soo-Jin


Dear Soo-Jin

I happen to know a few teammates who would sleep during lessons, and it always makes me wonder how they even manage to get enough credits to pass the class. Or are they learning at all? If that's the case, how is it that they can pass the classes and don't have to repeat the year? I once was conflicted with feelings similar to dejection, thinking how unjust it was for me, who required to dedicate his hours of studying in order to ascend to the top ten, had been in the same class as those who wouldn't hesitate on shirking their duties. Then, it was when I had discovered that their grades could never compare to mine because they never studied.

From,

Shintaro

P.S. Don't call me Shinta


Dear Shinny,

I no understand Japanese more any.

Love,

Soo-Jin

P.S. Computer broken again.


Dear Soo-Jin,

You are an idiot.

From,

Shintaro

P.S. Don't call me Shinny.


Dear Taro-Taro,

I asked my Spartan teacher what you wrote, and she translated it. I'm so flattered that you poured out your heart to me. Maybe I should do the same!

Yours,

Soo-Jin

P.S. My computer is fixed!


Dear Soo-Jin,

Don't.

From,

Shintaro

P.S. Stop it.


Dear Taro-Taro,

That paragraph you wrote was rather long for me to translate by myself, for your information.

P.S. Stop what?


Dear Soo-Jin,

Must I elaborate because you are too unhinged to comprehend what I apparently had to repeat myself in four consecutive letters? I'm not going to even bother making this the fifth one.

From,

Shintaro


Dear Shin-Shin-Taro-Taro,

Just to let you know, I have developed immunity towards your poor personality throughout these past two to three years. Pottery and kettle, Shinta, pottery and kettle.

Brilliantly,

Soo-Jin


Dear Soo-Jin,

That's "pot and kettle." Moron.

From,

Shintaro

P.S. Seriously, stop it.


Dear Shintaro,

My mom saw how short our previous letters were (again) and threatened to take away my mailing money (again)! So, in order to satisfy the woman as she will be checking this letter, I'm going to write to you two paragraphs full of worthless crap since she can't read Japanese. Cat dog mouse pineapple watermelon banana spider peanut toilet towel bathtub sink soap curtain bedroom bed desk lamp light dark pillow sheet floor table kitchen fridge water fire earth air love death tomato apple toes fingers pear kimchi salad peppers trashcan plastic bags carton milk white black red blue pink green yellow purple black white orange indigo rainbow happy sad mad crazy slow fast big small.

Next paragraph. There was a family of bears. Father bear, mother bear, and baby bear. Father bear was fat. Mother bear was slender. Baby bear was so cute. Good job. I don't know what else to write here so I shall write whatever my name is Soo-Jin and I am in my third-year of middle school and I hate summer and winter and I don't know what I want to be when I grow up but I'm sure that I don't want to be a nurse like my mom because then I think I would have to study science in college and I hate science because it is so boring and whatnot and I am an only child and my favorite food to eat is anything spicy. Cramp cramp cramp cramp. Oh, my hand.

My hand hurts,

Soo-Jin


Dear Soo-Jin,

Interesting. I didn't know that you hate summer and winter. Does that mean you like spring and fall instead? I also didn't know that you did poorly in your science class and was an only child.

From,

Shintaro


Dear O'Curious One,

You were supposed to write two paragraphs! Just my luck when I got your letter when my mom's out shopping. Anyway, yes, I prefer spring and fall. I am an only child. I suck at science. By the way, what do you want to be when you grow up? A basketball player?

Forever and ever,

Soo-Jin


Dear Soo-Jin,

Not that it's any of your business, but, if you must know, I aspire becoming a doctor. While I admit that basketball has become an enjoyable pastime, it is nothing more but a pastime. Furthermore, I would be a fool if I would venture a career regarding basketball. I hold too much potential to be simply tied down to a sport, given my intellect and motivation. In fact, Oha-Asa predicted that I would encounter many misfortunes if I did make a living off of playing.

From,

Shintaro


Dear Shintaro,

You sounded rather snobbish in your letter. I am concerned. By the way, I have a present for you.

Always,

Soo-Jin


Dear Soo-Jin,

You gave me a shrimp. What did I say about putting shrimp in envelopes?

From,

Shintaro


Dear Shintaro,

I'm sure that you were referring to actual shrimp in your last letter. And that's not a shrimp—it's a prawn. A prawn keychain that I found in a convenience store. It reminded me of you so much that I just had to purchase it and send it to you! Aren't you swelling with joy?

Love,

Soo-Jin

P.S. Mom is looking over my shoulder. Cat dog mouse fish turtle chicken cow farm government invoice bank plane ticket booth line other Japanese vocabulary words that I remember are colors and numbers red blue green yellow orange pink blue brown black white one two three four five six seven eight nine ten I could only count up to ten which is weird because I used to be able to count up to twenty oh no Mom is starting to complain about me using Google Translate. Computer off now I know not what write. Noooo! Blah blah blah blah blah.


Dear Soo-Jin,

The toy keychain is a shrimp, not prawn.

In prawns, the sides of all segments overlap the segment behind, like roof tiles. In shrimps, the sides of the second segment overlap both the one before and the one after. In prawns, the first three of the five pairs of legs on the body have small pincers whereas shrimp possess only two pairs that are claw-like. In some shrimp, one or other of the first two pairs of legs is bigger than the other. Prawns usually have legs that are in similar lengths.

From,

Shintaro


Dear Dr. Taro-Taro,

It's a crayfish.

With all the love in the world,

Soo-Jin


Dear Stupid,

No.

From,

Shintaro